This month’s featured alumna is 2008 graduate Claire Walker! Claire is currently the Reference and Instruction Librarian at Cumberland University in Lebanon, TN. In her few first years as a professional, Claire has kept pretty busy, presenting at several conferences, including the Librarians’ Information Literacy Annual Conference (LILAC) in Shannon, Ireland this past spring (where she presented with fellow alumna, Amanda Click). Want to know more? Read on!
1. Had you worked in other areas before entering library school?
I went straight from undergrad to graduate school, and although I had part time jobs growing up and throughout college, I would consider this my first professional position.
2. What was your first library job?
My first library job was in the 5th grade at my elementary school. I was selected from my class to help in the library once a week, and I remember feeling so lucky! I have since worked in the library at my undergraduate institution, and as an intern at Jackson Library while in the LIS program.
3. What do you remember most about your time in the UNCG LIS program?
I remember the people – students and faculty, as well as librarians in Jackson. I have fond memories of working as a graduate assistant and as an intern in Jackson. I really appreciated the time to dabble in different areas of librarianship and am thankful to have found my niche. And of course, student rates at conferences!
4. What is your current position and what does it entail?
My current position is Reference and Instruction Librarian at Cumberland University in Lebanon, TN. I spend most of my time working at the Information Desk and teaching classes. I also manage the library’s web site and electronic resources.
5. Do you have any projects going on that you’re particularly excited about?
At Cumberland, I am really excited about the newly developed freshman seminar class and how information literacy has been integrated into that curriculum this semester. This has been a work in progress for quite a while, and this semester all the work and planning has finally come to fruition. In terms of research, I am involved in only one small project with another UNCG LIS Alumna, Amanda Click, and we are exploring questions regarding information literacy and ESL students.
6. How do you feel the profession has changed since you graduated from UNCG?
I feel that the profession in the past couple of years has been characterized by the recession. For librarians, getting and keeping professional positions is more competitive, and being an advocate for your library seems to be a huge part of every job. The recession has also given libraries the chance to shine by meeting a need in communities, reinforcing the overall value of these institutions.
7. Anything else you’d like to say to the UNCG Alumni:
To echo what some other featured alums have mentioned, I would say that the UNCG Alumni is a wonderful group and a great network. In the first few years of my career I have called on LIS faculty, other alum, and librarians in Jackson and have been grateful for the wisdom of this group. I am looking forward to being a part of the recently revived LIS Alumni listserv and seeing what discussions and opportunities come from that.
Do you know someone who should be a featured alumni on this blog? Let us know! Email Kathy Shields at firstname.lastname@example.org with your suggestions.