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DMIL Member Interview with Rebecca Kammerer

1.       How did you get involved in military librarianship?

My husband is active duty military and I have been lucky enough to find work as a librarian on several military posts.

2.       How did you get involved in DMIL?

At the suggestion of my boss, I attended my first MLTW in 2015. While there I was asked to get involved with the division. I thought what a great opportunity to step out of my comfort zone and learn more about the organization and the people.

3.       What has been your best experience working for the military?

My first military librarian position was in Germany. What an amazing experience. I was so fortunate to have been able to travel and learn so much about the country and Europe. We had a great post library too! Sadly, Storck Barracks in Illeshiem is now closed.

4.       What has been your best experience being involved in DMIL?

The best experience while in DMIL has been watching MLTW 2017 evolve from just a date to a complete workshop. I’ve had the opportunity to watch and help the development process take place; from discussions on who we should have present at the workshop to the registration process to what to serve for a Networking Breakfast. The commitment of and hard work by the committee has been inspirational.

5.       What positions in DMIL have you held?

Chair

6.       If someone were to visit your library or your town, what would you be sure to show them or recommend that they see?

I would take them to our library and Learning Center of course! As the Home of Army Aviation at Ft. Rucker, AL our Tech Library houses a very unique collection of materials on aviation, military science and military history. The library is connected to the Aviation Learning Center which provides helicopter trainers for our flight students. Sometimes their equipment is even more popular than our materials in the library. 

7.       Please recommend one LIS-specific book or article that you read recently that you found particularly good. What makes it worthwhile?

I would recommend ADM Stavridis’ book The Leader’s Bookshelf. I recently read an interview with him about this book and was impressed at how strongly he stressed the importance of professional reading. His suggested readings will be an asset to our existing leadership collection. ADM Stavridis holds a special interest for me as well since I lived at SHAPE (Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe) in Belgium while he was SACEUR (Supreme Allied Commander Europe).  

8.       If you were to recommend one book, just for fun, what would it be?

Right now I’m reading It by Steven King. I want to see the movie but decided to read the book first. The book it partially set in the 1980’s and it’s fun to be reminded of how things were 35 years or so ago – not even a glimmer of the smartphone.

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DMIL Member Interview with Eleanor Mullens

DMIL Member Interview with Eleanor Mullens

1. How did you get involved in military librarianship?

I am an Army veteran who discovered librarianship a few years after getting out, thanks to a book on display at my post library. When I learned about how many different settings librarians and information professionals work in the military, I was hooked.

2. How did you get involved in DMIL?

Soon after starting my masters program, I started looking for divisions and sections within the different library associations that supported military librarians. I’m rather partial to SLA because of the variety of folks it brings together, so when I came across DMIL it seemed like a good fit. I learned about the Military Librarians’ Training Workshop (MLTW), which was being held within driving distance at a time of year that did not conflict with my studies. DMIL folks were so friendly, inviting and encouraging, that I knew I’d found my “library home.”

3. What has been your best experience working for the military?

I’m still in grad school, so I’ll have to say it was when I was in the Army- preparing and deploying to Iraq. It wasn’t fun, but it was a wonderful growth experience. I came home much stronger, physically and mentally, and much better equipped to work as part of a team under challenging conditions.

4. What has been your best experience being involved in DMIL?

I have enjoyed attending SLA as a member of DMIL. But my best experience so far was attending my first MLTW. As a librarian-in-training, it was great to be able to just sit and listen to what was being discussed. For as much research as I had done beforehand, I was still amazed at how many different places and settings military librarians worked in.

5. What positions in DMIL have you held?

Secretary

6. If someone were to visit your library or your town, what would you be sure to show them or recommend that they see?

I live in Chapel Hill, right near the campus of UNC. Within 1-2 miles there is a botanical garden, a planetarium and all sorts of trails, to say nothing of dining and entertainment venues. But the one thing I would recommend to late summer visitors would be to catch a showing of the Paperhand Puppet Intervention in the Forest Theater on the UNC campus. It’s a spectacle of giant puppets set in a small stone amphitheater tucked away in a park on the UNC campus. It really is remarkable.

7. Please recommend one LIS-specific book or article that you read recently that you found particularly good. What makes it worthwhile?

I read an article from a recent issue of KM World, written by Judith Lamont, titled “Text analytics: not just for customer sentiment.” It discussed the predictive use of text analytics in scientific, medical and technology development settings as well as process automation and case management. The segment on a group in the FDA that used text analytics to solve current outbreaks of foodborne illness then used that solution to create predictive models of future outbreaks was very interesting. Learning that text analytics was being used in the legal industry to automate contract management was fascinating.

8. If you were to recommend one book, just for fun, what would it be?

At my house, we’ve been reading “Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls” recently. It really is neat to learn about all the amazing things the women profiled in the book have done. My favorite story so far is about a highly decorated British spy from WWII named Nancy Wake.

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DMIL Member Interview with Charlotte Bonham

DMIL Member Interview with Charlotte Bonham

1. How did you get involved in military librarianship?

I initially thought I would be a high school librarian, and had we stayed in Virginia, I probably would be doing that now. However, we moved back home to Colorado (I am a native) and the high school librarians were also the IT people.  I really didn’t want to be an IT person, so started applying for various jobs around the city of Colorado Springs.

My first job in town was as a substitute librarian for Regis library. Then I was offered the job of catalog/reference librarian at Peterson Air Force Base.  Since this was a full time job, I accepted.  The day I started working at Peterson, I received a call from Dr. Ed Scott, asking me to be a reference librarian at the Air Force Academy.  I turned him down because I felt I owed it to Peterson to stay there more than one day. As time went on, the budget at Peterson was cut, and I worked 30 hours or less per week.  When a cataloging position came open at the Academy, I applied and was hired.  I had been a cataloger while in Virginia, so was happy to continue in that line of work.

2. How did you get involved in DMIL?

While at Peterson, I went to 2 of the DMIL conferences. I really wasn’t very active in DMIL, but hope to change that as I learn more about what there is to do.

3. What has been your best experience working for the military?

Meeting people and learning about all the different experiences that people have had. My husband spent almost 24 years in the Army, so learning the Air Force way of life has been different.

4. If someone were to visit your library or your town, what would you be sure to show them or recommend that they see?

Our library is undergoing a change, but it is still beautiful. We have an amazing Special Collections Department that should be looked into if you come to the Academy.  The signature item that many people remember is a free standing, marble circular staircase that extends for three stories.

5. Please recommend one LIS-specific book or article that you read recently that you found particularly good. What makes it worthwhile?

I won the book, Knowledge Services : A Strategic Framework for the 21st Century Organization by Guy St. Clair from a vendor at the SLA convention.  I started reading it, but then had to have it cataloged into our collection.  I will check it out and continue to read it.  I like to read newer books and articles in order to stay abreast of what is happening out there.  Unfortunately, time to read work related items seems to disappear rapidly.

6. If you were to recommend one book, just for fun, what would it be?

I just finished Vicious Circle : A Joe Pickett Novel by C. J. Box.  I like his books, as they are about the west – mostly Wyoming.  He has a way of fleshing out his characters that I find appealing.

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