NMRT Member Spotlight: 3 Questions with Liz Johns


Liz Johns

Johns Hopkins University

Librarian for Education

A little bit about Liz’s job:
Liz supports the teaching and research efforts of the Johns Hopkins School of Education and the greater efforts of the University through innovative techniques and creative use of technology.

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

I love that I get to work with students and researchers who are passionate about their projects, and are eager to learn and find the best information.  I get to open up entire new worlds for people as I help them explore resources for their research, and it’s so fun to help them connect the dots and be successful in their projects.

2) What’s a project or committee you’re working on right now that you’re excited about?

I’m a librarian by day, but an archivist by night!  I serve as the National Archivist for Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority, and I am building their archives from the ground up.  When I started last year, all their precious documents and historical materials were in plastic bags and file cabinets in a flooded basement. (The horror!)  Now, I have a team working with me to create policies, properly store and organize the materials, and eventually build a digital archives.  It’s a major project that’s going to take many years, and it allows me to be creative in a much different way.

 3) Do you have any advice for other new librarians?

Not only do you need to get as much experience as you can in school, you need to get as much varied experience as possible.  The most common excuses I hear from people is that they have already graduated so they can’t get internships, or they don’t have time to volunteer.  But you can be creative within the job you have to seek ways to expand your skills and experiences to help you get to your dream job (even if you don’t know what that is yet).  Ask to serve on committees that maybe are out of your skill set, but would allow you to learn more and contribute a different perspective.  Do you work in tech services but really miss interacting with students?  Ask to sit in on classes and volunteer at outreach events.  There are so many things you can do in a library – you just have to figure out what you want to do!

Don’t be shy–nominate yourself or someone you know to be our next NMRT Member of the Week! Fill out our nomination form here!

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