The Veritas Blog welcomes Gina Shelton, the new Assistant Librarian of Periodicals & Information Literacy and Coordinator of the Learning Commons at Dominican College’s Sullivan Library. Gina received an MS in Library and Information Science from Pratt Institute in Manhattan. She has a BA in Psychology and Studio Art from Hobart & William Smith Colleges in Geneva, N.Y. Gina’s first job in high school was as a page in a public library.
Q: Why did you become a librarian?
I enjoy working with people and wanted a job in an educational environment. Plus the purpose of libraries, to provide access to information, resonates with me. Knowledge is very powerful so it is important that people have access to information. I want to be a part of this mission and to teach people how to find what they need.
Q: What education do you need to become a librarian?
A Master’s degree in Library Science is required to be a librarian in a public, academic, school or special library. This degree can also be used in other professions like archives, digital asset management, and records management. However, there are lots of jobs within libraries, like pages, clerks and assistants, that don’t require a specialized degree.
Q: How has technology and the internet affected libraries?
Technology has allowed libraries to organize and provide access to information in new and improved ways. Gone are the days of the physical card catalog. Now anyone anywhere can search a library’s online catalog as long as they have an internet connection. Libraries can provide access to electronic content like e-books and e-journals. And provide virtual assistance through chat services and online research guides. On the flip side, advances in technology have changed the way people use libraries. Since so much information is readily available online, people are looking less to libraries for information. So libraries, particularly public ones, have focused their attention on providing community services, like computer training and social services, and have developed themselves as community centers and maker-spaces.
Q: What plans do you have for the Sullivan Library?
One of my first plans was to re-launch the Veritas Blog so that we can connect the Dominican College community to our services and sources. Now that I’ve checked that item off my to-do list, I plan to teach classes and workshops in the Spring semester, and make more YouTube videos so students can learn about library resources when they want (even if its 3am!). Eventually I want to hold more events in the Learning Commons.
Q: What is your favorite genre of books?
Non-fiction, particularly memoirs and books about psychological topics. I enjoy reading about people’s personal experiences, and learning about human behavior and how our minds work.
Q: Did you spend a lot of time in your college library?
I did! When I was an undergraduate student, I was a student worker my first year, so I shelved books and lent materials to patrons at the circulation desk. I had a hard time focusing on my course work in the dorms, so I wrote a lot of my college papers using the laptops that the library lent to students.
Q: If you wrote a book and could have the setting be any country in the world, what place would you choose?
I’ve travelled very little so I wouldn’t write a very good book set in another country 😉 However, if I could read a book set in a particular place it would be Australia. I’ve always wanted to visit this continent because I’ve met lovely people from there, and there are lots of really great ideas and research being generated by Australians.
Q: What are you reading right now? And what was the best book you read in 2014? Right now I am reading The Circle by Dave Eggers. As for my favorite book it is a toss-up between books by the Foer brothers. I couldn’t put down the book Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer, a fictional story about a young boy’s search for answers after his father’s death during the 9/11 terrorist attacks. (Editor’s note: A 2011 movie was made based on this book starring Tom Hanks as the father and Thomas Horn as the 11 year old boy, Oskar Schell, whose father dies 9/11.) I also really enjoyed a non-fiction book by Joshua Foer called Moonwalking with Einstein about memory and the world of competitive memorization.