Posted on March 3, 2014.
I was fortunate to have held the position as the librarian at the Vancouver Aquarium, my dream job, which I gave up four years ago to move to Winnipeg. Ann took over for me and was kind enough to answer some questions for this first feature interview. The purpose of these interviews, which will be a regular feature over the next four issues is to ask some fun questions of working information professionals. My hope is to give you a small taste of how our roles are very similar, but at the same time, have interesting differences. It is also a great way to highlight some of the great special libraries across the western chapter. I hope you enjoy this interview with Ann Dreolini the librarian at the Vancouver Aquarium.
Dawn Bassett, Bulletin editor
Beluga. Photo by Meighan Makarchuk. Copyright: Vancouver Aquarium. All Rights Reserved.
Meet the Aquarium Librarian – Ann Dreolini
Ann Dreolini started out as a library volunteer, and then worked for Vancouver Public Library for nine years. While at VPL, she was a Library Assistant I, in a Sunday student position, and then eventually as a full-time librarian. Her full time position was working in the Business Department. In 2006, moved to Calgary, AB where she worked in two law firms — Norton Rose and Bennett Jones LLP.
After returning to Vancouver, there was some contract work and some work at Douglas College on the reference desk. In 2009, she started working at Associated Engineering, as their librarian.
In October 2010, she started in the position of Manager, Information Services at the Vancouver Aquarium.
The Robin Best Library (soon the be the Robin Best Knowledge Resource Centre) is part of the Vancouver Aquarium. The Library supports the 400 staff and approximately 1000 volunteers of the Vancouver Aquarium. The library also answers questions from the general public by phone or email. The collection has about 7200 items, in print and DVD collections in the subject areas of Marine Science, Aquatic and environmental education and conservation as well as a small selection of childrens materials and a video and digital photo collection.
Why did you want to become an information professional?
I started working in libraries and I enjoyed the work, so it was something that I
wanted to pursue further.
What was your first position in a library and/or information services field?
Library Assistant I with the Vancouver Public Library. Shelving, sorting and mending books and other resources.
What is the most fun thing about your job?
We have dolphins and monkeys, on site!
Katmai the sea otter. She was rescued in Alaska and brought to the Vancouver Aquarium. Image Copyright: Vancouver Aquarium All Rights Reserved.
What is the coolest thing in your cubicle or office?
I have a very large office, since I am located in the library – there’s tons of space. The coolest thing on my desk are my glass jellies sculptures.
A hero who has inspired you in your career?
There are lots of inspirational people. Two of my first bosses were very inspirational and were also extremely helpful with suggestions for the future.
What is your guilty pleasure?
I like reality TV, including The Amazing Race and Survivor.
Career advice – what’s your top tip?
Don’t give up or put yourself down. Instead take on those challenges – I think you
would be surprised at some of the outcomes. We are often our own worst critics.
Proudest moment in your professional life?
Being called to be on a university panel, and talking to the students about my career.
If you didn’t work in the information industry, what would you be doing?
Pink tipped anemone. Image by Neil Fisher. Copyright: Vancouver Aquarium. All rights reserved.
Travel agent. Looks interesting and look at the perks; trips and travel to different
How do you stay current in your field?
I like talking to other professionals, since I am a solo librarian. I find conferences and courses can also be helpful.
What’s the #1 most played song on your MP3 Player?
Madonna — Holiday
If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
How to fly a plane. I thought of this recently, and thought it would be cool.
Where do you most want to travel, but have never been?
The list is very, very long but Egypt and the pyramids are still on the list.
If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose? Why?
Harriet the Spy. I love that book and she was such as great character.
Ann Dreolini, MLIS
Manager of Information Services