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Science and Technology Section (STS): Elections

Member-at-Large Candidates

Member-at-Large Candidate: Kimberly M. Bailey 

Reference/Instruction Librarian
University of Pittsburgh Bradford*  – Hanley Library

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

 

Photo, Kimberly M. Bailey, Member-at-Large Candidate, 2022
*Bradford, PA, a place I call home, occupies the traditional and contemporary lands of the Hodinöhsö:ni’, Onöndowa'ga:', Erie, and Susquehannock tribes removed from their lands with Cession 1 on October 22, 1784. I will not forget the loss of lives, culture, and knowledge from removals, violence, genocide, and occupations. I work every day toward individual and collective action to repair and combat erasure while uplifting their history, knowledge, and experiences.
 

Tell us more about yourself and how you became a librarian

Officially introduced to the power of information in a medical billing job, I was jokingly nicknamed “the endless book of knowledge.”  I surely did not know everything, but I had a passion to search for information.  While working in medical, I pursued a B.S. in Business Management and absorbed as many technology courses as possible.  Putting everything learned into action, I computerized the billing office and worked myself out of a job!

Next, I pursued an opportunity at the University of Pittsburgh-Bradford Library as the Library Secretary.  During my first 5 years in the library, the Systems/Reference Librarian’s job had turned over 3 times.  Each time I volunteered to cover the technology part of the job.  Feeling confident about the job, the next time it came open, I applied for it. I had not acquired my MLIS degree at this point and was politely turned down for not meeting the qualifications.  The next two years, I pursued my MLIS degree. 

Seven months after acquiring my degree, the position became vacant again and I was hired as the Systems/Reference Librarian.  In the first two years, the Pittsburgh campus added a T1 line to all the regional campuses, which allowed remote building/servicing of computers. With this restructuring, my job description was also restructured. I became the Reference/Instruction Librarian and have been for the last 12 years.  I support and teach information literacy to Athletic Training, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Information Science, Energy Science & Technology, Engineering, Environmental Science/Studies, Exercise Science, Math, Nursing, Petroleum Technology, Physical Sciences, Physics, Radiological Science, Sports & Recreation Management, and many other areas outside the area of science.

How long have you been involved in STS and what attracted you to the section?

I became involved in STS approximately 11 years ago.  John Meier previously had the job that I’m in today, and I would see John at ACRL conferences after his departure.  I believe in 2009, I ran into John who was on his way to the STS Hot Topics Discussion Group, and I accompanied him.  Because I support all the sciences at my campus, I was instantly attracted to this section.  By 2011, I joined the Hot Topics Discussion Group and have been active in STS ever since. 

How have you demonstrated a commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion?  

Absolutely!  I have been interested in diversity my entire life, especially since my brother was born without a hand and discriminated against most of his life, even after graduating 3rd in his welding class.  I have taken numerous courses throughout my lifetime to understand EDI.  As a librarian, however, I felt the need to become a force for change.  Over the past 6-7 years I have studied and taken numerous diversity courses about how to become allies to many groups and implement changes.  I have made changes in my instruction sessions, my library, and my life.   I have become an active participant in events such as Black History Month, Hispanic American Heritage Month, etc.  Every time I do a presentation, I learn something new.  I believe it is a continuous evaluation process to find and implement changes related to EDI.    

What ideas do you have for making STS a safe space that is as welcoming as possible to members and guests?

Inside, I feel like librarians are leading the way towards EDI, but we must continue to learn more about people and cultures to respect all cultures.  Nothing can move forward until it is understood that everyone is different.  We must learn how to interject and use our voices to make changes to policies and procedures that do not recognize those differences.  Oppression is not an easy subject to talk about because some of these oppressive values have been socialized into our lives.  More conversations, more changes, and more stories are one way to move forward.  Some of the most impactful conversations have been oppressive stories from people I know and love.  Recently I attended a presentation by a Native American speaker who talked about the impacts of Native Americans conforming to the American cultural norms.  I was overwhelmed with sadness after hearing these stories.  I have had Seneca (Native American) friends since I was 10 years old and was naive to these cultural conflicts.  Some conflicts can cause lifetime separations in families.  After all the trainings I have attended, not once had I gained the education that I gained from this story.  Now it is my job to step up and educate friends, family, and peers to make the world aware of these oppressions.    

What goals for the section would you have if elected to this position? How do you envision committees and members helping the section achieve those goals?

Back when I joined STS, my personal short-term goal was to gain a network of librarians who were teaching information literacy skills in the science areas.  Today this is still applicable.  Many STS surveys show that networking is the top reason that librarians attend conferences.  This can continue to happen through interactive programs, separate networking sessions, or any other creative way to give participants time to work together so networks can be initiated naturally.  

