Catie Sahadath Image

An Interview with Emerging Leader Catie Sahadath

Tell us about your library job. What do you love about it?

I am the Social Sciences Data Librarian at the University of Ottawa Library. My primary role is providing support for data resources to faculty and students whose research requires secondary resources. This includes helping them with finding, interpreting, manipulating, and analyzing data resources. I work in a small branch that is situated right in the Faculty of Social Sciences building, though I am part of a larger data/GIS/government information team that is based at our main library. I am also the liaison librarian for Feminist and Gender Studies, and Social Work.

Sometimes I’m overcome with excitement when I think about how much I enjoy my work. I get to interact with students and faculty, and helping them out brings me a lot of satisfaction. I work in a supportive team environment, which allows me to explore new and innovative ideas, while helping out my colleagues with theirs. It also helps that I really like data. I’m very task- and process-oriented, and working with data allows me to leverage that trait.

Where do you see yourself going from here, career-wise?

At the end of my career I want to be able to look back on it all and know unequivocally that I embraced positive change, lifted up my colleagues, and left the profession in a better state than it was in when I started. I want to know that I did this to the best of my ability, making the most positive impact that I possibly could have.

I hesitate to select one ideal job path, because I know that any number of directions could help me reach my end goal. But I do know that I’m an ambitious lady, and that my skills and talents are suited to leadership. Because of this, I believe that the most effective way for me to encourage positive change, lift up my colleagues, and ameliorate the profession is by seeking out leadership opportunities, so that’s the general direction that I’m pointing my career in.

Why did you apply to be an Emerging Leader? What are you most excited about?

I found out about the Emerging Leader program from a former colleague of mine whom I respect a lot, who was a participant last year. She loved the program, and that was the reason I initially looked into it. Once I learned more about the Emerging Leaders program, I began to discover that the program objectives of developing leadership for professional service were in line with my own goals.

I’m most excited about being part of a support network with other Emerging Leaders from outside of Canada, as well as with LITA members. I’ve participated in some leadership programs with a Canadian focus, and I really value my program peers north of the 49th parallel. I’m happy to begin developing a similar network south of the border!

What are your favorite things to do when you’re not working?

I paddle! Since high school I have been involved with Dragon Boat paddling. I’m on a competitive women’s team called the Ottawa Galley Girls, and we’re currently training to qualify for the Club Crew World Championships. In the summer this means lots of time on the water, and in the winter it means lots of time at the gym.

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