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Crystal Jolly-Washington, Children's Librarian

A headshot of SIS alumna Crystal Jolly-Washington.
I am so proud to have held the position of Diversity Graduate Student Assistant for SIS. It gave me the opportunity to spread the word about viable career options in LIS to underrepresented groups.

Crystal Jolly-Washington is a life-long Detroiter who loves librarianship and her hometown. She is a children's librarian in her community at the Detroit Public Library (DPL) and spends much of her time visiting elementary schools and promoting the joy of reading on the DPL Mobile Library. 

Jolly-Washington has a Bachelor of Arts in public affairs from Wayne State University and graduated from the School of Information Sciences with a Master of Library and Information Science in 2012. She was the Diversity Graduate Student Assistant and was active in many of the school’s student organizations.

“I am so proud to have held the position of Diversity Graduate Student Assistant for SIS,” Jolly-Washington said. “I had the opportunity to participate in conferences and visit places all over the country in an effort to spread the word about viable career options in library and information science to underrepresented groups.”

Jolly-Washington also participated in outreach to community organizations in Detroit and was a co-founder and president of the Future Librarians for Inclusivity and Diversity student organization and vice president of the WSU chapter of the American Library Association.

"Being involved in student organizations definitely enhanced my experience at SIS,” she said. “I met so many wonderful colleagues I probably would not have met if not for participating in student organizations. Additionally, taking on leadership roles enabled me to hone my leadership and networking skills."

Q: Why did you choose SIS?
A: I chose SIS for several reasons, but the most important factor was location. It is the only library and information science program in Detroit. SIS is located in the heart of Detroit, next to several noteworthy museums and libraries. Additionally, I liked that SIS offers degrees in both traditional and non-traditional areas of librarianship.

Q: What area did you specialize in?
A: I specialized in public libraries with a focus on services to children and young adults. I chose this area because I enjoy working with youth and reading literature tailored for youth. I am a city girl so working with youth in an urban setting was a natural desire of mine.

Q: What do you feel is the most important or surprising thing you've learned about the library and information science profession?
A: The library and information science world is very small! Everyone knows everyone. It is like a huge family, and I like that.

Q: What advice would you give to current students?
A: Get involved! Participate in conferences and other professional activities and organizations because it will pay off. You never know who you will impress which could lead to employment.