by Campbell Pratt, 2022-2023 OhioLINK Luminaries Resident, Michael Schwartz Library
When I tell people I’m an English major, their first question is usually, “That’s great! What grade do you want to teach?” I used to have an answer. After I decided high school education wasn’t a good fit for me, I didn't feel like I had any options left.
In the summer of 2022, I had been working as an undergraduate humanities researcher. I was looking through listings on Handshake to continue working in the academic sphere. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I saw a posting for the OhioLINK Luminaries Resident. I had never worked in an academic library before, but the potential was exciting and only a little intimidating. I applied. I interviewed. I was going to start at the beginning of the academic year.
I’ve had the opportunity to work with a variety of people to learn the ins-and-outs of librarianship. In the fall, I worked with librarians to put together student programs related to sustainability, LGBTQ+ history, and Cleveland State University’s international students. Through the winter, I worked with the Special Collections staff to digitally preserve the Plain Press newspaper collection. I continued the project into the spring semester, as well as conducting a diversity audit of the MSL’s Outstanding Book Collection under the supervision of the Collections and Acquisitions librarians. The librarians and staff were incredibly supportive, and a joy to work with.
Looking back on this experience, I’m not sure where life would have taken me. An impulsive application led me to my dream job. In the future, I’d like to continue working with Special Collections and Archives. Preserving documents from local history in an accessible form is an important way to keep our words and our history alive.
All forms of librarianship are valuable. The world of libraries has so much to offer. Whether you’re interested in working with the public, marketing, maintaining an equitable library collection, preserving historical materials, or keeping the lights on through administrative work, there can be a space for you in the library.
I would strongly recommend the OhioLINK Luminaries Residency for people interested in librarianship, regardless of if you’ve had experience in library work or you’re curious about the profession.