Alumna Marci Hunsaker Serves as King Library’s New SLIS Liaison

Hunsaker’s job involves meeting the information needs of the SLIS community, whether it’s by phone or email, in person, or through her Elluminate office hours. She’s also responsible for collection development in Library and Information Science and spends time researching books, journals, and other resources.

Hunsaker has been a librarian at King Library since 2006, and was co-head of the Reference Department for two years. She took on her new role in January 2011 when former SLIS Library Liaison Lorene Sisson retired.

“I’m really enjoying this opportunity,” Hunsaker said. “I find that SLIS students are especially motivated, and working with them is really fun.”

In addition to her responsibilities as SLIS liaison, Hunsaker works the physical reference desk and answers questions from the general public and from SJSU students of all disciplines. Her typical day might also include teaching information literacy classes, conducting library tours, supervising interns, and meeting with research or recruitment committees.

One of Hunsaker’s favorite parts of her job is experimenting with new tools and technologies. She recently tested out various e-readers during an “e-book petting zoo” at the library, and is also learning about providing reference services via Wimba Pronto, a new instant-messaging platform with audio chat and application-sharing capabilities. “I love being able to try out all these new things,” Hunsaker said. “I think SLIS has so many great technology tools, and King Library certainly does too.”

Hunsaker was a student in the SLIS program from 2002-2006, before the School transitioned to a fully online format. She witnessed the construction of King Library and had the chance to tour the building site in a hardhat with her classmates in LIBR 230: Issues in Academic Libraries. The library opened in 2003 and serves as the main library for both San Jose State University and the San Jose Public Library system.

An internship at the new King Library convinced Hunsaker that she was on the right career path. “When I came to the academic library environment I thought, ‘wow, this just feels right,’” she explained.

Her internship soon led to a graduate student assistant position in Reference, where one of her accomplishments was helping to create the LOTSS tutorial. LOTSS, or Library Online Tutorial for the School of Library and Information Science Students, is designed to give SLIS students an introduction to several online databases and is used as part of the coursework for LIBR 203 Online Social Networking: Technology and Tools.

“It’s fun to go back and work with the tools that I helped create as a student, from my new perspective as the Library Science liaison,” said Hunsaker.

Hunsaker recommends that incoming and current SLIS students keep their LIBR 203 notes handy, and to be sure and bookmark the link to her Library and Information Science LibGuide. It provides quick help in obtaining library resources, getting a library PIN, searching library databases, and finding other information.

Hunsaker is always happy to provide whatever guidance students may need. I really do love helping students and patrons with questions,” she said. “In some ways I have the perfect job. I get to learn new things every day, I get to play with new technology, and I get to help people.”