Providing Accessibility and Connectivity Drives Global iSchool Student

Community Profile

“Being a global LIS professional means that we are respectful, refrain from isolating an individual or group, and appreciate different perspectives and cultures.”

Lingsze Wong
MLIS Student Graduating Winter 2018

Over the years, global San José State University School of Information student Lingsze Wong heard from numerous librarians that she should join their forces. It’s only natural, because, as Wong says, “I enjoy interacting with others learning from others, and being able to help others find information. Making things accessible and creating programs that are both educational and entertaining are duties I would love to have as a public librarian.” Living overseas in Belgium, Wong needed a fully accredited, fully-online MLIS program that provided ample flexibility. She found exactly what she was looking for in SJSU’s School of Information. “SJSU is also ranked well on Best Colleges,” says Wong, “and on U.S. News.” Wong was also very familiar with the campus and had plenty of friends who had gone through SJSU’s undergrad programs.

The Global Perspective
To Wong, being a global LIS professional means understanding one’s identity and being willing to learn and understand others. “Being a global LIS professional,” says Wong (pictured right, volunteering as a storyteller in a Belgian library), “means that we are respectful, we refrain from isolating an individual or a group and fully appreciate different perspectives and cultures.” Wong continues, “As the world becomes more interconnected, the need for global competence grows. I don’t think it is the key to an LIS professional’s success, but I do think it’s important for LIS professions to have some global perspective and knowledge in order to stay relevant.”

Courses at SJSU’s iSchool, as well as Wong’s ongoing homestead being overseas, have informed her own global perceptions of the LIS profession and given her skills to provide information services to her communities. Alongside previous community profile subject Bronwyn Clarke, Wong just wrapped up with a version of INFO 287 (taught by iSchool professor Debbie Weissmann) that focuses on gamifying information with a deep focus on one singular LIS topic. Through the nigh universal language of games, Wong feels confident that she will now be able to build games and programs to connect with patrons wherever she goes in this wide world.

Beyond the iSchool
For now, Wong’s work is at home with her two daughters. “Once they are of school age, though,” Wong says, “I plan to seek work at a nearby information center or library.” Currently, Wong volunteers as a storyteller and occasionally works with the librarians in her community to design new and engaging programs like the one she developed and recorded in this video where children need to seek out and learn about the twelve Chinese zodiacs throughout the library. The goal of the game is to enhance children’s understanding of another culture (Wong’s culture), certainly, but the symbols are also tied to different resources in the library so that they can learn about the library’s offerings. Says Wong, “I loved it when one of the kids asked the staff where the Adult Portuegese section is. Although she may be too young to utilize the section now, it is still important for them to know what’s in the library’s collection and how to locate everything. Wong’s experience as a volunteer library aide and now programmer has given her unprecedented access to the profession, allowing her to grow and learn in preparation for her future as an LIS professional.

As for her ideal steps after receiving her MLIS, Wong is looking for a mix of rewarding work and necessary convenience. “My ideal future,” she says, “is that I get to work as a librarian with an awesome cohesive group that passionately enjoys their job in an information setting that is near my daughters’ school so they can come directly to the library after school and take part in some amazing programs.” Her heart and mind in the best of places, there is no doubt that Wong will find her way towards that future.