Li­brar­ian‘s work full of va­ri­ety

This week’s com­mu­nity pro­file fea­tures Waitaki Dis­trict Li­braries & Ar­chive Youth Li­brar­ian Fiona Kerr.

Waitaki Herald - - PROFILE -

What is your oc­cu­pa­tion?

I am the Youth Li­brar­ian at Waitaki Dis­trict Li­braries & Ar­chive. My role in­volves man­ag­ing the chil­dren’s and young adults’ books in­clud­ing buy­ing new books and choos­ing old ones to take out of the li­brary. I also run ac­tiv­i­ties for chil­dren and their fam­i­lies in­clud­ing sto­ry­time ses­sions and Wrig­gle and Rhyme as well as school hol­i­day pro­grammes and class vis­its. I help any­one who comes into the li­brary with ac­cess­ing dig­i­tal col­lec­tions such as eBooks and Au­dio­books. It’s a role with a lot of va­ri­ety and is a great way to connect with peo­ple of all ages from the Waitaki Dis­trict. Favourite sports team? The Black Caps and I was a fan be­fore their great ef­fort in the Cricket World Cup.

What char­ity would you give money to? Kid­sCan. Are you a night owl or a lark?

Nei­ther re­ally. I’m most alive mid-af­ter­noon.

Are you a dog or a cat per­son?

Hmm, I like both but pre­fer vis­it­ing them at my par­ents’ house rather than be­ing re­spon­si­ble for my own. Tell us about your fam­ily? I live in Oa­maru with my part­ner Greg who is from Scot­land orig­i­nally. My par­ents live in Dunedin and I love be­ing able to head there to visit them and for them to come to Oa­maru. I have two younger broth­ers who have five chil­dren be­tween them. I love be­ing an aunty to my four neph­ews and one niece and wish I could spend more time with them.

What is the name of book that had a big im­pact on you in your child­hood?

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C S Lewis. I used to sit in my wardrobe with a torch and read it. I loved the idea of the wardrobe tak­ing me to an­other world. I re­ally think this played a part in my ob­ses­sion with other coun­tries.

What would you be do­ing if you weren’t do­ing this?

Trav­el­ling the world and meet­ing peo­ple. Best ad­vice you ever got? To be your­self. But this has taken me a long time to take on board. Favourite other coun­try? Hav­ing learnt Ja­panese for nine years and teach­ing it for about the same time, it will al­ways have a spe­cial place in my heart. How­ever, I am also in love with Scot­land af­ter vis­it­ing there a few times with my part­ner. Do you have any hob­bies? Play­ing the ukulele and lis­ten­ing to mu­sic any place, any time. What is your favourite food? This is a tough one! If a dish has pota­toes and/or cheese it’s a win­ner with me.

What do you love about the re­gion?

The friendly peo­ple and the re­laxed life­style. What was your first job? My first work ex­pe­ri­ence job was ac­tu­ally at Dunedin Public Li­brary. Then my first paid job af­ter fin­ish­ing uni­ver­sity was at the sou­venir shop at Mt Cook.

What’s the one sin­gle thing you’d re­ally like to have an an­swer to?

This ques­tion! Sorry, I don’t have any­thing deep and philo­soph­i­cal that has been gnaw­ing at me for an an­swer.

What were you like at high school?

I was talk­a­tive but much shyer than I am now. I had friends from lots of dif­fer­ent groups but al­ways had a core of close friends.

If you could live in any time in his­tory, when would it be?

When I was study­ing Ja­panese, I was ob­sessed with the Tale of Genji which was writ­ten in the Heian Pe­riod: The last di­vi­sion of clas­si­cal Ja­panese his­tory run­ning from 794 to 1185. I loved the story of those living in the high court. Of course, I don’t know what it would’ve been like as a regular per­son but I imag­ine for those with money and sta­tus, it must’ve been a spe­cial life. Favourite quo­ta­tion? ‘‘Just keep swim­ming’’ – Dory from Find­ing Nemo.

Youth li­brar­ian Fiona Kerr.

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