Melanie Sturgeon, a library science student who discovered the field while volunteering in a local public library has been awarded a conference travel stipend by the SPIE Digital Library.
The SPIE Digital Library will award a travel stipend enabling a library studies student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, to attend the 2012 Special Libraries Association (SLA) conference in Chicago next month.
Melanie Sturgeon, a practicing mechanical engineer employed by IBM, was selected to receive the stipend, the SLA Engineering Division Awards Committee has announced. SPIE Digital Library representatives will present the award to Sturgeon at the SLA Engineering Division business meeting luncheon on July 16th during the SLA meeting.
Sturgeon, who is finishing her master of science in library studies at UNC, is balancing school, work and part-time library graduate assistantships at both the reference desk at UNC and the learning commons at North Carolina State University.
She said she hopes to combine her engineering master’s degree and 14 years experience in that field with her new library science and information literacy skills in a career as a librarian in an academic or corporate environment.
“After moving to North Carolina, I decided to volunteer at a public library since I am very passionate about reading and thought it would be a good way to meet people and get involved in the community,” Sturgeon said. “I soon discovered that I loved working at a library, and that the top-ranked school for library science was just down the road at UNC.”
Soon she was in school part-time in addition to work. “As I progressed through the program I realized that I really enjoyed helping people find information,” she said. “My experience has made me excited about the future of libraries.”
“We are very pleased to be able to support such a promising and clearly motivated student,” said Marybeth Manning, SPIE Director of Digital Library Sales and Business Development. “Melanie’s enthusiasm for the field and the pursuit of knowledge is inspiring. We expect to see her among the next generation of the leaders in the field, making valuable contributions to the advance of scientific knowledge.”
The SPIE Digital Library is the most extensive research resource on optics and photonics, with more than 330,000 technical papers from SPIE Journals and Conference Proceedings from 1990 to the present and more than 160 SPIE Press eBooks. SPIE publishes approximately 18,000 new technical papers and 15 to 20 new books in the SPIE Digital Library each year.
The Special Libraries Association is the global organization for innovative information professionals and their strategic partners, organized to promote and strengthen its members through learning, advocacy, and networking initiatives.
SPIE is the international society for optics and photonics, a not-for-profit organization founded in 1955 to advance light-based technologies. The Society serves nearly 225,000 constituents from approximately 150 countries, offering conferences, continuing education, books, journals, and a digital library in support of interdisciplinary information exchange, professional growth, and patent precedent. SPIE provided over $2.7 million in support of education and outreach programs in 2011.