Susan Cleyle is the Director of DELTS (Distance Education, Learning and Teaching Support) at Memorial University of Newfoundland. Prior to this she served as the associate university librarian at Memorial’s Queen Elizabeth II Library from 2003-12. She is currently the chair of The Partnership, the network of provincial, regional and territorial library associations of Canada.
Describe your favourite memory or experience with a library.
I remember as a child going to the very small public library in my hometown. The library was next to my grandfather’s house and I would often stop there after school. The librarian, while stern, was very helpful and she always found me great books to read. I loved Nancy Drew at the time and she made sure there was a good supply of that series. New titles just magically appeared!
How has reading made a difference in your life?
I don’t know that it is so much reading as the quest for knowledge and information that has had an impact on me. Reading is the means by which I have acquired that knowledge. Knowledge provides options, and options open up possibilities.
If you were a book, what genre would your story be?
Historical Romance – I am a hopeless romantic.
Tell me something that’s true, that almost nobody agrees with you on (for example, your favourite fact or something about yourself).
Archie comics are okay for kids to read – in any language. My kids liked them in English and French.
What’s the best idea you’ve “incubated” at a library?
Great question! Not sure if this is the best idea but clearing large tracks of space in a library to create gathering space. Shifting collections, replacing study carrels with comfy sofa while not revolutionary, at the time changed the idea of an academic library for many at my university. It was a case of space revitalization and it brought students back to the library.
What is the biggest misconception you feel a recent grad has about entering into the field of librarianship?
That library administration (Director, University Librarian, and Chief Librarian) is not fulfilling career goal. It is stressful, yes.But it is incredibly rewarding to be in a position to influence, mentor and open doors.
What is the most powerful interview question?
What would you like us (the Committee) to know that we haven’t already asked you about?
If you could say one thing to all of Ontario’s library staff, what would it be?
The Canadian landscape is changing every day and libraries change and improve lives. Don’t forget that you are having a massive, positive impact on so many lives in Ontario!
Why should Super Conference attendees attend your session?
Anyone who works in a library is a leader. Our session will provide you with practical communication skills that you can put to use immediately.
Annesha Hutchinson is the Marketing and Communications Coordinator for the Ontario Library Association. She currently tweets for @ONLibraryAssoc. She can be reached at ahutchinson [at] accessola.com.