Ju­lia’s job takes a novel twist

Waitaki Herald - - NEWS - By NI­COLA WOLFE

Oa­maru li­brar­ian Ju­lia de Ruiter is one of 13 se­lected na­tion­wide to take part in an Emerg­ing Lead­ers pro­gramme.

The pro­gramme has been cre­ated by the Li­brary and In­for­ma­tion As­so­ci­a­tion of New Zealand (LIANZA) to de­velop up and com­ing lead­ers in the in­dus­try.

De Ruiter, who’s pas­sion­ate about so­cial me­dia and tech­nol­ogy in the li­brary con­text, ap­plied for the pro­gramme fol­low­ing a sug­ges­tion from her boss and is thrilled with the se­lec­tion.

‘‘It’s ex­cit­ing. It’s a priv­i­lege to be a part of the pro­gramme. A lot of peo­ple want to do it so to be picked means they must see my po­ten­tial,’’ she said.

‘‘I’m very ex­cited by the chal­lenge to learn new skills and push my­self out­side my com­fort zone.’’

De Ruiter started work­ing at the Oa­maru Public Li­brary five years ago. She said work­ing for the li­brary was not her first choice for ca­reer, but she has grown to love the po­si­tion.

‘‘ I didn’t ac­tu­ally ‘ want’ to en­ter the field as such,’’ she laughs.

‘‘I was go­ing to take a gap year and work be­fore go­ing off to study oc­cu­pa­tional ther­apy, ap­plied for the job, got it and just haven’t left.

‘‘I’ve stayed be­cause I re­ally love my job, I have an amaz­ing boss, great col­leagues and an awe­some sup­port sys­tem around me. Plus I love Oa­maru.’’

Dur­ing her time work­ing at the li­brary, de Ruiter has com­pleted a di­ploma in in­for­ma­tion and li­brary stud­ies and cer­tifi­cate in lit­er­a­ture and ser­vices for chil­dren and young peo­ple.

The Emerg­ing Lead­ers pro- gramme will help take her ca­reer to the next level, she said.

‘‘It will also be a recog­nis­able course within the in­dus­try, not a qual­i­fi­ca­tion, just a good thing to have on your CV.’’

The pro­gramme will re­quire de Ruiter to un­der­take eight months of study – about 12 hours a week on­line – look­ing at ‘‘ex­clu­sive’’ top­ics to do with the de­vel­op­ing field of in­for­ma­tion here and across the world.

She has al­ready the op­por­tu­nity to at­tend con­fer­ences that have looked at sub­jects in­clud­ing blog­ging, kids’ book clubs and cre­ative strate­gies for en­cour­ag­ing kids to read.

The con­fer­ence was ‘‘amaz­ing but ex­haust­ing’’, she said.

De Ruiter has also be­gun study­ing to­wards a bach­e­lor of arts in com­mu­ni­ca­tion, li­brary and in­for­ma­tion stud­ies, which she will com­plete via cor­re­spon­dence through Open Polytech­nic.

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