Freshly Minted: Krisandra Ivings
June 5, 2017
MLIS Candidate, Faculty of Information and Media Studies, Western University
Which information studies program are you attending?
I am attending Western University’s Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) program. I’ve completed one semester of classes and one co-op semester at the Government of Canada’s Privy Council Office.
What are your current classes like? Which is your favorite so far, and why?
So far I’ve completed Western’s five required courses, and I’m currently in my second co-op semester in the Jules Léger Library at Global Affairs Canada. The courses I’ve most enjoyed so far are the ones where I’ve had the opportunity to think critically about librarianship practice and how librarians and information professionals can better serve their communities. Now that I’m on co-op, I’m able to relate the work that I’m doing back to those concepts, and make new connections between ideas; this combination of in-class and on-the-job learning has taught me a lot about librarianship, and I think I have developed skills that I will take with me throughout my career.
Is there one aspect of the profession that surprises you that you were not expecting when you started the program? What is it?
Librarianship has the potential to be an incredibly innovative and activist profession. Library and information professionals are constantly adapting the type of work that they do, the way that they work, and the services they offer to fill gaps and better serve their communities. While I knew that librarians were subject matter and resource experts, I did not know what an important role they played in identifying knowledge and service gaps, developing ways to address them, advocating, and then implementing and promoting these new resources. In this framework, there is so much room for developing new ideas and for community activism.
What was it that initially drove you to librarianship?
I recently completed a Master of Arts in Musicology, and spent some time thinking about my career goals. I knew that I wanted to continue learning, and I had enjoyed the research work I had been doing, so I started thinking about librarianship as a really great opportunity for me to share my passion for learning and research with others, and to keep learning new things myself. I think that was a really great choice for me, and I’m really enjoying the work I’m doing in the field so far.
If you could work anywhere, and do anything with information, what would your dream job look like?
I don’t have one ‘dream job’ in mind that I think would be the perfect fit for me. I would say that my experience in the MLIS program so far has been a great opportunity for me to explore the many options that are available in the field. I am thankful that through co-op positions I am getting the opportunity to experience multiple fields, and I’m sure these experiences will allow me to make informed choices when I’m job hunting in the future.
What I do know right now is that I am particularly interested in information access, including information equity, information availability, open access, and advocacy – and I’m committed to making those a part of my future work, whatever that may be.
If someone were considering going to library school, what would you advise them about?
I would advise them to pursue diverse opportunities, and reflect on how those might influence your future librarianship practice. So many experiences and types of work can be relevant to a career in librarianship, not just experience in a library. Your career will be enriched by how you are able to connect your previous experiences to the work that you’re doing. Library experience can obviously be very valuable, but so can other work that allows you to connect with communities or sharpen your research skills.
What do you think is the most important aspect of being an information professional today?
Being adaptable. I think the best library and information work is service-focused, based on the needs and desires of patrons. In order to do this well, information professionals need to listen to their communities and be ready to change the way they work in order to best meet community needs.