You’re invited to a literary evening in support of the Children’s Book Bank with Tanis Rideout presenting her novel Above All Things.
March 5th 2013, 7pm
Women’s Art Association of Canada, 23 Prince Arthur Ave, Toronto.
Tickets are $100, price includes a copy of Above All Things, wine and light refreshments, and a donation to The Children’s Book Bank.
Tickets can be purchased here.
The Children’s Book Bank “is a registered charity that provides free books and literacy support to children in low-income Toronto neighbourhoods.” You can learn more about The Children’s Book Bank here and here.
For this installment of “Meet a New Information Professional” Lindsay Gibb has agreed to answer five questions about librarianship. Lindsay is a recent graduate of University of Toronto’s iSchool with a focus in zines and youth culture. Lindsay is also an accomplished editor and writer. Check out Lindsay’s website here!
An Interview with Lindsay Gibb, Library Services Coordinator for The Beguiling and Editor-in-Chief of Broken Pencil Magazine.
1. What what your favourite course at library school and why?
Readers’ Advisory stands out as a favourite for me because of how hands-on and practical it was, and also how much fun I had in the class. It was one of the rare opportunities to talk about public service and books and to really delve into the ways librarians can help people to find pleasure reading. We didn’t just practice the readers’ advisory interview, we also created promotional materials for reading including reading maps, thematic displays and book talks.
During the CLA conference (which I was covering for the CLA as the Student to CLA from UofT), I tweeted a comment from an audience member during a panel that focused on the ability for librarians to make a difference. The audience member said “lending books really deflected from our primary purpose…changing lives.” While this catchy comment got a good reaction at the panel (and I realize that she likely meant that the public perception that all librarians and libraries do is lend books was the
problematic deflection), changing lives and lending books are not necessarily opposing actions. In fact, they go hand in hand. Keren Dali, who taught Readers’ Advisory, was a great advocate for reading (as well someone who was very encouraging and supportive of her students), so that was a big part of what made this such an enjoyable course.
2. Is there a particular area in libraries that you find fascinating and why?
This will come as no surprise to many people who studied with me over the past two years, but I’m pretty into zines. As editor of Broken Pencil magazine, a former zine maker and someone who has organized zine fairs in Toronto, Brampton and Vancouver, zines have led me to all of my career choices so far. They were directly responsible for my choice to pursue a Master of Information. So areas where zines and libraries overlap really interest me.
I’m interested in alternative media (not just zines but small press books, graphic novels, comics, video games, etc) and their uses in libraries and library programming. I’m currently a Library Services Coordinator for The Beguiling (a comic shop in Toronto) and this is giving me an opportunity to be an advocate for comics in school and public libraries and also the ability to be involved in collection development for a number of libraries in the GTA.
During the summer I blogged (
) about my dream of becoming a zine librarian and the uses for zines in libraries. I said that zines can be used not only to educate but to empower readers to create. This is what I like about alternative media in libraries: They have the ability to send a charge through patrons and encourage them to not only consume media but make it themselves.
3. What is your favourite representation of a librarian in pop culture? why?
Working with graphic novels I would be remiss not to point to Batgirl Barbara Gordon. She has a Doctorate in Library Science and is the daughter of Commissioner Gordon. Batgirl worked at the Gotham City Public Library. When she was paralyzed in Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke, she returned later as Oracle, a “computer expert and information broker.” As of 2011 she returned as Batgirl in her own series, and after experimental surgery she is no longer paralyzed. Here she is in the 1960s television series (I find this clip extra funny since Batman is looking for an article by a professor Grimes and we had a professor Grimes in the MI program at UofT)
4. What would be three traits you find in your dream job?
I would like to work with underserved patrons. I’m not sure how that will pan out, but it could mean working in a prison library, working in a public library in a priority neighbourhood and/or working with teens or people who currently feel like they are not represented or cared about by mainstream services. I came into this profession to help people, so I really want to have that opportunity.
I would also like to have some kind of programming and outreach abilities in my role. I like programming events and think that is an important part of the library.
Finally, I want the opportunity to perform readers’ advisory. I am currently working on these skills in my position at The Beguiling and Little Island Comics and in the next couple of weeks I will be bringing these skills to library shows where I will be sharing graphic novels and manga with librarians.
5. What are you reading?
Over the summer I spent a lot of time catching up on the pleasure reading I missed out on while deep in studies. I read Wise Blood by Flannery O’Connor, Silence of the Grave by Arnaldur Indridason and I’m still making my way through my husband’s vast graphic novel collection. Right now I’m finishing Life After Death by Damien Echols, one of the West Memphis Three who was finally released from prison in 2011. I followed that story for a long time through the documentaries by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky (Paradise Lost I, II and III) and had an opportunity to meet with Joe Berlinger a number of times when I was a senior writer for a documentary film-making magazine from 2007-2010. Reading Echols’ book is really driving home the importance for me to work with teens who may feel disenchanted with society. He was clearly targeted by police for so long just for being different and had nowhere to turn for help. A number of times in the book he says that the library was his only refuge. I want to be a part of that refuge for someone.
I know the month is half over, but I thought I’d share this anyhow. This year I have signed up as a Virtual Reference Intern through askON. It’s great to be able to help someone find the resources they need to study or complete an assignment – even better that I can do it from my couch! Another benefit is that since I am a college service intern, I get to become familiar with the websites of most Ontario college libraries. Also, I get to apply the RUSA Guidelines for Behavioural Performance of Reference and Information Service Providers previously only encountered in textbooks. Well, November is askON Month, so here’s some additional information about the service:
askON is a Library’s collaborative online research help service for both public and college libraries. This means you can receive research help anywhere with an internet connection – whether you’re at a computer in the library, school, or at home. askON staff can help you with the process for finding relevant books, articles, and other helpful information to support your research assignments and reports. askON can be accessed from the majority of Library’s web pages just by clicking on the logo!
Hours for the Fall 2012 askON service are:
Monday – Thursday: 12:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Friday – Sunday: 12:30 am – 4:30 pm
askON: Real people. Real info. Real time.
I would recommend that any library student in need of reference experience sign up to be a Virtual Reference Intern – it’s a very small time commitment that gives you great reference experience!
Just last week I started my new job as intern at The Children’s Book Bank Canada. I have already been volunteering there since July 2011, so it’s great to start working at a place you already know and love. The Children’s Book Bank is a lovely storefront space located in Regent Park that provides free books and literacy support to children in high needs neighbourhoods in Toronto. The Children’s Book Bank collects gently used books and redistributes them to kids in order for them to be able to build their own home library. Information on how to make a much needed donation to the Book Bank can be found here. Check out a lovely video about the Book Bank here.