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Amy Vincent: Graduate and Professional Student Appreciation Week

Amy Vincent

Amy Vincent is a Master of Science in Library Science major at the UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS).

Vincent’s previous background teaching elementary school brought her to SILS, where she is pursuing her passion to become a School Library Media Coordinator. In addition to her coursework, Vincent works in the SILS Library to enhance the diversity of picture books within the library’s collection.

Learn more about Vincent below.

Why did you decide to pursue your MSLS degree at SILS? 
After teaching 3rd grade for 3 years in Virginia, I decided I needed to get out of the classroom. Since I love books, reading, and helping kids find books to fit their needs, I decided to give libraries a try! There were several things that I wished the librarian at my school would have helped with that I hope to be able to do as a School Library Media Coordinator. I’m still a little apprehensive about going back into a public school setting, but I want to give it another shot before I decide to go to Youth Services in a public library. I chose to pursue both tracks at SILS just in case. I chose to come to SILS at UNC for this degree for a few reasons. It was highly ranked, it was relatively close to home, and, most importantly, when I visited campus it just felt right. Everyone was friendly, the campus was beautiful, and I could see myself living here.
What are some highlights of your time at SILS? 
I have loved the vast majority of my classes at SILS! Dr. Sandra Hughes-Hassell, Dr. Casey Rawson, and Dr. Brain Sturm have all been amazing and have offered fantastic classes! Many of the assignments are meant to reflect real-world experiences and give us tools and resources in our tool kits for when we are out working with actual kids and libraries. It’s hard to choose one favorite class! Storytelling, Children’s Literature, Young Adult Literature, and Instruction and Pedagogy were some of the best, in my opinion. I’m also learning a lot in Youth in a Diverse Society that I intend to put into practice in my future career.
What do you hope to do in the future with the knowledge you learned in your SILS degree program? 
So much! In my future career working with children, whether in school libraries or public libraries, I intend to utilize as many of the strategies and frameworks that we have learned about as possible. One of my main goals is to create a space where everyone not only feels welcome, but included, heard, and empowered. I want to move beyond Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and work toward a more social justice and empowerment focused approach. I know I will struggle with this at first, but it’s a goal to work toward.
Professionally, personally or academically, of what are you most proud? 
I am very proud of my work at the SILS Library on campus. Working with my friend and classmate Heather Donnelly, we completed a diversity audit of over 7,000 picture books. We worked with Rebecca Vargha to receive over $5,000 in IDEA grant funding to help diversify this collection. It was a massive project, and we are still working on compiling a list of possible new purchases, but I’m so proud of what we were able accomplish.
What research, academic, or professional projects have you completed or are working on during your time at SILS? 
Since I enjoyed working on the diversity audit for my job so much, I decided to do another audit for my Practicum Project. We have a great group working to complete a Diversity Audit of the Graphic Novel collection in the SILS library. We took what we learned from the picture book audit and streamlined the process a bit. We’ve got our data and now just need to compile a list of new purchases to fill in some of the gaps we have identified. Hopefully the library will receive more funding to purchase more diverse graphic novels!

Related Programs: Master of Science in Library Science (MSLS), Masters