2013 Master of Science in Library and Information Studies (MLIS) graduate, Mary Turner, has let her imagination soar at the Auburn Public Library in Auburn, Ala. through planning displays and cataloging bibliographic items. The former B.S. Political Science undergraduate became inspired by librarianship while in Gambia, West Africa with the US Peace Corps in 2004-2006. She discovered a passion for helping people learn and achieve–and wanted to make a career out of it.
Turner’s first job in a library was at the Degen Resource Room in the School of Theatre at Florida State. Although it was a part-time graduate assistant job, it demanded great responsibility. Mary had the duty of supervising two student workers while manning the library collection of texts, periodicals, journals, playbills, posters and maintaining the online catalog.
Mary received great support from the staff at the School of Library & Information Studies, which has now transitioned into the Florida State University School of Information.
“Even though the MLIS program is all online, I found that all the faculty and the graduate office staff were very accessible when I had questions,” she said.
As President of the university chapter of the American Library Association (FSU ALA) for a year during her graduate studies, Turner gained valuable experience with Dr. Christie Koontz, Research Associate in Information Studies and Pam Doffek, Director of FSU Goldstein Library.
Reminiscent of her entire college experience at Florida State, Mary is thankful for living in the dormitory as a freshman and becoming friends with like-minded individuals during her undergraduate studies. When she came back to school for her MLIS, she knew what she wanted to accomplish in life, and was able to make connections for professional advancement.
“My dream job is to become either Director of the Library of Congress, but I really don’t want to get involved in politics; or, to live and work overseas developing libraries as a sustainable resource in education,” Turner explains.
As for right now, Mary is content with working with the public in Auburn and wants to keep her options open.
“Get out and try everything at least once. I took too long to get out of my shell and missed a lot of opportunities,” she says.
Learn more about what you can do with a Master’s degree in Library and Information Studies from FSU here.