Name: Jessica Kirk
Institution/Location of Institution: Arkansas State Library
Job Title: Senior Reference Librarian
Brief Job Description:
I serve the unique information needs of Arkansas state employees, legislatures, and the public. I provide resources on federal and Arkansas state documents, Arkansas history, and intellectual property as Arkansas’s only USPTO designated Patent and Trademark Resource Center.
What are some things you like about your job or about working in libraries in general?
I enjoy working with people and seeing the interesting information needs they have. I also enjoy being a part of the larger Arkansas library community.
What’s a project or committee you’re working on right now that you’re excited about?
I’m on the Arkansas Department of Education’s Equity and Inclusion Task Force working with a team to make recommendations for professional development. The work is just getting started and my team members all have great ideas and talents to help us work through the project.
What got you interested in libraries?
When I moved to Arkansas, I started to enjoy the libraries as a patron. The services were clearly high quality and conveyed a strong sense of community. I wanted to work for one because they were doing so many interesting things for the community. I felt the reach of impact had a lot of potential. What kept me interested in libraries was working for one and understanding the vast amount of different roles a library worker can have. It felt like possibilities were endless but were all tied into serving the community.
What is one of your favorite things about NMRT?
I like that we have the responsibility of being a welcome wagon to new members. We have the chance to help them see the value in their membership.
Do you have any advice for other new librarians?
Ask questions of other librarians and members of the community. Develop a broad understanding of what the people you work with do. Be curious. This helps you be more considerate of how your work intersects with theirs but also gives you connections to people that you may call on when you need help or need to create a partnership.