Jennifer is the Director at the Springfield Campus Library at Southwest Baptist University in Springfield, MO (2,805 FTE). She has been an ACL member since 2018.
Describe yourself using a book title: The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy I know that sounds weird, but at different times, I am one, or all four of these. I am always asking questions, seeking God’s wisdom, unsure of myself, yet striving to always be kind and to be a friend to all those I meet.
What’s the best thing about being a librarian? In some way, I believe I always wanted to be a librarian. I would help in the library in elementary school, shelving books. I created a library in the local homeless shelter for my Gold Award project in Girl Scouts that remained in operation until the shelter closed 25 years later. It wasn’t until I began my career as a public librarian, and later a health science librarian though that I truly realized how people gravitate to libraries when they are hurting or need a safe space. As a teacher, I believed the best thing was seeing the “ah-ha” moments in a student’s educational journey. As a teaching librarian, I still love those breakthroughs and cherish each one but even more, my cup is filled when a student tells me they come to the library because it is comforting, relaxing, or a welcoming place for them. I love hearing that we have succeeded in creating a space within the library where all of our students feel welcomed, valued, and wanted.