Let the spotlight shine on the Spectrum Scholars! Join Spectrum Scholarship Sponsor ProQuest in congratulating the amazing students and professionals who have shaped the library profession for 15 years.
By Cindy Hohl
I believe that libraries transform and catapult learning experiences for everyone. Libraries naturally connect people to facilitate all forms of literacy through reading, navigating digital environments, exploring multicultural experiences and more. This is a very exciting time to find your fit in the library!
My own pathway to library service was not a traditional one. My first career was in casino marketing, where I studied customer behavioral patterns to anticipate their needs. Since customers do not walk away with anything tangible – they are buying an experience – casinos reinvest into their database to serve their current customers and reactivate those who have not returned. This practice offers a great return because the casinos already know who enjoys playing casino games and what their preferences are. Information retrieval through data mining provided fascinating information to see what people care about and fueled my passion to provide exemplary customer service.
In my current role as Customer Experience Manager at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, I work on the management council to support our internal and external customers through observational analysis, voice-of-the-customer feedback, usage patterns and environmental scans of supporting industries. I also manage our outreach and internal program plan, public and staff training classes, and our meeting spaces. Through it all, my goal is to help people see how the library increases the value of their communities. I want to feel that I am needed in my work, and this job keeps me motivated. I truly love what I do and I am excited to see what each day brings when I enter my office.
Library school was the next logical step in my career, and I am thrilled to be selected as ProQuest’s ALA Spectrum Scholar and study at Wayne State University. If anyone told me twelve years ago that I would be the first member of my family to move away from home to pursue my education, then to find my path to the library, I would not have believed them. I am Dakota and a member of the Santee Sioux Nation, so my desire will always be to help tribal communities access information, preserve language and customs, archive history, publish stories and increase all forms of literacy.
My education will elevate my career as real-world application meets the study of library science, and for that I am grateful. Being a nontraditional student and working full-time while pursuing my Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Management and Leadership and Master of Business Administration degree, I know a thing or two about perseverance. Libraries have helped me transform my mindset to think with a global perspective, and it is through that lens that I am excited to consider the possibilities of library service.
Cindy Hohl is married to a second-generation librarian who opened her eyes to the beauty of library work. They raise their two young daughters and three pups in Kansas.