Associate University Librarian for Public Services in the David O. McKay Library at Brigham Young University-Idaho
Master of Arts, Judaic Studies, 2006
Describe your job responsibilities:
I am the Associate University Librarian for Public Services in the David O. McKay Library at Brigham Young University-Idaho. I oversee the library department that handles all of the public-facing services we offer, anything from the classes and seminars we teach, the furniture we purchase, our interlibrary loan
service, and the many students we employ to keep our service desks running.
I am also the subject librarian for religion, teacher education, and geology. I purchase the print and digital materials for those departments and work specifically with students in those majors on projects and instruct them on how to do research in an academic library.
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
One of the most rewarding parts of my job is working with our students. Librarians can have such an impact on their educational experience, whether it is helping them find that one source they need, introducing them to all of the resources available through the library, or helping a faculty member find just the right ebook so students don’t have to buy a textbook.
Also, as a librarian each day is different. I get to continually learn new things from students and faculty as well as developments in the Information field. It is a field that is evolving and as information access changes, I am excited to see where it goes from here.
How did your education prepare you for your current job?
At the heart of my education in the Frankel Center was the development of my critical thinking skills and that is what I try to pass on to my students today. It is increasingly necessary for students to be able to evaluate the overwhelming amount of both academic and general information that is available now. One of the primary responsibilities of my job is developing students’ information literacy skills to help them in their academic careers, but also as members of society.
My time in the Frankel Center also expanded my view of academic research. Beyond just being able to understand the research needs of the faculty I work with now, the skills I developed then I still use today. Just yesterday I showed my freshman Research Skills section the sources I used for a paper I wrote while at the Frankel Center and the research process I went through to find them. Of course, back then I had to copy the pages from some of the many bound periodical volumes in the Hatcher Library, rather than having them digitally accessible like most of our periodical subscriptions today.
What advice would you give to students who are considering studying Judaic Studies?
You may end up somewhere completely different than you anticipated when you start your degree, but my time at the Frankel Center provided invaluable experiences. Take advantage of international study opportunities and get to know the other students in the Frankel Center, it will impact your life in ways you cannot anticipate.