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Patty - Librarian at VPL

I’ve been a librarian since 2007 but I also worked in libraries when I was a student, both at UBC and UVic in the 1970s so library work is in my blood. In those early days, my jobs were more on the clerical side as I was not yet a librarian. I really enjoyed the work so when it came time to choose a vocation later in life, I was drawn to Library School. I managed to get into the master's programme at UBC in 2005.

I’m turning 70 this year, so many of my friends have retired, but I am so very fond of my job: helping folks access books, movies, and so much more via the library, that I am not in a hurry to give up my work. As a Vancouver Public Library librarian, I always enjoy my interactions with people, which is a large part of the job. I also really love the materials that I deal with and I must confess that I cannot resist taking them home when I find them interesting.

I have a bunch of favourite experiences as a librarian but since you have asked, one of them was my chance to host a programme for the Summer Reading Club at one of our branches. There was a group called Cinema Zoo which came to entertain the Summer Reading Club kids. In their programme, they brought snakes, tarantulas, a flying squirrel, and just all kinds of little animals. The children's librarian at one of the branch libraries at the time was phobic about snakes so she did not want to be there for it. I felt lucky to be able to step in for her to host the programme. Not the least of the fun for me was that I was able to have four tarantulas on me, clinging to the front of my t-shirt. It was an amazing experience and I’m pretty sure it was a once-in-a-lifetime one.

There’s been a lot of development in the Dunbar neighbourhood over the past few years. Dunbar used to be a somewhat underdeveloped area as far as retail and high-end housing but things are definitely changing. Stongs, one of our local grocery stores, for example, was a kind of homegrown family business but it is much more high-end now, it seems. I still love it but it’s not the same as it was before they moved into their bigger, newer store. There’s been a change in the atmosphere of the neighbourhood but I think that Dunbar still feels like an integrated little community. I do love this part of Vancouver and, as a resident, want to see it develop in a really good way. Many of the folks I work with at the Dunbar Library are from other parts of the city but they still appreciate this neighbourhood and want to see the library as an integral and very positive part of it.


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