"When I was made the recipient of the Edith B. Phillips Technical Services Award, I felt that my passion for cataloging was recognized somehow, and being able to shake Ms. Phillips' hand was a memory that will never be replaced."
Q: What's your name? What degree did you receive? When did you graduate?
A: My name is Emanuela DeCenso. I received my MLIS in May 2008.
Q: What other degrees do you have and where are they from?
A: I have a Bachelor's degree in Geography which I obtained from the University of Cyril and Methodius in Skopje, Republic of Macedonia.
Q: Why did you choose Wayne State University's School of Library and Information Science?
A: I chose Wayne State's School of Library and Information Science because many people recommended this program and believed it held to its values as a more traditional program where libraries are part of a community in addition to being a haven of advanced information technology.
Q: What is your area of specialization? Why?
A: My original area of interest was academic libraries; however, after taking the basic cataloging class with Professor Anaclare Evans, my interest in this area never ceased. I discovered that there was a specialization in organization of information and began choosing electives pertaining to this focus.
Cataloging was important to me since I realized that by creating records, there was some form of self accomplishment. I experienced the same realization with the web development class and indexing. Everything seemed to fall into place. The idea of producing something for the general user was quite fulfilling.
Q: Where/What class format did you use for most of your classes? Why?
A: For me the physical format was very helpful considering English is my fourth language. This format enabled me to communicate more freely with my instructors thus giving me more confidence in the learning process.
Q: Are you active in any student/professional organizations?
A: I am a member of the American Library Association, Michigan Library Association, Freedom to Read Foundation and the Association of College and Research Libraries.
Q: How has your involvement in student/professional organizations impacted your SLIS and professional experience?
A: Involvement in professional organizations has been vital in past and current developments in the&bbsp;information profession. It has greatly influenced my networking opportunities which I am very grateful for.
Q: Are you currently doing any library related work? If so, how did has the School prepared you for it?
A: My current position is a part time librarian at the Farmington Community Library. My responsibilities include reader's advisory, collection development, research, programming and volunteering as a liaison. The program greatly improved my approach to current users' information needs.
Q: What were you most proud of in library school? What are you most proud of now that you are in the profession?
A: When I was made the recipient of the Edith B. Phillips Technical Services Award, I felt that my passion for cataloging was recognized somehow, and being able to shake Ms. Phillips' hand was a memory that will never be replaced.
Another moment of pride during my studies was when I was selected as an intern for the Visual Resources Library at the Art and Art History Department of Wayne State University. The job I performed required creation of metadata records for the collection of photographs about European architecture.
I am proud to serve as a volunteer within the profession. I help with the cataloging of foreign language and genealogy materials (a little), and interact with users on a daily basis, whether that is sharing mutual education traits or finding and developing programs pertaining to environmental concerns.
Q: Was there a professor who really impacted your journey into librarianship?
A: There have been many professors that have been more than instructors to me. They have been mentors and have become my friends: Dr. Anghelescu, Dr. Evans, Dr. Holley, Dr. Walster and WSU Librarian and adjunct faculty member, Michael Sensiba. They were true to the subjects of their study and were helpful to me in becoming part of the library science community at large.
Q: Since graduating from this program, what do you feel is the most important or surprising thing you've learned about the library and information science profession?
A: Since graduating from this program, the most important thing I learned is how important it is to satisfy the user's information needs and be able to create finding tools that the user can employ for research. It is surprising and challenging to find out how many users are interested in learning about downloading e-books.
Q: Do you feel you were well prepared for a career in the library and information profession?
A: Yes, I would say so. Considering that this profession is never static, I am convinced that the program gave the foundation that prepared me for the ongoing advancements that occur in the library profession.
Q: What professional accomplishments have you achieved since graduating from the program?
A: I initiated the ‘Green Team' at the Farmington Community Library, established a book club consisting of librarians, and other library employees. I continue to participate in workshops through University of Milwaukee pertaining to cataloging and metadata practices.
Q: What advice would you give to someone considering SLIS as their library school?
A: Although the recession is hitting our profession with such a force, I still advise incoming generations of librarians to look for the silver lining. It is hard to pay for education that pays back with part-time positions, and maybe positions that do not even belong in this field, but there are so many patrons that come to me on a frequent basis and say that if it weren't for the library they would not know what to do. That gives me hope and good reason to believe in this profession.