Get to Know Your Library Staff: Sylvia

What is your job title?

My current job title is Library Service Specialist. In 35 years of library work, I have worn many hats: interlibrary loan librarian; cataloguer; instructor; facilities coordinator; genealogy tutor; reference staff; circulation staff; adult, senior, teen and children’s programmer; program host.

When did you start working at the library?

On a May day in 1989, I walked over to a job board at the University of Alberta. There was a posting for a summer student position in the Periodical and Microform Centre at the University of Alberta. Ever since, I have worked in a library (academic, public and one archive). I started working at Strathcona County Library in 2008.

How would you describe your role at the library?

I am a weaver of people, connections and learning.

What do you like best about your job?

There is no better gift in life than helping people. I love creating program opportunities for residents to gain skills, engage in new thoughts, and connect to each other. The highlight is helping people find their ancestors with our great genealogy resources and Genealogy Help service.

What do you wish people knew about the library?

The secrets of free access to databases and digital magazines. You can fix your car by using ALLDATA or compare prices using Consumer Reports.  Find out an international event described in a local paper and compare the same event written up in another world newspaper all for free in PressReader. Create your family tree by using FamilySearch or Ancestry. And learn a language with the Bluebird Language app. There are so many great, free databases.

Which books or resources in the library do you find most interesting?

The Heritage Collection is filled with fascinating stories and research guides. I love reading the stories of settlers in Strathcona County, research books to investigate Métis roots, and genealogy how-to guides to further my knowledge.

Tell us about one book/movie/album/magazine that you really love.

I really enjoyed Clover Bar in the Making by J.P Berry. A fascinating story of Clover Bar Village in Strathcona County, which was taken down and is now the Clover Bar exchange, highway 16 (Yellowhead) and 214 (Anthony Henday).

When you're not reading or working you're...

I am a closet model trainer. I dream of creating an entire level of a house as a diorama in HO. You would see people camping in the mountains and swimming in a lake, ships in a river, charming countryside houses, and a town square with a weekly market and a tram going through—all in 1:87 scale.