Centennial Library

Intern’s Perspective | Sharon Tapia

March 17th, 2017

“What does that mean exactly? What does a librarian do?”

This is the question that usually follows up “It’s a shame libraries are ending” or “I didn’t know you needed a degree to do that!” when I tell someone I want to work in libraries. Since I decided to pursue a career in library science my senior year of high school, I have learned various responses to these questions. As a freshman in college I smiled and nodded, as a sophomore I would try to explain collection services, as a junior I rolled my eyes with impatience. As a senior, now, I turn to the wonderful experiences I have had, especially during the past two semesters, to learn just how much librarians do (spoiler: it’s quite a lot)!

During this past year I have had great opportunities learn more about libraries and prepare for my future library career. In the Fall, I took part in the Centennial Library intern program with Shaune Young and Laura Ullom and I am now taking an independent study about academic libraries. The more I learn about the field (and all the variety within it), the more excited I am about advocating and informing people about library work. Here are just a few of the alternative job titles that fit snugly within the umbrella of librarian:

1. Librarians are market researchers.

Okay, so last semester I got to explore academic, public, and school libraries as part of my internship. Some of my favorite moments were visiting the Greene County Library in Cedarville, working at an elementary school library, and working with librarian Julie Deardorff in Collection Development. Each librarian had to understand their communities to know what activities to hold, what books to collect, how to organize their libraries. Greene County library had a large inspiration fiction section while the school library had adventure chapter books and science books about sharks. While working with Julie I learned how she constantly reassesses the Centennial Library collection, staying aware of what professors are asking for and getting to know their topics to anticipate the kinds of books she needs to order. She keeps lists of books ordered and checked out every day.

Librarians must stay informed about the needs of their community and make sure their collection reflects its interests. Librarians stay in touch with their communities, understanding what the people are reading and what else would be helpful to them. There are so many steps in assessing, developing, and processing the books before they even hit the shelves!

2. Librarians are teachers

During my independent study this semester, I had the opportunity to help librarian Joe Fox teach an instruction section to a freshman year speech class. Research librarians regularly teach sessions like these. The students learn not only the resources available to them at the library itself, but how to evaluate and find information. While anyone can operate Google, most people have no idea how to see if the source is credible or trustworthy. Librarians teach skills beyond how to use OneSearch, like how to develop skills that will help them stay informed and competent outside the library.

3. Librarians are mediators

Librarians organize information in a way that makes it easier to access. They are trained researchers who know how to find the answers to difficult questions, and then display them in a way that any person can understand. During my independent study, I got to work with Luann Nicholas in her department of OhioLINK and InterLibrary Loan. As library staff, she helps find articles and books to share with the other academic libraries in Ohio. I am helping create a research guide on the library website and seeing how to locate and organize different resources in a way that is appealing and attractive.

Librarians act as mediators and conduits from information to people, finding the best answers and allowing others to access it.

And those just scratch the surface, librarians are also preservers of history, researchers, storytellers, technology experts, and the role is changing and evolving all the time! There is a ton of complexity and nuance to the role of librarian and her place in society.

So next time you wonder what librarians are doing all day, maybe stop and ask yourself, “What don’t librarians do?”

Blind Date with a Book

February 22nd, 2017

Are you tired of reading textbooks?

Are you stuck in a reading rut?

Try a Blind Date with a Book at Centennial Library!

Books from a variety of genres are on display but their identities have been masked!

Take a chance on the unknown and choose your “date” from the few clues provided. It could be a perfect match!

You can also “Rate Your Date” for a chance to win a prize!

Books are on display by the Main Entrance and in the CMC.

Intern’s Perspective | Shaune Young

November 21st, 2016

img_6403Libraries contain a special sort of magic that is not always visible to the naked eye. You step in and you see the magic out of the corner of your eye. There’s that book that’s going to change your life. There’s that friend that will be there for life. A vast world has just opened up before you. This is how I felt entering the New York Public Library. Though I have been to many libraries this one is by far the greatest I have seen, and I have seen the Library of Congress. This library is what inspired me to start my journey as a librarian.

As grand as this moment was there was a time before I visited the New York Public Library when a very kind librarian named Julie Deardorff planted a seed in an unanchored English major who was lost at a career fair. She opened my heart to the possibility of libraries as a future career. The New York Public Library sealed the deal.

