Meet the team! Check back each month to learn more about the people who help the Ontario Library Service provide seamless access to programs and services that strengthen all public libraries in Ontario.
Name: Bailey Urso-Mahy
Position: JASI Support Analyst
I knew I wanted to work in libraries since I was about 16 years old – however I have never found myself in a public librarian role. I completed my undergraduate degree in Archaeology, and my first job after my MLIS was with an Archaeology firm cataloguing artefacts and creating a staff resource library. I spent the next seven years working in hospital libraries, both as part of a team and as a solo librarian. In that time, I worked with several ILSs, which is what brought me to the JASI team at OLS. I have been on the library side of working with an ILS and needing support (and sometimes not getting it), so I want to use that experience to offer the best services I can to our JASI libraries. Outside of work, I am a mom of two very energetic children. I love being active, especially outside, drinking copious amounts of coffee (which is also great outside), and making things – food, crafts, etc.
If you could become a character from any book who would you pick and why?
Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter. She is so authentic and unapologetically weird. She is confident and unwavering in her beliefs. I think those can be great qualities. Plus, who doesn’t love radish earrings?
My favourite meal is…
Pork Vindaloo. I have an uncle that introduced us to Indian cuisine at a young age and a few years back he gave me one of his cookbooks. We have experimented with many of the recipes in that book, but our favourite is Pork Vindaloo with homemade Naan. The Naan takes three days to make, but it is worth every minute of it.
A random and seldom known fact about me is…
I am a registered yoga instructor. Ten years ago I went to North Goa, India and completed my training in Ashtanga Yoga. Since then I have gone on to train in aerial yoga, fascial release, and pilates. I haven’t taught in two years, thanks to the pandemic and moving across the province, but I know I will get back into it one day. For now, I just enjoy “teaching” my kids (which mostly involves maybe two poses and then playing with cars on our yoga mats).
What was the most personally inspiring public library related work you’ve helped make a reality during your time with the OLS?
Working towards implementing the Connecting Public Libraries Initiative on behalf of the Province of Ontario has been a great experience. I was the libraries’ point of contact for Site Assessment Surveys and I have continued to be the contact person as the initiative has advanced. I have gotten to talk to a lot of libraries about internet-related things (the good and the bad) and it has been a wonderful experience to be able to offer them this opportunity to upgrade their internet options.