A Resourceful Potential Librarian
by Donna Childs, MCL volunteer
After completing an undergraduate program, Jason enrolled in the Masters in Library Information Science (MLIS) program at the University of British Columbia, with the goal of pursuing a career as a librarian. Such positions are hard to come by. As Jason searches for permanent library employment, they found a variety of “library-adjacent jobs,” sorting, cataloguing, organizing, and digitizing information, while also volunteering at the Hollywood Library.
Since May of 2016, Jason has volunteered at Hollywood Library, checking in, scanning, and shelving holds on Saturdays. Hollywood librarians comment on Jason’s “good humor and adaptability” and an “eagle eye” that allows them to notice details and fix them. With luck, Jason’s resourcefulness, computer prowess, attention to detail, diligence in pursuing opportunities, and experience corralling information will lead to a permanent library job.
Virtually all of the jobs Jason has undertaken—before and after getting an MLIS degree—center on making information more accessible:
- An internship digitizing the 30,000+ items in the William Stafford collection at Lewis and Clark College, where they earned a Bachelor of Arts degree
- An internship at the California State Library sorting through uncatalogued boxes of random historical information, ranging from junk to formerly top-secret memos from Boeing and McDonnell Douglas executives
- Cataloging materials in the Donald E. Long Juvenile Detention Home library in Portland
- Staffing tables at various events, including one at which they met the featured speaker, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor
- Working with records in diverse places such as the office of John Deere and the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office
Now, Jason works as a Document Management Specialist at The Standard, digitizing, sorting, and organizing the information on insurance claims.
A Few Facts About Jason
Home library: Hillsdale
Currently reading: The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
Favorite book from childhood: Dinotopia by James Gurney
Favorite section of the library: Fantasy/Science Fiction
E-reader or paper book? paper
Favorite reading guilty pleasure: binging hundreds of chapters of Chinese webnovels
Favorite place to read: anywhere with blankets and tea
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