Previous Member Spotlight - Laura Blessing
Professional experience, particularly LLAMA activities
I have worked in Human Resources in Libraries for the majority of my professional career—both here at North Carolina State University Libraries and at the University of Texas at Arlington. I also worked as the Head of Circulation at the University of Wisconsin—Green Bay. My involvement with LLAMA includes membership and co-Chairing of the Diversity Officers Discussion Group and the Staff Development committee. A few years ago, I became the first ever chair of a new LLAMA committee: the Human Resources Management Committee. I then served as Vice-Chair for the LLAMA Human Resources Section and most recently, I became HRS Section Chair.
Best Benefit of LLAMA membership
For me, the best benefit of LLAMA membership has been the colleagues I’ve met along the way. LLAMA’s excellent programming makes it the ideal place to meet and network with people doing similar (and sometimes not so similar) work to what you’re doing. I’ve found myself thinking of these colleagues both as wonderful professional resources as well as dear friends.
If you had not chosen your present career, what would you be doing?
When I was in college, I met with a career counselor who had me answer a series of questions regarding my interests and abilities. They compared my answers with those of professionals in various careers and my answers ended up being the closest to the answers from Funeral Home Directors! Odd that they never asked how I felt about working with dead people. But truly, if I weren’t in libraries, I would probably work as a human resource manager in a non-profit organization or I could also see myself working as a family therapist.
What was your favorite class in college?
I loved taking my introductory Social Psychology class. That course delved into issues like gender roles, racial stereotyping, and how societies form social norms. We also touched on the psychology of working—perspectives from the employer vs. the employee. These are all issues that I still ponder in my daily life and deal with regularly in my career. I’m still as fascinated by these matters as I was back then.