Student Richard Thomchick Credits Coursework in Emerging Technology for Landing New Digital Asset Management Job
Richard.Thomchick

Student Richard Thomchick attributes his recent hire as Senior Marketing Technical Writer and Content Strategist at Violin Memory, a Flash-based data storage provider, to using the word “curation” properly in a sentence. On task to design the company’s master document library, Thomchick is relying on knowledge and skills in digital asset management and emerging technologies gleaned from his courses in the Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) program at the information school.

“In Dr. Michael Stephens’ LIBR 287 course (Seminar in Information Science: The Hyperlinked Library -- Emerging Trends, Emerging Technologies), we experimented with new software and learned to approach technology openly and critically,” recalled Thomchick, who plans to complete his degree in December 2013. “I became very active in Twitter and connected with an entirely new social network – one more attuned to my academic and professional interests.”

Through Twitter, Thomchick became aware of a Pinterest contest, where the objective was to create a Pinterest board about the theme of new librarianship. “I saw this as an opportunity to get to know Pinterest,” said Thomchick, who was invited to write about his experience in Michael Stephens’ blog, Tame the Web. His Pinterest board focused on topics Thomchick had learned about in Stephens’ class and featured people he considered new librarians, including Assistant Professor Michael Stephens, Lecturer Jeremy Kemp, other information school faculty, as well as student committees. “I ended up placing in the top three,” Thomchick said. “The experience taught me a lot about last minute polling It was a fun experience, and I made new connections.”

Thomchick started the MLIS program in Spring 2009 and is focusing his coursework on electives from the school’s digital services and emerging technologies career pathways. “My classes have had an immediate benefit on my job,” he said. “And the program, overall, has had an immediate impact on my career. Companies have a pressing need to organize information and need professionals who know how to organize knowledge, information, and digital assets. What really got me this job was a combination of the writing and content creation I did before, and the skills I learned at SLIS, particularly digital asset management.”

Influential Classes:

LIBR 287 (Seminar in Information Science: The Hyperlinked Library -- Emerging Trends, Emerging Technologies): “The way Michael Stephens approaches teaching is very humanistic. I felt like I was in a room with him rather than attending an online lecture.”

LIBR 285 (Research Methods in Library and Information Science): “I took the general focus with Dr. Lili Luo, who specializes in digital reference service.”

LIBR 210 (Reference and Information Services): “Lecturer Scott Brown is a great instructor. I’m now a trained, approved IPL reference volunteer, answering real questions and providing real services.”

Professional Affiliations:

ALA Student CChapter at SJSU SLIS: “I served as Co-Chair/ Webmaster for the 2012-13 year. Our goal is to foster engagement with ALA and serve the school’s ALA members, active or not.”

CASA Student Affairs Committee: “I represent SLIS to the Dean of the SJSU College of Applied Sciences and Arts (CASA), providing insight into our online programs and informing the Dean about what’s going on in our student body.”

Best Conferences

Internet Librarian Conference: “IL is our tribe. The conference (and Monterey) are small enough to make it intimate yet jam-packed with great sessions and speakers.”

American Library Association annual conference: “The ALA 2012 conference in Anaheim was where I started to make valuable professional connections. It was the first time I met many of my fellow ALA Student Chapter officers in person. Having person-to-person contact was special because it’s such a rarity in an online program.”

CALIFA Digitization Symposium: “I wrote a blog post about the 2009 conference.”

California Library Association annual conference