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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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DMIL Member Interview with Ericka Loze-Hudson

DMIL Member Interview with Ericka Loze-Hudson

Ericka Loze-Hudson

1. How did you get involved in military librarianship?

It was 1978 and 90+ degrees in the desert of California. I was working in a Carnegie Library as a Children’s Librarian for the city of El Centro.  The government had just announced that librarians could apply using an SF 171 to become Government Librarians. I was able to fit my experience into the small blocks.  Six months later, I got a call “Uncle Sam needs you. Do you want to work as an Army Librarian in Germany? Let us know in 48 hours”. Three continents, 30+ libraries (main, branch, bookmobiles, remote site, prison), and 38 years later, I’m still a proud professional Army Librarian.

2. How did you get involved in DMIL?

I wanted to go TDY and meet other professionals at MLTW. We are not alone! We have a great network of professional librarians covering all branch of service and government agencies. I wanted to become more involved in that network.

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

Moving into the Academic environment when I came to Fort Benning in 2000 was a mild shock. I was used to planning and implementing Children’s SRP programs in Germany. I found out quickly that customers are the same, just the questions are different. The hunt for the answer….continues no matter what age your customer is.  They still want the “green book”.  For the child it was coming to the Sullivan barracks library, after I had visited her classroom, and asking for the green book on fishes or for the Soldier at Donovan Library asking for the green books. I gave the girl the book on aquarium fish with the green cover, and led the Soldier to the WWII green books. I have also worked with at least ten Library Technicians and volunteers that went back to get their degrees in Masters of Library and Information Science (MLIS), and became Army, DoD or Academic Librarians. The best experiences are continuing.

4. What positions in DMIL have you held?

I was a member of the planning committee and the registrant for MLTW in 2013 in Huntsville, and in 2015 in Washington, DC.

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

My library of course, staff is friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. We have what you want or know where to find it, and our resources are free. They can come in person or access information through our Virtual Library branch at http://www.benning.army.mil/library/. The Donovan Library was an unknown secret to other libraries until we went virtual. We have a “one of a kind collection” of firsthand accounts of those Soldiers that went to war and came back to write about their experience in the Captains Career Course at Fort Benning.  They may be found at http://www.benning.army.mil/library/content/Virtual/virtual.htm.

There are many things to experience once the library closes in the Chattahoochee Valley and surrounding areas like walking the Chattahoochee River Walk in Georgia and Alabama. Trying out Southern comfort food at one of the many great restaurants in “Uptown” Columbus. Come in the spring to see the Azaleas in full bloom in Callaway Gardens before you head over to FDR’s Little White House in Warm Springs. Continue on to Plains, Ga., and visit the boyhood home of Jimmy Carter, who still preaches some Sundays at the Maranatha Baptist Church.  Civil War buffs may tour Andersonville Prison Camp along with other Civil War sites and cemeteries and hikers can hike down to the bottom of Providence Canyon. There’s lots do in the Chattahoochee Valley. Y’all come down.

Libraries and books have always been a part of my life. I remember Mrs. Sutton, our local librarian stopping off at the house to deliver a “new book” to my mother, so she could be first to read it. We received prized books as birthday and Christmas presents. I have continued that tradition and find “just the right book” for children of friends. To take it a step further I met my late husband, James K.  Hudson, in the Donovan Library.

 

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