Metadata Librarian Stays Current With Post-Master’s Certificate in Web Programming

Community Profile
Marina Morgan

“As a metadata librarian, ​I like to work on projects that will be beneficial to my institution, but also in areas where I see a need. I like to collaborate with others and stay up-to-date on what is new in the field. It is so important to keep yourself connected with the professional community.”

Marina Morgan, Metadata Librarian
Florida Southern College
Lakeland, FL     

Marina Morgan decided to earn the Post-Master’s Certificate in Web Programming and Information Architecture at the iSchool because she thought it would be an interesting personal challenge. “Things are developing very fast in our area of librarianship [cataloging], so I have to prepare myself for what the future will bring. I decided to go with the web programming path and I am so happy I did. I discovered myself along with skills and abilities that I didn’t know that I have. I never thought I could do programming,” said Morgan. Morgan was born and raised in Romania and moved to Canada at age 25 with her husband. She had a diploma from the University of Bucharest in Library and Archival Science, but needed a masters degree to work as a librarian in North America. Morgan began the program in Library and Information Studies at the University of Toronto, which she completed in 2009, and soon after began her career working in libraries in Canada. In 2016 Morgan and her husband decided to move to the states, so she accepted her first job in the U.S., a position as a Metadata Librarian at Florida Southern College.

Introduction to SJSU

Morgan initially heard of the SJSU iSchool at an expo at the Ontario Library Association conference where she was both attending and presenting. A lifelong learner, Morgan values knowing what is new in the field of librarianship and keeping up with what her peers are doing. She was intrigued by the post-master’s certificate program at SJSU because web programming and information architecture fit in with her aspirations and dreams for the future. So far she has found that web programming blends well with her attention to detail and technical background in cataloging and metadata.

The Certificate Coursework

Morgan will receive the Post-Master’s Certificate in the spring of 2019 after completing the 16 units required. She began the program by taking INFO 240: Information Technology Tools and Applications. “It was a good start to my certificate and really brought everything together. It was the perfect background for what was to come,” said Morgan. After that course she took INFO 246: Javascript/jQuery, which she says was a challenge. “That course made me face the reality of what web programming encompasses. It was the most challenging course I ever have taken in my life. It was a very good course in terms of making me realize that programming is not for everybody. It requires a certain amount of logical thinking. It has been challenging but I am so happy I took it,” said Morgan. She highly recommends INFO 287: User Experience for all certificate and MLIS students. “I would recommend it to anybody who is getting a MLIS or post-master’s certificate. It was an eye opening course that helped me think of ways I can apply everything that I learned at my library.” said Morgan. Her final courses to complete the certificate will include INFO 246:  Web Frameworks with Bootstrap and INFO 246: Python. Morgan says it is hard to choose a favorite class in the program because they have all been valuable.

Leadership Goals

Morgan has a plan on how to implement what she has learned at her institution. She was accepted to the Sunshine State Library Leadership Institute earlier this year, which is a 10-month program to help prepare library leaders of the future. She applied because of her interest in self-discovery; she wanted to know if she was a leader by nature. The program sets participants up with a mentor to help them complete a project. Morgan is choosing to use the web programming skills she has gained from the certificate program in the iSchool to create a custom web application tool to provide a service to the users at her library. She wants to help them locate items more easily in their stacks. The program began in October and she will begin working on her project in January of 2019.

Looking to the Future

The advice that Morgan has for information professionals starting out is to “choose the path that you would see yourself working in. This is a process of self-discovery, and you may experience surprises, but choose something you like and can see yourself doing in the future.” In addition, she emphasizes collaborating with other information professionals as much as possible. Morgan sees herself continuing on in academia for the remainder of her career. “There are lots of ways to implement my knowledge and skills in academia. My library does not have an IT department so with the knowledge I am gaining I can hopefully help in that area,” said Morgan. There are many paths within the academic world and she wants to keep exploring ways to push herself further in the field.