Name: Sierra Laddusaw
Institution/Location of Institution: Texas A&M University Libraries, College Station, Texas
Job Title: Map Librarian
Brief job description: As Map Librarian I provide instruction around the map collection, design outreach activities and events, catalog cartographic materials, and handle collection development.
What are some things you like about your job or about working in libraries in general?
I love connecting people to the materials they need and with maps it is a scavenger hunt! I also enjoy building the collection, there are a number of interesting collections within the map collection – including our Maps of Imaginary Places, Cuba, and Texas A&M Collections – and purchasing new material to add to them is exciting.
What’s a project or committee you’re working on right now that you’re excited about?
At the Texas A&M Libraries we are in the process of creating a new diversity plan. Our previous plan worked fine, but had reached the end of its life. I am excited to be a member of the team that is crafting the new plan, in our meetings we are having difficult conversations and addressing those elephants within our organization. We hope that the new plan, once completed, will help move our organization forward and be a living document that can grow and evolve as our library does.
What got you interested in libraries?
My parents instilled a love of reading in both my brother and myself. My mother would take us to the public library during summer break where we devoured the books in the children’s section and I remember looking at the images of mummies, exotic animals, and foreign countries in the encyclopedias in the reference section. When out shopping I can’t remember a time where either of my parents told me no when I wanted to buy a book. Alongside that, there are a number of librarians that made an impact on me. My middle school librarian who would set aside books that she thought I would enjoy, my junior high librarian who gave me my first student position in a library, my high school librarian who was more of a guidance counselor to me than the staff with that title, and the librarians at my undergrad who hired me and gave me fascinating projects to work on (alongside the dreaded shifting). These librarians were women who were smart, were in charge of caring for material I loved, and made me feel welcomed, I wanted to grow up to be like them.
What is one of your favorite things about NMRT?
The opportunities to get involved at a national level. As a new librarian I didn’t think it would be easy to get to serve on a national level committee. Thanks to NMRT I felt empowered to apply for committee work and was selected to serve on the NMRT Student Chapter of the Year Award Committee.
Do you have any advice for other new librarians?
Say yes to opportunities and don’t let imposter syndrome hold you back. It is easy to sit at your desk and only do the work that is in your job description. You’ll do fine, you’ll probably get good marks on your evaluation, but librarianship has much more to offer and becomes such a fruitful endeavor when you step outside of your comfort zone.