Robin-Lee Vance says she has always been an avid reader. Several of her jobs over the years involved books and reading.
Vance says when she first went to work full time, she worked in bookstores in Edmonton.
“I loved working with the books and the bookstore’s customers,”says Vance. “In a bookstore, a lot of days are just like Christmas – you get to unpack brand new merchandise and watch the customers get excited over the new book titles.”
After a while, Vance explains she went back to college to get a Marketing Management Diploma because she could take courses in retail management.
Vance says several years later, she returned to bookstores and managed a stores in southern Ontario.
“Purchasing books and connecting customers with their desired titles or subjects was the best part of my work.”
When Vance moved to Slave Lake, she worked for High Prairie School Division as a School Library Technician, managing the library at Roland Michener Secondary School. During her job at Roland she got to purchase the books that students wanted to read or that teachers needed as classroom resources.
“I loved it when reluctant readers picked up a book and got engrossed in reading.”
Later on, Vance worked as the Program Coordinator at the Rotary Club of Slave Lake Public Library when the library opened up in temporary quarters after the 2011 fire destroyed the library.
Vance explains that she got to set up library programs, such as the Afternoon Movie Time, Lego at the Library, Preschool Story time, Summer Reading Club, Senior’s Talks and Adult Book Club.
“I enjoyed developing fun ideas for library patrons of all ages.”
Vance says over the year’s she has been involved in book clubs, taking some women, who are also avid readers, adding some good food and a lively discussion about books. Vance adds the results were memorable times. She says along the way, she has been a board member on two different library boards, helping establish the direction and resources available to public libraries in Slave Lake and Mackenzie, British Columbia.
Types of books Vance likes to read are fiction, mystery, memoirs, and non-fiction.
“Much of the fiction I read is set outside of North America.”
Vance mentions two of her favourite fiction books are A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry and Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts, which are set in India.
“I am a great fan of Dick Francis mysteries and still find titles I haven’t read.” Vance says currently she is reading Call the Midwife trilogy by Jennifer Worth, a memoir of a young midwife sent to work in the poorest section of London, England in the 1950s.
Vance also enjoys non-fiction. She says one of her favourites is Med Head: My Knock-Down Drag-Out Drugged-Up Battle with My Brain by James Patterson, about a teen’s battle with Tourette’s syndrome and OCD.
“I always have a stack of books waiting to be read and usually read about three titles at a time.” Vance states all she reads are in print versions. She hasn’t yet adapted to all the new electronic formats although she adds audiobooks are great when travelling by car.