Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Betsy Fronk - The Stars at KLIC: Journey Story of our Staff

By Betsy Fronk

After years of seeing a librarian through the stereotype with a quiet, never-changing and isolated environment, I found myself out of a job and hearing, “return to school”; I had come to a crossroad.  My aunt suggested I take a 3-week library class; if I hated it, it was only 3 weeks.  I took this “general reference” class and it was tailor-made for me:  a variety of subjects, full of people and always different.  The quiet and boring library was a galaxy away from real life.  I also realized if I wanted to enter official librarianship, I had to get a degree from an ALA-accredited school.  I entered the University of Michigan’s School of Library & Information Sciences in the early 90s.  Upon graduating, I got part-time jobs in a public library working in youth and young adult services.  Finally I got a full-time job at a small four-year college in Virginia (VA); I had fond memories of the Southeast where I stayed with my grandmother.

I spent two years doing inter-library loan and some reference in Virginia.  I thought living in the big city would improve my life so I spent two years in Atlanta, at a non-profit serving libraries all over the Southeast.  It was eye-opening as I learned much about online cataloging and electronic article collections.  But big city life was not a good fit for me.  I was fortunate to apply for a library job at Chattanooga State where my aunt taught in the nursing program.

I came to Chattanooga State in December 2000 fearing that a community college library might be too slow for me.  Again, my fears were a galaxy away from real life as these past fifteen years attest.  I continue to learn about the TN Electronic Library, website design, collection development plus the recent TN Promise and accreditation.  I have also written reviews for books.  I continue to learn how best to serve our diverse user population.  This spring, I can look forward to a study of the usability of the library’s new catalog in addition to ways to enhance our print collection.

Betsy's Community Service:
Member LITA (Library & Information Technology Association)
Reviewer for Children’s Literature Database and Journal of Web Librarianship

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