NMRT Member of the Week Spotlight: 5 Questions with Jennifer Wilhelm

Jennifer Wilhelm

Bryan + College Station Public Library System, Larry J. Ringer branch, College Station, TX 

Reference Librarian

A Little Bit about Jennifer’s Job:

My focus is on adult services, and I am responsible for development and maintenance of the Non-Fiction and DVD/Blu-Ray collections. I work at the reference desk all day, every day. In between helping patrons I brainstorm ways to collaborate with my fantastic co-workers on programs, marketing materials, social media blasts, and more. I enjoy providing job search & financial literacy based programs, such as resume reviews.

What are some things you like about your job or about working in libraries in general? I love working the reference desk! My extrovert nature thrives on the activity and interaction it provides. My favorite part of working in any library is that librarians never turn themselves off. We are always showing up to programs on our days off, popping in to check out books, or bringing our kids to story times on the weekend. I know of no other profession that enjoys coming to work when they aren’t supposed to as much as librarians.

What’s a project or committee you’re working on right now that you’re excited about? I’m enjoying my time on the RUSA RSS Job and Career Reference Committee, through which I had the opportunity to participate on a panel at the 2017 ALA Midwinter Conference. In addition, our library has begun partnering with Texas A&M University Libraries on a few different fronts, which I think is a fantastic benefit to the community.

What got you interested in libraries? I was one of those starry-eyed bookworm teenagers who thought librarians read all day. At 19 I started working at one, and discovered that no, I have absolutely no time to dreamily wander the stacks. What I do have time for is helping people with an infinite number of problems, tasks, assignments, etc. It is incredibly fulfilling.

What is one of your favorite things about NMRT? The committees! For those who enjoy committee work or need service, applying to join is a no brainer. NMRT committees often don’t require conference attendance, and they provide opportunities for networking, professional development, and more.

Do you have any advice for other new librarians? Network! Reach out to any library in your area, regardless of what type it is, and find out what they do, who they focus on, etc. If you find points of intersection, propose working together on a program, practicing collaborative collection development, and so on. Best case, you form a new partnership, and worst case, you’ve made a new librarian friend.





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