Thursday, April 20, 2017

Spring 2017 Information Professionals Panel Recap

We had an excellent panel for our Spring 2017 Information Professionals Panel. Our panelists offered great insights and advice to St. Kate's students. For those of you who weren't able to make it to the event, Amy W. has graciously put together this summary of the discussion: 

Information Professionals Panel

Marilee Tuite, Librarian, Center for Transportation Studies at the University of Minnesota and Minnesota Department of Transportation  
Janice Aida Lurie, Head Librarian, Minneapolis Institute of Art
Lindsey Kobow, Taxonomic Analyst, Target
Jessica Huffman, Research Associate at the American Transportation Research Institute
Janelle Beltz, Law Librarian, Fredrikson & Byron

What is a typical day like?
Janelle - planning presentations, research, working the desk, taking phone calls, working on  
Jessica - readings and doing research, answering phone and email contacts, working on
projects, economic analysis, preparing reports
Lindsey - balancing ongoing projects and immediate requests, product research, looking at how
to classify items (example of a “companion pet” - a robotic cat that could be a toy or a healthcare item), updating products and metadata
Janice - during open hours to the public she works with patrons, does research and reference
services, also does research for staff, administrative work, hosting and planning events,
professional development
Marilee - split position with 2 days on campus and 3 days at the capital, digital preservation,
manage digital assets portfolio, reference requests, when open to the public - does desk work, helps to find information, working on the website/webpage, staff meetings, teaches

What is your favorite and least favorite part of your job?
Marilee - favorite = position allows for a unique situation of working in 2 locations,
least favorite = long meetings
Janice - favorite = always something new
Least favorite = teaming, lack of flexibility in schedule
Lindsey - favorite = the variety
Least favorite = having to always advocate and explain her job and the importance of it
Jessica - favorite = doing projects that affect the world
Least favorite = having to disappoint people  
Janelle - favorite = the variety
Least favorite = lack of communication, communication issues, managing the expectations of herself, team and patrons

As a student what was the most helpful class or experience you had?
Janelle - joining associations and networking, doing informational interviews, volunteering
Jessica - doing a co-op program, volunteer and work experience in the field
Lindsey - being open to new experiences/ideas/jobs
Classes - metadata and cataloging, web design
Janice - internship and practicum, mentorship with MLA
Marilee - internship and volunteering - seeing different types of libraries

What are trends and topics you are seeing the library field now?
All - analytics, diversity, social activism, building automated tools  

Advice? - from all
  • Have a mentor
  • Be open to new experiences, try new things
  • Know that every weird thing you’ve done will help you in some way
  • Be able to flex on the fly and learn as you go
  • Do information interviews - find people and organizations within your interest and get involved and learn more
  • Be ready to prove/explain your work - while being polished and polite
  • Use youtube to find information and learn new things
  • Look for non-traditional library positions
  • Bring notes to interviews - always ask questions at an interview

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