Freshly Minted: Kayla Lar-Son
April 25, 2018
MLIS Student, School of Library and Information Studies, University of Alberta / Indigenous Intern, University of Alberta
Which information studies program are you attending?
I am in my last semester of the MLIS program at the University of Alberta, and will be graduating this spring.
What are your current classes like? Which is your favorite so far, and why?
My current classes are great. Mostly this semester has been focused on management courses such as management principles, archives management, and collections management, however my favourite courses that I have take while being a student in SLIS is are courses on LIS and diverse populations and research methods classes. The diversity course and the research methods class are my favourites because they are the most relevant to my interests in radical librarianship and Indigenous LIS, as well they allow me to continue to combine my academic roots in Native Studies with LIS both in research and in practice.
Is there one aspect of the profession that surprises you that you were not expecting when you started the program? What is it?
What really surprised me is the amount of advocacy and activism that librarians and LIS professionals can engage in.
What was it that initially drove you to librarianship?
Initially what drove me into librarianship was an amazing mentorship that I had with the Native Studies Librarian at the U of A, Anne Carr-Wiggin, and the support of my academic mentor through my undergraduate degree, Dr. Frank Tough. Some of the classes that I excelled in while in my undergrad were research methods classes which had labs that were very library intensive. I would later go on to T.A. an introductory Native Studies research class and it was through this that both Anne and Dr. Tough recognized my passion for teaching and libraries. It was through them, and my recognition of the lack of Indigenous people working in libraries and enrolled in MLIS programs, that I decided to pursue a professional career as a librarian.
If you could work anywhere, and do anything with information, what would your dream job look like?
My dream job would defiantly be an Indigenous liaison within an academic library due to my love of teaching. However I would also love to engage more with consulting on Indigenous issues within libraries, and would love to eventually obtain my PhD in LIS combined with Native Studies and teach future generations of LIS professionals.
If someone were considering going to library school, what would you advise them about?
I would tell them to speak their truth and know that they can stand up for what they believe in.
What do you think is the most important aspect of being an information professional today?
I think the most important aspect of being and information professional today is knowing that we can make a difference. However we need to recognize our faults as information professionals and engage in critical conversations with one another to make crucial changes for our profession.