7 Questions with Mark Black

This month’s issue of 7 Questions with AAAL Members features Mark Black, Manager Library and Archives at Banff Centre.


MarkBlack11. When was the last time you were nervous?
Every time I have to speak in front of others especially in a professional setting – so probably this morning.

2. Have you ever had something happen to you that you thought was bad, but it turned out to be for the best?
There was a job I interviewed for, was shortlisted for, and really wanted that I ultimately didn’t get. I was devastated about it and struggled with why I wasn’t a fit. Coming close to something and not getting it makes you re-evaluate the direction you are taking in your career. I moved on (mostly) and sought out opportunities that would help me take the next steps in my career. I still dwell on what if’s, but I’m happy with where I am.

3. What songs are included on the soundtrack to your life?
Top 5: Books About Miles Davis – The Ergs!, Definition – Black Star, Wish Fulfillment – Sonic Youth, The Last – Childish Gambino, Gossip Folks – Missy Elliott

4. What is your best piece of life advice?
“Is there blood?” This came from Janice Fiander, my manager at Cole Harbour Library. It has served me well and I have passed it onto my own staff. Before stressing out or panicking in a situation and making a rash decision, take a breather, and ask yourself, “How serious is this? Is there blood?” Take a second to figure out what’s important, what’s at stake, and then (try to) make the right decision.

5. What are some of your favourite podcasts?
My Favourite Murder, Surprisingly Awesome, Dead Authors, Baseball Tonight

6. What is your proudest non-work related accomplishment?
I wrote a book about the punk band NoMeansNo. I had a lot of help and it happened because of the good will of so many. I never properly acknowledged the support, patience, and encouragement provided me by my partner at the time. I could not have written that book without her.

7. What is your favourite quote?
All bad things are exaggerated in the middle of the night. When you lie awake, you only think of bad things. Julian Barnes


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