Librarians in Focus: Trecia Schell
What it was then, is not how it is now, it’s always changing, and that’s the thing about libraries. - Trecia Schell, Community Services Librarian, Pictou-Antigonish Regional Library
Trecia Schell has been with the Pictou-Antigonish Regional Library for five years. She works in its headquarters and is responsible for coordinating programs, including the Writer-in-Residence program. The program happens annually and runs for a series of weeks each year. Different writers are featured each year, depending on what their background is--ultimately the basics are always covered including what to write and how to write. Chris Benjamin is the featured artist in 2014.
The event is promoted through the library's website, weekly newspaper, radio, word of mouth and social media--information is shared as much as possible, making it a success in both turn out and writer selection. The workshop attendees range in age and occupation--everyone can benefit from the program.
What do you love most about the library?
What I love most about the library is how it is different things to different people. The stories in the library are shared stories. There are stories on the shelves, but there are also stories from the people that come in everyday.
What is the best moment you ever had at the Library?
The best moments would have to be the author readings, especially hosting the author readings. When you have the author in person to tell the story, it allows the reader to hear the story in the writer’s voice. Also, readers can ask questions about the story--authors tell the story behind the story, including the special significance. One of the most interesting moments was when authors Nazanin Afshin-Jam and Susan McClelland of The Tale of Two Nazanins did a book reading at the new Antigonish Library. The author did not see her book bound yet with the label and
spine--she realized the book was real when she held it in her hands in the library and realized that people would be able to read it.
What has the library taught you?
Patience and listening. There’s always lots of questions, you might not always find all of the answers.
What’s the best book you’ve ever read?
It is really hard to pick just one book! It depends on the mood you’re in--what you’re reading, and what you’re not reading. One book that I remember reading as a child is I Want to Go Home by Gordon Korman--it’s about being away at summer camp. Now I read stories to my nieces like Hug Time and some of those classics. While I continue to read the books from my Writer in Residence program, I also enjoy reading a lot of young adult fiction--it’s very innocent and true without being too complicated.
What was your first memory of the library?
I can remember doing "Skinny Marinky Dinky Dink" in a story-time circle. At the time I was living in Kitchener, Ontario, and I remember it was an intergenerational story time with Sharon, Lois, and Bram!
Did you ever think you’d end up working at a library?
No, it’s just one of those happy things that happened!
What are the connections that happen in libraries?
We work hard on partnering with our surrounding community. Being able to access the Internet--more and more documents are online, if you can’t afford to have the Internet at home, you can come to the library. There are interesting people that come into the library to talk. A lot of the programming is community led. Along with being a community resource for questions (i.e. where is the Town Hall and Tourist Bureau) – everything under the sun some days.
What’s the power of a library to inspire?
The library provides access to information no matter who you are. You don’t need to be a certain someone with a certain civic address to be able to come to the library--we’re open and accessible to everyone no matter who you are.
Describe the library in three words:
Colourful. Busy. Noisy.