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Manitoba Library Worker Profile: Sarah Lee

Posted in Board, and Profiles

To showcase the interesting and important work being done by libraries across the province, each month the Manitoba Library Association will be interviewing one library worker about the unique ways that they deliver library services to Manitobans. To start, this month we have current MLA President Sarah Lee!
In addition to being our board’s president, Sarah Lee is an Electronic Resources Librarian at the University of Manitoba and has been working in libraries for 7 years. Check out the Q&A with this born and raised Manitoban and avid Tolkien fan below!

Can you tell us a bit about your library system or branch? Is there anything unique or unusual about it?

I work in Elizabeth Dafoe of the University of Manitoba Libraries. So, as you can guess, this system is for University of Manitoba students, faculty, and staff. Something interesting about Elizabeth Dafoe library is that it is the largest academic library in the province.

I did my undergrad at the University of Manitoba and have a nostalgic connection to Elizabeth Dafoe. I spent many hours reading and working here as a student. I suppose I’ve come full circle from student life to librarian life, since I now spend many hours reading and working here again.

What is one thing you wish more people knew about your work?

One thing I wish more people understood about my work in Electronic Resources, is that the process of acquiring, licensing, providing access, maintaining, troubleshooting, analyzing, and evaluating (hey it’s a life cycle!) requires an entire team of folks to keep those eBooks, journals, streaming videos, and articles running. Perhaps some people think that everything you need is “on the internet” but the availability of desirable content and reliable information shouldn’t be taken for granted. What most people never see is the many folks working behind the scenes that keep those resources at your fingertips.

What is something happening at your library that you’re excited about?

Something I’m excited about at UM Libraries is the Indigenous librarian internship. As a proud Métis librarian and someone who’s worked in libraries before earning their MLIS, I can attest to the benefits that working experience has on your learning experience. Peer and financial support sure help too! And so, I love this opportunity for up-and-coming Indigenous graduates!

For information, the Indigenous Internship is an opportunity for two Indigenous graduates to work in UM Libraries while pursuing a Master of Information and Library Studies degree through the University of Alberta’s online program.

By chance, if you know of anyone who may be interested, please visit the UM website for more details!

What are you reading/watching/playing right now?

When I find some quiet time between work, MLA, gardening, and home renovations, I find myself hooked on Stardew Valley. It’s one of those “cozy games” based on farming. I’m slightly obsessed with my virtual farm; it makes up for the limitations of my real-life homestead.

We’re always looking for more library workers to feature each month! Are you doing something interesting at your library that you want to share, or you know someone in the province that is? Reach out to us at