What is your name? What degree were you seeking? What semester/year did you graduate?
My name is Bethany J. Figg. I have an MLIS in Health Sciences Library. I graduated in 2014.
Where are you from originally? How long have you been in the area? Did you move here to go to school?
My father was a Michigan State Police officer so I have lived all over the state of Michigan. We settled in Saginaw, MI and I completed my MLIS online from here.
What other degrees do you have and where are they from?
I have a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Master of Business Administration. A PhD in Public Health is next on my list…
Why did you choose Wayne State School of Library and Information Science?
I chose WSU SLIS because it is Michigan based, more affordable than other programs, fellow coworkers are alumni, and they offer online options.
What area are you specializing in? Why?
I focused on Health Science Libraries, along with Academic Libraries because I work for a graduate medical education program. So it is a medical and academic training facility.
Where/What format did you take most of your classes? Why?
I took all of my classes online as I am a full-time working, mother of two active boys. The online option gave me the opportunity to work during the day, go home and help my boys with homework and dinner, then head back to the library at night to do schoolwork.
Are you active in any organizations?
I am an MLA member with a Provisional AHIP Certification, a member of MHSLA, and currently the Chair of the Publicity Committee for the 2016 MHSLA Annual Education Conference, a member of MDMLG, and currently the Chair of the MDMLG Professional Development Committee. This committee has been a great opportunity to network, and further my career by choosing classes and engaging with speakers that are both interesting and applicable to my current employment.
How has your involvement in student organizations impact your SLIS experience?
I was unfortunately unable to be involved with student organizations due to only having an online experience, and spending all other time on work and kids.
Are you currently doing any library, DCM, Archives or Information Management related work? If so, how did the program prepared you for it?
The degree helped me move from a Library Assistant, to Library Reference Assistant and upon graduation, Medical Librarian. The research skills I gained from the degree, coupled with my MBA is what attracted my current manager to offer my current position of Graduate Medical Education Administrator. I am in charge of ensuring all programs are compliant with our accrediting body, the ACGME. I also use my research skills to write policies, assist with scholarly activity projects, and assist Resident Physicians with requirement for graduation.
What are you most proud of in your time as a student at SLIS?
Completing the database class with Bin Li. I have never worked so hard in a class in my life. The relational database I created is being used to help a small business today.
Is there a professor who has really impacted your journey into becoming a librarian or information professional?
Bin Li and Hermina Anghelescu. Bin Li is such a great instructor and really helped me understand the theory behind relational databases and learning behaviors. Hermina Anghelescu is such a wealth of knowledge. Her no-nonsense approach to teaching and valuable instruction with reference materials, research skills, and literature database searching has been absolutely invaluable.
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?
The depth and breadth of how we can help people. When I explain to people why a librarian needs a Master’s Degree, they are always surprised at the vast array of duties and knowledge a librarian must have. I explain it this way—would you want an unskilled, random person choosing the medical textbooks your doctor is supposed to read and end up with “Medicine for Dummies”? Or would you rather have a person educated in collection development, with a knowledge bank to choose these textbooks and end up with peer reviewed best practice and updated medical reference books.
Did you feel well prepared for a career in the information profession? Any long-term professional goals?
Upon graduation, I did feel very prepared for the profession. I did have an advantage as I was already employed in a medical library, but I do feel the degree gave me some fresh perspectives and exciting ideas to implement. I plan to earn a PhD in Public Health. I would like to be a hospital CEO some day
Have you acquired a position yet? If so, where?
I am currently the Graduate Medical Education Administrator for CMU Medical Education Partners in Saginaw, MI.
What advice would you give to someone considering SLIS as their LIS school?
Network with your classmates. I discovered some of the closest friends and get the best library advice from the people I met while earning my MLIS at WSU.