Sunday, September 9, 2007

About me

I was born in Baltimore, Maryland and attended public schools there. Once I graduated from Western High School (one of the few single sex public schools in the United States) I attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and received a BS in Public Administration and Public Personnel Management but realized that I didn't want to work in personnel. I went back to Miami and got my MS in College Student Personnel Services, a degree that gives one the skills to do academic and career counseling, run a financial aid office, work in admissions or run a dorm. Though after completing my MS I really wanted to go into career counseling I ended up running a dorm at SUNY Farmingdale and later doing academic counseling at SUNY Stony Brook. I eventually realized that I wasn't happy and needed a new direction. After using some of my counseling skills on myself I went to Long Island University where I got my MLS in College and University Libraries. I changed jobs at Stony Brook and ended up in their Special Collections and Archives section. In addition to helping run the archives I began to work the main reference desk and also helped teach students library skills. I really enjoyed working with archives and eventually became active in several archival professional organizations.

I eventually moved back to Maryland where I helped start a library and archives at the NAACP national headquarters. After a brief detour back into college librarianship at Marymount University, I became the archivist at the Washingtoniana Division of the DCPL. I left there to start the National Equal Justice Library Archives which was housed at the WCL for a few years (it's now at Georgetown Law) but left there to go to the Library of Congress. My original job at LC was to introduce people from around the world to the American Memory online collections and answer reference questions online. The mission of our unit was changed and we began to focus on the needs of teachers and I suddenly found myself teaching teachers how to search the collections and use them in the classroom. Eventually our unit was split into two pieces and I found myself with what was now called the Digital Reference Team. We handled questions about the online resources of the Library of Congress and did video-conferences and other programs for groups interested in learning more about our resources. I still had a pretty strong connection with the other half of our of our former team, known as the Educational Outreach team, which still focused on the needs of teachers. Eventually I was transferred full time to Educational Outreach and I've worked there for two years.

Within Educational Outreach I coordinator the large majority of in-house programming and workshops for teachers. This includes our summer teacher institutes and any visits from teachers not involved in our Teaching With Primary Sources Program. I am also the reference librarian for the Teachers Page and I handle error reports for America's Library. It's an interesting job but after working with librarians and archivists for so many years I've had to learn a whole new language and set of skills.

This is my second education class and I'll be interested to continue learning more about the needs of teachers and what teachers need to be effective in the classroom.

No comments: