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13 Questions With: Karine Burger

July 1, 2013

Digital Archivist, International Monetary Fund

Photo of Karine BurgerA hero who has inspired you in your career?

Friend and mentor Johanna Smith, provider of wise career and life advice.

The first job you ever held and at what age?

Picking strawberries in rural Quebec, age 11 or so. We lived in a tiny farming community at the time. Farmers from neighbouring communities would send a van to pick up kids and teens from the village early in the morning and bring us home in the afternoon. We earned pennies a basket and thought it was great.

Your first position in the library and/or information services field?

Reference assistant at Calgary Public Library: the place and people who inspired me to go to library school!

Coolest thing in your cubicle or office?

It’s a still a bit empty since I moved in a few months ago, but I’ve got travel photos and yoga gear living there now.

What is your guilty pleasure?

Online shopping. It’s too easy.

Career advice – what’s your top tip?

It’s early years, but so far my best advice is to be fearless! Trust your instincts; do what you know is right for you; and be kind to yourself.

What useless skill(s) do you possess?

Neat handwriting.

Proudest moment in your professional life?

In a previous position, leading a team of professionals through a difficult period of organizational change.

If you had 24 hours all to yourself, how would you best like to spend it?

In a pristine, natural setting, with some hiking trails, good food, and a slice of my ever-expanding stack of unread books. Add some old friends to that mix and it’d be nearly perfect.

If you didn’t work in the information industry, what would you be doing?

I’d hope to be writing creatively for a living and working with ceramics for pleasure.

Finish this sentence: “In high school, I would have been voted the person most likely to … “

I conducted a very unscientific poll and found I’d have been voted most likely to be a famous writer…or CSIS agent! My long-suffering and literal-minded younger sister says the correct answer is, “have her meticulous class notes preserved and safeguarded by her teachers long, long after she graduates.”

How do you stay current in your field?

Monitoring select blogs, listservs and twitter for the latest developments in my field and related ones. Attending conferences is essential for inspiration, practical learning, and making professional connections. I’m currently a digital information and preservation specialist; the domain is constantly evolving.

What would you like your headstone to read?

It’s not important to me. I’d like to be remembered well by those who know me now.

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