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Introducing "Meet the Librarian"
ProQuest values librarians, and as a longstanding supporter of libraries and librarianship, we believe in investing in the future of the profession. In an effort to provide library students insight into their career options, we are introducing the blog series "Meet the Librarian," which spotlights librarians in various positions throughout the ProQuest business.
ProQuest employs librarians in all areas of our business in support of our commitment to delivering high-quality content and innovative research in information solutions. Our librarians use their research experience and passion for knowledge to perform their roles and serve ProQuest’s users.
Describe your position as a day in the life of a ProQuest librarian.
I often describe my job to friends as a “traffic cop for incoming journals.” I work at ProQuest’s headquarters in Ann Arbor, where journals are received. I then check the journals into our systems, preprocess them and send them to a vendor for manufacturing into electronic documents. From there, the documents are then edited and indexed by our editorial staff.
How is your library degree relevant and/or useful in your current position?
I am responsible for some article and journal selection for the ProQuest database Library and Information Science (LISA), and for other social science databases.
What is something that you love about your job?
Our office adopted many of the roles for developing the Cambridge Scientific Abstracts. This was a large undertaking as their procedures were vastly different than other manufacturing practices at ProQuest. I was part of the team that tackled the previous methods and created process improvements that really advanced CSA manufacturing.
What inspired you to pursue a career in library and information science?
I received my bachelor’s degree in political science but that didn’t present many job opportunities. I loved my first job, as a library page at my local library, the Foster Library in Lansing. I had a friend who was in an MLIS program that she enjoyed. I decided to research MLIS programs and decided on the program at Wayne State, where I concentrated on Public Libraries.
What career advice would you give to a current LIS student interested in doing your job?
As technologies continue to move materials into digital and electronic resources, I think that it’s most important to focus and concentrate on developing skills in computer systems and programs. I would recommend coursework and classes like Introduction to Databases, Software Productivity Tools, and Website Development. Also, with more content becoming available via open access, finding good sources will be increasingly important.
What is the best piece of career advice you ever received?
Attend networking events!
What advice do you have for students or researchers to help them get the most use out of the library?
Figure out what library consortium exists in your area so you can access sources at other libraries that aren’t available at your local library. You can then request resources from those libraries to be sent to you. Most Michigan libraries are members.
Comment on how you think librarians of the future will spend most of their time.
I believe that librarians in the future and even today will have to be more technically advanced than previously required. Much of the time spent in the library will be helping patrons use computers to navigate the Internet, navigate search engines and finding other online (library) sources.
Finally, what can you tell us about yourself that we might never guess?
Geocaching is awesome! It is a game where you use GPS units to locate objects that other players have hidden. It’s jokingly referred to as “the game where you use multi-million dollar satellites to find Tupperware in the woods.”