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13 Questions With: Sarah Macintyre

13 Questions With: Sarah Macintyre

February 15, 2024

A/Division Manager, Client Services, Ottawa Public Library

Sarah Macintyre's LinkedIn profile

Who inspires you in your career?

Dolly Parton! There is nothing she can’t do, plus she is so committed to early childhood literacy.

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

My first ever job (besides babysitting gigs) was working at the food stands at LaRonde, the theme park near Montreal, when I was 17.

My first library job was working as a student librarian at the Neuro-Patient Resource Centre at the Montreal Neurological Hospital, while I was working towards my MLIS.

Why a career in librarianship?

When I got into the MLIS program and I had never worked in a library before and didn’t really know for sure that I was going to love it. I just knew that this was a degree that would open doors in a variety of directions – information management, school libraries, special libraries, etc. I am so lucky I found my home in public libraries, because it’s allowed me to have a meaningful and rewarding career, but when I started my MLIS, I truly did not know where I was going to end up!

Coolest thing in your cubicle or office?

Now that I’m working from home most days, I suppose the coolest thing is access to a kitchen with snacks!

What is your guilty pleasure?

Singing loudly to musical theatre soundtracks in the car.

Career advice – what’s your top tip?

Apply for positions even if you aren’t 100% sure you are qualified, and take lots of opportunities to interview! Interviewing is something you get better at with practice, so it’s better to keep up those skills so that when your dream job comes along, you are ready for it!

What is something people would be surprised if they knew about you?

I listen to a lot of punk music.

Proudest moment in your professional life?

It’s hard to pick just one – I find I feel most proud when I get to watch my colleagues to team members find joy in the work that they do. Working in public libraries can be difficult and exhausting, but you also get to see the immense positive impact you have in your community.

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

I like going to an outdoor Nordic spa all by myself. It would be so great not to have other people around talking, or taking up the best seats by the fireplace…

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

It’s hard to imagine doing anything else, but I’ve always found myself drawn towards management and administration, so something along those lines.

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

…not join a sports team.

How do you stay current in your field?

Getting involved in committee work and volunteering with professional organizations is valuable. I spent many years on council with the Ontario Library Association, and have had the opportunity to attend conferences and join working groups. Making connections and learning from the experiences of others helps keep me moving forward.

What would you like your headstone to read?

“It was bound to happen eventually…”

Leap Year Bonus Question: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Negotiate your salary and benefits the way you would expect a man to.

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