Federal Librarian Fall 2010

2010 FAFLRT Student Awards

Poised, polished, professional and ready to take on a challenging career in federal libraries! Meet the 2010 FAFLRT student award winners and prepare to be impressed.
Megan Myers, Cicely Phippen Marks Scholarship

Megan Myers, School of Information and Library Science (Class of 2011) at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill is the 2010 recipient of the FAFLRT Cicely Phippen Marks Scholarship Award. The $1,500 scholarship is awarded to a student currently enrolled in an ALA-accredited library school program who has an interest in working in a Federal library. The scholarship was established in memory of Federal librarian Marks, through a generous donation by her husband Charles L. Garris.

Megan’s interest in librarianship began at a very early age, stemming from a love of books, organization and a desire to help others access information. But it was not until she interned at the U.S. Government Printing Office that she realized the opportunities available to librarians at the Federal level. Before enrolling in an MSLS program, Megan spent two consecutive summers (2008-2009), working as a student intern in the Library Services and Content Management Division. While at GPO she developed knowledge of many aspects of the Federal Depository Library Program (FLDP). She also had the opportunity to prepare presentations and film promotional video spots which allowed her to directly contribute to the public face of the FDLP. For Megan, “the largest project I contributed to was the transcription of 3,500 card catalog records as part of GPO’s Historic Shelf List project, a project which has had a direct impact on federal depositories already via the GPO/MARCIVE pilot project.” In addition to her work at GPO, Megan also works at the UNC Davis Library where she has undertaken three ongoing cataloging projects. Megan is a member of: Phi Beta Kappa (2009); Order of Omega (2008); Psi Chi, National Honor Society in Psychology (2007); and the Golden Key International Honour Society (2007).

As to a career in federal libraries, Megan feels that “there are many aspects of Federal librarianship that have captured her interest, and hopefully continue to motivate me as I pursue my career.” She goes on to say that “the diverse settings and environments in which the specialties of Federal librarians are applicable are diverse, and in the digital age, constantly growing.” She finds the wide range of Federal libraries both appealing and exciting in that she will never run out of opportunities to develop professionally and contribute nationally, something that cannot be said for other types of libraries. “The potential for Federal librarians to contribute to ongoing dialogues relating to government information, and how to fulfill the mandate set forth by FOIA, as well as concepts that extend beyond government information (e.g., copyright, fair use, or the Patriot Act) is another unique aspect of Federal librarianship,” said Megan. She also feels that the potential afforded through interagency collaborations strengthens the efforts of individual librarians to help shape access to information for U.S. citizens.

Megan received high marks from her peers, professors and employers. According to Laurie Beyer Hall, GPO Director of Library and Technical Information Services, Megan has a real feel for library work. “She quickly grasped the intellectual challenges of managing a program with 1250 library customers and the complex processes and procedures involved in a 150 year old program that is experiencing major changes with the migration from the tangible to the digital era…I see Megan as being our next generation of librarian. She is fully versed in new technology, appreciative of our rich legacy and the long and important history of libraries and librarianship…Any Federal agency would be lucky to have Megan serving as a professional librarian with her experience in both technical and reference services.”

For the duration of the summer intercession, Megan will be volunteering part time at the University of Virginia’s Regional Depository at Alderman Library under the guidance of Regional Documents Librarian Barbie Selby. Come August, Megan she begins a year-long library internship with the Environmental Protection Agency in Research Triangle Park, NC.

Megan asked that we relay to the FAFLRT membership what an honor it was to be selected to receive the scholarship and looks forward to pursuing a career in Federal librarianship in the years to come. She especially appreciated the opportunity to attend the Awards reception in the company of such successful Federal librarians and values everyone’s support in sharing the experience with her.

Julie K. Williams, Del Frate Conference Sponsorship

Julie K. Williams, School of Library and Information Science (Class of 2011) at San Jose State University is the 2010 recipient of the Federal Librarians Adelaide Del Frate Conference Sponsorship Award. The Award supports the attendance at an ALA annual meeting of a library school student who has an interest in Federal Librarianship. The $1,000 conference sponsorship was again generously supported by ProQuest. The award, now in its fourteenth year, was established in memory of Adelaide del Frate, distinguished federal librarian and active member the Round Table.

Julie is a busy individual with a host of interests. In addition to her studies she is also a student cataloging intern at the U.S. Dept. of Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation in the Mid-Pacific Region and a research analyst for the California Department of Education. Amid these responsibilities, she also found time to facilitate a session about federal librarianship at the Careers in Federal Libraries pre-conference workshop held during ALA.
Julie has a passion for libraries and is delighted to be pursuing her dream of becoming a professional librarian. She brings strong technical, analytical, and communications skills; paraprofessional experience in academic, public, and special libraries; and excitement about the future of federal librarianship. As a civil servant, she is very interested in a career as a federal librarian and is eager to learn more about and participate in FAFLRT. As a library school student, her research interests have focused on cataloging and classification, digital libraries, reference and instruction services, and the use of social networking tools. She is eager to put her theoretical learning into practice and looks forward to opportunities to network with librarians and other library school students during and following the ALA Conference.

In reading Julie application, one of the things that impressed the most was her astute observation that “These are dynamic times, and librarians with a tolerance for ambiguity are needed.” How many times have we reminded ourselves and reminded staff of the importance of being nimble!

The Awards Committee received glowing recommendations from Julie’s professors at San Jose State commending her intellectual curiosity, self discipline and commitment to librarianship. Julie views herself as a generalist with strong technical and analytical chops. She prides herself in taking a complicated issue and explaining it in understandable terms to an audience of stakeholders, decision-makers, or laypeople. As is immediately evident upon meeting Julie, she has a knack for creating rapport in a variety of situations.

I recently checked in with Julie to see how she was doing. Julie reports that although her internship with Alba Scott (a 2007 award winner) is now over, she remains committed to a career as a federal librarian. She is currently taking a maps and GIS reference course that she loves. And listen-up prospective employers, she is willing to relocate! I also asked Julie if she had any post-conference reflections to share. Here is just a bit of what she had to say:

Attending ALA Annual 2010 as the Federal Librarians Adelaide del Frate Conference Sponsorship Award Winner was a huge honor, for which I am extremely grateful. This was my first trip to D.C., and my first ALA conference. I met professors and classmates face-to-face for the first time, and a whole crowd of new friends and contacts. Also, my cataloging professor, Dr. Robert Ellett (without whose instruction I never would have been awarded my internship, nor known to apply for the conference sponsorship), shared with me that Adelaide del Frate was a great mentor for him when he started his federal career at NASA. Librarianship is a small well-connected world, eh? In reflecting on this experience, what stands out for me is the great value of gathering in person and interacting with colleagues. Everyone I met was friendly, engaged, and helpful. What a thrill to be among a thriving hive of accomplished librarians in our nation’s capitol city! For my first ALA conference, I aimed to sample as much variety as possible, from the pre-conference Careers workshop and technical sessions, to a variety of receptions, awards ceremonies, and enjoyable author programs. Everywhere I went I introduced myself and networked, and came home inspired for further study and excited about my chosen career. I look forward to connecting again in person at ALA Mid-Winter in San Diego, and ALA Annual 2011 in New Orleans!

To Megan and Julie, our congratulations again and best wishes! FAFLRT is pleased to have been able to play a role in supporting your federal library career aspirations.

Maria Pisa and Shirley Loo, Awards Committee, Co-chairs

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