Stacey Ogea, Branch Services Manager
I love being able to encourage someone who is growing in this profession.
Stacey Ogea, MLIS 2014, is a branch services manager for the Sarasota County Libraries and Historical Resources in Sarasota, Florida.
Q. What was your path to librarianship? Did you always know you wanted to work in libraries, or did you discover that later?
A. While pursuing my undergrad, I remember thinking that a library would be the last place I’d like to work. Little did I know that I would come to love libraries and the work they do for communities. My desire to help people led me to change focus and look to libraries to fill that internal longing to make a difference in people’s lives.
Q. Why did you choose Wayne State’s School of Information Sciences?
A. Wayne State has a stellar reputation and many colleagues of mine had attended. The program was also convenient because it was entirely online. I lived about two hours from campus, so having this option sealed the deal for me.
Q. How did the program prepare you for your current role?
A. I thoroughly enjoyed my class on management. Learning about different management styles helped me to narrow down my own style and use that knowledge to continue pursuing trainings that helped to hone my skills.
Q. What was a highlight of your time in the program?
A. I really enjoyed exploring different areas of librarianship. For instance, I found that I loved the History of Print and thought (briefly) of pursing archival studies. In the end, my interests remained with public libraries.
Q. What do you feel is the most important or surprising thing you've learned about the library and information science profession?
A. While school prepared me in the basic sense, there was nothing like real-world experience. In fact, I’ve always wanted to teach a class on what it’s really like to work in a public library and what to expect.
Q. What do you love most about your job?
A. My new role as branch services manager allows me to coach and mentor library managers. I can leverage my 23 years of experience in library management and leadership to help them be successful. I also mentor as part of our county’s “Mentoring for Success” program and have worked with a few mentees who are either currently in management positions or looking to advance their careers. I love being able to encourage someone who is growing in this profession. It is important for the future of libraries, that we inspire potential leaders.
Q. What advice would you give current students?
A. Follow your heart and explore all your options. Get as much experience as you can to not only help you decide what path you want to take, but also to improve your chances of landing your dream job. Volunteer at a library, join a Friends board, offer to teach a free class at your local library, and network through organizations that inspire your vision.