In this series, New Faces, the Nebraska Library Commission will interview someone from the next generation of Nebraska librarians.
Today we are speaking with Tina Walker, Director of Learning Resources for Mid-Plains Community College. She previously worked as a library assistant at the University of Nebraska Kearney Calvin T. Ryan Library. She also volunteered at the Kearney Public Library teaching basic computers, social networking, and research. Tina received her Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Missouri – Columbia in 2011. She is a 2011 Nebraska Library Commission / Institute of Museum and Library Services Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian scholarship recipient.
NLC: What brought you to the world of library work? How is it you went to library school?
TINA WALKER: I began working as an assistant and fell in love with reference and working with students every day. I learned that my unique background gave me skills others didn’t have and I could use them in this line of work. I was encouraged to get my MLIS from my supervisor.
NLC: What did you learn in your coursework that surprised you the most? Complete the sentence, “I had no idea that….”
TINA WALKER: …so many people were ready to move to electronic library resources.
NLC: How did the NLC/IMLS 21st Century Librarian scholarship help you with getting an education and in your career aspirations?
TINA WALKER: The scholarship allowed me to attend my first ever ALA conference and I learned a great deal about how libraries function and the vendors. I also learned about networking and how useful that is in the future.
NLC: What’s the most useful non-library work experience you bring to a library job?
TINA WALKER: My conflict resolution and mediation from the Department of Corrections. I learned in this position how to handle people and direct conflict situations.
NLC: What does the future hold for libraries?
TINA WALKER: I believe that libraries will be here in 20 years, but the intent of the library is changing. As more research continues to go digital and more information is available for free, librarians will have to keep teaching people how to find good information.
NLC: What does the future hold for librarians?
TINA WALKER: Many hours of coursework on computers, coding, techie stuff. Either learn to change with the times, or get left behind.
NLC: What are you reading right now?
TINA WALKER: Dean Koontz novels. Lisa Scottoline novels. I read Time, Readers Digest, Chronicle of Higher Education, Community College Magazine, American Libraries, and Library Journal.
NLC: Please share a favorite quote.
TINA WALKER: If I drive myself to the brink of my ability, then I don’t get stale or bored. –Dean Koontz