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13 Questions With: Melanie Sellar

July 7, 2013

Education Services Librarian and Associate Professor of Information Literacy, Marymount California University /
Founder and Co-Executive Director, Librarians Without Borders

Photo of Melanie Sellar

A hero who has inspired you in your career?

My mother’s municipal advocacy work fostered in me the desire to also contribute to civic and social justice issues.

The first job you ever held and at what age?

Under the table: babysitter.

Above board: snack bar attendant at a bowling alley, age 15

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

Intern, Multicultural Initiatives, Library and Archives Canada

Coolest thing in your cubicle or office?

A 2012 bamboo calendar from “Ling Lee’s Chinese Cuisine” in Thunder Bay. People really seem to like it (even though it’s dated)!

What is your guilty pleasure?

Online window shopping. And any Anthony Bourdain travel/food show.

Career advice – what’s your top tip?

Have a voice but use it thoughtfully. That is, be someone with ideas that people also enjoy chatting with around the watercooler inside and outside of work.

What useless skill(s) do you possess?

Survival driving in Los Angeles. Well, actually, maybe it’s not that useless, it’s keeping me alive.

Proudest moment in your professional life?

The first night in Guatemala looking around at 26 Librarians Without Borders volunteers from four Canadian universities: I was very proud of our team for that achievement.

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

Alone with my husband hiking high in the LA mountains with just the sound of the wind.

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

Taking up the cause of something else.

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

Be a riled-up, roaming bibliophile? Who knows!

How do you stay current in your field?

Blogs via my reader, list-servs, MOOCs, ACRL courses, conferences, lots of ILL’ing of articles, and just plain old talking to people!

What would you like your headstone to read?

That’s a hard one. I’d rather someone else write it for me, but hopefully upon reflection they’ll find that my many passions gave me a fulfilling life.

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