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Research Guides

In the Loop: News for UTL Staff

Meet Your Colleagues

Did you know there are about 500 of us working at the University of Toronto Libraries? Although we collaborate quite a bit across our vast system of 44 libraries, some of us may not cross paths day-to-day. This column aims to help us get to know each other a little bit better, both in terms of what we do here at UTL and on a more personal level. It would be great for all of us to be featured in this column over time! If you would be interested in being featured here, please e-mail

Today, we meet Stephanie Orfano

Stephanie Orfano in her office

Which library are you based at? Robarts, Scholarly Communications & Copyright Office

Your job title and what you do: Head, Scholarly Communications & Copyright Office

I collaborate with faculty, staff and students on issues related to publishing, copyright, licensing and permissions, and the many paths to open scholarship.

Why is Open Access Week relevant and important for you? Open Access Week is a global event and an opportunity for the academic and research community to continue to learn about the benefits (and challenges) of working toward open scholarship. Engaging our community in discussion about the importance of open access is a key priority of the Scholarly Communications and Copyright Office.

Educational background: Media studies at Western University

Favorite television show: Six feet under, Parks and Recreation

Favorite movie: Most rom-coms

Favorite book genre: historical/contemporary fiction

Favorite meal: Pizza

How do you like your coffee/tea? Coffee with lots of milk

Talent you have / wish you had:  master bread maker

Today we meet Mikaela Gray

Mikaela Gray sitting in front of glass windowHow long have you been with UTL/which library are you based at? I’ve been at UTL for a little over 2 years. I was a GSLA for one and a half years at Gerstein and ECSL, and I’ve been in my current role at Gerstein since October 2017.

Your job title and what you do: Liaison & Education Librarian. I support the Faculty of Nursing. This involves developing information literacy instruction, providing research consultations, and assisting with knowledge synthesis projects. I also have collection development responsibilities in the health sciences.

Educational background: I have a BA in anthropology from McMaster where I focused on archaeology, and an MI from U of T’s iSchool.

Pets: A 3 year old toothless tabby cat named Lucy

Sound you love: Purring cats

Favorite television show: Right now, the Handmaid’s Tale

Favorite book genre: Mysteries and dystopian fiction

Favorite meal: Homemade pizza baked on a pizza stone

How do you like your coffee/tea? 2 milks, no sugar

Today we meet Madeleine Boyer

Madeleine Boyer in front of book truck at the Music LibraryHow long have you been with UTL/which library are you based at?: 3 years, Music Library

Your job title and what you do: Senior Access Services Generalist. I provide collection development support and oversee the maintenance of the Music Library’s collection. I also provide circulation services to our users.

Research interests/recent research/publications/presentations: I am interested in the documentation and preservation of Canadian labour union songs. 

Educational background: MA in Ethnomusicology (York University), MLIS (University of Toronto), BA Honours in Music (Laurentian University)

Sound you love: Rain, thunder, owls, loons

Favorite television shows: Game of Thrones, Star Trek, Amazing Race

Favorite movies: The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings (I also love the books)

Favorite music: Metal, Movie Scores, Romantic Music, World Music

Favorite book genre: Fantasy

Hobbies: Gardening, camping, boating, cooking

How do you like your coffee/tea? I love my coffee/tea black so I can taste all the wonderful nuances

Dream vacation: New Zealand


Today we meet Benjamin Walsh

Benjamin Walsh standing overlooking 4th floor reading roomHow long have you been with UTL/which library are you based at? I’ve been at UTL for just over 2 years. Currently I’m at Robarts and before that I was at the Engineering & Computer Science Library.

Your job title and what you do: User Services Librarian. I look for ways of strengthening the research outcomes of members of our university community. That work takes me into classrooms and consultations, but also includes collaborations with colleagues throughout Robarts – Access, Metadata,Collection Development, Reference, etc. – to maintain and/or improve our public services.

Research interests/recent research/publications/presentations: This year I’ll be presenting a paper at IFLA on social failure and library space.

Pets: An Irish terrier named Chuffed (This is actually the pet I would like to have.)

Sound you love: Skateboards on sidewalks. Calls to prayer.

Favorite book genre: magic realism

Favorite meal: Chana bhatura

Talent you have / wish you had: I’ve always wished I could dance hip hop and speak Hindi. Two essential skills to launch my Bollywood career. 

Favorite quote: To speak a true word is to transform the world. (Paulo Freire)

Favorite thing to do in Toronto: Eat chana bhatura at Udupi Palace

Today we meet Harold Averill

Harold Averill seated, in the UTARMS reading roomResearch interests/recent research/publications/presentations: Current research interest – U of T buildings; generally, Canadian and Commonwealth history

Educational background: BA (U of Manitoba), MA and PhD (abd), Queen’s University

Pets: 2 spoiled miniature pinschers

Least favourite word: The current one is “amazing” when used by store or bank clerks.

Gadget you can't live without: Unfortunately, a computer

Sound you love: Birds singing

Favorite television show: Don’t have one

Favorite movie: “Tom Jones” (when I was young); now “Brokeback Mountain”

Favorite book genre: Books on history, including historical novels

Hobbies: Reading, researching

Heroes: Alexander the Great; Desmond Tutu

Favorite meal:  Pretty much any Italian dish; for a treat, a medium-rare steak with all the trimmings and, of course, dessert

How do you like your coffee/tea? Coffee with cream and one sugar; tea with milk

Something about you that would surprise people: I once conducted a funeral

Talent you have / wish you had: I wish I had more mathematical skills

Dream vacation: A one-month leisurely tour across Spain

Best advice you've ever received: Do what interests you

Most passionate about: Archives, believe it or not

Favorite thing to do in Toronto: Go to a decent restaurant and/or a play


Today we meet Desmond Wong

How long have you been with UTL/which library are you based at?

I have been at UTL for one and a half years and I am based at the OISE Library.

Your job title and what you do:

Outreach Librarian

I work with Indigenous students, faculty and staff to ensure that the Library is a safe and supportive space for Indigenous users. I do this collaboratively by working to develop services, staff development activities, collections and engagement.

Research interests/recent research/publications/presentations: Moving in the Circle: Indigenous Solidarity for Canadian Libraries

Pets: A 3 year old fawn pug, Evie

Something about you that would surprise people: I have never had a full cup of coffee before! People keep telling me that eventually I will need to rely on coffee but that day has not come yet.

Favorite meal: Homemade dumplings

Talent you have / wish you had: To stay in the underwater hotel in the Maldives

Best advice you've ever received: Think like a tree, build deep roots and lift others up as you grow

Favourite thing to do in Toronto: Find new restaurants or uncommon places to explore! It’s also my goal to visit all 100 branches of the Toronto Public Library.

Today we meet Patricia Ayala

  1. How long have you been with UTL/which library are you based at? 7 years in August. I'm based at Gerstein.
  3. Your job title and what you do: Research Services Librarian

I provide training, write documentation, organize and facilitate communities of practices, and collaborate and consult with teams on any knowledge synthesis study, including systematic reviews, scoping reviews, narrative reviews and more.

I basically have a blast; I love the research process and upholding it to the highest standards.

Research interests/recent research/publications/presentations: Transparency in research, open science, proper reporting in research, and adhering to rigorous methodologies

Educational background: BFA in Fine Arts and Art History, BSc in Biology, Master of Information Studies, MIst

Favourite word: Clarity

Least favourite word: Inconsistency

Sound you love: Thunderstorms

Favorite television show: Forbrydelsen

Favorite movie: Anything by Richard Linklater

Favorite book genre: Historical Fiction

How do you like your coffee/tea? Coffee, black. Tea, only mate.

Something about you that would surprise people: I get a rush from getting lost when I travel solo - which is 99% of the time. When I end up in streets/places I don't know, surrounded by strangers, it's the biggest adventure to figure out how I'm going to get myself back to where I'm supposed to be. I've had a few interesting experiences.

Dream vacation: One I wouldn't come back from!

Favorite quote: "The thing to do when you’re impatient is to turn to your left and ask advice from your death. An immense amount of pettiness is dropped if your death makes a gesture to you, or if you catch a glimpse of it, or if you just have the feeling that your companion is there watching you."

Carlos Castañeda

Today we meet Kathryn Barrett

How long have you been with UTL/which library are you based at? I’ve been with UTL since June 2015. I work at Scholars Portal, the service arm of the Ontario Council of University Libraries, which is based at Robarts Library.

Your job title and what you do: Virtual Reference Services Librarian. I coordinate the Ask a Librarian chat reference service, which is offered at 14 university libraries across Ontario. That involves scheduling, training, assessment, promotion, and supervising students and recent graduates who work on the service. I also pitch in on the <odesi> service, which is a digital repository and web-based exploration, extraction, and analysis tool for social science and polling data.

Research interests/recent research/publications/presentations: I’m currently working on a chat transcript analysis project with colleagues from UTL and Scholars Portal.

Educational background: Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Concordia University and Master of Library and Information Studies from McGill University.

Pets: A tabby cat named Shadow.

Favorite television show: Game of Thrones

Favorite meal: Nothing beats pizza!

Dream vacation: I would love to visit France and put all my years of learning French to good use!

Favorite thing to do in Toronto: I’m still relatively new to Toronto (I spent most of my life in Montreal), so I love exploring different neighborhoods and discovering new restaurants.

Today, we meet Kaitlin Fuller

Kaitlin Fuller in front of books

How long have you been with UTL/which library are you based at?
I have been with UTL since October 2016. I joined the Gerstein Science Information Centre from NOSM (Northern Ontario School of Medicine).

Your job title:  
Liaison & Education Librarian - I work with faculty to develop information literacy instruction for the MD Program, offer workshops, and assist with systematic reviews and other knowledge syntheses projects. I also support programs that aim to develop a healthy learning environment for our students.

Education: BA from UBC & MLIS from Dalhousie - coast to coast ;)

Hobbies: Hiking, running & yoga

Fav thing in Toronto: I'm new to Toronto so I'd say exploring new neighbourhoods, trying new restaurants and sampling coffee.

Surprise people: I previously worked as a flight attendant with the UN. I worked in Sudan and South Sudan. 

Fav show this year: Stranger Things & The Queen

Fav podcasts: Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations & This American Life

Research interests: Information literacy instruction in the health sciences

Today, we meet Humayun Rashid

Humayun RashidHow long have you been with UTL / which library are you based at? I have been with the Bora Laskin Law Library for over 37 years.

Your job title and what you do: Head of Cataloguing / Reference Librarian.
a) Provide/create and manage bibliographic records for all types of Law Library materials
b) Provide reference and research services to law students and faculty
c) At Robarts Library, catalogue several Indic language materials, including Urdu, Pashto, Hindi, Bengali, Sanskrit, and Punjabi

Research interests / recent research / publications / presentations: My research interests include support for the Canadian Association of Law Libraries national classification system. I have written numerous articles in professional and scholarly journals, including AALL Law Library Journal, CALL Law Library Review, and TALL newsletter as well as article on providing the best possible reference strategies to help users. I have also contributed chapters to books on organizing bibliographic information as well as written numerous book reviews on scholarly legal publications, including the most recent one: "Theory of Self-determination". At the 2012 CALL Conference in Toronto, I was awarded the prestigious CALL honorary membership award for my professional contributions and outstanding service to the association.

Educational background: My educational background includes several degrees and diplomas. I graduated with a Master's degree in English, and a Bachelor of Laws degree form the University of Punjab (Pakistan). I earned a Master of Library Science degree from McGill University (Montreal), and a Diploma in Criminology from Woodsworth College, University of Toronto. I have taken several law and legal research courses, and also French language courses at McGill and Algonquin College (Ottawa), including a certificate in French from Ecole de langue francais, La Prairie, Quebec. I am fluent in the Urdu, Hindi and Panjabi languages, in addition to a working knowledge of Arabic and Persian.

Favourite word: Responsibility

Least favourite word: Maybe

Gadget you can't live without: Cellphone

Sound you love: Beautiful muscial sounds of birds chirping the summer early fresh morning.

Favourite music: Indic ghazzals or lyrics; Western music: Harry Belafonte, Sammy Davis Junior, Frank Sinatra

Hobbies: Reading current affairs, financial news and geo politics; cooking

Favourite meal: Any vegetarian dish with green peppers, yogurt, lettuce and herbal tea

How do you like your coffee/tea? I prefer tea or coffee with just two creams

Talent you have / wish you had: I love music. I wish I could be a singer or composer.

Best advice you've ever received: Only trust yourself!

Most passionate about: Music

Today, we meet Aneta Kwak

How long have you been with UTL/which library are you based at? I have been at the D.G Ivey Library at New College since mid-July, so it’s been 3 months. I used to work as a GSLA at the OISE Library, Scholars Portal eBooks and on the Accessible Content ePortal Project.

Your job title and what you do: Accessibility and Public Services Librarian. I manage the workflow for the online course reader program for courses offered at New College. This includes ensuring readings comply with Canadian copyright laws, scanning new readings and requesting texts from other UTL libraries. I am working on developing new processes to improve the accessibility of scanned texts that are provided through this service. I also provide information literacy support through instruction, research consultations and reference services.

Educational background: BA from the University of Toronto, with a double major in History and Polish Studies, and an MI from the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto.

Pets: A 12 year old Chihuahua named Rambo

Favorite television show: Call the Midwife, Game of Thrones, Outlander and Downton Abby

Favorite book genre: Fantasy/historical

Hobbies: Hiking, camping, fishing, and painting

How do you like your coffee/tea? Coffee needs a bit of milk and a spoon of sugar, tea I can drink black
or with a spoon of sugar.

Dream vacation: Backpacking across Europe, South America or South-East Asia.

Favorite thing to do in Toronto: Exploring new places to eat! Toronto has so much culinary variety and
it’s amazing to have great options from around the world in one city.I love to explore some of the amazing food spots in Toronto, especially some of the smaller ones that are family operated.

Today, we meet Christopher Hogendoorn

How long have you been with UTL/which library are you based at? I’ve been at the John W. Graham Library since June 2017. I also worked at Graham as a student assistant during the fall and winter terms from 2011 to 2015, and worked in the Trinity College Archives during the summers of 2013 and 2014.

Your job title and what you do: Special Collections & Digital Initiatives Librarian.

I manage the library’s rare books and special collections, including cataloguing, researcher support, and physical and digital exhibit planning. I am also the library’s liaison with the Trinity College Friends of the Library and I oversee our social media accounts.
Educational background:

Hons. B.A. (Classical Civilization/Classics) – University of Toronto, 2014
M.I. (Archives & Records Management) – University of Toronto, 2016

Pets: Bailey – 4 year old Carolina Dog/Labrador Retriever (adopted February 2017)

Favorite television show: Republic of Doyle

Favorite movie: Star Wars

Favorite music: Folk

Favorite book genre: Historical fiction

Favorite meal: ½ lb. hamburger with fries and a Cheerwine from a burger shack in Raleigh, NC called Char-Grill 

How do you like your coffee/tea? Black

Something about you that would surprise people: I commute 5+ hours a day by train to and from London, ON.

