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A little something extra

Kathleen Scheaffer
Librarian, Outreach and Instructional Coordinator, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto
LinkedIn: Kathleen Scheaffer
Twitter: kt4achange
Pintrest: kt4achange
Facebook: www.facebook.com/kt4achange

I am a Librarian at the Faculty of Information, University of Toronto. In my role as an Outreach and Instructional Coordinator, I work closely with faculty, researchers, professionals, and students to enrich teaching and learning opportunities by providing a locus for the application of social, practical, and theoretical concepts. My research interests and pursuits stretch across an array of information studies topics: collaboration, mobile phone usage, information literacy, community outreach, and social media. This year’s research project that I conducted with Professor Rhonda McEwen explored the online information practices of persons mourning and grieving the death of another via Facebook. This includes an examination of how or if these practices and Facebook’s terms of use affect the grieving and mourning process and/or the memory of the deceased.

When I am not librarying, I identify as a vegan cycling hair-styling bunny momma who is into Ping-Pong, karaoke, axe throwing, dancing, social experiments, meeting new people, and all things awesome. Basically, I am passionate about connection, bikes, collaboration, bunnies, communication, animal rights, and good hair. To express these passions through action, I seasonally moonlight at my local bike store and built one of my bikes there, Curbside Cycle, have adopted the most wonderful bunny, Mocha, from Rabbit Rescue, have maintained a vegan lifestyle for 15+ years, support Farm Sanctuary, and take about 3–5 hair clients/week.

Hair clients?
Obviously, my first clients were my dolls and haircutting Barbie; however, since the awkward age of 13, I have been cutting, styling, and colouring my own hair and my friends’ hair. This hobby began with one simple thought after a botched haircut: If each time I go for a cut the stylist doesn’t listen to me, and each time I leave frustrated with 6 months of growing out to do, I might as well take on this feat myself.

I, like many, wanted and still want “the hair dream”: hairstyles that require the littlest amount of effort but always looks great. However, what I would get from a stylist was a haircut that required me to use product, blow dry, and then flat iron or curl my hair—BARF! Sure, when I left the salon the cut would sometimes resemble the picture I brought in, but the next day, when the replication of the process was left in my hands, a span of 5 minutes, and a $2/ week allowance, it looked like Mr. Hanky. Truly, I had better things to do when I was in my pubescent years, like play my Game Boy, practise with my swim team, and talk on the phone for hours with my crush of the week (some things never change).

Refining for higher relevance!
Directly after grad school at U of T, I went to hair school to refine my established hair skills and fulfil my lifelong dream of bringing better hair to those around me while simultaneously ensuring my vegan values were maintained.

Naturally, I chose Aveda Institute as my hair school, as their products are ethically sourced and produced. During my schooling at Aveda, I was fortunate to meet incredibly talented stylists and friends through my program and part-time work at Civello on Queen Street. However, halfway through the program, an opportunity I couldn’t refuse at the Faculty of Information surfaced—a 7.5-month contract to be the Reference and Instructional Librarian. Thus, I am, like Frenchie in Grease, an official beauty school dropout. I am extremely fortunate that the relationships I built and strengthened during and after that contract provided me with valuable continuing education and locales for taking clients: Lora Sousa at Fringe and Sydney Woods when she was at Garrison’s By the Park Barbershop.

What is the most rewarding thing about your hobby?
The most integral component for a rewarding experience with a hair client is communication. Only through the application of good communication skills can the stylist learn more about the person in his/her chair and walk that person out the door feeling better than when he/she came in.

How your professional life informs your recreational life? How your recreational life informs your professional life?
Being an uncompartmentalized person, professional life regularly crosses over into my recreational life and vice versa. Currently, 10+ of my hair clients are amazing professors, students, librarians, and alumni of the faculty I work in. Additionally, a couple of hair clients have turned into research partners and collaborators on various Faculty of Information initiatives.

Are librarians private about everything?
“‘No regrets’ means never wishing for a different past.” Thus, I don’t really have secrets or a past that I am not willing to discuss. Got a question for this gal that’s dedicated to looks and books? Just ask!