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Meet Our Diversity Resident Librarians!

December 16, 2019

Established in 2013, this residency provides entry-level librarians and archivists from diverse backgrounds an opportunity to develop skills and professional growth in an academic library setting. The program is designed to meet both the professional goals and interests of the Resident as well as the service and operational priorities of the Library. The program supports the goals of the Association of Research Libraries Initiative to Recruit a Diverse Workforce.

In 2019, the UW-Madison Libraries welcomed Kristin Lansdown and Jennifer Patino as our new resident librarians. We had the opportunity to sit down with each for a fun Q&A session to help us all get to know them better! (updated photos of Kristin and Jennifer coming soon!)

Kristin:

Join us in welcoming Kristin Lansdown to the staff of the UW-Madison Libraries as our first-ever Open Education Resources Resident Librarian. 

General Library System (GLS): Kristin, Hello. You recently assumed the role of OER Librarian for the UW-Madison Libraries. What interests you most about this field of librarianship?

Kristin: I’m interested in the social justice implications of Open Educational Resources. What drew me in was the commitment to the creation and adoption of freely licensed textbooks, which would drastically lower costs for students. I’ve since learned much more about open educational resources, open pedagogy and the open education movement as a whole. There are a lot of ways that using OER can benefit students and instructors alike, and institutions across the nation are recognizing this and putting financial resources towards creating these new learning experiences for students. I’m glad to be part of this dynamic shift in education.

GLS: What are your career goals?

Kristin: I love so many different aspects of librarianship that it’s hard to say! I definitely have an interest in doing work that promotes student success and retention for diverse student populations in academic libraries. My counseling background uniquely prepares me to strike a balance between librarianship and student affairs within colleges/universities. But I also love working in public libraries doing readers’ advisory, collection development, and programming. As long as the core of my work is focused on helping others, I would be happy.

GLS: Do you have a lifelong connection to libraries? If so, is there a pivotal moment when you decided to pursue librarianship as a career? If not, what drew you to the field?

Kristin: I do have a lifelong connection to libraries! Growing up in Chicago I lived across the street from CPL’s Near North Branch. My mom would always take me to the library on weekends and I remember moving rapidly through the children’s section to the young adult section and participating in summer reading. I always found libraries to be my own personal sanctuary. Of course then I didn’t know what librarianship fully encompassed, but I knew I loved books and I loved being in spaces that made them available to me.

GLS: Where did you go to school and what degrees did you earn?

Kristin: I attended DePaul University in Chicago, IL and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Women & Gender Studies, as well as a Master of Education in Counseling, specifically school counseling (I am a licensed professional school counselor in Illinois) and finally a Master of Science in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Campaign.

GLS: Why did you decide to pursue a degree in information science?

Kristin: I began working as a circulation assistant at DePaul University’s Richardson Library and stayed in that role for 7 years. During that time I earned my M.Ed in School Counseling and I was really committed to college access for students from marginalized backgrounds. While at the library, I found myself being a resource for students who were asking questions all across the board including who they could ask about financial aid assistance, selecting courses, or popping in for menstrual products. I loved being a person that people could come to for information and when I was doing school counseling, I loved curating resources and communicating that information to students and families. I decided that I wanted to do more beyond helping students get to college, but also get through college. I thought academic librarianship would be a great avenue to impact student retention and student success for the communities that are close to my heart.

GLS: Do you have any hobbies? Pets?

Kristin: Now that I’ve finished 10 straight years of schooling, I love to watch television, read comics and graphic novels (and of course non-graphic novels), crafting when I get the inspiration, serving my sorority Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. and staying connected with my friends and family back home in Chicago. I sadly do not have any pets because I am allergic, but my dream pet would be a goldendoodle.

GLS: What are your first impressions of the UW-Madison Libraries, the campus, and/or the city?

Kristin: I always describe Madison as very charming! Coming from Chicago, it’s been an adjustment in varying ways. I’m also not used to such a humongous campus having attended DePaul University which is much more compact (my MS/LIS was a distance program for UIUC) but it’s an experience I’m glad I get to have. There’s definitely something special about Madison and I’m always in awe of the gorgeous lake views!

Jennifer

The UW-Madison Libraries is delighted to welcome Jennifer Patino to our staff. Jennifer is our first-ever Data and Digital Scholarship Resident Librarian.

General Library Systems (GLS): ​Jennifer, Hello. You recently assumed the role of Data and Digital Scholarship Librarian for the UW-Madison Libraries. What interests you most about this field of librarianship? 

Jennifer: ​There are a lot of things I find interesting about this field. I am really excited to help support researchers throughout the life cycle of their data and to help them share it. I think what I am most interested in is the potential to help increase access to information and data. I really do believe that knowledge is power and I’m excited about what increased access can mean for researchers in general and the impact it can have on the larger community, especially in the context of addressing disparities in access in the U.S., and between what is referred to as the Global North and the Global South. 

I think this is a really exciting time in digital scholarship as far as finding new ways to publish and share research with potentially wider audiences – whether through interactive digital humanities projects or storytelling with data visualization. And I’m also really interested in thinking about how we preserve that work in the long term.  

GLS:​ How did your education or previous experience prepare you for this position? 

Jennifer: College Chicago and an MLIS from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. My background in art history gave me a great framework for thinking about how history, and more broadly, knowledge, is shaped and created and the materiality of those processes. The experience of not really seeing myself or my community reflected in the curriculum taught me to ask about what is missing and to think strategically about what I can do to change that.  

I have a background in community archives and I worked with a project called Sixty Inches From Center that really took into account how lack of representation in the arts replicated itself across various institutions – from galleries, to arts publications, and ultimately to museums and archives. Working to help document artists from marginalized communities in Chicago to help them preserve their physical and digital materials led me to pursue my MLIS at the U of I where I focused on archives and data curation.  

GLS:​ What are your career goals? 

Jennifer: ​I just graduated in May and I still have a lot to learn about librarianship in general, but I feel that working in data curation and digital scholarship is the right path for me. Because of my background in community arts archiving, I find myself really drawn to helping people share and preserve their work. In both community archiving and data librarianship, you are often working with individuals who need help problem solving and I enjoy the challenge of that. In particular, I’d love to work in a setting with social justice- or Latinx history-oriented digital humanities projects. 

GLS: ​Do you have a lifelong connection to libraries? If so, is there a pivotal  moment when you decided to pursue librarianship as a career? If not, what drew you to the field?  

Jennifer: ​I’ve definitely always been connected to libraries but I don’t think there was a pivotal moment when I decided to pursue librarianship. At least not one I can pinpoint. I think that it was just the experience of not seeing myself reflected in libraries and archives over time, all the way up from storytime, that drew me to the field. Trying to fight that symbolic annihilation drew me to community archiving and from there it just really made sense to pursue librarianship professionally.  

GLS: ​Do you have any hobbies? Pets? 

Jennifer: Yes, I love all kinds of crafting and making things in general. I like to crochet and embroider and I recently bought myself a loom, so I am excited to start weaving again. I haven’t done it since I was a kid! I also love to both read and write poetry. And I have two cats.  

GLS:​ What are your first impressions of the UW-Madison Libraries, the campus, and/or the city? 

Jennifer:​ I’m really loving Madison so far! Everyone at the libraries has been really friendly and supportive. And the campus and the city are really beautiful. I’m originally from Chicago and I’m not used to being around this much nature, so it’s been a really nice change. Madison’s a really creative place and I am really looking forward to checking out more of the arts scene and the maker’s fairs.