Student Claudia Peters Pursues MLIS While Living in Europe

Peters chose SLIS because “the online courses give students a lot of flexibility to coordinate school, work, and family life, and students can live anywhere,” Peters said. “That flexibility is very important to me.”

Peters was born in Germany and earned her undergraduate degree in History from Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf. She moved to the U.S. in 2005 and had a hard time finding a job, in part because her English “wasn’t that good yet,” she said. So Peters decided to brush up her language skills and then go to graduate school. She wanted to pursue an education in a field that was practical yet would provide ample opportunity for lifelong learning. Library science, she soon realized, was the right choice.

“I’ve always enjoyed being in libraries, and I liked the idea of making information accessible to people and preserving it for future generations of users,” she said. “There were other aspects that drew me to the field, such as working in the nonprofit sector, being able to help people, and the opportunity for lifelong learning, as library science is a constantly changing and evolving field.”

Peters seeks out courses that will help make her more marketable when she looks for a job. For example, in Summer 2009, she completed LIBR 246 Web 2.0 for Librarians and Information Professions.

Her studies have already translated into an internship at Copenhagen University – Faculty Library of Humanities, which Peters will start in January. During the interview, the library director asked Peters if she could give a presentation to the library staff about the SLIS program and available online continuing education opportunities.

Peters moved to Denmark last year with her husband, who got a postdoctoral position at the Faculty of Life Sciences at the University of Copenhagen.

Peters often visits libraries in Copenhagen, and has noticed that Danish libraries tend to offer fewer instructional services than American libraries. But she is impressed with the Interlibrary Loan System, which allows patrons to order materials online from any library in the country and have them delivered to their nearest library free of charge.

Living in Denmark has allowed Peters to continue to perfect her English skills. “I don’t speak Danish,” she said. “But, fortunately, most Danish people speak English very well.”