By Beverly Slabosky
The fast paced world of an academic librarian
You may find her coming to her work at the Suzzallo Library with a thermos
of coffee and a band-aid on her hand after a morning of feeding roosters.
Glenda Pearson is passionate about animal rescue, politics, and her position
as Head of Microforms and Newspapers (MicNews)
in Suzzallo Allen Library.
In addition to running a department, Glenda is the subject librarian for
Comparative Literature, Cinema Studies and Human Rights. She has been working
at the UW Libraries for well over twenty years. During this time Glenda has
been involved in the development of the Cinema Studies minor in the Comparative
Literature department, the Human Rights Educational Research Network (HRERN)
and much, much more.
Glenda was spurred on to the library profession by a love of reading and
the intellectual energy surrounding university life. She graduated from
the UW with a B.A. in Comparative Literature, taught high school, worked
at the University Bookstore (she was the first female stock “boy”,
then assistant manager) and then returned to the UW for her Masters in Librarianship.
Before becoming a librarian in the McNews unit, Glenda worked as the Indexer
for the Pacific Northwest Collection and was a Library Specialist.
What she likes about her job
Glenda likes collection building and doing research—coming up with big
complicated schemes (projects) that can’t be supported with existing
staff and money. On a daily basis she does everything from working on grant
proposals to clearing paper jams on the microform equipment. “Our primary
mission is to make things work for the patron,” she says. Glenda is
very sensitive to making materials accessible and thinks one of the benefits
of working in McNews is that patrons are “captured here” to use
materials because of dependency on the special equipment that microforms require.
Consequently, Pearson believes that McNews staff learn a lot about current
research topics and can more easily develop relationships with patrons. She
also believes that “if you bring your own interests into your job it
will never get boring.”
Student Contributions (Portfolio Opportunities)
Student assistants have long provided a constant flow of youthful rejuvenation
in McNews. Undergraduates and graduate students provide reference work
and prepare newspapers for microfilming. Information school students have
been involved with many special projects as well. MLIS (’03) graduate
Memo Cordova was instrumental in the design of the Human
Rights Film Directory, second year MLIS student Beverly Slabosky
worked as a film reviewer on the same project and MLIS alumnus John Vosmek
(’03) worked on a cataloging project. Additionally, MLIS grad Lisa
Spagnolo (’01) worked on the World
Treaty Index and MLIS student (’03) Justin Wadland
worked with genre terminology on the Ethnic
and Special Audience Newspaper Project. Students may contact
Glenda for current opportunities at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Glenda’s View on Current Politics
What our country is doing now is really tragic to the development of world
order,” says Glenda. “No matter how you feel about our presence
in Iraq, we have become a feared and dangerous country. We have done away
with so much good will that came our way after 9/11. As scholars and librarians,
we are in a good position to study international law in relationship to cultural
and social values, and to work toward civil society at many levels in our
Advice for Information School graduates
Pearson offers the following advice for iSchool students upon graduation: “The
field is so wide now. Be open to all opportunities that come along. Don’t
be personally obsessed by money, but learn to use it as a tool to serve your
library or collections. Above all, develop and maintain your sense of values.”
Outside of Work
On her off hours Glenda applies her interest in human rights to animals
and helps run BaaHaus Animal Rescue Group, a nonprofit organization located on Vashon Island.
Baahaus is dedicated to helping abused, neglected, and abandoned domestic
animals—particularly farm animals that, due to past treatment, would
be difficult to place through adoption.
| (picture used by
permission of www.bauhaus.org)
Glenda with about ten days worth of grub at BaaHaus.