College of DuPage LTA Student Interview #4

By Amanda Musacchio

This is the fourth in a series of interviews with College of DuPage Library and Information Technology students. These interviews were conducted by myself, Amanda Musacchio, Program Chair and Instructor at the College of DuPage. The Library and Information Technology Program includes a 30 credit Library and Information Technology Certificate as well as a 64 credit Associate in Applied Science Library and Information Technology Degree. For more information, please contact me at musacchioa@cod.edu.

This interview features current student, Jean McDonough.

Jean McDonough

1. What would you like to share about yourself?

I am currently a preschool-eighth grade elementary school librarian at SS. Peter and Paul Catholic School in Cary, Illinois. I have also taught middle school art and language arts in public schools, as well as creative writing at universities in Michigan. In addition to my experience as a teacher and school librarian, I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Photography and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Poetry Writing. Because I have so many different interests, librarianship is my perfect calling, encompassing my life-long love of learning.

2. What are you excited about that is happening in Illinois libraries (and beyond)?

I am excited that many libraries are embracing the STEM movement in Illinois. A couple of years ago, I created makerspace kits where students can experiment with robotics and electrical circuits. Students collaborate with these kits in small groups, using their critical thinking skills as well as their knowledge of design principles. My library is not always quiet, but it is creative! I am also interested in the growing realization on the part of school librarians that students must be taught more robust information literacy skills in order to help them effectively evaluate the credibility of information they find online.

3. What is something interesting you have discussed in your classes?

In my Reference and Information Services class, we have been discussing the evolving nature of reference in light of the prevalence of patrons relying on online information for their research. In many ways, reference service has become more important due to the changing nature of patron questions. It has also become more challenging to find accurate facts when there is so much misinformation and fake news available.

4. How do you see yourself contributing to the Illinois Library world in five-plus years?

I hope to become involved in a larger network of school librarians. In the past few years, I have collaborated with the Cary Area Library and Cary Junior High in order to offer a city-wide Battle of the Books after-school program. Collaboration between librarians is important, not only to share resources but also to inspire each other with ideas.

5. What do you like most about the College of DuPage Library and Information Technology Program?

Because I am taking my classes entirely online, I appreciate the flexibility I have to complete assignments. I also enjoy hearing the perspectives of my peers during online discussions; they have so many different educational backgrounds and library experiences. Finally, my instructors are very good about presenting relevant and current content as it relates to the function of libraries in the 21st century.

College of DuPage LTA Student Interview #3

By Amanda Musacchio

This is the third in a series of interviews with College of DuPage Library and Information Technology students. These interviews were conducted by myself, Amanda Musacchio, Program Chair and Instructor at the College of DuPage. The Library and Information Technology Program includes a 30 credit Library and Information Technology Certificate as well as a 64 credit Associate in Applied Science Library and Information Technology Degree. For more information, please contact me at musacchioa@cod.edu.

This interview features current student, Cooper Dague.

College of DuPage LTA Student Cooper Dague

1) What would you like to share about yourself?

My name is Cooper Dague. I am twenty years old and I have worked at the Homewood Public Library for over a year now. I started as a page and was quickly promoted to a clerk at the circulation desk. I also have experience as an aide in my high school library. I really love my job and definitely want to pursue a career in library science, so the same week I started at the Circulation Desk I applied at College of DuPage for my Library Technical Assistant (LTA) certification. I enjoy applying what I learn in class to my work at the library.

2) What are you excited about that is happening in Illinois libraries (and beyond)?

Currently, I am excited about “libraries of stuff” – in Illinois and worldwide! I created a blog about libraries of stuff as a final project for one of my classes last semester, and now I am excited that Homewood Public Library (where I work) recently announced we are starting one of our own. I think a library of stuff is great outreach to the community, especially for residents who may not typically visit the library, and may not realize that libraries are so much more than books. Homewood Public Library is starting a seed library soon, too.

3) What is something interesting that you have discussed in your classes?Something interesting that has been discussed in several of my classes at College of DuPage throughout my three semesters so far is the need for librarians to have 21st Century skills, and ways for libraries to use technology to remain relevant and to connect with their communities. Something as easy as the #bookface hashtag on Instagram is a good way for libraries to visually connect with their communities and to let their patrons know the library is a fun place!

4) How do you see yourself contributing to the Illinois Library world in five-plus years?
Customer service is something I really pride myself on, so that is one way I see myself contributing to the Illinois library world, now and in the future. I am sure that providing good customer service to patrons will be something I continue to do in whatever role I may have in my future career in the Illinois Library system.

5) What do you like most about the College of DuPage Library and Information Technology Program?
I am an out-of-district student at College of DuPage because my local college does not offer a Library Technical Assistant program, so one of the things I like most about the College of DuPage Library and Information Technology Program is that the program at the College of DuPage is accredited by the American Library Association (one of only a few in the state) and that it is entirely accessible online for distance students like myself. Even with my job at my local library, this semester I was able to take three classes at College of DuPage because of the time I save by not commuting back and forth. Although the collaboration in my online classes is remarkably effective, I also appreciate that there are opportunities for field trips and other in-person events scheduled into the semester, so even distance students like me have a chance to further build and enhance our connection with classmates, teachers, and campus – and feel more of a true “college experience”.