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13 Questions With: Lily Mac

13 Questions With: Lily Mac

February 22, 2016

Librarian, Gowling WLG

Who inspires you in your career?

There isn’t really one person who inspired me in my career. It was more like a group of volunteers of an association. Right out of graduation, I started volunteering as Treasurer for the Toronto Chapter of the Canadian Association of Special Libraries and Information Services (CASLIS) of the Canadian Library Association (CLA). It was the group of people whom I volunteered with that gave me the confidence to participate, contribute, and have a voice in the greater library community. This group of people gave me the confidence to take on the Vice-Presidency role, and then Presidency role. It was challenging to take on this kind of leadership role because I have never done anything like this before, but I had a supportive team who believed in me. It was a great experience.

The first job you ever held and at what age and your first position in the library and/or information services field?

My first job ever was at the North York Board of Education where I scanned documents for high school course materials at the age of 16.

My first position in the library and/or information services field was in elementary school where I was a volunteer library helper. (Then afterwards, I also became a volunteer library helper in middle school, and joined the library club in high school.)

In terms of an actual paid position, I was a Graduate Assistant Library Technician (GALT), at the Data, Map and Government Information Services (DMGIS) Library at the University of Toronto, while I was working on my MISt degree at this university.

Why a career in librarianship?

I didn’t know what I wanted to do after I graduated with my BSc. I then checked out a career fair held at my university, and there was a booth for the Master of Information Studies program at U of T. I thought it was really interesting how there was a career where you can organize and manage information. So I applied, got in, graduated, and here I am, almost 10 years later, I’m a librarian and still enjoying it.

Coolest thing in your cubicle or office?

Pine cones. I pick these up on my way to work and have them on my desk to have nature in my office.

What is your guilty pleasure?

Eating chips and carbs (like fresh bread, scones, pastries)… mmmm… yum!

Career advice – what’s your top tip?

Never stop learning.

What useless skill(s) do you possess?

I can wiggle both of my ears. It’s cool because you see my hair and glasses shift back and forth.

Proudest moment in your professional life?

Attending the Northern Exposure to Leadership Institute (NELI) in 2012.

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

Spa, walking/hiking, buying books at used bookstores/book sales, baking.

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

Something in the environmental field.

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

Actually… I was voted the shyest graduate.

How do you stay current in your field?

Association volunteering, attend conferences when I can, attend local professional development programs, meeting new people and networking with professionals in the field, reading articles and news stories, and following listservs.

What would you like your headstone to read?

Have the courage to be the best person you can be.

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