On this particular trip to New York I was going to see a live orchestra perform the score to The Two Towers along with the film, but before the show started I begged my fellow travelers to go to the syoung1
library with me. I could have spent hours there, but I could tell that my companions were less eager to explore the hidden nooks and crannies of the tall stone structure. I did, however, get a glimpse into the rare books collection they had on the third floor. My father told an assistant after ringing a mysterious doorbell that I was going to study library science. The assistant assumed that I was already in grad school asking where I was going to school, and I sheepishly told her I was only an undergraduate English major. She humored me all the same.

Now flash forward to now over a year later, and I again was shown a magical room that contained ancient artifacts that hold the key to the past. Cedarville’s archives and special collections is tucked quietly away in the basement of the library. The wonders stored there are truly something special. Dean Lynn Brock works very hard to keep all of the collection carefully preserved, and he even creates displays for the BTS, for students and faculty to observe history through books.

syoung3Dean Brock has an excellent collection of Bibles and Christian related books. They are so delicate and old I am transported back into another century every time I see them. I imagine myself as a Pilgrim holding my Geneva Bible on the sandy shores of Jamestown, or as a 17th-century priest preparing copies of the Bible to secretly distribute. Cedarville’s history, though not as old as New York, still contains a vast network of lives and stories that are not that different from my own. I am now a part of the history of this institution. I had the opportunity to set up my own collection of books for students to look at and check out. I was able to make a display for Harry Potter in order to promote Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. This was a fun opportunity for me to share something I’m interested in with other students who may share my interest, and Harry Potter is a wonderful tale of magic and good vs. evil. An opportunity to share a love for knowledge is always a blessing.

Getting to work with faculty and staff like Dean Brock is also a blessing. We interns are getting to experience different areas of the library that keep it running and growing to meet students’ needs. syoung2So much of their work goes unseen and underappreciated by the students here, so I hope that by making fun book displays and getting information out there about how the library can help students, lets students know that there are people working hard behind the scenes to make the library an enchanting place to be.

Shaune Young is a senior English major from Bel Air, Maryland

11th Annual Library Careers Dinner

November 18th, 2016

A record number of students from a wide variety of academic majors attended the 11th Annual Library Careers Dinner on Monday, November 14, 2016 in the Center for Biblical & Theological Studies. Hosted by the Centennial Library, the event allows students from all majors and all levels of interest to learn more about the career options available in libraries and in related fields such as museums, archives, etc.

img_8037Following a dinner catered by Sara Campbell of Silver Spoon Event Planning, the 2016 Centennial Library Interns, English majors Sharon Tapia, Shaune Young, and Laura Ullom, provided information about the library’s internship course and shared their experiences. Sue Jeffery, Head Librarian at the Cedarville Community Library, described the new and innovative ways that public libraries are engaging with their communities, as well as her own personal journey from a career in IT, through volunteer experiences around the world, to a master’s degree in library science and the opportunity to serve the town of Cedarville. University and public librarians, alumni working in libraries and attending graduate school for the master’s degree in library & information science, and Career Services staff answered student questions and encouraged them to continue their exploration of the library field.

According to freshman Journalism major Suzanna Slack, “Learning about the opportunities from a fellow student’s point was really interesting to me. I really enjoyed it! ”

Sophomore Marketing & Spanish major Marlana Madonna said, “The event expanded my knowledge of the influence the public library system has on the community. I enjoyed learning more about the variety of tasks libraries do and how they serve their patrons. It was a great encouragement to know that the library system is not losing its value or utility even with technological advances.”

Students who are interested in more information are encouraged to contact Julie Deardorff, coordinator of the Library Careers Program, for more information about the internship course, as well as the less time intensive Career Exploration and job shadowing opportunities.

Library Careers Dinner – Monday, November 14

October 31st, 2016

Curious about the types of jobs that exist in libraries?

Wondering how your major might connect with a library career?

Have questions about the master of library & information science degree?

Thinking about taking the Centennial Library Internship Course?


Join us for conversation and presentations at the:

11th Annual Library Careers Dinner

Monday, November 14, 2016
5:30-7:00 p.m.

CBTS 102/103

Keynote Speaker: Sue Jeffery, Cedarville Community Librarian

Internship Presentation: Sharon Tapia, Laura Ullom, Shaune Young

Dinner provided by Silver Spoon Catering

All majors and interest levels welcome.

