An Introspective: Co-op and The Health Canada Departmental Library


Agathe Holowatinc’s Co-op work term as an Assistant Reference Librarian at the Health Canada Departmental Library confirmed her appreciation of librarianship and showed her how rewarding and enjoyable this profession could be. “I feel like I have given back by contributing to the Library’s mission as an information specialist, and by being a good team member and co-worker,” says Holowatinc.

At the end of her work term, Holowatinc was able to reflect on her experiences and make connections to her graduate studies. Holowatinc comments, “I left this position feeling well prepared, professionally, for my future career. It also really complimented my Graduate studies.”

In her position as an assistant reference librarian, Holowatinc gained experience in providing reference service in a special library environment, comparing, analyzing and synthesizing content of a wide range of information sources, participating in collection development and client consultations and discussing and analyzing trends in information demand, utilization, and delivery. For Holowatinc, the “thank you’s” she “received from Library clients for working on their research requests were really a reward in themselves.”

Holowatinc also participated as a member of library work teams and committees, providing advice and recommendations on library policies, collections, e-resources, and services. For Holowatinc, participating in discussions and meetings is important for ones professional development. “You are a professional and your input is valuable…so participate in discussions and meetings as much as you can. Everyone benefits from learning from each other, students from librarians and vice versa,” says Holowatinc.

Holowatinc “recommends this position to any student of library and information studies who is interested in special libraries, health science libraries, and government libraries.” “Challenge yourself to go beyond your comfort zone, you will learn more about your chosen profession and yourself in the process,” she says.

For Holowatinc, it is important to pursue your “interests through as many avenues as possible,” even if it means you have to extend beyond your job description or assigned duties. She is very thankful for this opportunity and she can confidently say, “I know for sure now that a career in librarianship will continue to challenge me and help me grow personally and intellectually.”

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