"The most surprising thing I learned is how important and cutting edge librarians are on intellectual freedom, information policies, access to information and other important issues."
Q: What's your name? What degree you are seeking? What semester/year do you expect to graduate?
A: My name is Lauren Lincoln and I am currently seeking a Master's in Library and Information Science with a certificate in Archival Administration.
Q: Where are you from originally? How long have you been in the area? Did you move here to go to school?
A: I was born and raised in Detroit and have lived in multiple neighborhoods throughout the city. Upon admittance to SLIS at WSU I decided to move closer to campus, and now reside in Woodbridge.
Q: What other degrees do you have and where are they from?
A: I have a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree with a concentration in painting and sculpture and a very unofficial concentration in Latin American History from Wayne State University.
Q: Why did you choose Wayne State University's School of Library and Information Science?
A: I chose to attend SLIS at WSU because of the hands on experience in and out of the classroom, the relatively affordable tuition, and the convenient location.
Q: What area are you specializing in? Why?
A: Archival Administration is my area of specialization. I was originally drawn to archives because of my interest in history, which is predominantly driven by personal research into eclectic topics/interests with an emphasis on social and political issues. Later, as my understanding of the archival profession grew, my interest in archives developed due to an interest in archives as a means to achieve accountability, social justice, and a historical memory in our society.
Q: Where/What format do you take most of your classes?
A: Half of the classes that I take are in person while the other half are online.
Q: Are you active in any student organizations?
A: I am currently the President of WSU's chapter of the Progressive Librarians Guild and I am involved with the Society of American Archivists.
Q: How has your involvement in student organizations impacted your SLIS experience?
A: My involvement in student organizations has been crucial to the development of professional relationships within SLIS and in the greater Detroit library and activist communities. It is important that students become involved in student organizations not only for personal gain but for the development and vitality of the larger community.
Q: Are you currently doing any library related work? If so, how has the School prepared you for it?
A: I am currently working at the Visual Resources Collection in the Department of Art and Art History at WSU. I am digitizing and classifying a Wayne Andrews architectural photo collection that will be made available electronically through LUNA. Mainly, SLIS has prepared me through an introduction to classification and cataloging principles and to a general technological knowledge that has been greatly applicable in this project.
Q: What are you most proud of in library school?
A: I am most proud of my involvement with the Progressive Librarians Guild. I believe that this organization brings new meaning and application to the theories, concepts and skills that I am learning in my LIS courses.
Q: Is there a professor who has really impacted your journey into librarianship?
A: Scout Calvert and Dr. Gonzalez have both had a huge impact on my journey into librarianship. Both of these professors have been inspirational and important in my development as a politically and socially conscious library student. While I have always been interested in social and political issues it was through the teachings of these professors that I learned how activism and social justice can be applied in librarianship.
Q: Since joining SLIS, what do you feel is the most important or surprising thing you've learned about the library and information science profession?
A: The most surprising thing that I learned about the library and information science profession is how important and cutting edge librarians can be on issues like intellectual freedom, information policies, and access to information. Before entering SLIS, I held many misperceptions about the type of work that librarians are involved in.
Q: Do you feel well prepared for a career in the information profession? Any long-term professional goals?
A: In a world that is constantly evolving technologically, I am not certain if it is ever possible to feel fully prepared for a career in the information profession. I will say that I feel more prepared for a career in the information profession, but there is still a lot left to learn.
Professionally, personal goals include: learning web development, scripting languages, paper/ book/ film preservation and conservation, other literacy with Adobe and open source tools. It is my long term goal to strive to push the profession in a politically, socially and technologically progressive direction with an emphasis on re-envisioning the community within the library. I believe that the future of libraries is dependent upon the realization and development of the interconnectivity between libraries, communities, space, and art.
Q: What advice would you give to someone considering SLIS as their library school?
A: Turn back if you are only interested in making money. This is a profession of community involvement and integrity.