Hosted by The Centennial Library

RSVP to Julie Deardorff by November 4

Book Display on Visual Media

October 20th, 2016

Laura Ullom is a junior English/Spanish double major who is interning at the Centennial Library this fall. She has put together a book display on visual media and talks about why she chose the topic:

“I chose to do a display on visual media, because I’ve always been fascinated by movies, video games, YouTube… (etc.) There are definitely some fun books on these topics (I found one in the library that step-by-step teaches readers how to program their own games, for example!), but I think there is also valuable information about how visual media is changing the way we as a culture think and learn. If you’re interested in the psychology of image-based learning, Neil Postman’s Amusing Ourselves to Death is a great resource. ”


Intern’s Perspective | Laura Ullom

October 7th, 2016

My first memory of a library is pretty sweet. I must have been a little girl – six years old, perhaps – when I followed my kindergarten class into a wonderful room packed with books. Our school librarian came out from behind her desk and gave everybody an old wooden ruler. “What’s this for?” we asked with widening eyes. The librarian smiled. “You’ll need these to mark a book’s home on the shelf,” she said. “If you get confused, I’ll help you.”

From elementary school all the way through college, my young, six-year-old impression of the library stuck with me. If you’d asked me what a library was for, I’d say to find books. If you’d asked what librarians do, I’d say they help you find books. The mystery behind the work of the library turned out not to be so mysterious after all. I thought I had it all figured out.

And then I interned in a library.

ullom02Did you ever know academic libraries, school libraries, and public libraries are all different? The librarians in each don’t just help people find books, but they also order books they think their readers will enjoy or need; they pull old books from the shelves and give them away or sell them; they spend hours going through rows of spines to find that one title someone accidentally put in the wrong place; they learn the Dewey-Decimal System and the Alpha-Numeric System and have to decide how to label materials and where to put them; they manage information in electronic databases for thousands of items people can check out; the list goes on and on. Oh, and libraries don’t just deal with books. They are also full of magazines, newspapers, journals, film, and special online resources, too. If you visit the Curriculum Materials Center here at Centennial Library, you’ll find there are even trinkets such as puppets, board games, Spanish moss, and human teeth!

Even though books have an important place in the library, I’ve learned there’s so much more we should come to appreciate. Libraries are here to help us learn. Sure, anyone can go online and Google a question to find an answer these days. But if we’re really going to take research seriously, we probably need to find some writers who have more experience and credentials than a Wikipedia enthusiast or a mommy blog extraordinaire.

For my internship this semester, I’ve participated in computer lab learning sessions with librarians to see why the sources we use in research are important. In fact, the other two interns and I will each create a research guide for a course offered at Cedarville to help students in that course find good research materials. (Research guides can be found here: http://0-libguides.cedarville.edu.library.cedarville.edu/.) The more I see how students (myself included) are tempted to do assignments only to please professors, the more I remind myself that challenges are really what college is supposed to be about. Perhaps we should stop doing things the easiest way and start doing them in a way that will challenge how we think.ullom01

I’ve really enjoyed the relational side of this internship. Talking with librarians about what it means to grow intellectually, interviewing Mr. Lynn Brock, the Dean of Library Services, and speaking with Lori Myers in the MediaPlex has shown me that sometimes we really learn the most by simply having conversations. When we research, can we converse with the Internet? I think there is something about interaction with other humans that God meant for our good. This is why I enjoyed stepping behind the Circulation Desk this semester to talk with the ladies who check out our books to us. Getting to know them and learning new information through them made a difference in how much I actually cared about what I was learning. I found I was more excited and invested when I had someone to share my discoveries with.

I also stepped behind the scenes to personally meet Luann Nicholas and learn how Centennial Library is connected to libraries all across Ohio and even across the United States! Our library shares materials with outside libraries, mailing books, magazines, and DVDs all across the country. The library is much more community-centered than I ever before realized. Again, this realization has helped me discover that learning is truly a community activity. I have absolutely adored hearing Luann’s stories about helping students and professors find resources they need. When we had gone through the nitty gritty of Luann’s job, we sat down together and simply enjoyed a cup of her (magnificent!) Chai tea.

ullom03I think the biggest thing I’m learning from my time in Centennial Library this semester is that libraries and learning are really all about community. The more I know and love the people I’m learning with, the more I care about what I am learning. There are tons of little things that go on behind the scenes of a library to make the library work, too. But at the end of the day, librarians are here to love learning with you. Maybe someday I’ll be able to inspire learning as a librarian myself.

