In 2013, I successfully completed the coursework to achieve my Master of Library Science and Archives Studies Certificate from the Emporia State University School of Library and Information Management (SLIM). I am thrilled to begin my transition into the archival field and find an interesting and fulfilling career as a special collections librarian.
Currently, I am the Mobile Library Associate for the Kansas City, Kansas Public Library. It is a very exciting time to be a public library worker, especially when there is a mobile outreach service such as this one. Our 37″ mobile library bus is equipped with a six unit laptop computer lab where users can take short computer courses, access the internet and create and print documents, or connect with the library’s eContent. The collection onboard consists of the most popular materials in many formats, including books, DVDs, music CDs, audiobooks, and is updated frequently. The mobile library travels to low income housing developments, community centers, senior centers, daycares, and schools, and is well-received by patrons at every stop. Along with the Mobile Librarian, I work hard to make sure that our patrons get everything they can out of our services.
Before I found my calling in librarianship, I achieved my Bachelor of Fine Arts in Printmaking from the Kansas City Art Institute (KCAI). I studied printmaking with a focus in bookbinding and letterpress, and while I loved creating art in this way, I needed to find a more viable career path. I always remembered a field trip to the rare books collection a LaBudde Special Collections, but was stymied when trying to figure out how I could get a job working with those types of materials. Years later, I learned about the MLS program at ESU, did a little research, and decided it was just what I needed.
Throughout my two and a half years at SLIM, I proved myself to be an exceptional student and was thrilled with learning. There was never a moment when I second guessed my decision to enroll in the MLS program, rather I always had a sense that I was meant to be in this field. Being that I have a wide range of professional skills, I try to find creative ways to apply all of my experience since graduating from KCAI to the knowledge I gained from the curriculum at ESU. I find that my extensive time spent in the service industry has allowed me to develop excellent interpersonal skills when dealing with the public, as well as to keep my mind sharp and demeanor friendly in times of high stress and multitasking. In addition, I have managed restaurants, worked as a printmaking technician and teacher’s assistant, practiced interior design, and helped plan and coordinate the Southern Graphics Council Conference held in Kansas City in 2007.
One of the great things about the curriculum at SLIM is that it requires students to get out and investigate the library world, talk with professionals in the field, and to complete projects in actual libraries. In 2012, I not only processed the DeeDee DeVille collection for the Gay and Lesbian Archives of Mid-America (GLAMA), but I also got the opportunity to revisit and intern LaBudde Special Collections – the place that served as my career inspiration for so long. After graduating, I spent a few hours a week at Union Station assisting archivists with whatever they need to alleviate some of their processing backlog.
During my time at LaBudde, I processed collections, researched the history of fine prints, assisted patrons, created finding aids, and even curated an exhibition. I worked with a variety of artifacts including etchings and engravings, drawings, lithographs, tintypes and photographs, periodicals, books, and company records. Through my work there, I was able to find meaningful ways to combine my newly acquired archival knowledge with my experience as an artist and printmaker.
This site is a professional portfolio that illustrates my many talents and professional interests. I have chosen to share some artifacts from my education at SLIM to illustrate my interest in merging the worlds of art and librarianship together. Since my very first semester in the MLS program, I discovered many ways to approach librarianship through art, and I believe that the two worlds often go hand in hand. The selections I have made to demonstrate my understanding of the SLIM Program Outcomes and Values are the best examples of the work I have done in library school, but are also meant to represent the work I want to pursue throughout the lifetime of my career. As an artist, I also want to use this site as a forum to showcase examples of the objects I make with my own hands. I have always had a strong creative drive, but now I have fallen in love with librarianship, and I use my experience with each to inform the other. Since I began my work on the mobile library, I have found that in addition to these other areas, I also have a fondness for public service and outreach, and plan to share some of my experiences here.
Thank you so much for visiting!