Thursday, May 12, 2016

Interview Post: Annette DeFaveri

Annette's Desk

Annette DeFaveri

Current job?

Executive Director, British Columbia Library Association

How long have you been in the field?

MLIS, 2002

How Do You Work?

What is your office/workspace like?

Small, shared, cramped, messy, and turquoise. The space is also happy, collegiate, supportive, progressive, and intellectual.

How do you organize your days?
Every day is different.  As a result I prioritize, or re-prioritize, almost every morning. I keep lists that articulate short-term and long-term priorities. From these lists I extrapolate my activities. I used to have a “mid-term” list but noticed that the mid-term list was a black hole.  I’d put things on the mid-term list that I hadn’t thought through or was confused about. So really, what I have currently is a “right now” list and a “later” list. Professional organizers are horrified.  

What do you spend most of your time doing?
I spend way too much time doing email. I’d rather be doing the planning, organizing, thinking, and writing parts of the job. In fact, I’d rather do almost anything than answer email.

What is a typical day like for you?
I schedule between 1 and 3 meetings per day. The purpose of the meetings differ, but I try to mix meetings that have an overall strategic component, an advocacy aspect, and meetings that focus on building relationships and partnerships. In between times I work on a variety of projects that support the association’s strategic goals and objectives. The work is intense and varied and suits my need to have several disparate things on the go at once.

What are you reading right now?
Portraits: John Berger on Artists, by John Berger
Game of Mirrors (an Inspector Salvo Montalbano book), by Andrea Camilleri
The Horrors: An A to Z of Funny Thoughts on Awful Things, by Charles Demers

What's the best professional advice you've ever received?
Without a doubt the most important piece of advice I ever received was to always have three answers to any question. This influenced every aspect of my work from how I approach a problem, how I think about strategic planning, how I engage in advocacy work, to how I define my professional aspirations.

What have you found yourself doing at work that you never expected?
Event planning. I start every story about my new experiences with event planning by saying, “I’m not making this s**t up.”

Inside the Library Studio

What is your favorite word?

What is your least favorite word?

What profession other than your own would you love to attempt?
I daydream about being an innkeeper, a chef, a painter, a poet, or a political speech writer! (The alliteration is accidental!)

What profession would you never want to attempt?

Everything Else

What superpower do you wish you had?
I wish I had the singing power of the Sirens, not to lure sailors to rocky shipwrecks, but to lure traditionalists and new traditionalists to progressive thinking, a passion for social justice issues, an inclination toward taking risks, and a focus on challenging the status quo.

What are you most proud of in your career?
The friends I’ve made.

If you're willing to share, tell about a mistake you made on the job.
It took me a long time to understand the role of “compromise” when working toward larger goals and objectives.  Not understanding “compromise” meant that I made mistakes because I thought I had to fight every fight to the death for the principles and politics that I believe in. This meant I was exhausted most of the time. I felt as if I lost every significant battle. Learning to compromise -- in a considered and intentional way -- helped me understand that fighting for what I believe in was a long term commitment and I needed to be strategic in both my approach and the fight.

When you aren't at work, what are you likely doing?
Reading, cooking…can I say making love with my partner??...learning to meditate (I keep trying to learn, but never seem to get there). 

Who else would you like to see answer these questions?
Tara Robertson

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