"Being involved in student organizations definitely enhanced my experience at SLIS. I have met so many wonderful colleagues I probably would not have met if not for participating in student organizations. Additionally, taking on leadership roles enabled me to hone my leadership skills and network with potential employers."
Q: What's your name? What degree you are seeking? What semester/year do you expect to graduate?
A: My name is Crystal Jolly. I am working on an MLIS. December of this year (2012) is when I expect to graduate.
Q: Where are you from originally? How long have you been in the area? Did you move here to go to school?
A: I am from Detroit, MI and have lived here all of my life. I love Detroit and hope to use my degree to support literacy in the Detroit community.
Q: What other degrees do you have and where are they from?
A: I have a BA degree from Wayne State University in public affairs.
Q: Why did you choose SLIS?
A: I chose SLIS for several reasons but, the most important factor was location. It is the only library and information science program in Detroit. SLIS is located in the heart of Detroit, next to several noteworthy museums and libraries. Additionally, I liked that SLIS offers degrees in both traditional and non-traditional areas of librarianship.
Q: What area are you specializing in? Why?
A: My specialization is public libraries with a focus on services to children and young adults. I chose this area because I enjoy working with youth and reading literature tailored for youth. I am a city girl so working with youth in an urban setting is a natural desire of mine.
Q: Where/What format do you take most of your classes? Why?
A: Most of my classes are in person. I like this format because I enjoy interacting with students and professors in the classroom. I thrive best academically when I can feed off of the energy in the classroom.
Q: Are you active in any student organizations?
A: I am a co-founder of Future Librarians for Inclusivity and Diversity, which is a student organization that provides a safe environment for honest discussions about issues related to diversity within and outside the LIS workforce. I served as vice president of the ALA Wayne State student chapter. I am also a member of ALA and several of its subdivisions including YALSA, PLA, and BCALA.
Q: How has your involvement in student organizations impacted your SLIS experience?
A: Being involved in student organizations definitely enhanced my experience at SLIS. I have met so many wonderful colleagues I probably would not have met if not for participating in student organizations. In addition, taking on leadership roles enabled me to hone my leadership skills and network with potential employers.
Q: Are you currently doing any library related work? If so, how has the program prepared you for it?
A: I am a substitute librarian at Plymouth District Library and recently completed my practicum at Dearborn Heights Public Library. As a substitute librarian I provide reader's advisory and reference services. I periodically assist with teen and children programs. At Dearborn Heights, I worked alongside two youth librarians to help create and execute youth programs. The most useful course was the one that focuses on services and programs for children and young adults. I must say I use the ideas and skills I gained from this course when working with youth all the time.
Q: What are you most proud of in library school?
A: I am most proud of my position as the Diversity Graduate Student Assistant for SLIS. I have had the opportunity to participate in conferences and visit places all over the country in effort to spread the word about viable career options in library and information science to underrepresented groups. In addition I have the opportunity to participate in outreach to community organizations in Detroit. I also have created a blog, SLIS Diversity GSA where I share my thoughts and resources to promote diversity. I also had the opportunity to spread the word about diversity in the LIS profession in the South End newspaper at http://thesouthend.wayne.edu/index.php/article/2011/04/booking_it_to_the_future.
Q: Is there a professor who has really impacted your journey into librarianship?
A: Most of the professors at SLIS have positively impacted my journey into librarianship. The most influential professor was Dr. Calvert. Sometimes it was difficult to follow her because of her brilliance, however; I learned the most from her class, especially about challenging my own perceptions and ideas related to librarianship for the greater good of the profession.
Q: Since joining the program, what do you feel is the most important or surprising thing you've learned about the library and information science profession?
A: The library and information science world is very small! Everyone knows everyone. It is like a huge family and I like that.
Q: Do you feel well prepared for a career in the information profession? Any long-term professional goals?
A: I do feel well prepared to work in the information profession as a public librarian. Ultimately I would like to be a director of an urban public library. For now though, I hope to work as a children's or outreach librarian when I graduate.
Q: What advice would you give to someone considering SLIS as their library school?
A: Get involved! The library and information science world is small; therefore, use this fact to solidify your professional presence. Participate in conferences and other professional activities because it will pay off. You never know who you will impress which could lead to employment.