I attended the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. My history and political science backgrounds helped me when I attained a graduate assistantship to work in the UIUC Government Documents Library while I completed my graduate studies. I graduated from UIUC with my Masters of Science in Library and Information Science (M.S.L.I.S.) during the summer of 2006.
After graduate school, I started as the Public Services Librarian at Hewes Library at Monmouth College in Monmouth, Illinois. As Public Services Librarian, I am accountable for collection development, reference, library instruction, and web development within the library.
Some of the Rewards and Challenges of this Position:
Monmouth College, like Illinois Wesleyan University, is a small liberal arts school and I have learned that you have to be able to prioritize your needs effectively and be prepared to make changes in your plans. At the same time, it is rewarding to see your efforts pay off, whether it is in the form of an educational program, new policy, or new operating program. Working collaboratively with other staff members has provided me with both mentors and partners in a great atmosphere where we experiment with and refine our services.
Your most Exciting or Worthwhile Experience in this Position:
Every day I get to work with students looking for a variety of information resources. The most exciting experience is when students have that “Ah-Ha” moment, where they discover a new resource, the perfect research article, or understand a new concept. One of the goals of a liberal arts education is to encourage lifelong learning and it is great to be a part of the educational experiences that will serve students for the rest of their lives.
How did the education you received from Illinois Wesleyan's Political Science Department help prepare you for this position?
I can locate information faster and more efficiently with the thorough knowledge that I received at IWU. I work with a lot of introduction to liberal arts, history, and political science classes at Monmouth College and a background in the same subject they are studying allows me to relate to their assignments and information needs.
Advice You Would Like to Give to Wesleyan's Current Political Science Majors:
I would advise current students to take advantage of all the resources available to them at IWU. Supplement your education by talking with your professors, partaking in an internship, or volunteering for a leadership position within an organization. In short, take an active role in your education and become a well-rounded liberal arts student; your IWU education could prove more useful than you imagined.