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Interview by Tara Baliat, Public Relations Specialist
1. What inspired you to pursue a career in library and information science?
As a sophomore in high school, I always liked reading and spending time in the library. An opportunity came about to job-shadow my mom’s friends at the Ionia Public Library. My experience at the public library involved putting away books and helping to direct people towards what they were looking for. I was also a Teacher’s Assistant in my high school library, and the librarian I worked with there gave me the advice to get a liberal arts undergraduate degree, if I wanted to eventually pursue the MLIS program.
2. How is your library degree relevant and/or useful in your current position?
I think of myself as an in-the-background librarian. I work to provide information via ProQuest databases. I acquire content from publishers, and ensure that the content that we have is accurately recorded and complete, to help researchers find the most valuable content for their projects.
3. Describe your position as a day in the life of a ProQuest librarian.
In addition to working with publishers and providers, I receive, process, and develop records for scholarly journals so that they can be indexed. That way they are discoverable through the researcher’s library.
4. What is something that you love about your job?
The people that I work with! In my position, I spend a lot of time at the computer, so it’s always nice to take a break from the screen and have a quick conversation and catch up with my colleagues.
5. What career advice would you give to a current LIS student?
Make sure that the coursework, internships and career opportunities that you focus on are relevant to where you want to go with your career. Talk to people in the types of positions that you are interested in. Librarians are inherently helpful and welcome being tapped for career information! If nothing else, be sure to get experience working and volunteering in a library.
6. What is the best piece of career advice you ever received?
“The whole point of life is to be irritated.” When you are irritated, you will take action and do something about it. I also had a wonderful mentor and boss. He led by example and possessed a strong work ethic. I learned from him to always succeed on your own merits.
7. Comment on how you think librarians of the future will spend most of their time?
I believe as the amount of information available continues to grow, the need for librarians is going to increase. It will be more valuable for the librarian to know the community that they serve and anticipate their information needs.
8. Other than the great news that you were recently engaged to be married, what can you tell us about yourself that we might never guess?
I don’t spend ALL of my time reading or behind a computer. I own a bass boat and go fishing with my family during the summer. I enjoy writing and have been working on a novel for some time now. I don’t have any cats - not all librarians are cat people! I actually have two small dogs.