Learn Firsthand From Vancouver Public Library Representatives and Library Champions
Library Champions who are curious about employment opportunities at the Vancouver Public Library had the opportunity to join an information session developed specifically for them. This event took place on February 9th, 2021. Library Champions were able to submit their questions ahead of the event and their questions and comments are answered within this blog post.
Representatives from the Vancouver Public Library attended the event to share their own insight on employment options at the VPL. Representatives explained the application process and the work and training that is required to be a Library Technician or Librarian. They also explained the various roles within the libraries, and what is looked for in an application and an interview. To hear firsthand from these representatives, and to learn more about the Library Champions program, keep on reading.
Library Champions have volunteered to share information about libraries and other community agencies across Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley and have an in-depth knowledge of resources, services, and programs available. Once Library Champions complete training, they receive a certificate of completion and can add their volunteer hours to their resume.
“The first month of training sessions teach us library resources and services available to other newcomers. The last of two months are for the outreach, where we share the information we learned with other newcomers. I learned a lot from these training sessions. There is a wide range of resources and services available to people using the library.” – Hyejin, Library Champion
“Oftentimes, under the qualification section of a job posting, the requirements would be Grade 12 and some customer service experience, but when I apply I wouldn’t hear anything back. I was curious what exactly HR looks for in the Cover letter and Resume.” – Sarwani, Library Champion
“This is not new to most of you that our university degrees and qualifications are not recognized in the new country. This is the reality. Some of you might be lucky in that your degree and professional experiences have been recognized; others of us are not as lucky, including me. I have a Masters degree in Library and Information Science in China, which is, unfortunately, considered non-accredited degree by ALA (the American Library Association). I took courses at Langara to get a Library Technician Diploma. I have now been working at the Vancouver Public Library for 10 years.
Library Champions attending this information session were provided information about the roles and responsibilities of various entry-level roles and their career paths within the library. Many graduates from the Library Champions Project decide to enroll in post-secondary education to pursue a role as a Library Technician or Librarian:
“I am a student of the Library & Information Technology Program at Langara College.” – Hyejin, Library Champion
The session provided Library Champions with information on how to prepare for an interview as well as common pitfalls that applicants have encountered.
“I definitely need to work on my interview skills, especially how to answer the behavioural interview questions.” – Sarwani, Library Champion
To prepare for an interview, applicants should share experiences that stand out.
“Due to the COVID-19, I did outreach fully online. I wrote a short posting with an explanation about the digital collections available at the libraries, then added URL links of various public libraries: Vancouver Public Library , Richmond Public Library, Burnaby Public Library, etc., and posted this on a Korean Vancouver Facebook Group with 19,000 members. My post received 72 Likes. Before I did this outreach, I assumed that everyone knew about library materials, but realized I was wrong. There are many people out there who do not know about eBook or eLearning resources available through their local library’s website.” – Hyejin, Library Champion
“Before the session, I applied for several roles posted by VPL, but I was unclear about what exactly these roles were. I thought this information session would be a good opportunity to understand the different roles within the library so I can better tailor my applications. I now have a better understanding of what is required, and this information will help me prepare for future applications.” – Winnie, Library Champion
I’m an avid reader and now I run three different Chinese book clubs, one each week. Also, I organize and host a lot of Chinese literary and cultural events to help the Chinese communities connect to city life and increase a sense of belonging. I am quite proud for what I’m doing.
“I am moved by the appreciation of the Library Champions for offering this session. I am excited to encourage people in pursuit of their dreams.”
“Don’t be afraid to try. Don’t be afraid of failure. Just keep trying and believe in yourself.”
“On behalf of Public Library InterLINK and NewToBC, I would like to thank you for your involvement in this week’s Paths to Employment information session for Library Champions. Feedback we’ve received indicates the session was well attended, the presentations were well delivered and well received, the Library Champions in attendance were deeply engaged, and, as a result, the session was a great success.
The Vancouver Public Library certainly went above-and-beyond with the planning and hosting of this information session. VPL’s ongoing contributions to NewToBC and to the Library Champions Project are greatly appreciated.” – Michael Burris, Executive Director, Public Library InterLINK