Thursday, March 15, 2018

Andy Foskey - The Stars at KLIC: Journey Story of our Staff

For several years, I would pass right by the entrance to Chattanooga State on my way to work.  Every day I would think, “If I worked there, I’d be at work by now!” Instead, I would drive another 30-40 minutes (depending on traffic) to arrive at my desk at a different library in a different town.  I worked at that library for over 7 years, honing my craft as an instruction librarian, and doing the best I could at managing the library’s electronic resources.  I never set out to be a systems librarian, and I’m glad to let other people do that work!

I never set out to be a librarian, period, until I was already out of college and working at an upscale grocery store.  As I spent my days bagging groceries, I wondered what else was out there for me in the world.  Would I be peddling organic quinoa and dried beans forever? I think you, dear reader, can answer that question.  I quickly realized that I’d have to start thinking about going back to school. After all, my bachelor’s degree in Humanities (with a concentration in Philosophy and an undeclared French minor, to boot!) wasn’t getting me very far.

I looked at the graduate programs that were available locally, and narrowed it down to Community College Teaching or Library and Information Studies.  I would say I flipped a coin, but in reality I decided on librarianship because I thought I knew what libraries were about.  I used my library all the time as an undergrad.  I was pretty good at finding things, and I’m constantly curious about the world around me.  When I got into my program at UNC-Greensboro, I quickly learned that I knew nothing about libraries.  I panicked and thought I had made a terrible mistake.  It was a librarian who saved me, and inspired me to become an instruction librarian.  I hardly knew what a database was, and he offered a workshop for anyone who wanted to come learn about the library.  This was my first real introduction to information literacy!

After that, it all started to click.  I got a job working at the reference desk at the library, and met even more awesome librarians that would later become my mentors and friends.  I also did a practicum at the local community college and realized that was exactly the environment I wanted to be in.  And here I am, 10 years later, serving the students, faculty, and staff at Chattanooga State! 

Selected Professional Service:
“Over the Rainbow” Book List Committee, GLBT Round Table of the American Library Association, 2012-2013

Chattanooga Area Library Association (CALA) Vice President, 2012-2013
CALA President, 2013-2014

Staff Senate President, Cleveland State Community College, 2016-2017

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