Hi all! I’m Cheryl and I’m very excited to be finally taking this course! I am a person who rewards herself, so this class is a reward for finishing all my required courses in the program. Next semester I will do my e-portfolio and graduate after three long years! It feels just like yesterday that I was starting this program and watching a video of Michael in INFO 200 (I had a different professor, but Michael was a guest lecturer a few times). Ever since that first semester I have wanted to take another class with him and here I finally am! I’m also an intern for Michael with two other fabulous ladies, doing WordPress help, so this semester is a dream come true!
A little more about who I am
I work at an academic library (Kennedy Library at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo) on the central coast of California. My background is in HR and finance and so I came to the Kennedy Library as the assistant to the dean overseeing the entire admin office operations in 2011. Since that time my role has significantly expanded and I am currently the director of access, operations, and administrative services for the library. I still oversee all the HR and financial functions, but I also oversee the building operations (we’re 5 floors and open 7am-12am, plus our first floor is 24 hours), as well as the circulation department (aka access services). I’ve only met one other person who has this unique set of responsibilities, so I chalk it up to the uniqueness of our library and it’s needs, plus what I bring to the position.
Why I’m in this program
Like I said above, I started this program three years ago and I’ve been doing it part-time while working full-time in a management role, as well as raising two kids (now 17 and 19). The decision to start this program came from me finally realizing I knew what I wanted to get my master’s degree in. My bachelor’s is in psychology and I could just never find a degree program in this field that seemed to be in alignment with what I was doing and where I was going career-wise. I explored degree programs at Cal Poly, but this is a polytechnic university focused heavily in the sciences, engineering, and agricultural areas. The business school programs were geared towards MBA’s and Public Policy, and that didn’t seem to fit either. I actually don’t remember how I stumbled upon the iSchool program; it may have actually been in my work and researching professional development opportunities for our staff. But I knew it when I saw it that I had found my degree program. The leadership and management pathway has been synchronistically in alignment with everything I am responsible for doing, and it has made me a better employee and leader. I have used reports in this program to help inform others of our programs and strategic plans, and I have used readings in the course material to share with my other leadership team members to keep us all thinking about how we are leading the library. I’m actually a little sad in that regard to my experience coming to an end because I will need to find ways in my personal life to keep learning.
I don’t know what is in store for me in the future, but I know that having my MLIS will certainly open doors that couldn’t be opened before. I’m excited for the content in this course because I KNOW it will be information I will put to use in my position. Sometimes it’s not immediate, and sometimes it is, but it will happen!