Talent you have / wish you had: I wish that I could play an instrument, the violin in particular.

Dream vacation: I would love to take a leisurely VIA Rail trip across Canada.

Favorite quote: "A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory." -
Leonard Nimoy

Favorite thing to do in Toronto: Touring Casa Loma and its gardens. I could spend hours wandering around and not get bored.

Today, we meet Jess Whyte

How long have you been with UTL/which library are you based at?

I started this October and I’m currently based on the 14th floor of Robarts. I previously worked at the library as a TALint GSLA in Digital Preservation.

Your job title and what you do:

Digital Preservation Intake Coordinator. Right now, I’m investigating the need for a digital forensics lab and service here at U of T. I also do data retrieval from legacy media (e.g. floppy disks, zip disks, etc.), develop access methods for legacy digital resources (e.g. emulation-as-a-service, reading room emulation, migration to modern formats, etc.), and workflow development and documentation for digital preservation intake.

Research interests/recent research/publications/presentations:

I’ve been talking about conservation and preservation planning for at-risk born-digital content lately, e.g. DOI: 10.1109/JCDL.2017.7991611

Pets: Do lots of house plants count?

Talent you wish you had? Consistent penmanship.

Favorite television show: Survivor.

Favorite book genre: Sci-Fi, particularly near-future speculative and first contact stuff. Always looking for recommendations.

Dream vacation: newspaper + lawn chair.

Best advice you've ever received: Know the problem.

Today, we meet Kate Johnson

How long have you been with UTL/which library are you based at?: I’ve been lucky to have worked a variety of contracts at U of T Libraries since 2013: UTSC, New College, Dentistry, Engineering & Computer Science. In February 2017, I began in my role as the solo librarian for Innis College Library.

Your job title and what you do: Innis College Librarian and Cinema Studies Liaison. As a College Librarian, I do a bit of everything. My role combines the administrative duties of running a space with a print collection and computer lab, liaison duties for Cinema Studies and our growing Writing & Rhetoric program, outreach opportunities with Innis College communities, and participation in UTL committee work. My library supports Innis College students, faculty, and alumni and so my projects can be diverse such as the space renovation that took place over this summer that improved accessibility and workspace in the library.

Educational background: I have a Bachelor of Arts in Art History, a Bachelor of Education in Primary Education, and I was in the last class to get a Master of Information Studies (MISt) with a focus on Library Science from the U of T Faculty of Information.

Favourite word: Options - you always have them.

Gadget you can't live without: My current obsession is my soda stream - the bubblier, the better!

Sound you love: The cello is one of my favourite musical instruments.

Favorite television show: I tend to escape into quirky comedy series and I would say my favourite is Parks & Rec.

Favorite movie: Too many to choose and completely depends on my mood, but I am totally fascinated with stop animation (Coraline, My Life as a Courgette) and I love anything by Jean-Pierre Jeunet: Amelie, The City of Lost Children, A Very Long Engagement.

How do you like your coffee/tea?: With milk and sugar – a friend describes me as not actually liking coffee, instead I like warm coffee ice cream.

Favorite quote: Not all who wander are lost - Tolkien.
Most passionate about: I am really passionate about connecting with students, instructors and alumni at Innis College and its academic programs so I can find out more about their research needs. A College Librarian works with undergraduate students across a wide range of subjects so it’s great to be able to connect them to their liaison librarians or the different services, collections and study spaces across the UTL system.

Favorite thing to do in Toronto: Wandering around neighbourhoods and exploring new places profiled in BlogTO’s neighbourhood section.

Today, we meet Kiah Bransch

August 31, 2017

How long have you been with UTL/which library are you based at? I started in Library Administration at Robarts Library at the end of July, so almost a month now!

Your job title and what you do: Advancement Assistant. In this role I help keep things running-- be that organizing event mailings, coordinating events, or assisting with grant proposals. In addition, I redirect lost students that wander in looking for the T-card office, or ITS, or the Info Desk, etc. I’m still learning, but it’s a lot of fun and no day is the same!

Research interests/recent research/publications/presentations: I studied biotechnology as my undergrad degree, and did research on 3D printed materials suited for lower leg prosthetics. I have since been published after studying the effects of material type and printer setting on the strength and durability of the socket.

Educational background: Mechanical Engineering to Biotechnology to Project Management

Gadget you can't live without: For better or worse, my phone

Favorite television show: So You Think You Can Dance

Favorite movie: A terrible 90’s movie called Wind. It’s a sailing movie I grew up with that’s hyper dramatic, but has some amazing action shots.

Favorite music: All kinds, depending on my mood and the event I’m going to.

Favorite book genre: Typically epic fantasy or sci-fi, but I tend to read anything and everything. I try to make sure I have a good mixture of authors and genres to keep expanding my horizons and knowledge!

Hobbies: Fencing, sailing, and cosplay (costume design and playacting). I’m pretty sure that makes me a real-life pirate.

Something you know now that you wish you knew when you were younger: Life has a very annoying habit of not fitting nicely with your plans. And that’s ok, even good! The various twists and turns of my life have led me to new experiences and knowledge I wouldn’t have ever gained if I had stuck to what my original plan was.

Favorite thing to do in Toronto: I love exploring the city for all its sights, sounds and tastes. You never know what you’ll find! Some of my favorite events are Nuit Blanche, Fan Expo and the Kensington Art Fests.


Today, we meet Lorissa Kinna

August 15, 2017

How long have you been with UTL/which library are you based at? I have worked intermittently at UTL since 2013, first as a Student Library Assistant/Graduate Student Library Assistant at the University College Library and the Engineering & Computer Science Library, and then as the University College Librarian for six months in 2015. I have recently returned to UTL to fill another six-month leave at the Eberhard Zeidler Library (Architecture, Landscape, and Design).

Your job title and what you do: Architecture Librarian. I manage the Eberhard Zeidler Library and its staff of two technicians and a number of SLAs. I am responsible for all collection development activity for the library as well as liaison and outreach activities with the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design.

Educational background: I have a BA in Classical Civilizations from U of T, an M.Litt. in Classics from the University of Glasgow, and an MI in Library Science from U of T. 

Pets: I have two silly kitties. Our male kitty, Mickey, is four years old and our female kitty, Mera, is just three months old. They were both adopted from the Durham Humane Society.

Favorite book genre: Fantasy! I love everything to do with the fantasy genre but right now my favourite author is Brandon Sanderson.

Hobbies: I love to read and occasionally when I have time I like to write. I also have a lot of hobbies that are craft-related such as jewelry making, knitting and book folding (which is kind of hard to explain but is basically folding the pages of the book to form letters or pictures).

Favorite meal: I can never say no to pizza or chips (even if I don’t like the flavor that much I’d probably still eat it).

Dream vacation: I would love to go to Greece and see all the sites that I studied in my undergraduate degree, especially the island of Crete.

Something you know now that you wish you knew when you were younger: I wish I had known that being bilingual would be really important. I should have listened to my French teacher and not dropped out of French in the 9th grade.

Favourite thing to do in Toronto: Attending the Toronto Comic Arts Festival every year that’s held at the Toronto Reference Library.


Today, we meet Jan Guise

July 25, 2017

How long have you been with UTL/which library are you based at? I joined the Music Library on July 1, 2017

Your job title and what you do: Head Librarian. I am looking forward to leading our fabulous team of four librarians, six technicians, and several SLA and GSLA workers. In my first year I will do a lot of listening, then as a group we will create a vision and strategy for the music library, including space planning.

Research interests/recent research/publications/presentations:  I am interested in academic library leadership, particularly staff planning and development. In 2015 I published a book entitled Succession Planning in Canadian Academic Libraries.

Educational background: BMus (Queen’s), MMus (Music Theory – Western), MLIS (UAlberta), Graduate Certificate in Library Sector Leadership (UVic)

Gadget you can't live without: My Polar A360 activity tracker

Sound you love: The sound of water in nature

Favorite meal: I love making pizza from scratch.

How do you like your coffee/tea? I’m a coffee snob, LOL! If it’s good coffee, I drink it black. We actually roast our own coffee at home.

Something about you that would surprise people: I can juggle!

Talent you have: I bake a mean sourdough bread.

Favorite quote: “Take care of the people, the rest will take care of itself.”

Best advice you've ever received: Be patient and listen.

Favorite thing to do in Toronto: Bakery crawl!


Today, we meet Hana Kim

April 18, 2017

How long have you been with UTL/which library are you based at? I started at U of T in 2003 as the Korea Studies Librarian at Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library. I Ieft for UBC to lead the Asian Library there in 2014 and rejoined UTL in 2016. I am currently based at the Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library.

Your job title and what you do: Director, Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library. I oversee the East Asian Library and a powerhouse team of sixteen talented and dedicated people

Educational background: I have a Bachelor of Education from Korea National University of Education and an MLIS from McGill University.

Sound you love: I love the sound of my children laughing.

Favorite television show: Lost

Favorite movie: I have a few: Romeo and Juliet, Dead Poets Society, August Rush

Favorite music: The Wannadies’ "You and Me”, Guns N' Roses' "November Rain", Sting’s “We’ll Be Together”, David Bowie’s “Starman”, Elton John’s “I'm Still Standing”, and many more.

Favorite meal: My mother’s doenjang soup (Korean bean paste soup with tofu)

Something about you that would surprise people: I was a swimmer when I was younger. I almost followed the path to becoming a professional swimmer.

Talent you have / wish you had: I wish I had a beautiful singing voice and could play an instrument.

Dream vacation: Traveling all around the Down Under

Favorite quote: "Carpe Diem"

Best advice you've ever received: “Leave the door open”

Most passionate about: My family, my profession and self-improvement

Favorite thing to do in Toronto: Skating with my kids


Today, we meet Phillip Sousa

April 4, 2017

How long have you been with UTL/which department are you based at? I have been with the University of Toronto Libraries since February 2015. I began in a Building Patrol position and was appointed to a Shipper/Receiver Driver position in December 2016.

Your job title and what you do: Shipper/Receiver Driver. I receive materials from other libraries, work on special projects and take care of the photocopiers and cash-to-card machines at Robarts Library.

Educational background: I have a college diploma in paralegal education. 

Gadget you can't live without: My cell phone is a gadget that I need to have with me at all times.

Favorite television show: Married with Children, when it was a hit back in the nineties

Favorite meal: Home-made Portuguese meals

How do you like your coffee/tea? Tim Hortons medium dark roast double-double

Favorite thing to do in Toronto: I go for long walks. I live in an amazing city.

Today, we meet Jayson Meghie

March 28, 2017

How long have you been with UTL/which library are you based at? I’ve been with UTL since 2011, and am based at the OISE Library. I started as a Student Library Assistant at Robarts Library.

Your job title and what you do: Access Services Associate. I manage the Curriculum Resources and Juvenile Fiction, among other collections. I also handle the hold requests here at OISE, as well as circulation duties during the evenings.

Educational background: Visual Arts + Art History

Favourite word: Amalgamate

Least favourite word: Fester

Sound you love: 7th Minor Chord

Favorite movie: 2046

Best advice you've ever received: “Keep it simple…”

Most passionate about: Art + Music + Dancing


Today, we meet Emily Sommers

March 7, 2017

How long have you been with UTL/which library are you based at? I’ve been with the University of Toronto Archives & Records Management Services for 8 months, since June 2016.

Your job title and what you do: Digital Records Archivist. I am responsible for managing all the Archives’ born-digital and digitized records. Since this is a new position, a lot of my work currently involves creating and formalizing policies and procedures around the acquisition and management of these types of records. I also manage the Archives Web Collection through Archive-It and help with general reference within the Archives.   

Educational background: BA in History and MI (2013) from U of T

Favorite television show: Scandal; The Good Wife; Veep

Favorite movie: Anything by Alfred Hitchcock and Casablanca

Hobbies: I’m a big sports fan – especially hockey, soccer and baseball (Go Sens! / Gunners! / Jays!) When on vacation, I like to visit sports stadiums. I also play in a weekly rec ball hockey league on a team called the Canadian Tire Money Millionaires

Favorite meal: Korean food, especially Soon Tofu

Something about you that would surprise people: I lived in Johannesburg, South Africa for 4 months and worked at the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory

Something you know now that you wish you knew when you were younger: The awesomeness of archives

Favorite thing to do in Toronto: Sit on a patio on a nice summer evening, gabbing away with friends


Today, we meet Daniela Ansovini

February 14, 2017

How long have you been with UTL/which library are you based at? I have been at UTARMS for a full month and a week

Your job title and what you do: Records Archivist. My responsibilities include the appraisal, arrangement and description of private records, donor relations, providing reference and research support, and handling social media.

Educational background: BFA in Photography / Art History, MLIS

Pets: One lazy cat

Sound you love: Trains

Favorite movie: The Rock

Hobbies: Pottery

Favorite meal: Bibimbap

Something about you that would surprise people: I lived in Saudi Arabia as a kid

Talent you have / wish you had: The latter: bigger, stronger, clay wrangling hands

Dream vacation: Many weeks in New Zealand’s north island

Something you know now that you wish you knew when you were younger: As warned, I would regret giving up piano lessons. And Italian lessons.  


Today, we meet John Bolan

February 7, 2017

How long have you been with UTL/which library are you based at? Almost 7 years, at the Bora Laskin Law Library

Your job title and what you do: Instructional & Reference Librarian. I mostly do instruction and reference, working a lot with the first year law students in their ‘small groups’, and providing some instruction to graduate students at Law. I’m the selector for Canadian legal materials for the law library and I supervise public services, I co-teach FIS2133 at the iSchool, and in the past I’ve been an instructor in the first year and the upper year legal research & writing courses at the law school.

Favourite word: Narf!

Favorite television show: Luck

Favorite book genre: Like Sarah Palin, I read them all

Hobbies: Practicing soccer with my daughter, reading genre fiction compulsively, saltwater fishing, futzing with Mythtv (an open-source dvr) software and hardware

Favorite meal: grilled peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a glass of milk

Something about you that would surprise people: I’m licensed to drive 5 ton trucks

Talent you have / wish you had: Ability to remember people’s names

Favorite quote: Punctuality is the thief of time

Most passionate about: Other people’s incorrect political opinions


Today, we meet Kathleen Scheaffer

January 24, 2016

How long have you been with UTL/which library are you based at? I have been a librarian at the University of Toronto for about 9 years. I am grateful to be a part of the wonderful team in the Inforum, the Faculty of Information’s library. It’s in the building at back end of the Peacock.

Your job title and what you do: Outreach and Instructional Services Librarian. The outreach portion of my job involves independently and collaboratively identifying, developing, and/or contributing to programs and initiatives that expand the reach of the Inforum through digital and physical means. On the instructional side of things, I develop, coordinate, implement, teach, partner, and assess academic, professional development, and technical skill co-curricular programs for the Faculty of Information.

