Student Carleen Huxley Expands Her Knowledge in Digital Services and Social Media through the SJSU SLIS Post-Master’s Certificate Program

When student Carleen Huxley received her MLIS degree in 2006 from the University of Oklahoma, in Tulsa, libraries were just beginning to explore social media as a service tool. To improve her knowledge in digital services and social media, Huxley recently enrolled in our School’s Post-Master’s Certificate Program, which allows individuals who already hold a master’s degree in any discipline to update their knowledge and explore emerging trends in library and information science.

“When I first earned my MLIS degree, libraries were on the cusp of using social media as a powerful tool, and my library program wasn’t prepared to respond,” recalled Huxley, who currently works as an Assistant Librarian at Jefferson Community College, in Watertown, NY. “Since then, I’ve been trying to learn how to incorporate social media in my work on my own. I considered a second master’s in LIS, but felt the post-master’s certificate from SJSU SLIS would give me the focused, organized learning environment I needed and the certificate would add to my credentials.”

As part of the Post-Master’s Certificate Program, Huxley already completed the School’s one-unit introductory course to its online learning environment (LIBR 203). She’s also required to complete five electives, focusing her coursework on one of six certificate program Career Pathways. Her chosen pathway, the Digital Services & Emerging Technologies Pathway, has allowed her to take courses that explore web usability, transformative learning and technology, and the hyperlinked library – topics that relate to open access education and initiatives she would like to bring to her community college library, which has a growing distance student population.

With a target finish date at the end of Fall 2013, Huxley appreciates the online aspect of the certificate program. “I am comfortable with distance learning, and the flexibility is key – I work fulltime, have a child, and live in New York,” she said. “With SJSU SLIS, I have access to great professors and a great program.”

Huxley recommends the program to other professionals who, as she put it, “feel lost in the new participatory culture.” In her position, which includes coordinating library instruction, Huxley schedules library instruction and information literacy classes. She also oversees the reference department and assesses student learning. But she hopes to bring new knowledge into her institution, particularly to benefit distance students.

“Coursework can be overwhelming for those of us already in the profession working full-time jobs,” she said. “It’s not easy, but it’s incredibly accommodating and fulfilling. This program has given me a new sense of excitement about the profession.”

Influential Classes

Michael Stephens’ LIBR 281 and LIBR 287: “Both classes were taught using BuddyPress, which is Wordpress’s open access content management system. Students get to interact in an open environment, applying the technology and practices Stephens teaches in his classes.”

Favorite Blog

Tame the Web, a blog by SJSU SLIS Assistant Professor Michael Stephens: “I’ve been following it for years.”

For a list of other blogs Huxley follows, see her Online Personal Information Network, which Huxley created in Stephens’ LIBR 287 course.

Professional Affiliations

ALA and SUNY Library Association (SUNYLA): “SUNY stands for State University of New York. I currently serve as secretary for the SUNYLA Council.