The most important thing I’ve learned is to balance the human interaction aspect of the profession with the technical knowledge needed for the role.
"I am most proud of my ability to juggle many different priorities while still remaining dedicated in learning about this new field I have entered. I have positioned myself to really learn about libraries and information science in a number of different ways and I think it is really paying off." -- Ashley Jackson
Q: What’s your name? What degree you are seeking? What semester/year do you expect to graduate?
My name is Ashley Jackson and I am seeking a master’s degree in library and information science. I expect to graduate in May 2020.
Q: Where are you from originally? How long have you been in the area? Did you move here to go to school?
I am a native Detroiter and I currently reside on the west side of the city.
Q: What other degrees do you have and where are they from?
I have a bachelor’s degree in human development family studies from Michigan State University and a master’s degree in educational psychology from Eastern Michigan University.
Q: Why did you choose Wayne State School of Information Sciences?
I chose Wayne State because of its reputation and recognition for library science within the state. I also chose Wayne State because of the easy commute and the opportunity to become a GSA while completing my degree.
Q: What area are you specializing in? Why?
I am specializing in library services because I have an interest in working within a library system either academic or public.
Q: Where/What format do you take most of your classes? Why?
Most of the classes offered at Wayne for this degree program are online. Consequently, all of my classes thus far have been online.
Q: Are you active in any student organizations?
I am not currently active in any student organizations on campus but I do participate with the Black Caucus of the American Library Association.
Q: How has your involvement in student organizations impacted your SIS experience?
My involvement with the Black Caucus has allowed me to stay current on some of the events and academic research within the library science field.
Q: Are you currently doing any library, DCM, Archives or Information Management related work? If so, how has the program prepared you for it?
I am currently a graduate student assistant for the Wayne State Library System and I also intern at a suburban library during the week. This program has prepared me in both roles by being more knowledgeable and familiar with library services and duties while I also learn the specifics of working in each environment.
Q: What are you most proud of in your time as a student at SIS?
I am most proud of my ability to juggle many different priorities while still remaining dedicated in learning about this new field I have entered. I have positioned myself to really learn about libraries and information science in a number of different ways and I think it is really paying off.
Q: Is there a professor who has really impacted your journey into becoming an information professional?
I have really enjoyed Dr. Charbonneau’s course on library management. Her class was very practical and I really got a better understanding of what a good leader/manager is and can be to an information professional.
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?
The most important thing I’ve learned is to balance the human interaction aspect of the profession with the technical knowledge needed for the role. I don’t think one is more important than the other but I do think the way you communicate and talk with patrons can mean more to them than what you actually “know” about their inquiry or a particular subject.
Q: Do you feel well prepared for a career in the information profession? Any long-term professional goals?
I feel that my course work has given me a great foundation for a career in the information profession but I do not feel fully prepared; I certainly have more things to learn. I am still actively crafting my long-term professional goals in this field.
Q: What advice would you give to someone considering SIS to pursue their MLIS degree?
I would recommend for someone considering SIS as a potential degree program to do their research and be clear on what professional roles they can pursue once they obtain a degree from this program. I would also advise them to reach out to anyone they may know of who has a career in one of the SIS career paths and get their thoughts on pursuing this as a profession. Sometimes we can romanticize a job or career without looking at it practically. I think anyone wanting to get a master’s degree today should do their research on if it is the best decision for their professional and personal goals.