On behalf of the iSchool and UTL, I built a partnership with UBC as one of my 2015-2016 research leave activities. Thus, I am now a Strategic Co-Lead for the Digital Tattoo. In this capacity I collaboratively and strategically plan the current and future direction of the Digital Tattoo, as well as supervise student contributors.

This year and next, I have the pleasure of serving as the UTFA Librarians Committee Chair. This role affords me the great honour and pleasure of building upon the incredible work of the previous chairs, committee members, UTFA Executive, librarians, and professors from across the three campuses to ensure U of T librarians’ perspectives and contributions are represented and reverberated throughout the University.

Research interests/recent research/publications/presentations:

Scheaffer, K., & Rousseau, P. (2016) Seven Lucky Charms for Sabbatical Success. OLA Open Shelf

Scheaffer, K. (2014) Digital Identity: A New Literacy Challenge for Librarianship. OLA Open Shelf 

Scheaffer, K. (2014) Champions of Digital Literacy: Fostering a World of Informed Digital Producers. Journal of Academic Librarianship, 40(3-4), 408-409. 

McEwen, R. & Scheaffer, K. (2013) Virtual Mourning and Memory Construction on Facebook: Here are the Terms of Use. Bulletin of Science, Technology and Society, 33 (3-4), 64 - 75.

Pets:  I am a caregiver to the most wonderful rabbit, Mocha. I adopted her from a wonderful organization called Rabbit Rescue.

Sound you love: In response to my ideas, nothing beats the sound of these letters said together, “Y” + "E” + “S”.

Favorite music: When I’m in a bad mood I turn on Grateful Dead, Whitney Houston, and/or hip hop (Pharcyde is a real go-to).  

Hobbies: Building and strengthening friendships. That “no new friends” trend is a very foreign concept to me, as I generally and genuinely can find something I like in almost everyone.

Heroes: Dedicated activists who engage with integrity

Favorite food: Garlic mashed potatoes

How do you like your coffee/tea? I drink black Americanos. My favourite beans, Princess of Darkness beans, are from Ideal Coffee.   

What about you would surprise people: I have been vegan for 20 years. When I was in my teens I used to sneak into clubs in Atlanta to dance. On special occasions I still bust out my uprock, 6 step, and the worm. I meditate at least once daily.  

Best advice you've ever received: Best advice you've ever received: “The statements, ‘I love you’, ‘I’m sorry’, and ‘Thank you’ don’t have an expiry date on them; thus, they can be used an infinite amount of times and with anyone you choose. When there is sincerity with those words the actions will back them up.”  - Daddio Scheaffer´╗┐

Most passionate about: Living an ethical life

Something you know now that you wish you knew when you were younger: Trump is going to be president. I would have applied for my Canadian citizenship a lot sooner.   

Favorite thing to do in Toronto: I love to host people from out of town. I have 4 bikes (3 are from my favorite bike store, Curbside); therefore, those that come for a visit have the option of cycling around the city with me (you know, the best form of Toronto transportation). We usually end up at least one of my favorite veg spots: Bloomers, Spark, the GoodsE.L. Ruddy, or King’s Café.


Today, we meet Stephen Qiao

January 17, 2017

How long have you been with UTL/which library are you based at? 12 years, at the Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library

Your job title and what you do: Chinese Studies Librarian. I do collection development for Chinese materials in all formats to support teaching and research for faculty and students across three campuses, provide liaison services for Chinese studies faculty to address their diversified information needs in different subject areas, and engage research projects to study the library’s special collections.

Research interests/recent research/publications/presentations: Chinese rare books and book history / archaeology – I have publications and presentations in both areas, and plan to do more research in these areas.

Educational background: Anthropology / Archaeology / Library & Information Science – Ph.D., MLIS, MS, and BA degrees

Gadget you can't live without: Cellphone

Favorite movie: Cinema Paradiso (1988), The Godfather (1972)

Favorite music: Antonin Dvorak's Symphony No. 9 – "From the New World"

Favorite book genre: History / Reference / Art

Hobbies: Photography


Today, we meet Lucy Gan

January 10, 2017

How long have you been with UTL/which library are you based at? I joined the EAL [East Asian Library] in 2008.

Your job title and what you do: Information Services Librarian of the Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library.

I coordinate EAL reference services; provide reference and research consultations in the area of East Asian Studies; promote the access and use of EAS, especially China-related research resources and databases; provide training on CJK resources and databases; do special projects; participate in coordinating EAL public events, etc.

Research interests/recent research/publications/presentations: My recent publication is about a set of traditional hand-drawn maps in the Mu Collection of Chinese Rare Books. These cartographic records had remained a mystery as we barely knew anything about them. In this recent article, I investigate its contents and compare them with historical records. My conclusion is that it is really a very rare set of cartographic records directly related to a royal trip taken by the Qing emperor in the 1840s. Since the article’s publication, I have received very valuable feedback from colleagues in other institutions. They have pointed me to new sources and directions that hold potential which I would be very interested in exploring in the future. 

In addition, I am fascinated with issues and challenges facing libraries in collecting Chinese independent documentary films. These indie documentaries have only been produced in China since the early 1990s, but have caught huge academic interest because of their significant pedagogical and research value for the study of contemporary Chinese society. However, it has been extremely difficult for academic libraries, in or out of China, to collect in the area. A lot of factors may have contributed to the current situation, and there has hardly been serious reflection about this from the perspective of libraries. I really want to have a chance to look at this problem systematically, and I may propose this as the topic for my research leave.

About my presentations, most of them are related to information literacy, such as how to use the catalogue, where to find Chinese articles, etc. Several times, my colleagues and I also presented for iSchool graduates about, for example, Chinese publishing culture and the experience of working in an area studies library --- I truly find such presentations a rather appealing experience.

Educational background: I got my B.A. and first M.A. in China. My B.A. is in English literature, and my first M.A. is in translation studies. 

After I came to Canada, I got my second Master degree in library sciences. Then, I came to work at the Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library. While working here, I enrolled in U of T’s Master program of East Asian Studies, and got my Master degree in East Asian Studies in 2013.

Gadget you can't live without: My phone – it gives me instant access to emails, the Internet, camera, …….

Hobbies: Reading, jogging, yoga, cooking

Talent you have / wish you had: Playing piano – it is one of the great ways to spend time with yourself, and to exercise your brain

Most passionate about: Reading and jogging

Favorite thing to do in Toronto: Jogging leisurely on a summer weekend morning with a group of friends


Today, we meet Nalini Singh

November 1, 2016

How long have you been with UTL/which library are you based at? I have worked at the Faculty of Information’s library – the Inforum – since November 1998.

Your job title and what you do: My current title is Reference Services Coordinator – I have worked in different areas during my time at the Inforum. I work with our graduate students to answer their reference and research questions, and to help them articulate their information needs, identify the best research sources for their papers and assignments, formulate good search strategies, and become effective users of research databases.  I teach some workshops in our iSkills series.  I assist faculty members with their research questions and literature searches.  I coordinate the iSchool’s Personal Librarian Program and maintain the faculty's course syllabi repository as well as the Inforum branch of the Toronto Seed Library.

Pets: The sweetest dog ever – Kita, my 8 yr old Black Russian Terrier.  This is a photo of her visiting the Inforum – she is very popular with students, staff, and faculty! 

Least favourite word: Until some secret group of physicists comes clean about successful time travel experiments, I would love to abolish the phrase “going forward”.

Gadget you can't live without: My pink and white Giant bicycle, and my Pilot V-Ball Grip black 0.7 mm pens

Sound you love: Waves, rain, and the sound of wind in trees

Favorite music: This is a shortlist of some favourites: Blind Pilot, Broken Social Scene, John Coltrane, the Constantines, Miles Davis, Dinosaur Jr., Renee Fleming, P.J. Harvey, Lali Puna, Bob Marley, the Notwist, the Pixies, Radiohead, Sleater Kinney, Sonic Youth, Tom Waits, Yo La Tengo

Favorite book genre: I read a lot of novels.  Some favourite authors: Toni Morrison, Jeanette Winterson, Virginia Woolf.  The novel that haunts me the most is The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy.

Something about you that would surprise people: When asked to pick ONE favourite thing, I can’t do it! :)

Favorite quote: "As you start to walk out on the way, the way appears.” – Rumi and also "If there’s a line to be drawn, it’s not so much between secularism and belief, as between those for whom language has metaphoric density and those for whom it is merely formulaic–to be used for repression, manipulation, empty certitudes to ensure obedience.” – Adrienne Rich, from Poetry & Commitment (2007)


Today, we meet Nelly Cancilla

October 25, 2016

How long have you been with UTL/which library are you based at? I’ve worked at UTL in the Scholarly Communications and Copyright Office since September 2014.

Your job title and what you do: Copyright Outreach Librarian. I provide reference and consultations in the areas of copyright and scholarly communications, contribute to the management of the Syllabus Service and other SCCO projects and events, and also co-manage the UTL Instagram account.

Favorite television show: My favorites this year have been Stranger Things, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, Greys Anatomy, and (unabashedly) Keeping Up with the Kardashians.

Favorite music: It changes, but right now, I’m obsessed with Dolly Parton and Drake.

Favorite book genre: Dystopian

Hobbies: I have an often neglected food blog, I do photography for local fitness and fashion bloggers, and am also into running.

Favorite meal: My mom’s paprikaš, for sure! Here’s a similar recipe.

How do you like your coffee/tea? I like my coffee with almond milk, no sugar

Favorite thing to do in Toronto: I love wandering around and exploring the city, people (and puppy!) watching at Trinity Bellwoods, and trying out new restaurants and coffee shops. I have a running Google Doc with places that I want to try. Right now, Mamakas Taverna on Ossington and Doomie’s in Parkdale are at the top of my list.


Today, we meet Kyla Everall

October 11, 2016

How long have you been with UTL/which library are you based at? I have worked at UTL in various capacities for two years, but I have been in my current position at Robarts Reference & Research Services since September 2015.

Your job title and what you do: Government Information and User Support Librarian. I provide general reference, manage our iStaff, support researchers using government information, and participate in service design and assessment projects for our department.

Pets: a Pug named Thomas. He’s 9 so all he wants to do is sleep, eat, and then sleep some more.

Sound you love: Wind in the trees.

Favorite television show: It’s not my favourite show, but I’ve been watching Da Vinci’s Inquest lately. As a Vancouverite, I’m used to seeing my city on screen, but never as itself, so it’s fun to watch. Since it is about coroner investigations, half the time it turns out that it was just an accident or bad luck, so it really keeps you on your toes.

Favorite movie: In the Mood for Love, The Man Without a Past

Favorite meal: Dim Sum. Dumplings are the best!

Dream vacation: I would love to go to Turkey and Iran. I would also like to explore the Baltic region a bit more, maybe a road trip through Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.

Favorite quote: “Be as optimistic as possible in your actions, even if you are pessimistic in your analysis.” - Tove Skutnabb-Kangas


Today, we meet Max Dionisio

September 6, 2016

How long have you been with UTL/which library are you based at? I’ve been with the Royal Ontario Museum Library and Archives since December 2015.

Your job title and what you do: East Asian Librarian. I am the librarian for the H.H. Mu Far Eastern Library at the Royal Ontario Museum. I am responsible for the collecting, cataloguing and promoting of Japanese and Korean materials as well as providing reference services. I interact with curatorial staff, as well as members of the University of Toronto community, other research institutions and the general public. I also conduct my own research projects.

Research interests/recent research/publications/presentations: I’m currently researching Japanese Christian art of the 17th century. I’m particularly interested in fumie, the metal images of the crucified Jesus that Japanese converts were forced to step on as part of the recanting process. I’m also writing a short piece on the depiction of the Qing Dynasty China in Japanese books of the 18th century.

Educational background: My undergraduate degree is in Asian Studies from Cornell University. I have an MA and PhD in Japanese Studies from the University of Pennsylvania and an MISt in Library Science from the University of Toronto. I’m currently pursuing my Masters of Divinity at Wycliffe College, University of Toronto.

Pets: No pets yet, but my wife and I really want to have 2 dogs: one Chihuahua and one Goldendoodle.

Gadget you can't live without: My iPod

Favorite television show: BBC’s Top Gear (when Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond were the presenters)

Favorite book genre: Wait, are you allowed to ask a librarian this question?

Favorite meal: Tempura soba

How do you like your coffee/tea? I like my tea with milk, no sugar if you please—and please begin with the milk.

Favorite quote: "Of anything beyond these, my child, beware. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh." --Ecclesiastes 12:12


Today, we meet Marnee Gamble

August 16, 2016

How long have you been with UTL/which library are you based at? I have been here since March 1992 so just over 24 years at the University of Toronto Archives and Records Management Services

Your job title and what you do: Special Media Archivist. I am responsible for managing all records that are not paper including photographs, negatives, slides, architectural drawing, sound recording, film, video, maps. I also acquire, arrange and describe private papers from professors or other UofT related groups. Finally, I do general reference and deal with publishers and production units looking for visuals.

Educational background: Masters in History

Favourite word: “Hook up” because there is a generational divide in its meaning and using it makes my teenage sons cringe!!

Sound you love: my family laughing

Something about you that would surprise people: I attended French Catholic school in Sudbury up to grade 12 and so I am/was bilingual (depending on your perspective).

Talent you have / wish you had: I have some talent for singing but wish I had better pitch

Dream vacation: Skiing with my family anywhere under sunny blue skies!!

Favorite quote: “This too will come to pass” – best parenting mantra ever… but probably useful elsewhere.

Best advice you've ever received: “This too will come to pass”…

Most passionate about: Maintaining perspective and living a balanced life.

Something you know now that you wish you knew when you were younger: I am an extrovert and get my energy from people – so I love a busy reference shift.

Funny story: I once had Greta Hodgkinson, National Ballet Principal Dancer, at my house for dinner and didn’t realize till the end of the evening that she was “that Greta” who I had seen dance at least a dozen times. In my defense, she looked different up close and I was a sleep deprived mom of a newborn.

Favorite thing to do in Toronto: Take our dog down to the beach at the R.C. Harris water treatment plant.


Today, we meet Brendan Edwards

July 26, 2016

How long have you been with UTL/which library are you based at? Royal Ontario Museum, Library & Archives – since October 2015

Your job title and what you do: Department Head, responsible for promoting scholarship by selecting, providing access to and preserving materials in the care of the ROM Library and Archives in accordance with international standards and in accordance with ROM’s policies. I also manage the operations of the Library and Archives, including budgeting and supervision of staff, student interns and volunteers.

Educational background:

BA, Canadian Studies and Native Studies, Trent University, 1998

MLIS, Library and Information Studies, McGill University, 2000

MA, Canadian Studies and Native Studies, Trent University, 2003

Ph.D., Canadian History, University of Saskatchewan, 2008

Research interests/recent research/publications/presentations:

My publications include:

2016. Edwards, Brendan F. R. "Basil H. Johnston." The Canadian Encyclopedia, Toronto: Historica Canada.

2011. Edwards, Brendan F. R. Slovakia: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture, London: Kuperard Publishers

2010. Edwards, Brendan F. R. "’I have Lots of Help Behind Me, Lots of Books, to Convince You’: Andrew Paull and the Value of Literacy in English." BC Studies, 164, 7-30.

