Sarah Barriage …In Six

My interview with success story Sarah

Naomi: How did you find your current job?
Sarah: Throughout my job search I had been checking a number of sites, including, University of Toronto’s iSchool Job Site, and the University of Western Ontario’s Faculty of Information and Media Studies employment resources page. I found the posting for the position I’m in now shortly after I signed up for job alerts from

Naomi: Favorite library you have been to?
Sarah: Growing up, my family moved around a lot, so I have seen my fair share of public libraries. The ones that stick out the most in my mind are the public library in Sydney, Nova Scotia, which I remember being bright and airy and full of wonderful books, and the former library building in Belleville, Ontario, where I worked during high school and first started to seriously think of librarianship as a career. My favourite academic library would have to be where I am working now, the Augustana Campus Library, which is a beautiful newer facility with really neat spaces and funky furniture.

Naomi: Favorite book?
Sarah: How can I pick just one? I love so many books! The Amelia Peabody series by Elizabeth Peters has been a long-time favourite of mine. More recently, I enjoyed Twenties Girl by Sophia Kinsella, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, and the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins.

Naomi: Favorite thing about libraries/ library technology?
Sarah: Since I started library school, I’ve been blown away by the positive and supportive nature of the library community. From library school students, instructors, and practicing professionals, everyone I’ve met has been so wonderful and helpful in every way possible. I just love how the overall helpful nature of our community extends not only to each other, but also to the patrons and communities we serve.

Naomi: Any websites or feeds or blogs we should be following?
Sarah: I like to follow a number of blogs, listservs and Twitter feeds related to information literacy, academic libraries, higher education, and libraries in general. My favourite blogs right now are Letters to a Young Librarian and Attempting Elegance. I am also currently subscribed to the ili-l listserv, which is particularly relevant for my current position.

Naomi: Best piece of job hunting advice?
Sarah: Start searching early and try not to get too discouraged, especially if you are new to the field! I applied for many jobs and had several interviews before landing my current position. Looking back, I can see that with every cover letter and every interview, I was gaining practice and experience in representing myself the best way I could. And also don’t be afraid to turn down an offer if it just doesn’t feel right! If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.

Sarah Barriage currently lives in Camrose, Alberta where she works as a public services librarian at Augustana Campus Library, University of Alberta. In this position she provides reference services and information literacy instruction to undergraduate students. She has additional experience as a librarian intern at the University of Guelph and as a library assistant at both the University of Western Ontario’s Pride Library and Graduate Resource Centre. Before entering library-land, she worked in a variety of different positions, including as a sleep technologist, medical office assistant, and administrative assistant. You can find her on Twitter at @sarahbarriage.