Earning her MLIS at San Jose State sometimes felt like a long journey for Jami Morritt, but it paid off when the Spring 2008 grad landed her “dream job” as Records Manager for the City of Berkeley.
Morritt started out her career in records management almost by accident. When she moved to the San Francisco Bay Area nearly 10 years ago, she applied for a job at the Communications and Resource Center for UC Berkeley. Morritt, who earned her B.A. in Sociology from UCLA, quickly discovered she had an affinity for indexing and imaging documents. But after four years on the job, she was acutely aware that if she ever wanted to move up in her field she needed an MLIS to qualify for other positions.
So Morritt applied to SJSU, planning to continue working full-time at Berkeley while raising her then 2-year-old daughter. Soon after she was accepted she found out that she was expecting again – triplets this time. She briefly considered deferring, “but I knew that I needed this degree to attain my career goals so I might as well start.”
Morritt took four years to complete her degree, often taking one or two classes a semester. She particularly liked her Records Management course with David DeLorenzo and Archives and Manuscripts with Julia Daniel. She also appreciates the opportunity to complete an internship at Berkeley’s University Archives in the Bancroft Library under Associate Archivist Kathryn Neal.
Morritt started her job at the City of Berkeley last July, reporting to the City Clerk. She’s responsible for maintenance and continued development of the citywide records management program, including managing some 9,000 boxes of records stored at an off-site facility, updating and checking compliance with the citywide records retention schedule, and indexing and imaging documents posted to the city’s online database .
“A lot of Berkeley’s residents want to be involved in the political process, and we’re a very citizen-oriented office,” she said. “We’re constantly thinking of new imaging projects to make more documents available to the Berkeley community.”
While at SJSU, Morritt managed to squeeze in her studies mostly while her children were sleeping, motivated by the dream of “all of my kids clapping and yelling when I walked across the stage at graduation.” Her children, now ages 4 ½ for the triplets and 7, did indeed cheer their mother on at graduation – and they’ve even given her job their own interpretation. “I tried to explain what a Records Manager is, but they call me the Queen of Paper instead,” she said with a laugh.