For a second goal, I would like to see the EDI committee continue their work.  New initiatives such as the Inclusive Leadership Training, the updating of the strategic plan, and all the other work done by the Task Force and EDI committee is a start.  However, change is hard to implement so it is important to make sure that all STS committees have EDI on the top of their list including the STS Council/Advisory group.

Member-at-Large Candidate: Jessica Martinez

 

Science Librarian

University of Idaho Library

She/hers

Tell us more about yourself and how you became a librarian

I grew up in Colorado and first became interested in librarianship as an undergraduate at the University of Colorado, Boulder. The final assignment for my technical writing class was to interview people in career fields in which you were interested. I spoke with someone in publishing as well as a special collections librarian. I walked away enchanted by the idea of connecting people to information and sparking their curiosity in new ideas. After living overseas for a few years, I ended up at the University of Washington to get my MLIS. While working at the libraries there, I decided I wanted to pursue becoming a science librarian. I have now been the Science Librarian at the University of Idaho for almost 5 years, and am now also the Reference Coordinator. I love working with people and always aim to make libraries welcoming and inclusive places for both patrons and employees.

How long have you been involved in STS and what attracted you to the section

When I was first hired into my role 5 years ago, I did informational interviews with as many librarians serving the sciences as I could. I wanted to know what they knew! And all of them mentioned joining STS. It was the first listserv I signed up for in 2017 and quickly became one of my favorite professional communities. Knowing there was a group who would help me solve problems and find resources was a great comfort in my first years at this job (and still is!). When I joined the Membership and Recruitment Committee and then became the co-chair, I had the opportunity to get to know people across the country. Now I’m also on the STEMM Librarianship Resources Committee (previously Science Resources Discovery and Access) and enjoy writing blog posts. Joining this community of practice and delightful group of colleagues has been a source of great personal and professional growth for me.

How have you demonstrated a commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion? 

Effective and engaged EDI work requires dedication, time, and financial support. It is no longer just enough to say we value these ideals, we must work to change the systems and establishments we are a part of through sustainable, long-term change. I aim to do that and know that I have a lot to learn and plenty of room to grow. In 2021, I worked with the EDI Taskforce (now committee) in my role as the Membership and Recruitment chair to host an “About STS” webinar. It was meant to show how STS worked, how folks could get involved, and demonstrate we are a welcoming, inclusive section that supports people from all backgrounds as both members and as leaders. The committee now plans to do something similar every year going forward. At my university, I am part of the Paid Parental Leave Working Group, whose goal is to improve the policy at our institution to support parents and enable them to thrive in their careers. One of my goals as a science librarian has always been to support women in STEM. I continue to seek out ways to do that and at the moment I am working with a few of our colleges to host a free showing of the excellent, award-winning documentary “Picture a Scientist”. We’re inviting the entire campus, the local high school, and the community. It is a documentary that everyone should see.

What ideas do you have for making STS a safe space that is as welcoming as possible to members and guests?

As a member and co-chair of the Membership and Recruitment team, this has been a big part of my work with STS the past few years. Our initiatives like the “STS New Member Spotlight” and the “About STS” webinar have aimed to make STS a more approachable and friendly section. Our members come from a variety of backgrounds and all have unique stories; sharing these stories makes the section more welcoming and friendly. I am also a huge fan of the work the mentoring committee has done to formalize their program. I think mentorship is one of the best ways to bring people into the section and set them up for success in the profession. Sharing our EDI initiatives and how we make that a priority also makes it clear that STS is a welcoming and safe space for people of all backgrounds to participate.

Continuing and supporting all this work is important and there will be more opportunities to welcome new members and reconnect with existing members as the pandemic (eventually/hopefully someday) ends. As in-person conferences return, hosting more casual events and having networking and sharing opportunities will be a significant way for us to reconnect as a section and welcome potential members.

What goals for the section would you have if elected to this position? How do you envision committees and members helping the section achieve those goals?

  1. I would like to see STS focus more on open science, open access, and open data. I think as librarians we have an important role to play in promoting and fostering these ideas. STS is a great home for education, discussion, and supporting each other and our libraries as we navigate new territory. Many committees would share in this work including the Research Committee, Scholarly Communications Committee, the Professional Development Committee, and the Liaisons Committee.
  2. I’m so glad that STS has the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee, but I think that every committee could make its own, individual EDI goals. Most committees are already doing this work, but making it more explicit and sharing it with the whole section makes it clear that this is a priority for us and will help make us more inclusive.
  3. Connecting with each other as both professionals and people is really important. I know that we are all exhausted and stretched thin after the past few years, but I am always re-energized by getting to know the people in STS a little better. Regardless of the state of conferences and in-person events in the future, I want connection, relationship-building, and fun to be in our future.