Most library patrons will recognize Karen Jackson, who joined the Library 18 years ago. Besides many behind-the-scenes jobs, she was responsible for our periodicals collection and helped out at the Hub desk as well. We're very pleased that Karen is starting a new phase of her career with us as an adult services librarian.
You mentioned that when you were getting your undergraduate degree, you had thought about becoming an accountant. What made you decide to become a librarian instead?
I realized that what I really enjoyed was helping people, and that I could do more of that as a librarian. I’ve enjoyed working at the Hub desk over the years and decided that getting a degree in information and library science would not only enhance my personal growth but it would help me to better serve the patrons who I interact with on a daily basis.
You received your library degree from the distance learning program at the University of Buffalo, which allowed you to continue to work full-time while studying. How was this experience?
It was hard juggling school and work at the same time. However, with proper time management I was able to keep up with my studies while performing my duties at work.
Distance learning has its advantages and disadvantages. It gave me the flexibility to study on my own time while meeting deadlines. However, pursuing a degree online is time consuming and can lack the support of an in-person experience.
What do you enjoy most about library work?
I love to see the satisfaction on patrons’ faces whenever their needs are met. I also love to interact with our patrons and assist them with their needs.
How has the Library changed the most while you have been here?
Over the years the Library has become more inviting because it is not limited to just books. Technology has made it possible for more patrons to have access to the Library’s resources. Patrons can participate in programs via Zoom, they can download and listen to audiobooks or read a book from our databases such as Libby, or Hoopla. Patrons can also borrow hotspots, museum passes, and laptops. The Library has evolved and is making it quicker and easier for patrons to access different resources.
In addition to working on the Hub desk, what programs or services are you most interested in becoming involved in?
Working on the Hub desk I realize that patrons sometimes just need help to set up an email account or to navigate through the different resources that the Library has to offer. I would like to be part of the team that provides those services, and helps patrons navigate what can be confusing technical experiences.