Student Hoan-Vu Do Applies iSchool Scholarships to Career Goals in Science Librarianship

Community Profile

Student Hoan-Vu Do was awarded the 2011 iSchool H.W. Wilson Scholarship, which will support his MLIS studies and career goals in science librarianship.

Do, who enrolled in our school’s MLIS program in fall 2010, has been drawn to libraries ever since his family emigrated from Vietnam as refugees in 1994. “We came from a small village, and we didn’t have a library or bookstore,” Do explained. “The library in the City Heights neighborhood of San Diego was the first place where I could learn about books and libraries, and I loved going there when I was young.”

Do volunteered with the San Diego Public Library as a high school student and was hired as a library clerk during his sophomore year at San Diego State University. As an undergraduate he was awarded several research fellowships and earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology with an emphasis on Ecology.

After graduating in 2007, Do received a travel grant from the National Science Foundation’s Partnerships in International Research and Education (PIRE) program to study carbon uptake in the Amazon forest. In 2009 he observed endangered primates in Vietnam through a National Institute of Health international research fellowship.

“I have always been interested in forests and ecology,” said Do, who used to spend his childhood summers helping out on his family’s coffee plantations in the mountains of Vietnam and exploring the surrounding environment.

Do hopes to share his knowledge and passion for ecology by working in a university’s science library and incorporating new technologies in library services.

During the summer of 2011 he will spend eight weeks at the new Science and Engineering Library at Columbia University in New York to gain skills in reference, instruction, outreach services, digital projects and communication, emerging technologies, and science librarianship. “I’m grateful to the Association of Research Libraries Career Enhancement Program for this fellowship opportunity,” Do said.

Do is also grateful for the support he received from the Serra Cooperative Library System during the past academic year. Thanks to a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) awarded two years ago, Serra partners with the iSchool to provide scholarships and other support to Serra employees who are interested in earning an MLIS degree and serving the area’s multicultural and multilingual communities. Serra’s 14 public libraries serve San Diego and Imperial Counties, the two California counties that border Mexico.

Do’s work as a clerk at the City Heights Library currently involves supporting the library’s summer reading program and collection development. “I help out wherever I can,” he said.

Do just completed his second semester in the MLIS program and is looking forward to future classes, especially INFO 240: Information Technology Tools and Applications. He anticipates graduating in fall 2012.

The $1,000 annual iSchool H.W. Wilson Scholarship is endowed by the H.W. Wilson Foundation. Do was also the recipient of a 2010 ALA Spectrum Scholarship.