2010. Edwards, Brendan F. R. "’A Most Industrious and Far-Seeing Mohawk Scholar’: Charles A. Cooke (Thawennensere), Civil Servant, Amateur Anthropologist, Performer, and Writer." Ontario History, CII, 1, 81-108.

2010. Edwards, Brendan F. R. "Invited to the Slaughter in Šurany, Slovakia." disClosure: a Journal of Social Theory, 19, Consuming Cultures, 49-53.

2007. Edwards, Brendan F. R. "Reading on the ‘Rez’." History of the Book in Canada: Volume Three: 1918-1980, Eds. Carole Gerson and Jacques Michon. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. 501-505.

2005. Edwards, Brendan F. R. Paper Talk: a History of Libraries, Print Culture, and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada before 1960, Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press.

2005. Edwards, Brendan F. R. "'To Put the Talk upon Paper’: Aboriginal Communities." History of the Book in Canada: Volume Two: 1840-1918, Eds. Yvan Lamonde, Patricia Lockhart Fleming, and Fiona A. Black. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. 481-488.

Recent presentations include:

2016. Edwards, Brendan F.R. “The Critical, Diverse (and Sometimes Neglected) Roles of Libraries and Archives in a Museum Setting,” Libraries, Archives, and Public Life: Around the World 2016, World-Wide Streamed Conference, 11 May.

2014. Edwards, Brendan F.R.. “So Much, Yet So Little Has Changed,” COPPUL Director’s Plus One Workshop on Indigenous Initiatives, Edmonton, Alberta, 18 September.

Favorite music: My musical tastes range from Classical to ‘90s Canadian Indie Rock to Romanian and Slovak Folk Music to ‘70s and ‘80s Hard Rock (and a lot that falls in between)

Favorite book genre: It’s easier for me to highlight authors who at one point or another have left a mark on me (these are shortlists)... Fiction: Milan Kundera, Tom Robbins, Barbara Gowdy. Non-fiction: J.R. Miller and T.H.B. Symons

Favorite meal: If it has roots in Central/Eastern Europe, chances are I’ll love it. 

Best advice you've ever received: “Follow your fear; it will take you somewhere” – Shirley Ida Williams, Migizi ow Kwe (Professor Emeritus, Trent University)

Favorite thing to do in Toronto: There are so many possibilities. I’m happy to live in a city so diverse and ever-changing, with so much to discover. If I had to narrow it down to one thing though, it’s the opportunity to attend first-rate concerts and musical performances.


Today, we meet Jackie Bennett

July 5, 2016

How long have you been with UTL/which library are you based at? I started working part-time at the Physics Library last March but I have worked at U of T since April 2015. My other part-time position is as the Digital Asset Coordinator in the History of Medicine Department at U of T's Faculty of Medicine where I manage digital assets and collections, living history website, and social media accounts.
Your job title and what you do: Library Technician. I work in the Physics Library and assist with circulation duties, cataloguing and special projects.
Research interests/recent research/publications/presentations: I am interested in digital archives, digital media preservation and using social media to promote libraries and archives.
Educational background: B.A. in Art History from Carleton University and MI from the iSchool at U of T.
Favourite word:  Bonkers.
Least favourite word: Theses.  Something about it just doesn’t sound right…
Favorite movie: All about Eve.
Favorite book genre: Historical fiction and Biography/Autobiography.
Something about you that would surprise people: I grew up in a small town and lived at the end of a country road in a 180 year-old log cabin. What can I say, my parents were hippies who fled the city in search of a simpler lifestyle.
Best advice you've ever received: If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be.
Most passionate about: I am most passionate about the history of Toronto and visiting local archives. I enjoy researching medical histories, local architecture and the life of visual artists who once called Toronto home.


Today, we meet Helen Kula.

June 14, 2016

How long have you been with UTL/which library are you based at? I’ve joined the UTM Library in December 2013.  Previously, I was a UTL librarian cross-appointed to MaRS Discovery District for seven years, and spent the previous seven years as a librarian with Rotman’s Business Information Centre.
Your job title and what you do: Librarian, Institute for Management & Innovation. Embedded as a librarian in the Institute for Management & Innovation, with liaison responsibility for the undergraduate and graduate programs affiliated with the Institute (aka IMI). I also oversee the Li Koon Chun Finance Learning Centre (FLC), where my office is located. What I do: teach, reference & research consults, collection stuff (licensing, approval plans, assessment), communications & social media for the FLC, run programs, plan, projects, talk to faculty and basically together with Lab Manager Andrew Graham, make the FLC indispensable as an IMI resource
Sound you love: ZZZZ – either my own or my children's
Favorite television show:  The Wire (I know, who doesn’t say that?)
Favorite movie:  The Last Days of Disco or pretty much anything by Whit Stillman 
Favorite meal:  I have lots but lobster or steak (or both) are always faves.
How do you like your coffee/tea?  Latte with skim milk, size large
Dream vacation: Anything involving a beach, sun and multiple margaritas
Best advice you've ever received: Own your mistakes, learn from them and move on. 
Something you know now that you wish you knew when you were younger:  'Good enough' really is good enough most of the time.  Perfection often isn’t worth the cost to get there.


Today, we meet Julie Hannaford.

May 2, 2016

How long have you been with UTL/which library are you based at? I started at U of T in December, 2003 as a contract librarian at OISE. I am currently based at Robarts Library.
Your job title and what you do:
Deputy Chief Librarian. I have management, policy, budget and planning responsibilities. I am involved in things like recruitment of staff, strategic planning and interpretation of librarian policies. I try as much as I can to support professional development and mentoring of library staff. I act for Larry when he is away and I am his designate for processes such as permanent status for librarians. I really enjoy what I do, it has lots of variety – no two days are ever the same.
Educational background: I have an Honours B.A. in Applied Studies/Psychology from the University of Waterloo and my MISt. from the iSchool next door
Pets: None, I am allergic to both fur and feathers, which limits the options a bit!
Favourite word: Brit words like kerfuffle, palaver, scrummy and knackered – I get a kick out of how descriptive they are and how enjoyable they are to say
Least favourite word: "like" as a filler word in sentences: so, like, I was walking down the street and I, like, bought a cup of tea and…
Gadget you can't live without: Not really a gadget, but my ‘Todo’ app on my iPad is my lifesaver. I use it to keep track of everything!
Sound you love: Waves on the shore, I love the sound of water
Favorite movie: I have a few: Run, Fat Boy, Run; Little Miss Sunshine, Fried Green Tomatoes and Chocolat
Favorite music: Radiohead, Roxy Music, Jamiroquai, lots of 80s music
Favorite book genre: I enjoy really long novels – recent great reads have been the Ferrante Naples trilogy and the Once a Runner trilogy.
Hobbies: I enjoy long distance running and experimenting with different crafts. I like to make my own greeting cards and I have taken a few bookbinding classes, which was a lot of fun.
Heroes: My Nan – she was incredibly resilient and had a huge joy and zest for life.
How do you like your coffee/tea? I don’t like coffee at all, but I love tea – with just a little bit of milk. I am also partial to peppermint tea.
Something about you that would surprise people: I was born in England. I came to Canada when I was eight. I lost my accent a long time ago though!
Talent you wish you had: The ability to be comfortable walking into a roomful of strangers.
Dream vacation: Going back to Italy to explore Tuscany, Venice and the Amalfi Coast
Something you know now that you wish you knew when you were younger: It’s OK to try something and have it fail – there is much to learn from that. And it’s OK to not have all the answers. Sometimes when people come to talk, they aren’t looking for you to have the answers, they just want to be heard.
Favorite thing to do in Toronto: I enjoy browsing the One of a Kind Craft Fair, when it is on. Trinity Bellwoods is a great spot (Type, The Paper Place and Nadege are favourites) and I love running through Highland Creek and along the waterfront in Scarborough.


Today, we meet Laurel Coo

April 25, 2016

How long have you been with UTL/which library are you based at? John W. Graham Library, Trinity College, 5 years this July.

Your job title and what you do: Cataloguing Technician. I receive new books and journals and catalogue them; do maintenance for the physical collection; work on special collection-related projects.

Educational background: BA in Social Studies, University of Waterloo; Library Technician diploma, Mohawk College.

Gadget you can’t live without: 3 items are essential: a garlic press, a really good chopping knife, and a cork screw (as anyone who’s been forced to use a ballpoint pen to dig out a cork well knows)

Sound you love: Coastal storms (combines all my favourite sounds)

Favourite book genre: Canadian fiction, mainly, and now Travelogues - I buy a big bagful of them every year at Trinity College's Friends of the Library Book Sale

Favourite meal: A platter of good cheese, hummus, paté, and crackers (and a glass of wine).

Talent you wish you had: Fluency in French.

Dream vacation: Exploring the villages and hiking the coast of Brittany.

Favorite thing to do in Toronto: I like walking through the older neighbourhoods, taking in the great variety of residential architecture and landscaping. The Arts & Crafts-styled interior of Graham Library is one of the reasons it’s such a pleasure to work here!

Best advice you've ever received: “Skim through all the advice books, then use common sense.”—  Senior nurse to me as I walked out the hospital door into the scary world with a new baby in my arms.


Today, we meet Nalissa Kahn.

April 18, 2015

How long have you been with UTL and what do you do here? I have been at the UTM Library for four years.

Your job title and what you do: Reference and Research Support Specialist. I provide reference and research services to students and faculty through the Reference Desk, virtual chat, Blackboard, Libguides as well as other library programs and initiatives.

Gadget you can't live without: My watch and KitchenAid Mixer - Timesavers! 

Favorite music: All out 90s.

Favorite book genre: Right now, graphic novels.

Favorite meal: Red beans, rice, stewed chicken and plantains (the best Sunday Lunch you will ever have).

How do you like your coffee/tea? Tea: English Breakfast, hot with sugar and cream.

Something about you that would surprise people: I was born on an island, grew up on a farm and lived in a tropical rainforest for a few years.

Dream vacation: The Azores Islands.


Today, we meet Andrew Graham

April 8, 2016

Headshot of Andrew GrahamHow long have you been with UTL/which library are you based at?  

I have been with the UTM Library since 2007 – I also worked at Robarts Library in the Info Commons in the tech help desk area when I was in grad school from 1997 through to 2004. So I have been with the UTL system for a total of 16 years (yikes!).

Your job title and what you do: Lab Manager, Li Koon Chun Finance Learning Centre

-Hiring, training and supervision of FLC Student Assistants
-Management of FLC operations, including equipment, software and hardware oversight, and lab scheduling
-Support for in-class, co-curricular and extra-curricular trading, portfolio management and capital markets learning activities
-Management of the IMI Annual Finance Competition and other stock trading competitions
-Course support (in-class instruction, course guides, specialized tutorials)
-Special projects

Research interests/recent research/publications/presentations: I am an archaeologist – in fact I am about to Co-direct a UofT international field school in the Republic of Georgia this summer – check out our webpage at  - we are taking 11 UofT students to excavate a Neolithic site in search for the evidence of the origins of wine production.  You can follow along via our Social Media this summer. Lots more I could say about this if you want to go in that direction.

Educational background:         

  • Undergrad from Laurier (Near Eastern Archaeology)
  • MA from UofT (Near Eastern Archaeology)
  • PhD (not defended but an ABC candidate – thesis entitled "A Distributed Economy: Evidence for Substantive Economic Relationships in Iron Age Moab".        

Pets: Cock-a-poo named Zuzu (after the little girl in “It’s a Wonderful Life” – Zuzu’s petals).

Favourite word: It’s Friday! (ok, technically that’s 3 words, but you get the drift!).

Least favourite word: Caravanserai (thank god its not a word I use or hear every day!).

Gadget you can't live without: My DJI Phantom 3 Drone.

Sound you love: The sound of a well-aged wine cork being freed from its solitary captivity in a bottle of red wine (preferably Shiraz).

Favorite television show: If I can choose two – ‘House of Cards’ – and ‘That 70’s Show’ – Seinfeld would be a close 3rd.

Favorite movie: Lawrence of Arabia and It’s a Wonderful Life – really can’t choose between the two! Sorry. :(

Favorite music: 1970s Classic Rock.

Favorite book genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy.

Hobbies: Too many to count – I have a Harley Davidson motorcycle that I love to ride, that’s a big hobby of mine, so let’s go with that!

Heroes: T.E. Lawrence, Sir Winston Churchill.

Favorite meal: STEAK!

How do you like your coffee/tea? I take my coffee BLACK – why spoil the taste of the bean with any additives?

Something about you that would surprise people: I don’t think there is anything I could say that would surprise anyone.

Talent you have / wish you had: I started learning the Bass guitar this past year – I am getting pretty good, but a long way to go.

Dream vacation: Retirement.

Favorite quote: Less is More.

Best advice you've ever received: “You can listen to advice, you don’t necessarily need to follow it."

Most passionate about: Undergraduate student learning (and I know that sounds trite given the work I do, but it really is the thing that I am most passionate about! – well, that and archaeology of course!).

Something you know now that you wish you knew when you were younger: What the lottomax numbers where going to be for this coming Friday night’s draw!

Funny story: I don’t have any funny stories that would work well in print – all require hand gestures and visual expressions in order for them to have any impact. All my funny stories are things that have happened to me...they are the only ones I can remember!!! :)

Favorite thing to do in Toronto: Dress up and have a fancy cocktail at the Library Bar at the Royal York Hotel. If you haven’t been – they make the best Gin and Tonics.


Today, we meet Deborah Whiteman

April 4, 2016


How long have you been with UTL/which library are you based at? I’ve been with UTL for two and a half years and I work in the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library.

Your job title and what you do: Head of Rare Books and Special Collections. Oversee a large special collections department and an amazing staff of sixteen very ‘special’ people.

Research interests/recent research/publications/presentations: My research and practical interests are: teaching with special collections, women’s travel literature, and management and leadership skills. I am currently working on the English novelist Thomas Hardy, using the Millgate Hardy Collection at the Fisher Library.

Favourite word:  ‘Truthiness.’ I am a huge fan of Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart.    

Least favourite word: ‘Gutta-percha’ – it was a disastrous 19th-century binding technique that is now used for root canals!

Sound you love: The acoustic guitar.

Favorite television/radio show: I love the CBC!

Favorite book genre: The novel, hands down!

Heroes: My two children.

Favorite meal: Roasted vegetable moussaka.

Something about you that would surprise people: For two years I worked in Beverly Hills, California as private librarian to a major American collector.

Favorite quote: “Love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair.”

Most passionate about: My friends, my profession, art and literature.

Favorite thing to do in Toronto: I love the AGO.

Today, we meet Mindy Thuna

March 28, 2016

Headshot of Mindy ThunaHow long has been with UTL/which library are you based at? I started at UTM in July 2005.

