Wednesday, January 06, 2016
Susan Jennings - The Stars at KLIC: The Journey Story of our Staff
This is a first post of a series of blog posts written by the KLIC staff depicting their journey to Chattanooga State. The Dean of Library Services, Susan Jennings, kicks the series off with her journey.
by Susan Jennings, Dean of Library Services
For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a history teacher.
I had graduated with my bachelor’s degree in history from Appalachian State University (ASU), Boone, NC. Because I wanted to teach history in a community college setting, I knew that I would have to pursue my Master’s degree.
Freshly out of college, money to continue my schooling was an issue. A full-time job opened up in the library at ASU that seemed to be perfect… as the Night and Weekend Library Supervisor. As a history major, the majority of my time was spent in the library studying and researching so I was quite comfortable there. As a perk of the job, ASU would pay for one class a semester toward getting a degree. I finished my Master’s Degree in History while working at ASU Library. My original plan was to work 2 years to finish my degree and then move on to my “real career.” Eleven years later, I was still working in the library.
My “job” had become a “vocation”… a true calling. I loved working in libraries, teaching students, and learning more… about everything!
At that point, I knew that I HAD to go to library school to become a professional librarian. While attending University of Tennessee (UTK), I worked a variety of jobs including as Manager of the Resource Delivery Office at Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond, VA) and as an Archival Assistant at the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention (also in Richmond, VA).
After I graduated from UTK in 2007, I returned to ASU to work as a staff member and then as an Assistant Professor (Desk Service Librarian) for 6 years.
In 2012, the former Dean of Library Services, Vicky Leather, retired after thirty years at Chattanooga State. I took the chance and applied and was the successful candidate. I love working with all of my wonderful library colleagues, the great staff and faculty of Chattanooga State and my colleagues from all over Tennessee. It has also afforded me to be closer to my parents and extended family. I’ve never been happier.
Susan’s community service:
Tennessee Library Association President 2013-2014, 2015-2016
Tennessee Library Association Vice President/President Elect 2012-2013
American Library Association, Councilor at Large 2014-2016
American Library Association, New Members Roundtable Councilor, 2012-2014
American Library Association Emerging Leader, Class of 2010