Samantha started at NYU in July 2009 as Data Services Librarian, a newly formed position in the Data Service Studio, which is a joint ITS and Libraries facility designed to support research involving quantitative, qualitative, and geographic software. She is also the liaison librarian to the Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, where she supports students and faculty in public policy, urban planning, and its other programs as well. "My job is a blend of public services (reference, instruction, consultations) and collecting roles, and I also spend time thinking about the future of data services in libraries and working on projects to develop these services," Samantha explains. "Most recently I've worked on licensing a web survey tool and creating a service around it, a pilot Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data repository, and outreach and assessment of library services for graduate students across the university.
"I came to SILS with an English degree, not knowing what career I would make out of my education and interests. My work experience before SILS focused on preserving the cultural record and organizing and classifying materials, so when I decided to pursue library school, naturally I started out interested in archives. SILS selected me to be a fellow in the DigCCurr I program, which focused on preparing professionals to work in the growing field of digital curation-preservation and stewardship of born-digital materials, or a kind of 21st century archiving. Through this fellowship, I worked in the data archive at the Odum Institute at UNC-CH and took courses in digital curation, many of which were from an archives perspective. When I started, I probably couldn't have defined digital curation or described what a data set was, but luckily I discovered that I really enjoyed all of these things.
"During my time at SILS I also realized that I wanted to be in a public services role instead of a behind-the-scenes role, and found several other internships/field experiences (at NCSU's Textiles Library and at the HSL at UNC) that gave me exposure to reference and instruction. SILS prepared me very well for my current hybrid position, and I think the fact that my degree was from a rigorous LIS program with a research methods course and Masters paper requirement was really critical in getting an academic librarian position right out of grad school.
"Of course Professors Helen Tibbo (my Masters paper advisor) and Cal Lee, who created and administered the DigCCurr program, were an important part of my SILS experience, and then-doctoral student (now Professor at McGill) Carolyn Hank was also a great resource and mentor for me in my research and coursework. Among the best things about SILS, in my opinion, are not only the many opportunities for learning in and out of the classroom, but also informal interactions with the many fantastic people that have SILS ties. I'm always proud when I hear about the great things SILS students/alums/faculty are doing, but never surprised."