RCLC Spotlight: Haley Shaw
Haley Shaw, M.L.I.S., served as a Graduate Assistant for the Reinberger Children’s Library Center (RCLC) in 2018 and 2019 while pursuing her graduate degree at Kent State University. Now, Haley is the Operations Manager and Student Supervisor at the College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services (CECH) Library at the University of Cincinnati. In this position, she manages a team of student workers and works on collections management projects. She also creates book lists and displays and organizes library programs.
“The practical experience I gathered working at the RCLC as a graduate assistant definitely was useful and I continue to build those skills in my current role.”
THE RCLC STUDENT LEARNING EXPERIENCE
Haley says her graduate assistant supervisor, Michelle Baldini, MLIS, and Dr. Kiersten Latham, her thesis advisor, were both wonderful mentors during her MLIS program. “They were excellent at answering questions and providing me with feedback to help me on my path,” she says. Senior Lecturer Mary Anne Nichols, MLS, also served as a mentor for Haley during her independent study course.
As a graduate assistant at the RCLC, Haley often worked with other graduate students, faculty, and staff on various projects and partnered with the MuseLab to create several museum exhibits. She also worked with youth faculty on events and displays, and regularly communicated with graduate students and alumni to coordinate children’s book reviews. In addition, Haley served as President of the iSchool Graduate Student Advisory Council (GSAC). In this role, she collaborated with students, faculty, and staff to organize events and professional development opportunities.
“The practical experience I gathered working at the RCLC as a graduate assistant definitely was useful and I continue to build those skills in my current role,” Haley says. At the RCLC, Haley helped evaluate and process new library materials and donations. She also helped organize and run library programs like the Reinberger Anniversary Event, Mock Caldecott, and author visits.
Additionally, Haley assisted with social media and marketing, wrote book reviews, and managed the Reinberger Children's Book Reviews Blog. She had the opportunity to work on displays and exhibits featuring the Reinberger’s collections and created a virtual tour of the Reinberger's original picturebook art collections.
FAST FORWARD TO TODAY
A LASTING IMPACT
“While working at the RCLC, I had so many amazing opportunities and gained a ton of valuable experience,” Haley says. “I frequently use skills I learned working at the RCLC in my career, especially the skills related to evaluating books and developing themed book lists and displays.”
Haley hopes to ultimately work in a library or museum where she can help facilitate informal learning through programming and exhibits. She is currently writing a children’s book and would love to serve on the Caldecott Award Committee in the future. From her experiences evaluating new books coming into the RCLC and helping with the Mock Caldecott event, she feels as though she may be able to achieve this goal one day.
ADVICE TO CURRENT STUDENTS
Haley advises current students to gain as much practical experience as possible, whether through a graduate assistantship, internship, or library job. “Those practical experiences will really help you connect to your coursework and give you skills you will use in the future,” Haley says.
She also urges students to communicate and build positive relationships with faculty members. “The faculty at the iSchool are wonderful and are very helpful,” she says. “With the fully online degree program it can be a challenge to reach out to faculty, but they are here to support students.”
The iSchool is always here to support students with finding hands-on learning experiences that will enhance their learning. Students are encouraged to send inquiries about internships, volunteering, graduate assistantships, and research projects to their academic advisor or a faculty member that aligns with their professional interests. For more information about student learning opportunities at the RCLC, students may email Michelle Baldini (email@example.com).
POSTED: MONDAY, JULY 12, 2021 - 12:40 PM | WRITTEN BY: JULIA STONE