Your job title and what you do: I am on my third job title since I started working at UTM. My current title is Research Enterprise Liaison Librarian. Currently, I serve as the liaison for Medicine, Biology, Biomedical Communication, Astronomy, Chemistry, Physics, Earth Science, Mathematics, Computer Science, and Statistics – this includes instruction, collection, reference, and various and sundry other bits that arise. I also coordinate graduate student activities at the UTM campus.

Research Interests: My research interests morph as my research progresses, but I am currently focusing in three areas:

  • Scientific Literacy in the Sciences – primarily focusing on Biology
  • The Use of Narrative by Librarians in their library instruction
  • Faculty perceptions of Impact Metrics

Educational background:

  • BSc in Vertebrate Palaeontology
  • MSc in Vertebrate Morphology
  • Master of Information Studies (MIst)

Sound you love: My son’s giggle (he is VERY ticklish).

Favorite movie: As if I have only one… My three favourite movies are: Hairspray, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (the original).

Favorite music: I am not good with favourites… I rarely listen to anything anymore but a few of my favourites are: Ani Difranco, Billy Joel, Lowest of the Low, Joan Armatrading, Nick Drake.

 How do you like your coffee/tea? I like my tea super weak, but really prefer PLAIN hot water (yep, no lemon).

Today, we meet Ksenya Kiebuzinski

March 18, 2016

Image of Ksenya KiebuzinskiHow long have you been with UTL/which library are you based at? I’ve been at UTL for ten years, and work in Robarts.

Your job title and what you do: My position is split between two departments: Reference and Research Services and Collection Development. My job titles are Head of the Petro Jacyk Central and East European Resource Centre, and Slavic Resources Coordinator. I am responsible for collection development, liaison and outreach activities, reference and user research services, and information literacy and instruction related to the study of Russia, the former Soviet Union, and East-Central Europe across all disciplines.

Educational background: I have a B.A. in French and Geography; a Master’s in Information Science; an M.A. in French and Women Studies, and a Ph.D. in Literary Studies.

Pets: I live an apartment, so I’ve ‘adopted’ the white squirrel that lives in the southwestern corner of Trinty Bellwoods Park. Growing up, though, we had cats named ‘Pushkin’ and ‘Fedko’ (Dostoyevsky), gerbils “Acute” (female) and “Obtuse” (male)—I was studying geometry in grade school; and a swaggering Afghan Hound named after Bianca Jagger.

Least favourite word: The Ukrainian word for belly button ‘pupets’ (pronounced poo-pits).

Gadget you can't live without: I live without a cell phone or car.

Favorite movie: Hitchcock’s “Rebecca,” mostly for Laurence Olivier’s portrayal as Maxim de Winter, and also because I first saw it at Trinity College’s Cinestudio, an old-school (1930’s style) theater in Hartford, Connecticut, with a red interior, balcony seating, and an elegant gold screen curtain which draws vertically.

Favorite book genre: Short story (Flannery O’Connor, Raymond Carver, and, since I moved to Canada, Alice Munro).

Favorite meal: A fresh, ripe tomato direct from the vine, with a sprinkle of salt.

Something about you that would surprise people: I’m from Maryland (Y’all country, south of the Mason-Dixon line), so the idea of ‘home’ still brings to mind crab feasts (a picnic table strewn with newspapers onto which you dump loads of blue crabs seasoned with Old Bay), visits to O.C. (Ocean City) and Great Falls Park along the Potomac, and walks along the C & O Canal.

Most passionate about: Free access to information.

Favorite thing to do in Toronto: Walking.

Today, we meet Steve Marks

March 1, 2016

Picture of Steve MarksHow long have you been with UTL/which library are you based at?  My desk is in ITS on the 7th floor of Robarts, but my job takes me all over campus. I've worked at UofT in various capacities since 2007, when I started as a student intern at the Inforum, over in the Faculty of Information. 

Your job title and what you do: Digital Preservation Librarian. I do whatever it takes to help the library and the university preserve the growing body of digital content it is responsible for - whether that's licensed resources, special collections, electronic records, research data, or anything else.

Favourite television show: Mobile Suit Gundam (the original).

Hobbies: I like to build and paint models (mostly robots), and I like to play tabletop war games (you know, with the little metal dudes).

How do you like your coffee/tea? Double expresso, a bit long.

Talent you have wish you had: I have a deep and unending jealousy of people with musical talent.

Something you know now that you wish you knew when you were younger: You do you.

Favorite thing to do in Toronto: Right now, I'm in love with taking my almost-two-year-old son to the ROM. It's amazing to see someone so in awe of the world. Otherwise, I just love being in the city. I grew up in a really small town in rural Tennessee, so the diversity of people and ideas and things to do in this city just never gets old.

Today, we meet Carey Toane

February 23, 2016

How long have you been with UTL/which library are you based at?  

I joined UTL in September 2015. I’m based at Gerstein Science Information Centre.

Your job title and what you do: Entrepreneurship Librarian. I support entrepreneurship research and application on campus, whether that’s through the campus-linked accelerators, entrepreneurship courses and programs, or in partnership with offices like Student Life. I’m a functional specialist, which means that I’m not linked to a particular faculty or department, but rather that I support the whole campus including my library colleagues in this area.

Research interests/recent research/publications/presentations: I’m currently working on a study of U of T campus entrepreneurs' research habits and needs. I’ve done similar research in the past into other niche communities and it is always interesting and useful to get their perspectives on the library and research in general.

Educational background: I have a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Journalism from Ryerson when it was still a Polytechnic University, so I’m dating myself! My first master’s degree is in English Philology from the University of Helsinki, and my MLIS is from FIMS at Western.

Pets: Two cats.

Favourite word: I don’t have a single favourite but I do have a bit of an obsession with false friends, e.g. pomegranate in French is “grenade” and paperclip is “trombone.” The Finnish word for “marriage” means “trouble” in Estonian. I collect these.

Least favourite word: Any derogatory term for women.

Gadget you can't live without: I would say my iPhone but I have a tendency to forget it at home and I have remained alive thus far, so.

Sound you love: My kid giggling. He’s got a pretty hearty belly laugh for a tiny person.

Hobbies: It’s tricky with a toddler and a tumbledown house that demand most of my time. I used to write a lot of poetry and I had a small press project that sold broadsides out of refurbished vending machines. I also enjoy doing things with my hands, like embroidery, bookbinding, and sewing. I make Finnish himmelis. I’d love to try weaving. We’re getting a bike trailer this spring so we can get around that way more again.

Favorite thing to do in Toronto: Walk or bike around a neighbourhood on a lazy Saturday or a warm summer night and end up someplace completely unexpected.

Today, we meet John Kutcher

February 16, 2016

Headshot of John KutcherHow long have you been with UTL/which library are you based at? 

  • 10 years approximately
  • Emmanuel College Library

Your job title and what you do: Senior Library Technician (since July 2014) + Circulation Supervisor (since July 2015)

  • Oversee daily operations of circulation services in the library
  • Train & supervise student assistants: 7 this year
  • Assist library patrons with their varied inquiries
  • Tend to library collection maintenance: includes supervising inventory
  • Perform administrative duties: recording statistics, managing cash, tracking overdue books, etc.

Gadget you can't live without: My backpack (not exactly a gadget, but...).

Sound you love: My niece Lindsay playing the flute.

Favourite television show: The Big Bang Theory

Favorite meal: Pizza!

Talent you have: Singing

Favorite quote: "Good process takes good information."

Most passionate about: My sweetheart of 10 years

Today, we meet Mi-Ryung Kim

February 5, 2016

Headshot of Mi-Ryung KimHow long have you been with UTL/which library are you based at? 34 years, 8 months (35 years this June).

Your job title and what you do: Serials Acquisitions Specialist. Responsible for OISE Library periodicals collection which includes coordination of subscriptions, financial administration of subscriptions, creating and updating serials control records, claiming for the missing issues, coordinating the binding operations.

Educational background: U of T (Bachelor of Arts, Languages)

Favorite word: No problem! Let’s give it a try!

Least favourite word: Hopeless / useless

Gadget you can’t live without: Panini grill and coffee machine

Favourite sound: Water flowing

Favourite movie: Dr. Zhivago / When a Man Loves a Woman

Hobbies: Cooking

Favourite meal: Italian / Korean

How do you like your coffee/tea: Large coffee with 1 ½ milk, no sugar

Talent you wish you had: To draw and paint (Though her daughter does both!)

Favourite quote: “Have more than you show, speak less than you know” – William Shakespeare, King Lear

Most passionate about: Learning a new language

Favourite thing to do in Toronto: Toronto is the best city to meet people from other cultures and to learn about other cultures. Also, walking down Bloor Street at sunset.

Today, we meet Glen Morales

February 1, 2016

Headshot of Glen MoralesHow long have you been with UTL/which library are you based at? It will be a total of six years with UTL at Robarts Library

Your job title and what you do: Business Manager, Finance & Administration. As part of the UTL Finance team, I provide business and accounting support on all facets of the Chief Administrative Officer’s portfolio including support on high value enterprise level procurement projects, accounting and financial reviews and analysis, operational and financial projects, and internal auditing.  I will also be providing the Finance team with budgeting and forecasting support.

Educational background: I earned a B.Comm. (Hons) from the University of Manitoba, M.Ed. from UT/OISE, CAPM designation from the Project Management Institute, and certificates in project management and business analysis.  I also received my CPA, CGA accounting designation from the Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario.

Favorite movies: Shawshank Redemption and Gladiator are hands-down my favorite movies.  I can never get tired of watching them.

Hobbies: I really love to practice martial arts.  I have earned my black belt in Aikido and second-degree black belt in Japanese Short Staff fighting (Jodo).  I am currently practicing Eskrima/Filipino Martial Arts – it is the main art used in the Jason Bourne movie series, just to give you an idea.

Favorite meal: Filipino dish called “pancit” made of noodles mixed with a variety of vegetables and/or meat.  So many combinations and types!

Something about you that would surprise people: I lived in Kumamoto, Japan for five years as a teacher.  It was such an amazing experience getting to live in Japan’s beautiful and unique landscape, learn about the Japanese culture and language, teach my very energetic students, and meet wonderful friends and colleagues from around the world.  One of my best memories there was standing atop Mount Fuji after a rigorous and freezing cold 8-hour night climb to see the sunrise.

Favorite quote: “To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.” – Lao Tzu

Favorite thing to do in Toronto: Definitely trying out the multitude of amazing restaurants in Toronto!

Today, we meet Milena Djokic

January 25, 2016

Headshot of Milena DjokicHow long have you been with UTL/which library are you based at? I’ve been at UTL, Robarts Library, for about 5 years now

Your job title and what you do: Advancement Assistant

I coordinate advancement events at UTL, UTL student advertisements in UofT Magazine, advancement print material, and mailing lists & mailings

Educational background: Honors BSc from UofT (2011) in Psychology (my other major is Philosophy)

Pets: I used to foster cats which was a lot of fun but also a lot of work. I’ve stopped doing it but now I miss the furry troublemakers!

Favourite word: Irenic (aiming or aimed at peace)

Gadget you can't live without: My iPhone (sadly)

Hobbies: Fencing, creative writing, escape games

Something about you that would surprise people: I practice and compete with the UofT Fencing team

Best advice you've ever received: I got this one from a good friend who got it from a book: The Principle of Priority: You must know the difference between what is urgent and what is important, and you must do what is important first.

Today, we meet Kate MacDonald

January 15, 2016

Headshot of Kate MacDonaldHow long have you been with UTL/which library are you based at? I’ve been at Graham Library for six years.

Your job title and what you do: Cataloguing & Digital Services Librarian.

We don’t have a huge number of staff at Graham, so everyone does a little bit of everything around here. Some of my main areas include: cataloguing and managing our rare books & special collections; solving technical services mysteries; website and social media stuff; and liaising with our incredibly active Trinity College Friends of the Library group on various projects.

Educational background: MISt from the iSchool at U of T and I’m now working on an MA in history part-time.

Pets: Robbie Roomba, robot vacuum cleaner. I occasionally suspect he’s become sentient and is secretly plotting to get rid of me so he doesn’t have to work.

Favorite television show: Of all time: Six Feet Under. More recently: Orphan Black.

Favorite movie: Hard Core Logo— a fictional documentary about the disintegration of an aging punk band as they go on one last reunion tour across Canada. If you can’t abide by an overabundance of swearing and/or spitting this movie probably isn’t for you.

Favorite book genre: Dystopian fiction.

How do you like your coffee/tea? Coffee, usually with skim milk. Yes, I know coffee purists, it’s a grey-coloured travesty.

Talent you have/talent you wish you had: I’ve played Celtic harp since I was a kid, but I would love to be one of those people who has the ability to pick up and play any instrument.

Dream vacation: Scotland is one of my favourite places ever, but I’ve always wanted to go to Morocco.

Today, we meet Cris Sewerin

January 11, 2016

How long have you been with UTL/which library are you based at? I’ve worked as a librarian at Engineering & Computer Science Library for 15 years, but have been at UTL much longer. I started in Science and Medicine Library (now Gerstein SIC) as a sessional and since then have worked in Robarts Circulation, Data, Maps and Government Publications, ITS, and Collection Development.

Your job title and what you do: I am currently Acting Head, Engineering & Computer Science Library. I am liaison for chemical engineering and also for materials science. I love selecting and am still selector for engineering subject areas. However, the last two and a half years I’ve devoted the bulk of my time to departmental leadership, management, hiring, supervision, mentoring, and so forth.

Gadget you can't live without: My espresso maker.

Favorite television show: The Wire.

Favorite movie: The Coen Brothers are brilliant and I love many of the films they’ve created.

Favorite book genre: Crime fiction.

How do you like your coffee/tea? Latte. Or cappuccino. Something that starts with the best possible shot of espresso.

Something about you that would surprise people: My mother tongue is Spanish / Mi lengua materna es castellano.

Favorite thing to do in Toronto: One of my favourite things is to attend TIFF every fall. We are so fortunate to have this incredible cultural event right at our doorstep!

Today, we meet Rudy Fearon

December 11, 2015

Headshot of Rudy Fearon

How long have you been with UTL/which library are you based at:

I started working at UTL Robarts Library in June 1982, which now seems like a long time...Time flew by so fast that it is kind of scary to know I have been here so long.

Your job title and what you do: My job title is Senior Preservation Associate. It is a multitask job. I am responsible for the numbering and packaging incoming and out­going books that we send to our commercial binders to rebind, and processing some of the materials to send out too. Also from time to time I am called on to do duties in the Fisher Rare Books Library as Reading room supervisor; retrieving books for the Reading Room, or working at Fisher's entrance, etc.

Research interests/recent research/publications/presentations:

I run my own small press, RWF Publishing, which is solely for the publication of my own books. I usually hire people to help with the editing and technical process. I just recently republished most of my books in ebook format which is now being sold on Kindle books.

