King Library Liaisons Assist iSchool Students and Faculty
Three librarians from the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library at San José State University have been appointed to help students and faculty members of the SJSU School of Information navigate and access information through library resources and online. Craig Simpson, Gareth Scott and DeeAnn Tran assume the library liaison role from Ann Agee who held the position for the past five years. Agee started a new position as faculty director of collections and scholarly communications for the King Library.
Simpson, director of special collections and archives, works with students enrolled in the Master of Archives and Records Administration program.
While completing his graduate studies—he holds an MA in History from Marquette University and MLIS from Kent University—Simpson said he never took a course that required him to use the University Archives. “It wasn’t until I started working as a student assistant in Marquette Archives and Special Collections that I discovered the significance of rare and unique materials housed in an archival repository, how they aren’t just ‘locked away’ but are conserved and made accessible to students and scholars alike,” he said.
“Demystifying archival work makes it simultaneously more approachable and lends a greater appreciation to the rigor it requires. This has been my mission over the course of my 15 years in the profession, and I love facilitating use of our materials to students and scholars and teaching visiting classes at SJSU,” Simpson said.
Scott, who received his MLIS in 2010 from the University of Washington, has been working at SJSU since 2018, and has served as liaison to departments in Art, Art History, Design, Engineering, and now Library and Information Science.
For Scott, a career in libraries was “an opportunity to learn a little about everything, surrounded by knowledge. Moreover, I wanted to help people, by providing library materials and services that are not only valuable, but free to the library patron,” he said.
“I really enjoy being a liaison for the iSchool because I can work with future librarians who share my passion for libraries,” said Scott. “Their research questions are always interesting and allow me to sharpen my reference skills and knowledge in library science. I am happy to impart some experience I have gained, since my own time pursuing an MLIS degree.”
Tran, who received her MLIS from SJSU in 2017, joined the King Library in 2018. In addition to liaising for the iSchool, she also serves as the librarian for Teacher Education and Special Education. She has more than 15 years working in public and independent school libraries in the Bay Area.
Tran said she first began spending a lot of time in libraries as a volunteer at her children’s school library, where she was eventually offered a part-time position. The experience “exposed a new passion in me,” she said. “I loved introducing students to new literature in the library and talking to them about what they’ve read. And I loved the challenge of connecting the right book to its reader. I decided to return to school and pursue my career in librarianship. SJSU’s iSchool was the perfect program for my situation. I was able to continue working in school libraries while pursuing an MLIS in a fully online program,” Tran explained.
Tran said she enjoyed her time as a student in the iSchool’s MLIS program and feels fortunate to be a part of the program again from another perspective. “The experiences I had while a student are fresh in my mind, and because of this, I empathize with students and enjoy working with them through challenges, whether it is locating relevant resources for their research, citation practices, or any other questions that arise throughout the semester.”
To ensure seamless coverage, Scott and Tran share a single email address for students to reach them at: firstname.lastname@example.org. MARA students can reach Simpson at his email address: email@example.com.