NMRT Member of the Month Spotlight: Jay Williams

Our newest NMRT Member of the Month is Jay Williams! Jay (who uses they/them pronouns) is a Graduate Assistant in the Library and Information Science program at the University of Denver. They were nominated by their NMRT mentor, Morgan Brickey-Jones of the University of Texas at Arlington, who writes:

headshot of Jay Williams
Jay Williams

“Jay is currently in their last few semesters of library school and has been my mentee for the past six months. I’ve enjoyed meeting with Jay so much and their passion for library work- specifically archival work, is inspiring. Jay always comes to our meetings with questions and is always so engaged and interested in different aspects of libraries and professional development. Jay is an involved member of NMRT and is involved in their ALA student chapter at DU. I’m so happy I got to meet Jay and am excited to see their journey in libraries continue!”

Jay took time out of their busy school and work schedule to answer our questions about libraries, NMRT, and their dream job:

What are some things you like about your job or about working in libraries in general?

Libraries are one of the places that is open and welcome to all. I currently work for some of the public libraries in the Denver metro area and I love seeing the variety of folks come in with whatever they need. Whether it’s kids coming to the library after school, a language tutor is teaching someone, or someone just needs some place inside to spend their day, we are always welcoming. 

It has opened my eyes to all the resources that are available, not just for entertainment, but financial, legal, and civic services that are offered that hardly anyone knows about. I love talking these up so people have the opportunity to get what they need.

If you’re a library student, what is your dream job?

Currently, I am on track for digital archiving. My dream is to digitize materials for marginalized communities to create further accessibility to these materials and communities. I am lucky that I am also a graduate assistant for the University of Denver and get to live out some of my dream right now! I am working with Dr. Ruohua Han at the University of Denver to study mobile digitization units and (separately) look at DU’s archives to understand the experience of Chinese students here. I’m really enjoying seeing the history of the area and possible ways that we can make it come alive. 

What is one of your favorite things about NMRT?

I love the people I get to meet all over the country that are interested in the exact thing I am! Sometimes it can be difficult to explain to family or friends what is so crucial about what I do, and having a network of peers who support me is pretty incredible. I’m a part of the mentor program, working with the great Morgan Brickley-Jones and the folks over at UTA to help me stay on track of my goals inside and outside of school. Overall, I think library students should join because there are some great resources that could benefit everyone.

Thank you to Jay for the interview, and Morgan for the nomination. We look forward to Jay’s contributions to librarianship and digital scholarship!

Do you know an outstanding librarian or librarian-in-training? Submit a nomination using our online form. Self-nominations welcome!

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