"Make connections with your classmates and professors, and with individuals and organizations outside of Wayne State if possible."
Q. What’s your name? What degree you are seeking? What semester/year do you expect to graduate?
A. My name is Jose Guerrero and I am seeking a Master of Library and Information Science degree. My expected graduation date is August 2016.
Q. Where are you from originally? Are you in the online or on-campus program?
A. I was born and raised in East Los Angeles, CA. I moved about 300 miles north to attend the University of California at Santa Cruz and relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2012. Because I am an online student, I did not have to move to attend WSU.
Q. What other degrees do you have and where are they from?
A. I have a B.A. in Literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Q. Why did you choose Wayne State School of Library and Information Science?
A. Wayne State offered the best opportunities for me given my circumstances. Working and staying close to family were priorities for me, and Wayne State SLIS's online program allowed me to do just that. As I learned more about the school, I began to value the expertise of the faculty which is reflected in the course catalog. From advanced cataloging to scripting languages, Wayne State offered an exceptionally diverse and well-rounded academic experience.
Q. What area are you specializing in? Why?
A. I am specializing in Library Services. I am most interested in serving at an academic library. I felt that the blend of theory, history, practice and technical skills found in this pillar were suited best to my academic and professional goals.
Q. Where/What format do you take most of your classes? Why?
A. My classes are all taken online. This allows for a great deal of flexibility. I can keep my current job—where I am acquiring relevant experience—and stay close to family.
Q. Are you active in any student organizations?
Q. What are you most proud of in your time as a student at SLIS?
A. I am proud to have been able to partake in a program with such knowledgeable staff and talented peers. I am constantly in awe of the insights shared by instructors in lectures and classmates in discussions. I am proud of the work I have accomplished in class and the relationships I have built with my instructors, which have helped me secure professional development opportunities.
Q. Is there a professor who has really impacted your journey into becoming a librarian or information professional?
A. I believe that “it takes a village to raise a librarian,” so it's hard to pick just one! Drs. Joan Beaudoin, Kafi Kumasi and Gordon Neavill provided a great deal of support, encouragement and engaging content throughout my time at WSU. They have acted as instructors, advisors and even mentors. These three professors encouraged and inspired me to follow my intellectual curiosity as I was introduced to library world concepts and practices.
Q. Since joining the program, what do you feel is the most important or surprising thing you’ve learned about the library and information science profession?
A. Information is everywhere, and the LIS field has a vast array of possibilities and applications. Courses cover classic and contemporary concepts in LIS which illustrate how dynamic the field is. Information professionals are becoming more and more diverse—in terms of their academic experience, technical skill set and personal background—and it is exciting to know that Wayne State is encouraging that diversity.
Q. Do you feel well prepared for a career in the information profession? Any long-term professional goals?
A. I do feel prepared for a career as an information professional, thanks to the coursework I've completed and encouragement from the faculty. I would like to one day be a special collections librarian. Not only do I want to work with rare books and archives, but I would like to contribute original scholarship, work with fellow scholars and collaborate with artists to find new ways of engaging with archival/library spaces and holdings.
Q. Have you acquired a position yet? If so, where?
A. Not yet, but I have submitted several applications and have several requests for interviews!
Q. What advice would you give to someone considering SLIS as their LIS school?
A. Make connections with your classmates and professors, and with individuals and organizations outside of Wayne State if possible. Don't be afraid to reach out to ask for help or advice from someone whose work you admire, or aligns with your own interests. You might be pleasantly surprised by the answer you get!
Jose Guerrero is a member of SLIS's Project IDOL (Increasing Diversity of Librarians) cohort. In January 2016 he was awarded an IMLS Rare Book School Fellowship. In May 2016 he accepted a position in Penn State's Diversity Residency Librarian Program.