Alum Carla Garner took LIBR 281, Publishing for the Profession, so she had a general idea of how to submit an article for publication. But Garner had the opportunity to experience the process first hand while working as a research assistant for SLIS Director Ken Haycock. Shortly after starting the job last year, Haycock asked Garner to co-author an article on the future of librarianship for a career guidance journal.
“What an honor,” said Garner who graduated in December 2008.“ I accepted, of course!”
The piece, “The Bunheads Are Dead: Discovering High-Tech, High-Touch Opportunities in Library and Information Science ,” also ran in a new American Libraries Association digital publication in early 2009. Garner links to the article from her resume, and found that the experience “adds credibility and individuality to my professional history.”
This wasn’t the first time Garner worked with SLIS faculty outside of class. She served as a research assistant for Jane Fisher, SLIS Assistant Director of Research and Professional practice, as well as for Dr. Anthony Bernier. Garner also took a LIBR-298 Special Studies course with Dr. Debra Hansen, which involved writing biographies of SLIS faculty dating back to the 1920s.
“I encourage SLIS students to take advantage of opportunities that will take them beyond their coursework,” said Garner, who lives in the Chicago area. “I clearly feel more connected to the School because of the personal relationships that I have developed with the faculty.”
Garner earned her undergraduate degree in English from Northwestern University. She worked in public relations as a marketing manager for a bank group and later did project planning work in the engineering division of speaker maker Bose Corp. She left the workforce for 10 years to start a family, volunteering at school libraries during that time, and decided to get her MLIS as she returned to the job market because she liked how librarianship is “equally creative and analytical.”
Now Garner works with a freelance agency that specializes in placements for research, writing, graphics, and web development. The job gives her the flexibility to set her own schedule and was “a logical progression from my work with the SLIS faculty,” she said.
In her free time, Garner volunteers for blackpast.org by developing a bibliography of African American resources for K-12 students and teachers.