This interview is over 1 year old and may no longer be up to date or reflect the interviewee/interviewees’ positions
By Elena Bubelich, Head Editor, INALJ Quebec
Meet Josiane Doucet-Alarie
In this blog post I’d like to introduce my assistant who has helped me to find job offers since November 2013. That month the page of INALJ Quebec became second by popularity among Canadians pages (and it’s still second!). So I asked for help Josiane Doucet-Alarie, a graduate of my library school and a prof in her fields, came forward and have helped me since then. I know that her name appeasr only once on the page, so I decided to make her the hero of my blog post. Thank you, Josiane!
Elena. I know your biography is an eventful one. Please, share your experience and background in few words.
Josiane. My education is pretty straight forward (on paper). I got my Bachelor’s Degree in History from the Université du Québec à Montréal and my Master’s Degree in Information Studies from the Université de Montréal. I also studied languages, geography and demography.
My work experience is more scattered; from medical archives clerk to webmaster, also including a job as an Alternative Format Production Technician for people with different levels of Visual Impairments. I currently work as a Technical Services Librarian.
I find that as a librarian, it’s a bonus to have a variety of experiences and knowledge from a lot of different fields.
Elena. How did you find your first library job?
Josiane. I found my first library job on the job postings webpage of the Information Studies department of my university.
Elena. Do you remember your first interview for a library position? Was it difficult/successful/useful? Do you remember particular questions that were uncommon/funny/strange?
Josiane. My first interview was 1000 km from my home and it was done by phone, which was great because some other employers have insisted that I had to be there in person, even when the interview was taking place farther than a 1000 km from my home.
I remember one question that caught me off guard. It’s not that it was that difficult, it was just very theoretical and as I had no experience in a library (except for my internship), I had to quickly remember what I had learned in school. The question was: describe all the steps in the processing of a book. I guess I didn’t do too badly with my answer, because I got the job!
Elena. Do you remember your first day or week at your first library position? What major challenge did you face?
Josiane. What I have found the most difficult in my first library job was to learn to be a librarian and a manager at the same time. During the first few weeks, I felt lost in both roles. Sure, I interned at a library for two months, and I took management courses in school, but putting the two together was tough. That being said, what I find fascinating in our field (and also challenging at times) is how much you can completely change universes when you change jobs. You’re still a librarian but your job can be completely different from one place to another. I love it.
Elena. What could you advise students who start the program of library science master’s degree?
Josiane. During my last semester, a new professional librarian told me that I should take all the management courses available in my program. Unfortunately, it was a great advice that came too late for me, but this is a great opportunity to pass it along to others.