Educational background: This always a tricky question for me to answer: Because although I have never been privileged enough to pursue a degree, I have spent so many years here at the library self-studying that I feel pretty adequate in my formal knowledge.

Gadget you can't live without: I am not really into gadgets. I tried to stay away from anything that will distract me from thoughts.

Favourite television show: I tend to like shows that unravel some mystery such as detectives series like CSI and that genre. I also like the comedy series Seinfeld. They say it’s a show about nothing...but maybe that is why like it shows the characters acting themselves.

Something about you that would surprise people: I would say my stage performance. Some people had a hard time reconciling the persona onstage with quiet me.

Most passionate about: It might sound egotistic...but I would say my own writing...when I am writing a poem it's like I am in another world.

Favorite thing to do in Toronto: There is so much to do in this great city of ours; but I find I enjoy my myself most by chilling with an Heineken beer, and watching people unwind.

Today, we meet Lisa Gayhart

December 7, 2015

Headshot of Lisa GayhartHow long have you been with UTL/which library are you based at?  I have been with UTL for almost three years, the entire time in ITS. I’m located at Robarts Library with arguably the best view in the place. 

Your job title and what you do: User Experience Librarian. My goal is to make everyone’s digital experience with library a little bit better by designing with users and their goals in mind. One person can’t do it all, so a big part of my job is empowering and equipping staff to bring an element of user experience design to their daily work.

Pets: FINN. She’s a black cat with green eyes, about 13 years old.  I rescued her when she was 4 and she’s been along for the journey ever since. Unfortunately, she really likes to party. Preferably between the hours of 4 and 5 a.m.  

Sound you love:  Nothing compares to the sound of hearing loons echo off of a still lake. Preferably while I stand on a cottage dock or a hiking trail. 

Favorite meal: One that lives on in memory only! I grew up in an Italian household, complete with my nonna living downstairs, continually cooking all our meals. She made a most delicious lasagna from scratch for semi-special occasions. No vegetables, all cheese. 100% yum.

How do you like your coffee/tea? I’m all about the coffee, probably to an irritating level. I like an americano, black, half water. If I have a choice, I prefer a chocolately blend over something fruity. Right now I am really digging Detour beans, made with an Aeropress, extra hot.  After a long morning bike ride, an almond milk cortado is a special treat.

Favorite quote: “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” - Winston Churchill

Something you know now that you wish you knew when you were younger: No one’s looking at you. Carry on.

Favorite thing to do in Toronto: Dawn road bike ride around the east side hills, ending at Rooster Café on Broadview (best view in the city!). If it was a really special day, I would PR the Bayview climb or not chicken out on the Don Mills descent. 

Today, we meet Katya Pereyaslavska

November 27, 2015

Headshot of Katya PereyaslavskaHow long have you been with UTL/which library are you based at?  Scholars Portal, 3 years

Your job title and what you do:  Accessibility Librarian. Help people get access to information that works with their assistive technology and help train librarians across Ontario universities to improve their accessible customer service skills as well as access to electronic resources.

Have led a series of large-scale accessibility initiatives in the last three years. These include the development of the Accessible Content ePortal (ACE) shared platform of accessible texts, the production of the Accessibility Toolkit for Libraries and more recently the release of the Report on Accessible media (ROAM).

This past year, was also acting in a role as the Visiting Program Officer with the Association of Research Libraries, a secondment which is focused on advocacy and raising awareness about the value of developing inclusive learning resources.

Educational background: Masters in Fine Arts, Master of Information (University of Toronto)

Pets: Black moggie called “Ray”

Sound you love: Thunder

Favorite television show: John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight

Hobbies: Collecting mid­century modern in the pursuit of a minimalist aesthetic

How do you like your coffee/tea? How I like my colleagues, uncomplicated

Dream vacation: Always Scotland

Best advice you've ever received: Keep your blinders on and move at a steady pace


Today, we meet Rachel Beattie

November 24, 2015

Headshot of Rachel BeattieHow long have you been with UTL/which library are you based at? I started here as an SLA working at Robarts, sending books to Downsview, while I was in library school and then got a job at the Media Commons, Media Archive when I graduated. I’ve been at the Media Archive since 2009.

Your job title and what you do: Archival Assistant. I help with access, arranging/processing of collections, outreach of our archival collections. And I also do the social media for the Media Commons.

Pets: I’m working on keeping the large amount of house plants I have alive before I move on to mammals.  

Gadget you can't live without: My hand-powered bike light. I’m so attached to it partially because the sound of me winding it often freaks people out when I wind it in public.

Favorite television show: Hard to narrow it down, but a few are: Orphan Black, Doctor Who, Parks & Recreation. And basically any literary adaptation/costume drama that the BBC puts out.

Favorite movies: Too many to name but I can’t resist listing a few: Germany, Pale Mother, Different for Girls, Me Without You, Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself, Beautiful Thing, Belle, Timbuktu, Lilies, Prodigal Sons, Marwencol, The Arbor...

How do you like your coffee/tea? Iced tea is one of my favourite things.

Something about you that would surprise people: I won a Queen Victoria “wave­alike” contest at Victoria Day festivities in my home town as a kid.

Dream vacation: I’ve always wanted to go to either the Berlin Film Festival in Germany or the Panafrican Film Festival in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

Favorite thing to do in Toronto: To go to the TIFF Bell Lightbox to see a film.

Today, we meet Michelle Spence

November 16, 2015

How long have you been with UTL/which library are you based at? I’ve been with UTL as a librarian in the Engineering & Computer Science Library (ECSL) since March 2009; I was a GALT (the predecessors of GSLAs) in ECSL from 2005-2007.

Your job title and what you do: Reference & Instruction Librarian. My responsibilities have changed a few times in the past few years, but right now, I’m the liaison for aerospace studies, biomaterials & biomedical engineering, computer science, electrical & computer engineering, and engineering science. I do a little bit of everything, which keeps things interesting – this includes instruction, reference, supervising SLAs, and overseeing the circulation functions. I also am the acting selector for computer science. 

Favourite word: Ridiculous  - it’s fun to say

How do you like your coffee/tea? I usually drink tea, and I like it plain and not too hot.

Dream vacation: Either on a beach or somewhere with excellent food and amazing architecture…

Favorite meal: This is a hard one because I like food and think about it a lot… probably spaghetti with my mom’s homemade sauce. I could eat it every day and not get sick of it.

Favourite television show: Big Bang Theory or Rick Mercer Report.  I laugh out loud!

Something about you that would surprise people: Between undergrad and library school, I took a year off, and for part of that year, I worked as a field archaeologist for an archaeological consulting company in the GTA. It sounds interesting, but it was mostly manual labour – digging 1 meter by 1 meter holes in the 905 region so developers could put up houses. We did find some interesting things though.

Favorite music: My current “favourite” band is the Arkells, but it changes frequently. 

Today, we meet Michelle Alexander

November 10, 2015

How long have you been with UTL/which library are you based at? 17 years, U of T Mississauga Library

Your job title: Library Information and Loans Library Technician

2-­3 line or point­form summary of what you do: I process course reserves, and syllabus services for faculty. That involves doing copyright checks on their reading lists, pursuing copyright permission, processing reading lists, training new staff, and coordinating workflow for reserves staff, and managing the reserves collection reading lists.

Educational background: Sheridan College Diploma “Library Techniques Program”


Gadget you can't live without: phone, tablet

Sound you love:  waterfalls, and relaxing music

Favorite television show: Family Feud

Favorite movie: To Sir With Love

Favorite music: R & B

Favorite book genre: mystery, adventure, and light romance novels

Hobbies: Reading, dancing, walking, studying the bible

Heroes: God and Jesus

Favorite meal: curry chicken

How do you like your coffee/tea? Chamomile

Something about you that would surprise people: I’ve done snowboarding in the past a few times

Talent you have / wish you had: playing the piano, professional dancer, and singing

Dream vacation: Hawaii

Favorite quote: “Whatever you do today will affect your tomorrow, so choose carefully”

Best advice you've ever received: stay with the job you love

Most passionate about: Freedom and peace

Favorite thing to do in Toronto: tour, shop, theaters, fine dining, and theme parks

Today, we meet Allison Bell

November 2, 2015

How long have you been with UTL/which library are you based at? 

I have worked at the Gerstein Science Information Centre since January 2009.

Your job title: Manager, Research and Reference Department

2-3 line or point-form summary of what you do: I manage the Information Services provided by the Research & Reference Unit at Gerstein, including reference service and collection, research consultations, the webpage, library instruction and liaison and Ask Gerstein email service. I am also the liaison librarian for Public Health.

Research interests/recent research/publications/presentations: My research interests include mentoring, collaboration, and most recently, mindfulness. I have had strong mentors throughout my career and I am eager to continue being mentored, as well as supporting others in their work going forward. I am passionate about building bridges not only between libraries at U of T, but also across research areas, University departments, public libraries and other local and national bodies. Most recently, I have developed an interest in mindfulness as a way to improve work and work-life balance as well as physical and mental health. Having happy and resilient employees is good for an organization, and being a happy and resilient person is good for one's own well-being.

Educational background: I have a Bachelor of English and an MLIS. Even though I have a Humanities degree, I have worked almost exclusively in Science libraries, first at the Ministry of Natural Resources and also at the McMaster Health Sciences library before coming to U of T. 

Sound you love: When my youngest daughter giggles she sounds like an old man guffawing

Favorite television show: While I was on mat leave my kids got to know the voices of their "Aunt Judy and Uncle Phil" (Judge Judy and Dr. Phil). My all time fav that I can watch over and over and over is Arrested Development

Favorite movie: I love the Hunger Games series. The books were amazing and the movies are just as entertaining, which is a rare feat!

Favorite music: Ed Sheeran on the GO train; Keith Urban and Blake Shelton in my kitchen; Pitbull when I'm speed walking while pushing a stroller

Favorite book genre: Can I just tell you my favourite books instead? Watership Down, Memoirs of a Geisha, The Other Boleyn Girl. 

Heroes: My Gramma. She has worked hard her whole life to make others peoples' lives better. Her work ethic and doughty nature are why she is able to live in her own house at age 96, and drive herself to cards, quilting, church, and out visiting. She still writes long letters to her friends and relatives as she has never had a computer. It is hard to express my appreciation of her in one little paragraph. 

Today, we meet Candy Yip

October 23, 2015

Cany Yup at traditional chinese gardens, in the rcorner of the picture, giving the peace symbolHow long have you been with UTL/which library are you based at? I’ve been at the University of Toronto Mississauga Library since 2004. Before that, I was a subject teacher for a secondary school in Hong Kong.

Your job title: Reference & Research Support Specialist

2­-3 line or point­form summary of what you do: I provide reference and research services in a variety of formats. I also offer support on Ask a Librarian Chat reference services, LibGuides and the Portal, and am involved in the library’s outreach programs.

Educational background: B.A. and PCEd. from the University of Hong Kong; M.A. from the Polytechnic University of Hong Kong; Library Technician Diploma from Seneca College; and MISt. from the University of Toronto.

Pets: My cat “Tigger” which is an orange tabby with a big round head and strong arms.

Gadget you can't live without: My smart phone. It keeps me connected with the World!

Favourite television show: Big Bang Theory

Favorite movie: Antman

Favorite music: Kenny G; Peter, Paul and Mary

Hobbies: I like travelling, enjoy taking photographs, and am particularly interested in exploring the world on food and different types of cuisine. I also like reading magazines on interior design, and do graphic design.

Favourite meal: Deep­fried oysters and scallops on rice, with Japanese curry and miso soup    

How do you like your coffee/tea? A typical Cantonese style of drink with a mix of half coffee and tea with milk and sugar.

Something about you that would surprise people: I’ve been zumbaing for years. I enjoy the fun and joyful atmosphere in the process, and actually, zumba is a great workout. It helps me to keep fit and stay in shape.  Now, I am a licensed Zumba instructor. Come on, let’s move!

Dream vacation: Burgundy, France. The medieval castles and historic buildings there are just gorgeous!

Best advice you've ever received: Keep calm and move on!

Today, we meet Joanna Szurmak

October 13, 2015

Headshot of Joanna SzurmakHow long have you been with UTL/which library are you based at? I have been at the UTM library for eight years.

Your job title: Science Liaison and Digital Initiatives Librarian

2-3 line or point-form summary of what you do: 

As a liaison librarian, I work with faculty and students in the departments of Chemical and Physical Sciences, Psychology, Mathematical and Computational Sciences, and Philosophy, to provide novel instructional solutions to further their learning of research methods and working with scholarly resources.

As a digital initiatives librarian, a new aspect of my work, I am learning how to develop web-based initiatives showcasing the work of UTM faculty and students; right now, my biggest digital project is the migration of the UTML website.

Research interests/recent research/publications/presentations: At STLHE 2015, with Dr. Alice Cassidy, on the pedagogical framing of faculty-librarian collaborations.

Favourite word: Fantastic

Least favourite word: No

Something about you that would surprise people: I have lived and worked in Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA.

Dream vacation: A road trip through the U.S. Southwest starting in Colorado and ending in New Mexico.

Favorite quote: That which is essential is invisible to the eyes / L'essentiel est invisible  pour les yeux (Antoine de Saint-Exupery, "Le petit prince").

Favorite thing to do in Toronto: Walk from the Downtown area to the Water Filtration Plant on the Beach via the Bloor St. viaduct, Broadview, Eastern Ave. and Ashbridges Bay Area (Ondaatje fans getting the idea?).

Today, we meet Bilal Khalid

September 28, 2015

Picture of Maureen Morin, Sipping her coffee in a coffee shop decorated with Christmas apparel

How long have you been with UTL/which library are you based at? I have been at UTL for 10 years as of this fall! Based in Robarts Library, in the ITS department.

Your job title: Senior Applications Programmer Analyst.

2-3 line or point-form summary of what you do:

  • Technical planning and delivery of digital library services
  • Lead the team that design, develops, and supports web applications for UTL and its clients
  • Primary responsibilities include the Library Catalogue, Article Search, and other core services

Research interests/recent research/publications/presentations: Lately, very interested in Linked Data.

Educational background: B.Sc. in Engineering Science, University of Toronto.

Pets: A cat, named LionO!

Least favourite word: Honestly? "lol". Is anyone really laughing out loud THAT much?

Favorite television show: For the past several years, Community! (Looking for my next favourite right now).

Favorite book genre: Science Fiction.

Talent you have / wish you had: Wish I had the time to learn languages! I would learn 'em all.

Best advice you've ever received: "Work hard and be trustworthy. You'll sleep well." - My Dad

Today, we meet Chul Yoon

September 21, 2015

Picture of Maureen Morin, Sipping her coffee in a coffee shop decorated with Christmas apparelHow long have you been with UTL/which library are you based at? I have been working here for 2 years and currently working with the ITS department.

Your job title: Project Application Programmer Analyst.

