Monica Ponzini is a current SLIS student based in New York City. She has a professional background in international news production and communications and was recently awarded a Wayne State University Graduate Professional Scholarship.
What is your name? What degree you are seeking? What semester/year do you expect to graduate?
My name is Monica Ponzini and I am pursuing a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science. I expect to graduate in the Spring/Summer semester of 2018.
Where do you currently reside? If you moved to metro Detroit to attend SLIS, where did you move from?
I currently reside in New York City.
What other degrees do you have and where are they from?
I received a degree in Classical Literature with a specialization in Italian Literature from the University of Milan, Italy in 2001.
Why did you choose Wayne State School of Library and Information Science?
I was already interested in digital librarianship, so one of the main reasons why I chose this school is its Digital Content Management specialization. The fact that classes were completely online was another important factor in my choice: I have a daughter and when I started the program I was working as well, so I needed a lot of flexibility.
What area are you specializing in? Why?
I plan to specialize in Digital Content Management. I worked as a digital librarian for a national news network and while I enjoyed my job, I wanted to grow professionally and to shift toward museums, public libraries or non-profit organizations.
Where/What format do you take most of your classes? Why?
I am attending my courses 100% online. As I mentioned, I have a 7-year-old daughter and when I began my studies I was still working with a somewhat irregular schedule, so it would have been very difficult for me to physically attend classes. The online option also allowed me to choose a university far from home, without having to relocate!
Are you active in any student organizations?
I have been attending the meetings of the WSU National Digital Stewardship Alliance student chapter, where I intend to take a more active role.
How has your involvement in student organizations impacted your SLIS experience?
Each WSU National Digital Stewardship Alliance meeting usually features a guest speaker: being exposed to all these professionals and their experiences is widening my perspectives and giving me a lot of “food for thought”.
Are you currently doing any library, DCM, Archives or Information Management related work? If so, how has the program prepared you for it?
Right now, I am taking a break from my job and focusing more on my studies. While I was still working as a digital librarian, LIS 6080 - Information Technology helped me better understand the technical side of my work. Before taking that class, I was mainly focused on metadata: while I was taking it, I remember asking my boss and supervisors more questions about the database and the organization of the workflow, and I felt better prepared to tackle my job.
What are you most proud of in your time as a student at SLIS?
I am proud of what I am becoming: a professional whose focus is the preservation, dissemination, and sharing of knowledge and information.
Is there a professor who has really impacted your journey into becoming a librarian or information professional?
All the professors I have encountered so far have really helped me better understand my role and my potential as an information professional.
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?
I am amazed to see what diverse backgrounds and interests all my classmates have and how we can all apply them to this profession. Children, education, the military, museums, environment, social commitment, theater, broadcasting… you name it! I think all these experiences make us professionals of a unique kind.
How has SLIS helped you in your preparation for your future career?
In general, there is a lot of focus on direct experience and on putting into practice what we have just learned in theory, which I think is the best approach to prepare students for their future careers. In particular, the courses I have taken so far have given me a better appreciation of my professional identity, helped me consolidate fundamental technology skills, and provided important perspectives on how professionals like me can make information accessible to different users.
What are your long-term professional goals?
I plan to specialize in digital content management, with an emphasis on video and images. While I have already had some professional experience with metadata, I am now also interested in application software and user interfaces. Ideally, I would like to work for a cultural institution, preferably in an international context.
15. What advice would you give to someone considering SLIS as their LIS school?
Go for it! When I enrolled, I was not entirely sure I had made the right choice. Now that I am halfway through I feel it was truly a wise move: I have learned so many things I wasn’t even aware of! Getting some working experience beforehand was also very helpful to better understand what and where I wanted to be after my degree.