Centennial Library intern Laura Ullom is a junior English/Spanish double major from Jane Lew, West Virginia. She is a Writing Center tutor and uses her investigative journalism skills to learn more about libraries and librarians.

Come see us at the Career Fair!

October 4th, 2016

Come see us at the Fall Career Fair on Wednesday, October 5!

career-fair-2016-spring-3The Centennial Library will promote library careers as an option for students of all majors. Information about the library internship course, the Library Careers Dinner, undergraduate employment opportunities, the Library Careers Exploration Program, types of library jobs, and graduate school options for the American Library Association accredited master of library and information science degree will be available.

Stop by and see us on Wednesday, October 5, 11-2:30, Doden Field House.

Interested but unable to attend the career fair? Contact Julie Deardorff, Coordinator, Library Careers Program, for more information.

Introducing the 2016 Centennial Library Interns

September 15th, 2016

The Centennial Library is excited to welcome the 2016 Library Interns: Sharon Tapia, Laura Ullom, and Shaune Young . The interns will participate in a variety of learning experiences and projects in order to develop an understanding of the operation of an academic library and to explore their interest in library science as a career. They will attend the Academic Library Association of Ohio annual conference in late October and will visit other types of libraries, including a middle school library and a public library. They will also give  a presentation at the 11th annual Library Careers Dinner on Monday, November 14, 5:30-7:00 p.m., in CBTS 102/103.


(from L to R: Laura Ullom, Shaune Young, Julie Deardorff, and Sharon Tapia)

Sharon Tapia is a senior English major from Lakewood, New Jersey. She plans to attend graduate school for her MLIS degree next year and to pursue a career as either a school librarian or a public library children’s or youth specialist. She has been a Collection Services Student Assistant since her freshman year and served as a student representative to the Centennial Library Marketing Committee. Sharon did a summer internship in her local public library’s public relations department, which allowed her to travel to all 21 branches, sometimes disguised as Sparks the Dragon. She enjoys creative writing and singing.

Laura Ullom is a junior Spanish/English double major from Jane Lew, West Virginia. She would love to have a career that encourages people to spend more time reading and is considering options such as being a school librarian or teaching English in South America. Laura enjoys art, languages, creative writing, and video games and is employed as a Writing Center tutor.

Shaune Young is a senior English major from Bel Air, Maryland. Shaune’s dream jobs include working for Librarians Without Borders, the National Archives, or the CIA. In addition to the internship, Shaune works for the library’s Circulation Department and was promoted this year to Shift Leader. She loves international relations, learning about different cultures, reading, and discussing movies with friends.

The Centennial Library Internship was first offered in 2007. 29 students have enrolled in the three credit course which is offered in cooperation with the Department of English, Literature & Modern Languages. Applications for the Fall 2017 course will be accepted in January 2017. Please contact Library Careers Program Coordinator Julie Deardorff for additional information about the internship course, the Library Careers Dinner, and other career development activities.

New Staff Member in Collection Services

September 14th, 2016

Allison Jensen was hired as the new Collection Services Technical Assistant in May 2016. She replaced Laura LeMaster, who had served in that capacity since 2012. According to Julie Deardorff, jensen-allisonDirector of Library Collection Services, “I am so pleased to have Allison Jensen as the new CSTA. She did excellent work for us as a student employee and as an intern and has quickly learned her new responsibilities. As a recent undergraduate student, Allison also provides us with an important perspective on how students use the library and do research.”

A 2016 graduate of Cedarville University, Allison majored in English and was involved in a project to study the library’s Martha McMillan journal collection as part of Dr. Michelle Wood’s American Women Writers course. She continued her work with the McMillan journals as an independent study with Dr. Wood during the summer following her junior year.

Allison’s previous library experience includes working for the children’s department of her local public library, being a Centennial Library Collection Services Student Assistant from May 2015-April 2016, and completing the 2015 Centennial Library internship course. While enrolled in the internship course, she was a co-presenter at the 2015 Academic Library Association of Ohio Annual Conference along with interns Austin Becton and Rebekkah Reisner, former intern Kirsten Setzkorn, and internship instructor Julie Deardorff. She also presented at the 2015 Library Careers Dinner. Allison is from Princeton, Illinois, and enjoys travel, reading, hiking, baking, and tea.

Allison’s responsibilities include managing the acquisitions and processing workflow for books and media items, paying invoices, maintaining statistical records, communicating with faculty about new materials, and running financial reports. She also serves on the library’s New Student Orientation Committee.

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