When Ari Baker (’15) first got the career assessment results back that said he’d be an ideal librarian, he was skeptical. After all, he’d spent some time volunteering to shelve books at the Blount County Public Library, and it hadn’t been all that exciting.
Imagine wanting to read a great classic, but being unable to see the words. Or knowing that your favorite author released a new book, but your hands shake too much due to a medical condition, and you can’t hold a book still enough to consume it. Or consider a quadraplegic, who hopes to read the next book in their favorite series, but is unable to turn the pages.
If you’ve ever wondered what to do in downtown Knoxville – enough to do a quick internet search about it – then you’ve likely stumbled across “Inside of Knoxville,” a blog by the mysteriously named “Knoxville Urban Guy.” It’s the place to get the inside scoop on businesses downtown and in nearby areas, and the writer of the blog seems to know things before anyone else in town does.
Thirty years as a reference librarian at Oak Ridge National Laboratory has afforded Mark Dickey a unique vantage point of the facility that few have experienced.
“I’ve seen a lot of changes here, that’s for sure, it’s been incredible,” he said, He was present when all three of the Oak Ridge facilities – ORNL, Y12 and the K-25 plant – were managed by one contractor. In fact, he precedes his own personal story with a bit of trivia about the national labs, and their evolution to the present-day.
What do medieval stained-glass pieces have in common with old film from the Y12 National Security Complex? Both should be archived properly, according to Natalie Hansen (‘12), an SIS alumni. Hansen started her academic career studying art history, and moved into medieval art as she attained her master’s degree in medieval studies at the University of York in the United Kingdom. After that, she went to the University of Illinois to pursue a doctorate in art history.
October is National Archives Month, and we'll be running a series of articles celebrating the importance of this area of information sciences. "National Archives Month is an opportunity for us all to think about the importance of archives and archival collecting in our world of information. Archivists collect, arrange, describe, and preserve documents that reflect every aspect of our lives, from our work time to our recreation time, our families, friends, and neighborhoods. For me, being an archivist means looking deeply into the experience of human life and finding what stories need to be kept, nurtured, and shared with future generations. When I teach Introduction to Archives and Records Management, I have a chance to share that passion with the next generation of archivists, and am delighted to find the same passion for keeping and sharing stories in others!"- Emil Hoelter, information sciences lecturer at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Alumni Q&A’s introduce us to School of Information Sciences graduates and lets them describe, in their own words, why they went into Information Sciences, and what they’re doing with their degree.
Alumni: Taylor Hixson (’14)
Position: Librarian for Geospatial Services at New York University Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates
What does your current job entail? As the Librarian for Geospatial Services at NYUAD, my primary focus is to make sure library patrons and the campus community are able to access and use the geospatial software, data, and resources they need to do coursework or research. I work with faculty to incorporate geographic information–from desktop and web GIS (geographic information system) to physical maps and spatial datasets–into courses. I assist students who are using GIS in courses and capstone research. I also do a lot of drop-in workshops that introduce attendees to geospatial data, tools, and research. I work in a small library, so I have shared library responsibilities, too, such as reference shifts and general library programs.
There’s no better way to get hands-on experience in your field while earning a master’s in Information Sciences than by completing a practicum. Practicums are multi-beneficial in providing you with relevant work experience, an opportunity to give a specific job a test run, and you receive three hours of academic credit upon completion. You’ll get first-hand direction from shadowing professionals, and it will expand your professional network.