Freshly Minted: Linnet Whiston
May 14, 2020
Library and Information Technician Student, Algonquin College
Which information studies program are you attending?
I just completed a library and information technician diploma at Algonquin College
What are your current classes like? Which is your favorite so far, and why?
All my classes have been useful and have taught me something new. My favourite courses were the reference classes. I love digging around for information.
Is there one aspect of the profession that surprises you that you were not expecting when you started the program? What is it?
I was surprised by most of what I have learned in the program. I’ve worked in libraries since I was 16 years old, but I had never experienced the library work that goes on behind the scenes like cataloguing and classification. So much hard work goes into making libraries run smoothly. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the technology courses either. I never thought I would be able to build websites or program a robot!
What was it that initially drove you to librarianship?
I’ve worked in libraries on and off since I was 16. My first job was as an auxiliary in my local library. I found myself working in libraries again and again over the years until I finally started my career as an ecologist. When I was granted permanent residency in Canada, I asked myself what I wanted to do when I got there. Working in libraries seemed like a natural choice. I loved the investigative aspect of ecology. I loved using keys to identify plants and insects and I enjoyed researching habitat creation and mitigation. I liked the idea that I could help other people with their research.
If you could work anywhere, and do anything with information, what would your dream job look like?
My dream job would combine my previous career as an ecologist with libraries. I would love to manage information about species and habitats so that people can find out about the ecology in their area.
If someone were considering going to library school, what would you advise them about?
I would tell them to prepare to be adaptable and learn skills they weren’t expecting to. Librarianship changes so quickly.
What do you think is the most important aspect of being an information professional today?
There is so much information out there and it is becoming more and more difficult to figure out what we can believe and trust. I think the most important part of being an information professional today is helping people sort through the tide of information to find the most reliable sources.