Alexandra Farolan, Library Assistant | Courthouse Libraries BC
1. Tell us a little about your educational background and how you entered the legal information industry.
I am currently a Library Information and Technology Diploma student at Langara College. Prior to this, I worked on two certificate programs through the British Columbia Institute of Technology (Office Administrator with Technology and Medical Office Assisting). I worked as a registration and health records clerk for a few years in the hospitals. Managing patient records introduced me to the processes of information preservation and confidentiality which in turn piqued my interest in legislation pertaining to freedom of information. I've also had some personal experiences which have lead to my overall interest in examining opportunities in the legal industry. I generally find knowing more about my rights is empowering and being surrounded professionally in an industry that serves those who advocate and rally for rights is something I am excited to contribute to.
2. How has being involved in CALL helped you professionally (e.g. scholarships & grants, continuing education, networking)?
I joined CALL in January 2020 so I am definitely still green, but I've found the professional development opportunities and connecting with other members to be incredibly supportive and educational. There are many opportunities here in the association to be a part of and to contribute to. I have really enjoyed being paired up as a mentee in the mentorship program as it has provided me in gaining more insight and perspective on the industry and provides opportunity for professional rapport. Being the Members and Projects Profiles Coordinator has been more challenging than I anticipated and meeting deadlines might be something to work on...In saying that, it has been great to learn and connect a bit more with our members where I otherwise may not have!
3. What was your first library-related job?
Not a job, but I was part of a volunteer program in 2004 to 2005 called Katimavik where people ages 18 to 23 would live with each other and volunteer in the community across three provinces. I had two library volunteer rotations: Bibliothèque Publique De Tracadie-Sheila in Tracadie-Shelia, New Brunswick and the Jasper Municipal Library in Jasper, Alberta. I enjoyed putting the books back on the shelves and seeing what people were reading. I also learned some basic library protocols such as processing materials to send to other branches, checking materials out to clients, and minor repairs. I also worked with a great team at Indigo Books in morning operations from 2018 to 2020. I've been in my role as a library assistant with CLBC for a little over a year which has provided much learning experience in processing and cataloging legal materials and professional development examining important topics including but not limited to, systemic racism, understanding trauma, Indigenous human rights, etc.
4. What’s one blog, website, or Twitter account that you can’t go one day without checking?
As an information junkie, it is difficult to pick one. Here are a few links currently on rotation: rightsofchildren.ca https://vimeo.com/courthouselibrary
https://www.eddiemoorejr.com/21daychallenge - "For 21 days, do one action to further your understanding of power, privilege, supremacy, oppression, and equity"
Ruby Ibarra - She is a Filipina-American rapper that started a scholarship called Pinays Rising which was created to support fellow Filipina-Americans who demonstrate excellence in arts and/or social activism in pursuing higher education.
5. What are three things on your bucket list?
I'm currently focused on short-term goals so I'll share those: finish reading Oral History on Trial : Recognizing Aboriginal Narratives in the Courts by Bruce Granville Miller, give my car a professional detail job all by myself, and complete my diploma program.