Jasmine L. Jefferson, Kent State University
Recipient of the 2010-2011 ALAO Diversity Scholarship
Receiving the ALAO Diversity Scholarship has greatly enhanced my professional career. Before the scholarship, I had not been aware of many of the areas library and information science incorporated. With this scholarship came the opportunity to attend the ALAO conference and this is where I became even more excited about the profession. At the conference I was able to sit in on lectures/presentations, meet vendors, and make connections with library professionals.
Receiving this scholarship not only helped provide financial security towards my future but emotional support as well. My mentor, Jamie Seeholzer, has been there for me every step of the way with encouraging words and advice that have proven to be priceless to my success in this field. It was great to have someone to talk to who has been through similar experiences. To me, this was the most important part of this experience because although we are taught in our classes how to essentially become librarians, a lot of what librarians do is learned in the field. Having someone to share my experiences with made me more comfortable and allowed me to learn more than I ever could in the classroom.
Currently, since I have one semester left, I am finishing up my coursework with a practicum in reference instruction. This is an area that I am not yet familiar with and look forward to its challenges and rewards. In the future, I would love to work at an academic library in the reference department and plan on starting the application process very soon. Looking back on my own experience, my advice to future students would be to expose yourself to as much as you can about library and information science to give yourself all the opportunities you can to learn and experience the wonderful world of libraries. I am so grateful for all I have experienced and greatly appreciate the support I have received from ALAO.