Life After MLIS
Alumni of the MLIS program are no strangers to accolades, and their career paths are quite varied and unique. While San José State University is in California, the online nature of the iSchool program means alumni succeed all over the country! Let’s see what they’re up to.
Youthful Enjoyment of Libraries Turns into a Career
Jasmin LoBasso, ‘19 MLIS, loved libraries at a very young age. She would spend hours each day at Kern County Library, reading voraciously. Today, she holds a position at Kern as a marketing and promotions coordinator and was named in 2019 as one of Bakersfield’s 20 Under 40 People to Watch. LoBasso views libraries as places where people can come in to get help with a resume, find a book, attend an event or simply find a friend – or even a hot meal. Jasmin believes that today’s librarian is “not someone who hushes people and keeps the doors closed” to protect their library’s book collections, but instead is “somebody who helps anybody who needs help.”
LoBasso enrolled in iSchool’s MLIS program after she was well into her current position and shared, “The interactive opportunities that I had with my classmates allowed me to learn what other libraries were doing, and that has helped me in my current role at Kern County Library.” View the video below and read more about her experience in her community profile.
Bridging Two Passions
Jerry Limberg, ‘17 MLIS, has traveled and lived all over the United States, including Arkansas, Utah and many parts of California. Those travels led her to a love of librarianship and teaching! Her experience at the iSchool is as varied as her travels; she bravely delved into subjects that weren’t necessarily in her wheelhouse. Today, she works as an adjunct professor at Palomar College and a librarian at Saddleback College. Limberg very much enjoys her current role in teaching and researching for the students and faculty members that make up her patron base. She advises current library and information science students: “Volunteering counts, too! You don’t need to rely only on internships to gain library work experience.”
In addition to completing two internships during her time at the iSchool, Limberg intentionally worked with career consultant Jill Klees at the SJSU iSchool Career Center. She shared, “I was a transitional student struggling with marrying my old skills with my new skills.” Klees worked with Limberg to update her resume. Limberg was subsequently offered a position to fill in for the reference and research librarian at the USD Legal Research Center. Since Limberg is an accomplished paralegal as well as a librarian, this role proved to be right up her alley! You can read more about Limberg and her career journey in her community profile.
Network Out and Up
Gerard Collins, ‘18 MLIS, began an exciting position as a resident archivist at California State University-Dominguez Hills in 2019. This two-year program, funded by USC Libraries, centers on Los Angeles as a subject and works to bring the history of the “city of angels” online to the greater public. Collins completed two internships during this time at the iSchool, and attributes much of his professional success to an intentional decision to network more. He shares, “I was really glad I got to work in a public library while I was going to school. The internships also helped me meet a diverse group of people with different skill sets, so try to get out there as much as you can. Build your network out not just up, as we were told during the Academy Gold program. Build connections with your peers so you can all bring yourselves up in the process.” Read more about his exciting journey through the iSchool program on his community profile.
From Internship to Job
In New York, we pay a visit to Rachel Greggs, ‘19 MLIS, who enrolled at the iSchool and soon discovered a passion for archives. Today, she is an assistant archivist at Redwood Library and Athenaeum. The path to this position began as an internship, and she was offered a position with just one semester left in her program. Greggs also served as a copy editor at the iSchool’s Student Research Journal while pursuing her MLIS, and was quickly promoted to managing editor.
She shared, “I’ve had such a positive experience at the iSchool; the instructors have been diverse and engaging and my peers have been inspiring. I’ve recommended SJSU to countless people who are considering a career somewhere in the LIS field.” With a position at her internship site turned workplace, and another job offer from the New Bedford Whaling Museum, great things are certainly on the horizon for Greggs! Read more about Greggs in her Day in the Life installment.
A Course of Discovery
Amy Wallace, ‘19 MLIS, represents a diverse geographic region as well. Starting in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, she landed a promotion as assistant branch manager at Johnson County Public Library in Indiana just a few short months after graduation. During her time at the iSchool, Wallace enjoyed working as a librarian and reading resource teacher at Bethany Christian Schools.
Wallace especially enjoyed her course work during her time at the iSchool. She shared, “These classes really helped me to expand my idea of what it takes to be a librarian, as well as grow my confidence in my work. I know that these courses, specifically, have done a great deal to prepare me for my career.” Check out more details on Wallace’s professional and academic journey in her entry in our Day in the Life series.
Eyes Wide Open
Shortly after graduation, Jenny Shonk, ‘16 MLIS, was promoted to continuing education and outreach librarian at the Finger Lakes Library System (originally hired as their technology training coordinator during her MLIS studies). Shonk shared, “Working at a public library, you are busy every day and don’t have time to think about the profession. Studying at the iSchool opened my eyes to what the library field has to offer and helped me to look at how to do my job differently.”
Alongside her engaging work at the Finger Lakes Library system, Shonk has found time to present at conferences. Her presentation, “Adult Programming: Beg, Borrow and Steal” at the Association of Rural and Small Libraries’ 2019 Annual Conference shares insight into her passion for serving adult patrons. Read more about her in her community profile!
Bettering Our Communities Coast to Coast
From California to New York and everywhere in between, MLIS alumni are taking the librarianship world by storm. To read more about our alumni, check out the Alumni Career Spotlight and Community Profiles pages. If you are an MLIS graduate or know someone we should highlight, submit that information through our create your own alumni career spotlight and share your news!