Meet the Students

Welcome to the Library Schooled blog! Library Schooled goes behind-the-scenes with FFL’s amazing student support staff—a group of talented and diverse library school students from Syracuse University.  The blog highlights the unique experiences these students have at the Fayetteville Free Library, and how these experiences are supplementing their studies.  The blog will be updated each month, on the 1st and 15th.  Please join me in welcoming our contributors!
-Lauren Smedley, Syracuse University MLIS graduate, 2011

Katie St. Laurent

Hi everyone, my name is Katie St. Laurent, and I am a student in SU's library and information science program with a specialty in school media.  I've been working at the FFL for a little over a year, and it's been a fabulous supplement to my studies.  Although I've worked in other libraries, Fayetteville is unique in that the staff here is always looking for ways to make the library better, easier to use, and more fun.  Every person that works here is encouraged to contribute ideas and feedback, and most of all to think big.  I may still be just a student, but working here has given me the experience of participating in the ongoing process of making this library, and in turn our community, the best it can be.  With the ability to participate in so many projects, I feel a bit like a kid in a candy store - I want to try it all!  While I'm interested in just about everything, my main areas of focus at the FFL are teen services and assisting with the operation of our book sale fundraiser.

Margaret Portier

I am in the Library and Information Science program at SU. The thing that stands out the most about the FFL is the friendliness and openness of all of the library staff. As a circulation clerk at FFL I realize how lucky I am to work in an environment that offers such support to all members of the staff and subsequently, the community. The FFL wouldn't be as awesome as it is without the people who work there. I'm interested in youth services and technology. Before deciding to pursue my MSLIS at Syracuse, I taught English in Japan for almost 4 years. In that time I taught children as young as 2 years old and adults over 70. My favorite students were elementary and high school students. Now that I'm back in the US, I'd like to continue working with children and youth because their excitement is infectious when learning and doing new things. I'm also interested in technology because I've always been a geek. I remember learning to type on a computer with a black and green screen, how exciting it was when my family switched from a 28.8 modem to a DSL connection. I studied engineering as an undergraduate and I still love pushing buttons and learning how things work.

Jillian Anae Healy

I am just beginning to study Library and Information Science with a concentration in School Media  at Syracuse University. One of my favorite parts about working at the FFL is getting to interact with the patrons.  I have the privilege of constantly meeting and forming relationships with new people, and those individual moments and connections are what stand out at the end of each day.  I have been consistently surprised and impressed by just how tight-knit of a community has been created by the staff at the FFL.  Everyone is aware of and on board with everyone else’s events at the library, and no one would even think twice about going out of their way to help someone else out.  This strong of a community is rare, and I think it creates a dynamic that is truly special.   I am interested in working with children.  I have always known that I love interacting with kids, and getting to combine that with reading, something else that I love, seems just perfect!  One of my goals is to one-day have a read-aloud storytime session- I am especially excited to get to select what picture books I would get to read!

Alyssa Newton

I am studying  Library and Information Science at SU. I love working for an organization that is valued and embraced by a community. Each day I meet new patrons that share with me the reasons they love this library and they remind me why I am going to school to become a public librarian. It is refreshing to view the role of the FFL from so many perspectives and learn what resources are valued and what programs are appreciated by the community.  I am interested in public librarianship with a focus on patron relations and community outreach.  My creative side enjoys finding innovative solutions that enable an organization to meet the needs of its patrons in this world that is constantly evolving.

Sarah Lawler

My name is Sarah Lawler, and I am a first semester Master's student studying Library and Information Science at SU. For me, the best part of working at the Fayetteville Free Library is the community atmosphere. Everyone sincerely makes an effort to ensure the library is a place people want to be, not just because of the excellent resources and technology, but because curiosity is encouraged, no matter what the topic. My areas of interest vary from day to day for the time being, but right now I'm interested in studying the preservation of historical documents.

Meredith Levine

My name is Meredith Levine. I am getting my Master's in Library and Information Science at SU with a Specialization in School Media. My favorite part of working at the FFL is how innovative and involved the library is.  Everyone plays a role, and many roles at that; it is something I am not used to seeing in comparison to my other jobs. Being a student staff member is totally beneficial; it provides me a job that is paid but at the same time experience and great resources. The FFL wants you to come up with ideas and try them out even if they fail; everything is encouraged! I am especially interested in the Children’s library because I am going to school to be a school librarian; however because I worked Circulation at the New York Public Library previously I love that I have a chance to work in a totally different field: Public Relations. This aspect of the library is really important because without the public, we have no library, and once I am a school librarian I will be in charge of promoting my library to the school!{addthis off}