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John Mutford,The Library Manger of the YKPL

For this True North Tale I sat down with John the Library Manager at the Yellowknife Public Library and to get our chat started I asked John If working with books was something he always wanted to do.

Working with books to some family, love, in fact, the last time I went to visit my parents, I found my old books that I had as a child and in the back of them my sister and I had written due dates and big names for people. We used to play library a lot when I was a kid. However, I didn’t pursue a career in it until later in my career. I didn’t really think I guess that there were jobs in library anymore and how mistaken I was. So what I realized that no, there still positions available and still vibrant to work in a library that I pursued.

Just like so many other people before him, John tells me how he fell in love with the North after moving here.

I didn’t move north initially, but not to Yellowknife initially. I was a teacher before becoming a librarian and that’s what brought me to Nunavut. That was back in 2001. And just finishing education degrees. My wife and I both had education degrees. There were recruiters that were going to the university and really sold us on the idea of Nunavut we were very excited to learn about that part of the world and the new culture and just the adventure part of it. We plan to just take it one year at a time and see if we liked it or if it was a good fit for us. And then the north I guess got in our blood as it happens to so many people and one year turned into 21 years now. So we moved from that was in Rankin Inlet that we went to initially and then we went to a Iqaluit and then we moved over to Yellowknife in 2008.

John really enjoyed visiting the Yellowknife public library before he even started working there. And while I was talking with him, he shared a really fun memory. He has a visiting the library with his son.

I guess a favorite memory I have of those times that boring. chess game from the front counter and playing with my son and he was only well he was very young at the time and he was beating me. And he was gathering quite the audience of people who were at the library and people I’ve never met before and they were sort of cheering him on and it was just a really neat experience. We even had a chalkboard at home why we decided to burrow in there. I have no idea but it’s a favorite memory and that stuck with me for sure.

And to finish off my chatter with John from the Yellowknife Public Library. He tells me one of his favorite parts of getting to work at the library is interacting with people who share the same passion for books as he does.

One of my all time favorite is meeting as the guy who was here daily and was just read comics and graphic novels every day and that’s my love as well. So noticing that excerpt it’s tricky, more conversations with him and seeing how excited he was about them and usually the staff works on the displays in the library for various themes and topics that we’re trying to promote. But I ran the idea past him if he wanted to do his own display of his favorite manga and graphic novels and he was all over it and that’s a cherished memory to me because he was so excited about it.- John Mutford, The Library Manger at The Yellowknife Public Library

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