2-3 line or point-form summary of what you do: I have been working at projects like the Library's main website redesign, consistently updating / maintaining various University of Toronto Libraries web service applications and digital collection sites, with wonderful colleagues. I always try my best to make sure everything is up and running without any issues and always looking for a new idea to improve existing services.

Educational background: I majored in Computer Science along with minors in Math and East Asian studies from the University of Toronto (yay!).

Favourite thing to do in Toronto: Watching Blue Jays and Raptors live and going around the city to discover new restaurants and coffee places.

How do I like your coffee/tea: I can’t start the day without a cup of coffee! I prefer either an Americano or black coffee without any sugar / milk. I sometimes go for a mocha or frappuccino when I am in a need for some sugar kick! 

Something about you that would surprise people: I am trilingual (English, Korean and limited Mandarin speaking). I was in China for less than a year, that’s where I picked up Mandarin. I forgot much of it after I came back, but am still good enough to talk with waiters at Chinese restaurants when they start to talk to me in Mandarin assuming that I am from China too.

Most passionate about: Visiting different Major League Baseball stadiums around North America and collecting Starbucks city mugs from different parts of the world. 

Gadget you can’t live without: My smartphone and laptop.

Favorite movies: Infernal Affairs trilogy.

Today, we meet Jordan Hale

September 15, 2015

How long have you been with UTL/which library are you based at? I’ve been at the Map & Data Library since 2008, when I started as an undergraduate research assistant, and have worked there full-time since 2013.

Your job title: Original Cataloguer & Reference Specialist.

2-3 line or point-form summary of what you do:  I help users of the library find and use geospatial data, numeric data, and paper maps. I catalogue paper maps as well.

Research interests/recent research/publications/presentations: My master’s thesis was on highway memorial landscapes in Canada, and I’m presently researching the politics of cartographic cataloguing and classification. I’m also taking a course in sabermetrics (baseball statistics) right now.

Educational background: I have a BA and MA in geography from UofT, and am working on my MI at the Faculty of Information.

Pets: Three tuxedo cats named Pico, Wilshire, and Fairfax, all named after streets in Los Angeles.

Gadget you can't live without: My bikes.

Sound you love: Cat purrs.

Favorite television show: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

Favorite movie: A tie between 8 1/2 and The Thin Red Line.

Favorite music: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.

Hobbies: Watching baseball, cycling, and meeting friendly neighbourhood cats.

Heroes: Henry Morgentaler and Vin Scully (broadcaster for the LA Dodgers, currently in his 66th season with the team).

Favorite meal: When I answered this question when I was three, the answer was “tacos”, and it still is.

How do you like your coffee/tea? Black coffee.

Something about you that would surprise people: For my 31st birthday, I fulfilled a lifelong dream of being a Roy Orbison drag king.

Talent you have / wish you had: I wish I could actually sing like Roy Orbison.

Dream vacation: A baseball trip around Japan.

Favorite thing to do in Toronto: Going to Blue Jays games, of course. My office is full of baseball memorabilia, and I’m wearing my grandfather’s Blue Jays tie in this photo.

Today, we meet Judith Logan

September 4, 2015

How long have you been with UTL/which library are you based at?  Robarts Library. My fourth anniversary was last week.
Your job title: Reference Librarian
2-3 line or point-form summary of what you do:  
·   I deliver reference services in all forms.
·   I administer and support LibGuides and LibAnswers (Library FAQ). 
·   I’m the liaison librarian for psychology and political science on the St.George campus  
·   I teach information literacy classes. 
·   I chair the Reference Services committee.
·   I coordinate U of T’s contribution to the Ask a Librarian chat reference service. 
Favourite word: ‘Fancy’ because it makes the joke every time.
Gadget you can't live without: Let’s be honest: my iPhone.  It does everything!

Favorite television show: We’re in a golden age of TV, and it’s now easier to access international TV than ever (thanks, Media Commons!).  I’m a sucker for foreign cop shows like Scott & Bailey or Bron | Broen. For lighter comedies: Misfits or Happy Endings which is criminally underrated and now sadly cancelled.  Also, I devoured Peaky Blinders this year.

Favorite book genre: Sci Fi/Fantasy but lately I’ve been reading a lot of British mysteries.

Hobbies: Cross country skiing.  I’ve been skiing from the age of 4, but I only recently bought my first adult pair of non-hand-me-down skis.
How do you like your coffee/tea? Black for coffee, milk for tea.  Anything else is just too fancy.
Something about you that would surprise people: I’ve been lifting weights for years.  My all-time personal records are deadlift 190lbs, squat 170lbs, bench 120 lbs, and hip thrust 245 lbs.

Talent you wish you had: If by “talent” you mean “superpower” then mine would be to understand and use every language and form of communication including computer codes, animal communication, and dead languages.

Dream vacation:  My husband and I are planning a road trip in New Zealand.  We’re going to visit some wineries, do some hiking, and rent a beach house. Preferably, close to an alpaca farm.
Best advice you've ever received: It’s not about you.


Today, we meet Agatha Barc

August 10, 2015

How long have you been with UTL and which library are you based at? E.J. Pratt Library, Victoria University in the University of Toronto. I was hired in September 2013. Prior to my current appointment, I worked as an IT assistant at the library for five years.

Your job title and what you do: Reader Services and Instruction Librarian. I provide reference and research assistance to students, faculty and staff, teach library research seminars, contribute to collection development, and work on projects related to our services and collections. My research interests include the history of women in Canadian librarianship and library science education. I am currently conducting research on the history of the Victoria University Library, and in particular, the role of the librarians in the scholarly life and their contributions to academic excellence at 'Vic'. I see my job as the continuation of the work of my predecessors.

Favourite television shows: Mad Men. I also enjoy watching Breaking Bad, Downton Abbey, American Horror Story and The X-Files (I’m eagerly anticipating the revival miniseries in January).

Favourite music: Depeche Mode, Kraftwerk, Arcade Fire, Austra Siouxsie and the Banshees, Soft Cell and 1980s bands that I will not admit to listening.

Favourite book genre: My current reading list is very long, as usual, so it is challenging to choose just one. As a librarian, I strive to be well-read to continue developing good subject knowledge. I just finished reading The Model T: A Centennial History by Robert Casey. I tend to read non-fiction, especially history, women’s studies, urban studies and library and information science. In terms of literature and poetry, I enjoy realist novels (especially Canadian literary works, such as Cabbagetown) and Romantic poetry – my library’s special collections include 'Christabel', which is annotated by Samuel Taylor Coleridge himself.   

Hobbies: Reading (naturally), taking photographs, designing web sites and travelling.

Favourite food: Streak and frites with a glass of Merlot, followed by crème brule.  

How do you like your coffee/tea? I can’t live without caffeine! I like my coffee with cream and sugar and my tea with lemon and sugar.

Dream vacation: I’m planning on travelling to Great Britain sometime – I have wanted to visit it since I was a teenager.

Favorite thing to do in Toronto: I love exploring the city, and in particular, its rich history in local libraries, museums and archives. My visit to the City of Toronto Archives on the history of my neighbourhood, the Annex, is one of the highlights of this summer.

Today, we meet Karen Wishart

June 19, 2015

How long have you been with UTL/which library are you based at? I've been at Victoria College for 25 years. I worked my first 8 years at the E. J. Pratt Library, and for the last 17 years at Emmanuel Library.
Your job title and what you do: I'm the Theology Reference Librarian. I do reference, collection development and instruction in library use.
Favorite television show: CBC News
Favourite movie(s): Too many to pick...Fiddler on the Roof, When Harry met Sally, The Bourne series, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Sting, Pride & Prejudice...I could go on and on
How do you like your coffee/tea? Earl Grey, with milk and sugar
Something about you that would surprise people: I've sky-dived and I was born in India
Dream vacation: Touring Europe, visiting art galleries
Favorite thing to do in Toronto: Hanging out in some of my favourite neighbourhoods, like Bloor West, Danforth and the Beaches

Today, we meet the staff of the Centre for Industrial Relations & Human Resources Library

June 12, 2015

Monica Hypher: I've been at the Centre for Industrial Relations & Human Resources Library for 33 years. I feel as though I were born here. I am a library technician and I do cataloging, course outlines and reference, as well as provide supplies to students, such as toothpaste, lint removers, combs, etc. I enjoy watching TVO documentaries (my level of scientific understanding), BBC detective and costume dramas (basically anyone in an outfit) and feasting on copious servings of anything that Vicki bakes for our library tea parties. My dream vacation would be to the Canadian Arctic (while it’s still cold), but when I’m in Toronto I love going to the opera (after a good nap). Not many people know this, but I have the great potential to be a world-renowned opera singer…only I have no voice and no talent. I’ll leave you with the motto that I live by: “Never give up, never surrender” (except when it comes to computation).

Vicki Skelton: I have been at the Industrial Relations & Human Resources Library for an untold number of years. My first contract was cataloging labour union documents which lead to a job-sharing appointment in 1985 in reference, and ultimately, Head Librarian in 2008. To pay the bills I have also worked at UTLAS and at the Rotman BIC. In my position I mostly try to keep up with the webinar invitations issuing from the central library but it is a losing battle. I am always looking for stories for our Tumblr: work&labour news&research and our weekly IR/HR publication, the Perry Work Report, co-edited with Melissa. Other than that we in the library are hoping that the U of T Libraries website and the libguides are never again redesigned – so wait as we rise again, phoenix-like, next summer. Melissa, who joined us as a library assistant when she started her MIS degree, completed last June, is entering the CIRHR PhD program this fall and we could not be prouder – of course her near-perfect grade point average, her degree in economics and her passion for industrial relations issues played a big role in her acceptance. Expectations at the Centre for a rhubarb/ginger sponge dessert are running rampant …
Melissa: Unlike these other two, I’m a Centre newbie, only having joined the team a mere three years ago. However, I have been sucked into its vortex and will be spending the next four years here (at least) since I am starting the IR/HR PhD program in September. For the time being, Vicki has me slaving away working on the Perry Work Report and re-doing all of our libguides (seriously, no more redesigning!). She keeps me happy with her baking though, and like Monica, I live for our library tea parties. Outside of labour relations and library happenings, my interests include running, weight-lifting and pizza.
Photo (left to right): Melissa, Monica Hypher, Vicki Skelton

Today, we meet Mimi Ho

June 4, 2015

How long have you been with UTL/which library are you based at? I've been at the OISE Library for 25 years.

Your job title and what you do: My title is Senior Access Services Associate. I am a library technician for circulation and journals.  

Favorite television show: MasterChef, Dancing with the Stars, MasterChef Junior, So You Think You Can Dance

Favourite music: Cantonese and Mandarin classical music

Favorite book genre: Mystery novels

Hobbies: Ballroom and line dancing 

Favorite food: Shrimp

How do you like your coffee/tea? Both with cream and sugar 

Dream vacation: Cruise to Singapore, Taiwan, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Japan and Korea 

Favorite thing to do in Toronto: Going out to different restaurants and trying different kinds of food

Today, we meet David Eden

March 16, 2015

Picture of David Eden in front of stacks on ninth floorHow long have you been with UTL/which library are you based at? I have been here almost 20 years. I work in the Access and Information department (I have worked in every section of A&I). I have also been College Librarian at New College and assisted in the Gifts Section of Collection Development.

Your job title and what you do: Stacks Supervisor. I manage the collection on the 9th through 13th floors of Robarts Library and on B2. I manage about 30 student workers and 4 library technicians, I'm responsible for materials shipped to Downsview and I oversee projects such as shifting and shelf reading.

Research interests/recent research/publications/presentations: Canadian theatre - I have presented papers on the work of James Reaney at several conferences, presented a paper on changes in the Dewey Decimal system for OLA and presented a paper at UCLA on changes in Canadian reproductive law.

Educational background: Bachelor of Fine Arts; Master of Drama; Master of Information Studies; Certificate in Management from BCIT; and Arts administration and marketing courses from Simon Fraser University and St. Mary’s University.

Gadget you can't live without: My laptop. When I was teaching cataloguing (and other topics) at Seneca College I produced all of my lectures on the laptop, created my PowerPoint slides and updated Blackboard.

Favorite television show: The Almighty Johnsons - a quirky series from New Zealand about a family descended from the Norse gods, trying to get their powers back. It is very funny.

Something about you that would surprise people: I took a leave from my job at Gerstein to tour across the country in a one-man play. It was one of the best experiences I ever had.

Most passionate about: The theatre. I have served on committees for theatres, directed and acted, and worked as a dramaturge and advisor for play-reading committees.

Favorite thing to do in Toronto: Go to the theatre. There is so much to see.

Today, we meet Angela Henshilwood

March 9, 2015

Picture of Angela HenshilwoodHow long have you been with UTL/which library are you based at?  I am based at the Engineering & Computer Science Library. I have been at ECSL for 1 year now. Before that I was based at UTM for about year as well.

Your job title and what you do: Faculty Liaison and Instruction Librarian. I am the Liaison for the Department of Civil and Mineral Engineering and the Division of Environmental Engineering & Energy Systems. I am the instruction coordinator and the lead for online instruction initiatives for our library. Also, I coordinate our reference services and supervise the GSLAs that help provide that service. It’s an evolving and exciting library to be a part of!

 Research interests/recent research/publications/presentations: I co-presented three presentations at the OLA Super Conference this year. What a great experience. I’ll be presenting a paper about mentorship that I co-wrote with Cris Sewerin, Michelle Spence and Tracy Zahradnik – my ECSL librarian colleagues – at the American Society for Engineering Education Conference in June. I really enjoy the scholarly communication side of being an academic librarian and I hope to produce more by researching in the areas of reference services and eLearning. 

Favourite word: I’m not sure what my favourite word is but I can tell you the word I overuse: “amazing”. Someone please give me another word so I can retire this one from my vocabulary!

Least favourite word: Most acronyms drive me up the wall.

Favorite television show: My all-time favourite shows are Friday Night Lights and The Wire. My current favourites are House of Cards, Peaky Blinders and Nashville (what a weird combination!).

How do you like your coffee/tea? I take cream in my coffee. And don’t try to give me milk! Milk in coffee is a travesty.

Something about you that would surprise people: You can’t tell by looking at me now, but I spent my youth training to be a classical ballet dancer. I was a student at the National Ballet School here in Toronto from grade six until I graduated in grade 12. I went on to study modern dance for a few years but gave up dancing altogether in 1999 or so. Librarianship is like a second career for me!

Talent you have / wish you had: I wish I had the kinds of talents our engineers have: insane design and problem-solving skills. Also, math. I wish I understood more about math.

 Dream vacation: Italy. My husband and I have been talking about going for 5 or 6 years now. I hope we will go soon!

Favorite thing to do in Toronto: Dinner out is my favourite thing to do in any city! In Toronto my fave restaurants are THR&Co, Woodlot, and Rose & Sons.

Today, we meet Heather Buchansky

March 6, 2015

Picture of Heather BuchanskyHow long have you been with UTL/which library are you based at? I’ve been at UTL since June 2012  – I started in Reference and Research Services, Robarts Library, and moved to my current position within Library Administration / Office of the Chief Librarian in January 2014.

