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Freshly Minted: Rachael Bennett

Freshly Minted: Rachael Bennett

February 28, 2019

Library and Information Technician Student, Algonquin College

Which information studies program are you attending?

I am in my second semester of the Library and Information Technician Program at Algonquin College.

What are your current classes like? Which is your favorite so far, and why?

My current classes are a little challenging this term. I am in a couple of very technical classes like cataloging, subject indexing, and Internet applications. The Internet applications class teaches us to use HTML, CSS and Javascript! I think that course may be my favourite right now because I find it to be very challenging and different than anything else I have ever studied before.

I’m also in a reader’s advisory course for children and teens, which comes in close second for my favourite class since we get to do a story time almost every week. There’s something very relaxing about having a story read to you!

Is there one aspect of the profession that surprises you that you were not expecting when you started the program? What is it?

I think what surprises me the most about the library field is how much of the work relies on computers. When I originally decided to look into schools to do the library technician program I never imagined I would be taking courses that teach me to code. It was definitely a surprise, but a pleasant one.

What was it that initially drove you to librarianship?

My love for reading anything and everything I can get my hands on. Growing up I always spent a lot of time reading, going to the public library or begging to go to the bookstore. While in high school I had been interested in doing library studies post graduation however I was very interested in reading and learning about psychology and ultimately I ended up applying to psychology programs.

Then when I was working in the social work field, I realized I was visiting the local public library once a week and that’s where I felt happiest. At that point I decided I was going to go back to school to become a library technician.

If you could work anywhere, and do anything with information, what would your dream job look like?

I would love to move somewhere in Northern Ontario and work in a public library there. I love the atmosphere and the way that public library staffs are able to work with the members of their community to create change. I would also like to expand upon my new computer skills in a public library setting whether it be running code programming or working on the libraries website!

If someone were considering going to library school, what would you advise them about?

I would advise a potential library student to look into a program with co-op or placement. Since starting my program at Algonquin College I have learned about the different positions available to people in the library field. I am very excited to have the opportunity in my second year of this program to have two placements. I plan to look for unique positions and experiences so that when I graduate, I am more aware of the possibilities open to me.

What do you think is the most important aspect of being an information professional today?

I believe that having patience and compassion are especially important for library and information professionals, as a lot of their work has to do with giving good customer service. Information professionals are providing services and resources to a community and in order to do this I believe that they should be able to show compassion and care for all of their clients.

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