Student Colleen Cirocco is working toward her MLIS with a specialization in Archival Administration. In early summer 2017 she completed a two-week intensive study of the libraries of Italy. More about her experience can be found on the Ideas Blog.
What is your name? What degree are you seeking? What semester/year do you expect to graduate?
Colleen Cirocco. I’m seeking a Masters in Library and Information Science with a concentration in Archival Administration. I am expecting to graduate in May, 2019.
Where do you currently reside? If you moved to metro Detroit to attend SLIS, where did you move from?
I currently reside with my parents in Grosse Pointe Farms, MI. I moved back with them in 2016, to be able to afford going to school. Previously I had lived in Hamtramck, MI, and before that in Ann Arbor, MI for seven years.
What other degrees do you have and where are they from?
I have a BA in Comparative Literature from the University of Michigan. I graduated in 2010.
Why did you choose Wayne State School of Library and Information Science?
I actually went to Wayne State for one year before transferring to U of M for undergrad, and so I felt comfortable transitioning back to a school I was familiar with. I liked that there was an option to take either online or in person classes, and that it was close to home. I also have a friend who graduated from the program and has kind of my dream job (The Visual Resources Curator at FIT in Manhattan!)
What area are you specializing in? Why?
I am specializing in archival administration, with a focus on digitization and technology. I love art and history and want to be a part of preserving and making it accessible to the public.
Where/What format do you take most of your classes? Why?
So far I have taken both online and in person classes. While I like the convenience of online classes, I do prefer the spontaneity of discussion that you can only get in person. For some reason the information sticks with me in a different way, and I like making friends in class. It helps me to know how other people are navigating the program and who else is out there.
Are you active in any student organizations?
Not currently, but I would like to become involved this year with NDSA.
Are you currently doing any library, DCM, Archives or Information Management related work? If so, how has the program prepared you for it?
This is more of a career change for me, I have actually never worked in a library or an archive. I currently work for Title Source, which is a sister company of Quicken Loans. I wanted to go back to school to be able to find a profession more aligned with my passions.
What are you most proud of in your time as a student at SLIS?
To be honest I’m mostly just proud that I’ve gotten this far! Having to work full time and go to school is incredibly challenging, but I’ve found that my interest in the subject and support of my professors and classmates has been getting me through.
Is there a professor who has really impacted your journey into becoming a librarian or information professional?
I was very grateful to have Dian Walster as my professor for my first ever class in grad school. I was so nervous that night, trying to find parking, I even showed up a few minutes late, but Professor Walster was very calm yet enthusiastic about the subject matter. She exposed me to the myriad of possibilities that comes with an MLIS degree. I found her style of teaching very exploratory, and her class was a non-pressured environment, which is when I allow myself to really experience learning.
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 most surprised at how many directions the field can take you in. When I first graduated college I would have only thought it was school for librarians, but now I know that you can apply the skills we are learning to nearly every industry.
How has SLIS helped you in your preparation for your future career?
SLIS really likes making us do group work. It’s not always fun, but it is really good practice for having to be group members in a professional setting. Setting up communication for a group of remote students across three different time zones and work schedules may seem impossible, but it is possible! Working through these challenges has taught me so much about who I am in a group
What are your long-term professional goals?
I’m still trying to figure out exactly what I’d like to do professionally, I can picture myself being happy in many different roles. That is one thing I really like about this field in general, it’s possible to grow and change job titles throughout your career, you’re not settling for just one. I do think it would be interesting to work with film or audio restoration, to work in a museum, in a historical society, in a position that involves travel or international collaboration. I’m excited to see where this degree will take me!
What advice would you give to someone considering SLIS as their LIS school?
I would tell them to find some time to let everything soak in, because classes and semesters go by so fast. Find a way to reflect on what types of thoughts and questions your classes are bringing up. It will help to crystallize your thoughts and reflect on the direction you’re going in! You may only be in graduate school once in your life, so try to enjoy it as much as you can while it lasts.