After almost four years at the library, I’m heading out on a new path. I’ve always known that I wanted a Ph.D., but was rather burned out after my dual masters program. I am incredibly glad that I took a break – although working full time as a faculty member in a tenure-track library is not really a break. During my time at the library I got to interact with new people, new institutional cultures, and new ideas. It provided incredible opportunities for professional development, conference attendance, and personal growth. I will always be grateful for that funding to go to LILAC in Glasgow and R2 in Telluride – amazing conferences and incredible locations (pictures below). My amazing boss let me try out all kinds of new stuff and was awesome and supportive even through my not-so-successful programs which always resulted in life lessons.
My favorite part was/is working with students. They can be exhausting and frustrating, but we need to stay connected to them. They need to trust us and we need to trust them. Building and fostering those relationships was a key part of my work, and I am really going to miss the amazing young adults I met at my current institution. They’ve given me something to write my dissertation about though.
I have so many questions, so many things I want to explore, and am now able to take the time to devote myself fully to studying current situations and policies, finding areas where we’re excelling and where we can improve, and then fixing stuff. As a supporter and champion of feminist research methods and pedagogies – all my research needs to have practical/activist applications. Everything I do is a mashup of gender studies, information studies, and education. I’m really looking forward to seeing what these next few years bring and what my research actually ends up being. It’s a difficult process, and I do definitely have reservations and a few gut wrenching fears, but I’m excited. I’m ready to learn new things and get researching!