RCLC Spotlight: Julia Stone

Headshot of Julia Stone

Julia Stone is currently working towards her MLIS degree at Kent State and is an emerging professional in the field of Library and Information Science. She started working for the Reinberger Children’s Library Center (RCLC) as a Graduate Assistant in 2019. When the Covid-19 Pandemic hit, she began working as a Library Assistant at the Stark County Law Library. When remote positions opened up at Kent State, the RCLC was happy to have Julia return as a Student Employee for the 2021 Spring and Summer semesters.

Julia recently moved to Portland, Oregon and is excited to start her new job as an Access Services Assistant at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU).

“Working as a GA at the RCLC has helped me improve a variety of in-demand skills, including event planning, customer service, collection management, and marketing.”


Julia Stone and Michelle Baldini in the Reinberger Children's Library Center

As a graduate assistant for the RCLC, Julia worked under the supervision of the RCLC’s director, Michelle Baldini. Julia says that Michelle has always been an incredibly supportive mentor. Along the way, Michelle ensured that Julia had opportunities that would enhance her portfolio and develop transferable skills in order to prepare her for a successful career. Most importantly, she gave Julia the freedom and autonomy to work on the projects she was passionate about. Julia says, “I really appreciate how she values my feedback and treats me as an equal in the projects we work on together.”


During her time at RCLC, Julia appreciated the opportunity to collaborate with Kent State faculty members and students on many successful programs and initiatives.

One of Julia’s favorite projects was the Liberation Literature Display. For this project, Julia worked with Michelle, Kent State Senior Lecturer Mary Anne Nichols, and a fellow graduate student to create a display in honor of the 35th Annual Virginia Hamilton Conference on Multicultural Literature for Youth.

For her part, Julia wrote biographies of past Virginia Hamilton Literary Award recipients, captions, and an introductory text for the display, and selected notable books to highlight for each featured author/illustrator. But to pull the display all together, the team needed significant coordination. Julia says that she learned a lot about project management from the weekly meetings and supportive feedback.

Julia also enjoyed working with fellow Kent State graduate student, Kayla Hlad, producing promotional materials for the RCLC and the School of Information. Recently, they interviewed Alma Flor Ada, award-winning author and long-time supporter of the RCLC, for an article celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Pura Belpré award. Their feature was posted on the Association for Library Services to Children’s official blog.


Julia shares that she gained diverse, practical work experiences as a graduate assistant, too. Among other tasks, she launched a video series of children reviewing their favorite books, ran the circulation desk, curated content for RCLC’s blog and social media, and created displays. “Working as a GA at the RCLC helped me improve a variety of in-demand skills, including event planning, customer service, collection management, and marketing,” she says.

Julia points to her experience providing reference services at RCLC as an example. She says that conducting real reference interviews at RCLC helped her to cement the theoretical knowledge she was gaining in her classes.

Julia was able to extend this classroom-to-work approach when she used a final project in one of her courses as an opportunity to create a guide for the RCLC on Multicultural Literature for Youth. Julia says she has already been able to use these fundamental reference and librarianship skills in a position at a law library.


Julia's ultimate career goal is to work in an academic or research library, specifically at a community college. After she finishes her degree, she would love a position that would allow her to do a mix of reference, instruction, and cataloging.

“I believe my assistantship at the RCLC will help me one day reach my career goals since I have gained valuable experience collaborating with students, faculty, and staff, as well as creating research guides and programming,” Julia says. She thinks the connections she has formed with experienced library professionals and mentors will be a valuable support system when she’s ready for the job search process after graduation. 


Julia’s potential as an emerging leader in the field has already been widely recognized. In 2019, she was awarded the ALA Tony B. Leisner Scholarship. The next year, she was the recipient of the H. W. Wilson Scholarship at Kent State and the ALA Spectrum Scholarship. She’s currently participating in the ACRL Spectrum Scholar Mentor Program and has been matched with an academic librarian at the University of Central Florida College of Medicine for career advice and mentorship.

Julia also recently had the opportunity to serve as a Remote Reference and Instruction Intern at Eastern Gateway Community College. She gained experience answering student questions on LibChat, creating LibGuides and instructional videos, and providing live instruction on research skills.


Julia Stone and peers at a Cataloging Event in the RCLC

Julia encourages her fellow MLIS students to gain as many hands-on experiences as they can whether through paid work, internships, graduate assistantships, or volunteering. To find these experiences, she recommends reaching out to the RCLC and related academic departments about volunteer and internship opportunities and professional development events.

Julia says, “You never know what opportunities you may come across until you take the plunge and reach out to someone. And from my experience, iSchool students, faculty, and staff are always happy to connect.”

“I also recommend reaching out to faculty and fellow students because making connections is so important in our field,” she adds. In her first semester, Julia got involved with the iSchool Graduate Student Advisory Council (GSAC). She says, “I met several classmates that have helped make my graduate school experience richer and more fulfilling.” Further, she developed connections that she knows she can lean on when she needs career advice.


Julia’s welcomes questions from current iSchool students about her experience at the RCLC via email (jstone36@kent.edu) or LinkedIn.


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 (mbaldini@kent.edu). 

POSTED: Tuesday, JULY 27, 2021 - 3:46 PM | WRITTEN BY: KAYLA HLAD