Your job title and what you do: Student Engagement Librarian. I develop and plan campus-wide library initiatives that focus on undergraduate students’ information literacy and learning (like the Personal Librarian program), as well as  coordinate student outreach and orientation activities. I connect with student-centred campus partners (e.g. Student Life) to identify areas where the Libraries can be included in programs and services, and am involved in working groups within the university to bring the voice of the library to the discussion.

Pets:  A black cat named Boyd

Favorite television show: Anything in the Law & Order franchise (minus Criminal Intent)

Favorite movie(s): Makes me laugh: School of Rock. Makes me cry: Cinema Paradiso, Tokyo Story. Makes me think: Waste Land. Movie I’ve seen too many times (but never tire of): Sliding Doors

How do you like your coffee/tea? I only drink tea, and what I put in it really depends on what kind I’m drinking. My current favourite is Lady Grey tea with milk. I’m taking courses to be a tea sommelier, and am discovering new favourites all the time.

Something about you that would surprise people: I love game shows and calling in to win at radio shows (I’ve won a number of random prizes over the years from CHUM FM). I appeared on a short-lived Canadian game show back in 1997, called TimeChase. I came in 2nd out of 3 contestants. The ultimate goal is Jeopardy!

Dream vacation: Visit Bhutan to experience their ‘gross national happiness’, and drink tea.

Favorite thing to do in Toronto: Those ‘Escape Room’ mystery games. It brings out my inner Nancy Drew.

Today, we meet Manda Vrkljan

February 27, 2015

How long have you been with UTL/which library are you based at? I have been at St. Michael’s College’s Kelly Library for over seven years.

Your job title and what you do: Kelly InfoExpress Coordinator

As the InfoExpress Coordinator I look after the research needs and course material preparation for the faculty and graduate students based on the St. Mike’s campus. This includes locating material available through UTL and beyond, and creating their course readings electronically for Blackboard.

Educational background: B.A. (Honours) U of T, Library Technician Diploma Seneca College, and I am currently an M.I. candidate at the Faculty of Information.

Gadget you can't live without: Bottle opener

Sound you love: Ticking clocks

Favorite television show: I am currently going through The Great British Bake Off.

Favorite movie: Two for the Road

How do you like your coffee/tea?: Coffee and Tea - black

Dream vacation: A seat on a Virgin Galactic flight

Favorite quote: “You cannot have power for good without having power for evil too.” - George Bernard Shaw, Major Barbara

Favorite thing to do in Toronto: The aquarium is unbelievable!

Today, we meet Maureen Morin

January 9, 2015

Picture of Maureen Morin, Sipping her coffee in a coffee shop decorated with Christmas apparel

How long have you been with UTL? Which library are you based at? It took me a while to get to UTL. In 1989 I was hired by Computing Services to design their newsletter, ComputerNews, and to teach some introductory microcomputer courses. Several departmental reorganizations led to the creation of the Information Commons, which moved into Robarts Library in 1995. I was with the Digital Studio there until I joined Information Technology Services in 2007.

Your job title and what you do: Graphic Designer

I am responsible for the design and production of informational materials for the library—newsletters, flyers, posters, invitations, reports, programs, brochures, signs and so on—in print and digital formats. I get to meet a lot of staff this way as we work together to produce what is needed for projects and events. On a typical day, you might find me proofreading copy, combing through image banks looking for artwork for a poster, or giving someone a head transplant in Photoshop.

Educational background: I have a BA in English literature and dramatic literature from Trinity College, University of Toronto.

Pets: We have one dog and two cats. The cats rule.

Favourite words: Wimple, theodolite, and smoored.

Least favourite word: Any word with a misplaced or unnecessary apostrophe. I’m also a bit averse to 'peak' these days, largely because I’m seeing 'sneek peak' all too often. It conjures up a mental picture of the Matterhorn clad in camo gear, inching its way closer and closer until it finally shouts “Boo!”

Gadget you can't live without: My watch. I feel completely disoriented if I forget to wear it.

Favourite television show: Coronation Street

Favourite movie: The Great Escape

Favourite music: Right now I’m listening to a lot of jazz by the Breithaupt Brothers. You can hear their songs, performed by various singers, on YouTube:

Favorite book genre: Crime/detective fiction. I also like witches and vampires (Deborah Harkness is a current favourite author).

Hobbies: I read a lot and I like to cook and bake.

Favorite meal: Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding with potatoes, carrots and mushy peas.

How do you like your coffee/tea? Hot

Something about you that would surprise people: I used to have a pet tarantula.

Talent you wish you had: Oh, how I wish I could sing!

Favourite quote: “It’s not going in our yard Russ, it’s going in our living room.”

Something you know now that you wish you knew when you were younger: Band aids that are really stuck come off more easily if you saturate the adhesive bits with baby oil first.

Funny story: When I was about seven years old, you could buy Head and Shoulders shampoo in liquid form in a bottle or paste form in a tube. The colours and artwork on the Head and Shoulders tube we had in the house were similar to the tube of Crest toothpaste. I wondered if anyone would notice if I switched them. Dad didn’t, and let’s just say that he wasn’t best pleased.

Today, we meet Dana Kuszelewski

December 12, 2014

How long have you been with UTL/which library are you based at? I started at UTL in May of 1975, in the Sigmund Samuel Library, which at that time was designated as the undergraduate library for the St. George campus. The transition from “Sig Sam” to Gerstein was quite easy – I had already been providing a 40 minute Medline session every Wednesday and there was some overlap with the kinds of questions at our Information Desk with those in “Sci Med.” Our librarians and some of my co-workers were welcomed into the reorganization of the Science and Medicine Library into the current Gerstein Science Information Centre.  

Your job title and what you do: I am a Reference Specialist and the job evolved with the recognition of duties and responsibilities which was in part a reflection of the change in the need for an independent undergraduate library and the services to our Medical, Health Sciences and Sciences communities.

My position is within the Reference and Research Unit and includes providing reference and information services in person, on the phone and through Ask Chat and ask.gerstein email. I provide support and library instruction for RefWorks and End Note and some course related library instruction. I am also the Accessibility liaison for Gerstein. 

Educational background: York University grad – Glendon College

Pets: The man in the house is Snoopy! He is a 10 year old male cat who really believes that he has the run of the place. The only time he behaves is when my brother comes to visit. A look and a snap of the fingers will send Snoop running for his favourite hiding place. He even ran when Ray and I were skyping and he heard his voice.

Favourite word: NO! because believe it or not, there is room for negotiation from there.

Least favourite word: Whatever! I find it very dismissive and it generally comes with an attitude that is, dare I say, rude?

Hobbies: I have sat on my condo board for 15 years as President and I enjoy the challenges of budgeting and even more on tendering and negotiating costs for major projects. We have almost completely revitalized a 40 year old building with 434 suites over the last 12 years.

Heroes: I do not know that I have one “hero.” People whom I have met and worked with, and work with currently, have inspired me, have shared their wisdom and experience with me and have provided guidance and support, sometimes without even knowing it. Those are my ‘unsung heroes.’

Most passionate about: Helping others – which is defined through various organizations, at home and at work.  

Funny story: You never appreciate the weight of racoons until they come romping across the ceiling tiles overhead!  

Today, we meet George Zhao

December 2, 2014

Picture of George Zhao with Projector Screen to the left - he is giving a presentation

How long have you been with UTL? Which library are you based at? What do you do at UTL?

George joined UTL in 1997 as a graduate student cataloguer and later became a full-time original cataloguer and reference specialist at the Cheng Yu-Tung East Asian Library. He catalogues Chinese materials, offers reference services and is also involved in training and special projects. Special projects have included the Chinese rare book project which resulted in two publications entitled An annotated bibliography of Chinese rare books in the Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library, University of Toronto and Leaves of enchantment, bones of inspiration: the dawn of Chinese studies in Canada: an exhibition of Chinese rare books.

Your job title: China Specialist: Cataloging & Reference Services

Educational background, research interests, recent research, publications and presentations:

After completing his BA in Chinese Linguistics and MA in Applied Linguistics in China, George came to U of T to pursue his MA in linguistics and PhD in pre-modern Chinese history. He has taught Chinese language, literature, translation, history and culture in China, Canada and the United States. He is the author of several books in both Chinese and English, including Marriage as Political Strategy and Cultural Expression: Mongolian Royal Marriages from World Empire to Yuan Dynasty and, most recently, a Chinese translation of Jack Weatherford’s The Secret History of the Mongol Queens: How the Daughters of Genghis Khan Rescued His Empire. He is currently working on two research projects: the lives and careers of Khubilai Khan’s empresses, and Jews and Judaism in China. He has delivered papers at various conferences recently, including “Jews and Judaism in China: myths, mysteries, and misunderstandings”, “Why did Jews become Chinese? The ‘Jew’ as the ‘other’ and the Assimilation of Kaifeng Jews”, and “Lives and political involvement of Kubilai Khan’s wives: Chabui and Nambui in the Yuan dynasty.” His research paper “Kubilai’s Empresses: Biographical Perspectives” will be published soon as a chapter in Representing Lives in East Asia, China and Korea 1400-1900.

Hobbies and favourite thing to do in Toronto:  

In his spare time, George enjoys reading and blogging, travel and photography. He writes for Chinese newspapers and magazines, and maintains his own popular blog which has received more than three million hits. He also enjoys gardening and fishing. He is an NBA Raptors fan and hardly ever misses a Raptors game on TV.

Favourite television show: The Discovery Channel

Favourite music: Relaxing Classical music

Favourite book genre: History and biography

Favourite quote:  “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

Favourite meal: Fried and flavored noodles with a lot of vegetables and meat

How do you like your coffee/tea? Mild black

Dream vacation: A trip to a sunshiny beach in South America

Today, we meet Don McLeod

August 1, 2014

How long have you been with UTL and which library/department are you based in? I’ve worked at UTL since 2000, and am currently in the Collection Development Department.  

Your job title and what you do: Head, Book and Serials Acquisitions, Collection Development Department 

I’m in charge of overseeing the acquisition of paper books and serials for the central libraries. I’m also the selector for Canadiana and Gender Studies, and am the library liaison for the Sexual Diversity Studies program.

Research interests/recent research/publications/presentations: I spend quite a bit of my spare time researching, writing and editing. I’ve published nine books, of one sort or another, plus have edited the journal Devil’s Artisan (DA): A Journal of the Printing Arts for fifteen years.

Favourite book genre: Reference books

Hobbies: Travel and photography

Heroes: The early gay liberationists, particularly Magnus Hirschfeld (1868–1935)

Dream vacation: An extended road trip through Europe

Best advice you've ever received: “Have some fun. It’s later than you think.”

Something you know now that you wish you knew when you were younger: Don’t be afraid to speak up or ask questions

Favourite thing to do in Toronto: Hang out at the Arts and Letters Club

Today, we meet James Mason

July 25, 2014

How long have you been with UTL and what do you do here?

I’ve been at U of T for just over six years now. I am the technical services librarian for the Faculty of Music Library where I catalogue the sound recording collection, offer reference services and manage web resources (including Libguides, internal databases, web pages and the social media stuff.

Currently I am helping with a project to digitize our archival collection of the documents of the famous Canadian violinist, Kathleen Parlow. This collection includes manuscript scores, pictures, programmes, daybooks and letters; very fascinating stuff!

Educational background: I have a MMus (guitar performance) and an MLIS from UBC.

Pets: I have an overly rambunctious border collie/running partner named Max and a stealth ambush operative/cat named Fiddy.

Hobbies:  I enjoy hiking, camping and getting outdoors with my wife and daughter. I play guitar in various ensembles around Toronto including a community outreach band called Worry Free World (it’s a Reggae band, lots of Bob Marley) and a duo for voice and guitar. I also enjoy riding my bike, cooking and running (I like to go far, but I’m not too fast – 3:45:00 is my marathon PB).

Favourite music: I love all kinds of music ranging from the many styles of classical and jazz music through the many genres of extreme metal!

Favourite book genre: I enjoy speculative fiction and graphic novels; Neil Gaiman is a current fav!

Favourite meal: My favourite meal is anything vegetarian and gluten free!

How do you like your coffee? I like my coffee black and first thing in the morning.

Today, we meet Mike Hamilton

July 18, 2014

Your job title: Media Specialist

How long have you been with UTL? Which library are you based at? What do you do at UTL? 

Mike has been involved with the media world most of his life, beginning as the student AV volunteer in elementary school. As a young boy, he fell in love with the “magic of radio”, spending countless hours listening to a portable radio in bed, tuning in stations from across the continent.  

After graduating from the Conestoga College Broadcasting program in the 1980, Mike worked as a reporter/newscaster at radio stations in the GTA, then spent some time in the field of Adult Education, including teaching ESL and Literacy skills. He landed at the old Audiovisual Library in the Sigmund Samuel Library building (now Gerstein) in July 1989 and has been jack-of-all-trades since. Along the way, he completed a BA in Liberal Arts – Communications at York University.

'Off the clock', Mike enjoys home renovations, gardening and operates his own HO scale model railroad empire. 

Favourite music: 50s & 60s rock ‘n roll

Favourite movie: American Graffiti – “rock ‘n  roll ain’t been the same since Buddy Holly died”

Gadget you can’t live without: Compound mitre saw (a big 'gadget')

Sound you love: Water trickling over my backyard waterfall on a summer evening

Today, we meet Courtney Lundrigan

July 11, 2014 

How long have you been with UTL? Which library are you based at? I’ve been at the John W. Graham Library at Trinity College since August 19, 2013. 

Your job title: Instructional and Reader Services Librarian

What do you do at UTL? Information literacy programming and faculty liaison for International Relations, Ethics, Society & Law, and Humanities courses based at Trinity College; management of circulation and reference services at the Graham Library.

Pets: I rescued a Jack Russell Terrier a few years ago. Her name is Jasmin and she’s about 4 years old in people years. She’s so much fun and very spunky!

Gadget you can't live without: My iPod. I’m always plugged into my music wherever I go.

Favourite television show: Big Bang Theory and The Mindy Project. I can’t choose.

Favourite movie: The Goonies

Hobbies: Running, albeit slowly. I usually run a full marathon in the fall, and a variety of other distances in between.

Favourite meal: A beef burger with blue cheese and mushrooms + a side of sweet potato fries.

How do you like your coffee/tea? Tea only – straight up! Sometimes iced in the summer. Mostly green, but I like most varieties of tea. I’ve never had a cup of coffee in my life. I figure that if I can make it through three university degrees without it, I probably shouldn’t start now.

Something about you that would surprise people: I’m incredibly shy and introverted.

Dream vacation: I have a lengthy bucket list that I’m working through, and am hoping to strike Indonesia off the list next year.

Favourite thing to do in Toronto: I’m a huge Blue Jays fan. During the season, I love going to cheer for my team at the Sky Dome. I can’t bring myself to say Rogers Centre.