MACL alumna (2008) and SLAIS MLIS (2010) alumna; Coordinator, Children’s and Youth Services, West Vancouver Memorial Library; reviewer; BC Book Prizes juror; committee member, Canadian Children’s Book Centre annual Best Books for Kids and Teens; coordinator, Vancouver Public Library’s Children’s and Teen Writing and Reading Book Camp Program; book reviewer; volunteer in children’s literacy and literature communities
The MACL program gave me professional direction and introduced me to the world of youth librarianship. Although I did not take any library services course during the MACL degree, sharing the space with SLAIS students and faculty meant that I had the opportunity to learn that a children’s librarian is essentially a community specialist on books and material for young people. I honestly cannot imagine where I would be professionally now if it were not for the MACL program. While it may not be a “professional” program with a clear outcome like the MLIS or MAS degree, it absolutely steered me on the course to my current career as a youth librarian.
The interdisciplinary nature of the program has also benefited me professionally; employers are always interested to hear about the program and are quite impressed that it includes aspects of library science and education. In the current competitive job market, having the MACL as a supplement to my MLIS has really given me an edge.
The program also introduced me to a community of mentors and friends. I moved to Vancouver from the prairies and did not know a single person in the city. Thanks to the connections I made through the MACL program I had the opportunity to volunteer at events, gain public speaking experience, review books and sit on awards committees.