Tamyka Z. Miles
"Dr. Bajjaly impacted my journey the most. If not for Dr. Bajjaly I would not be a graduate of the program today."
Q: What's your name? What degree did you receive? When did you graduate?
A: My name is Tamyka Z. Miles and I received my Master's of Library and Information Science with a specialization in Academic Libraries from Wayne State University's School of Library and Information Science in 2009.
Q: What other degrees do you have and where are they from?
A: I have a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan in Behavioral Science and an Associate of Arts degree from Wayne County Community College.
Q: Why did you choose Wayne State's School of Library and Information Science?
A: I chose Wayne State's School of Library and Information Science because it is one of only two library programs accredited by the American Library Association in Michigan, the location of the school was close to my home and employment, and the program appeared to have more of a focus on traditional librarianship than the program at University of Michigan.
Q: What was your area of specialization? Why?
A: My area of specialization is Academic Librarianship. I believe strongly in higher education and as everyone should know, the library is the heart of any academic institution. Who wouldn't want to be a part of that?
Q: What class format did you use for most of your classes? Why?
A: I used online and class formats, so I guess it would be classified as a hybrid. I was employed full-time and a full- time parent and as a result, I had to schedule classes around my lifestyle.
Q: Are you active in any student/professional organizations?
A: I am not currently active in any organizations.
Q: How did your involvement in student/professional organizations impact your SLIS and professional experience?
A: Although I was not involved in any student organizations, I was a member of two committees: the faculty search committee and the re-accreditation committee. That experience provided me the opportunity to work with faculty and have my voice heard as a student. I feel that my contributions to the committees were impactful and made a difference and allowed me to develop relationships with the faculty.
Q: Are you currently doing any library related work? If so, how did the School prepare you for it?
A: I do not work as a librarian in the traditional sense, but I use my skills as a librarian everyday in my current job when searching for resources for the families that I serve and also in my personal life. I believe that people see me as their own personal librarian. The program helped me refine my research skills and gave me insight to the various types of librarianship.
Q: What were you most proud of in library school? What are most proud of now that you are in the profession?
A: I was very proud that I completed the program. It has been a lifelong dream of mine to be a librarian. Many people that I have encountered in the program stumbled upon the profession or this is their second career. From the first time I entered a library I knew I wanted to be a librarian. Living out a dream is the most fulfilling experience that I have had. Even though I am not a "practicing librarian" I always introduce myself as a librarian.
Q: Was there a professor who really impacted your journey into librarianship?
A: Dr. Bajjaly impacted my journey the most. When I entered the program he had just begun his position as the Director of the School of Library and Information Science. At the time I entered into the program provisionally and was told that I would have to pay for my first three classes without the assistance of financial aid and that I would not receive credit for the classes. I spoke with Dr. Bajjaly and he decided to take a chance and admit me without the provisions. I promised him on that day I would meet any criteria put forth and I kept my word. If not for Dr. Bajjaly I would not be a graduate of the program today.
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: The most surprising thing about library and information science is how vast the field is. Whenever I tell people I am a librarian they automatically think of the public library. I take that opportunity to tell them about the different types of librarians there are and they are always surprised.
Q: Do you feel you were well prepared for a career in the library and information profession?
A: Yes, I do feel that I was prepared for a career in the profession but mostly due to the fact I participated in an internship that gave me relevant hands on knowledge of the profession.
Q: What professional accomplishments have you achieved since graduating from the program?
A: I am not a "practicing librarian." I work as a Child Advocate Supervisor - the same job I had while I pursued my MLIS degree. I advocate the best interest of children that have been abused and neglected. Because I believe very strongly in the function of my current position, I have yet had the heart to leave and become a practicing librarian. However, I did apply for the University of Tennessee Minority Library Fellowship program and received an offer to participate in the two year program; however, after long consideration I declined the offer and remained in Michigan as an advocate for children.
Q: What advice would you give to someone considering SLIS as their library school?
A: I would advise a person considering SLIS as their library school to be committed and passionate about the profession. Keep an open mind and participate as much as possible in the student organizations and committee opportunities--take advantage of what this program has to offer.