I received my Bachelor of Science in Biomedical engineering in 2014 and, just two days after graduation, I moved to Vancouver from Iran. While I was a university student, I worked at a medical equipment company while studying. I also volunteered at one of the most respected hospitals in Tehran. You might assume I continued my education in the Biomedical field. But I did NOT! I decided to start something very different rather than my background, but something that I really love. If you have ever read The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost, you will know what I mean: I decided to become a librarian and I am now enrolled in the Library and Information Technology program. I am working part-time and volunteering for the Canadian Red Cross and my local library.
I want to be a librarian one day in order to fulfill my dream of making libraries a place to gather people of various backgrounds and cultures, and to assist them in accessing and using the information they need. Nothing in this world makes me happier than helping other people.
Local libraries are one of my favourite places to spend time. In one of my visits to North Vancouver City Library I came across a Library Champions Project banner near the front desk, and I signed up for the information session right away.
In my country, libraries are usually serious places for studying. People are not allowed to talk together in study areas and I have not seen anything there but books. Libraries here are very different from what we have in our country. For example, the North Vancouver City Library has a Seed Club – you can get your favourite seeds, free of charge, and grow your own food. This was absolutely surprising to me. The only thing that is pretty much the same between libraries in Iran and libraries here are the reading clubs where folks get together to talk about a specific book or a topic.
I enjoyed every moment of the Library Champions Project. I made new friends and connections, but the best part of this for me was meeting Helene Rasmussen, the facilitator of the project. She is very caring and inspiring, and I will not forget her.
In March 2016, I became aware of the Library Small Grants program through Cara Pryor, Head of Community, Program and Service Development at North Vancouver City Library. She suggested that I apply for this grant with the purpose of building cross-cultural connections in the community through the library. My project was to create a craft event at the library to bring newcomers and long-term residents together. The selection committee chose my proposal. They liked it so much that they asked me to host my event twice to give more people the opportunity to participate. This resulted in double the amount of grant funds requested.
I have visited many libraries in the Lower Mainland, and I have to say the West Vancouver Memorial Library is my favorite. I love this library because it is very close to where I live, it has a beautiful patio that you can hang out with your friends, and it has Monday Movie Nights where Friends of Library serve you with fancy water and popcorn! Isn’t it great? There is also an ESL class at this library called Let’s Talk! and I am a HUGE fan of this class. The West Vancouver Memorial Library staffs are super friendly.
I do miss Iran. I miss my family and my friends and I miss the sunny warm days, but I have found many things to love about my new home. My favourite places in the Greater Vancouver area
are the Vancouver Art Gallery, Horseshoe Bay, Gastown, Deep Cove, English Bay, and the Capilano Suspension Bridge for Canyon Lights. I love cats, playing the piano and reading books. I love sushi rolls and I think Vancouver is the place to be for this.