1) Tell us your current position and job duties.
I am the Metadata & Digital Curation Librarian at Grand Valley State University. Officially, that means I provide leadership and guidance in the development and implementation of data management strategies that will support discovery, access, management, and preservation of the University’s digital assets and resources, and I assess user needs in order to develop appropriate descriptive, structural and administrative metadata schemes for complex heterogeneous collections. In a nutshell: I’m the library’s metadata guru, and I try to ensure that our digital assets of all types and levels of complexity are preserved and accessible for as long as they are needed, which is harder than it sounds given the fragile nature of digital objects.
2) How did studying at NCCU SLIS help you prepare for your current work?
Coursework in academic and digital librarianship obviously helped, as did meaningful practicums in those areas. I was also lucky enough to get a job as a Graduate Assistant in the NCCU SLIS Library, which gave me some much needed experience. I feel like the coursework, in general, gave me a good base understanding of librarianship as a profession, its history and philosophy.
3) What was your favorite thing about your time at NCCU SLIS?
4) What are your career goals?
To keep growing and learning, and to keep a service and user-focused orientation. I enjoy working in the academic world, but I also enjoy working with the community. I think I might like teaching, so I wouldn’t mind doing a class or two as an Adjunct or “Professor of Practice” someday.
5) What advice would you give to students going through library school right now?
Learn some programming or scripting languages. Explore emerging topics in librarianship like scholarly communications, open access, data curation and digital preservation.
6) What advice would you give library students about job hunting?
Start applying early and, as others have stated, make sure it is obvious in your cover letter and resume that you are qualified for and want that particular job at that particular institution. If possible, be willing to move. When you do interviews, remember that in addition to trying to get a job, you are also trying to get a feel for the organization and whether or not you’re a good fit for it. It’s also important to let your enthusiasm and passion shine through during interviews.
7) What advice would you give to people considering applying to library school?
Do it! I love that librarianship is an interdisciplinary field, and that it is constantly changing, but somehow always staying the same. This is an exciting time to become a librarian! Librarians are taking on new roles and responsibilities, and the possibilities are endless.
8) What are you reading right now?