Student Brenda Sevingy-Killen Transitions from Nursing to Librarianship

“I went into nursing because of my desire to help people. What I didn’t foresee was the emotional toll it would take on me,” said Sevingy-Killen. “Being faced with illness and death on a daily basis was way too much sadness in my life. A career change was imperative for my well being, and librarianship upholds my desire to help others in a more positive light.”

Sevingy-Killen works as an off-campus librarian at the University of Maine, helping distance learning students who take online, video conference, and interactive television courses, as well as the faculty who teach those classes. She rarely meets face-to-face with her patrons, dealing with students primarily via email, phone and live chat.

Sevingy-Killen, who expects to graduate in 2013, decided to earn her MLIS degree “when I realized how much I enjoyed my work,” she said. She also wanted to learn more about reference services and management.

As someone whose day job involves distance education, earning her degree online through SLIS has been an educational experience in and of itself. Sevingy-Killen said she’s particularly enjoyed using the King Library website to see how other libraries direct distance students to their library’s service and teach information literacy skills remotely.

She earned her undergraduate degree in Information and Library Science at the University of Maine at Augusta through the school’s online program. “I’m very accustomed to the online environment, and know I can be successful in this method of course delivery,” she said.

In addition to working full-time at the University of Maine, Sevingy-Killen also works weekends at the Patten Free Library in Bath, Maine, to gain more library experience.

Sevingy-Killen is a recent recipient of the American Library Association’s Tom and Roberta Drewes Scholarship. Winning the scholarship helped ease some of the financial pressure on Sevingy-Killen and her husband.