Student Diane Malmstrom Wins Travel Award to ALA Midwinter Conference

Community Profile

“I was excited to get to ALA for the first time and to connect with colleagues and vendors in person,” said Malmstrom, who works as an Electronic Resources Acquisitions Specialist at SJSU’s King Library. “Having a strong relationship with database vendors is important, because it helps us to provide our patrons with reliable access to resources. Being able to strengthen those bonds at the conference was really valuable.”

The Asleson Memorial Grant provided $1,500 to help defray the cost of conference attendance at the ALA Midwinter meeting, which took place in Dallas, Texas. Malmstrom’s winning essay application examined the ways in which Web 2.0 technologies are changing library services.

“I’m especially interested in the entire digitization process,” Malmstrom explained. “I think that having access to digitized materials from all over the world is really exciting, especially as an online student.”

Malmstrom explored digital librarianship and other emerging trends during the conference author forums and roundtable discussions. She attended the Midwinter Conversation: Transforming Librarianship session to exchange ideas about the future of library services and how to successfully employ technology tools. “Everything’s changing so rapidly in libraries right now, and it was inspiring to take a look at the future and decide how we want to move forward,” Malmstrom said.

As an Electronic Resources Acquisitions Specialist, Malmstrom has focused her work and graduate studies on providing digital services. She manages more than 300 electronic databases at King Library and is responsible for purchasing, renewing, and maintaining access to database content. Part of her job involves collecting and analyzing usage statistics, and her San José State University School of Information course on text and data mining proved particularly helpful in her daily activities.

“We learned about different kinds of usage information and how it’s pulled out of a computer system,” Malmstrom explained. “That information helps you and your library do a better job in making selection and purchasing decisions. I ended up really enjoying the course and learning a lot, and I can definitely apply it in my work.”

Malmstrom began her career as a Library Clerk at the San Jose Public Library, where she worked part-time while raising her family. She transferred to her current full-time position in 2004 after SJPL and SJSU’s Clark Library became a joint-use academic-public King Library. Inspired by her work and by a transformative trip to Ireland, Malmstrom decided to go back to school, first earning her BA in English from SJSU and then enrolling in the School of Information in Fall 2009.

Malmstrom is also the recipient of the California Library Association Technical Services Interest Group’s 2010 New Leader Award. She plans to graduate from the iSchool in fall 2012.