Emily Reed, PaLA Volunteer:
Mentoring Subcommittee Program Chair; Membership Committee Member; College and Research Division Tech Coordinator; Teaching, Learning & Technology Round Table Planning Committee Member
What is your favorite movie or TV show?
My favorite TV show is Survivor on CBS. I absolutely love watching the social dynamics at play while information is the most valuable commodity. Watching how players decide to either be forthcoming with information or hide it is so fascinating to me!
What is your preferred caffeinated beverage, and how much of it do you drink each day?
I start my day with a cup of coffee and lots of water. When I was still commuting to work pre-COVID, I would also bring along a thermos of either Lady Grey tea or Irish Breakfast tea. I’ve been using the time working from home to decrease my caffeine intake and am only drinking one cup of coffee each day.
Tell us about your journey to working in libraries.
I got my start in public libraries at the Simpson Public Library in Mechanicsburg the summer after graduating college with my bachelor’s degree in music education. I absolutely loved my time working at Simpson! I got experience working the front-lines at the main circulation desk and in the children’s library. I also got to be a substitute for leading children’s programs occasionally like various story times and toddler times.
Working at Simpson led to my first full time work in libraries - I was made aware of an opening at a local elementary school library that was looking for a full time library aide. So my first full time job in libraries was working in an elementary school library . . . which I also loved! I learned a lot about collection development, how to process and catalog physical books, and how to work with teachers. What I loved most about this job was that I got to know every student at the school.
At this point, I knew that my future was in libraries, so I began pursuing my MLIS. Once I graduated, I started applying for professional jobs, and ended up transitioning to academic libraries. I now work at Penn State Harrisburg as a reference and instruction librarian and am absolutely loving everything about my job!
How are you staying productive and motivated to work from home?
I’m doing my best to work outside when it’s sunny and warm (it hasn’t been too sunny or warm in the Harrisburg region lately, unfortunately). I also try to make sure I have a quiet work environment so that I can focus on the task at hand and not get distracted.
What activities or hobbies are you enjoying during this time?
I’m actually getting back into reading for fun again! I haven’t done too much reading unrelated to work over the past few years; I’m taking advantage of my Libby account and getting some reading done from home. I’m also part of a couple online book clubs which have provided me with some good reading material. I’m currently reading The Dog Stars by Peter Heller.
What was the first PaLA division, committee, or round table you joined in a leadership capacity?
My first leadership position with PaLA was as a member of the Teaching, Learning & Technology Round Table Planning Committee. I chaired this round table in 2018.
What advice would you give to new members, or someone considering membership?
My advice would be to plan some goals for yourself, and see how membership in PaLA could play into those goals. Goals could include professional service, networking, professional development, seeking employment, gaining access to local library-related information, etc. Membership in PaLA would help with any of those goals!