Meet Brianna Jackson G’19. She hails from the Central New York area, having grown up in Camillus, New York. She is currently finishing her Master of Science program in Library and Information Science.
What are you passionate about?
I want to be a librarian. That’s what I’m passionate about. Reading was always a big part of my life. My mom worked in a library, she made libraries a big point in my life. And I like working with people, especially children. So I want to be a youth services librarian, I want to work with teens and little kids.
I really like the programming aspect of librarianship. As part of my internship, that’s what I did. I put together a series of program for teens, and facilitated it. It’s fun to get creative and put services for them outside school. I especially like the literature as well.
Why did you choose Syracuse University?
Syracuse has always had a presence in my life. I knew its programs were highly talked about. My mom went to SU, so I thought this would be good for me since it had a good reputation. A lot of students come out here have gone on to do great things. It’s also really close to where I live.
What are some of the biggest lessons the iSchool taught you?
With this current leadership position, I learned a lot. I’m the president of LISSA, which is our Library and Information Science Student Assembly. I never really held a leadership position before, so it was quite a learning experience for myself. Working with a team was really interesting, especially to coordinate and plan between us. It was really helpful for me.
The classes I took were focused on the youth services aspect. I thought the classes were great, I even took some instruction classes, which were really difficult. The classes had lesson planning, and the like. Even though librarians aren’t teachers, we do have to teach at times to our patrons.
What are some of the best experiences you’ve had?
Definitely being part of LISSA. When I first started here, I was nervous to meet people and making friends because I’m a little shy sometimes. LISSA was a great way to put myself out there and to meet people. They put on a lot of social events that exposed me to alumni in the profession. Just meeting people who are entrusted in librarianship has been a great experience.
Would you do anything differently if you had the chance?
I think what I could have done differently as the president of LISSA, and the events we put up as a group. But at the same time, we all lead really busy lives. In terms of course, working course load, I would do it all again. I’m pretty happy about what I took, the grades I had, and the professors I met.
With LISSA, it’s like “I could have done it differently.” But also, I realize that I work part-time, I have my internship, and so it was a lot. I have to understand there are limitations to myself and everyone.
What will you miss the most about Syracuse?
I’ll miss the friends I made. We’re all going to our different jobs, so it will be hard to stay in touch. Being able to come here and knowing everyone is coming here or in the area. I’ll definitely miss some professors, because they’re great here. Blythe Bennett is our program manager, I will miss her.
That sense of security, too. When you’re here, you think “Oh, the job is so far off!” But now, it’s smack in front of us.
What are your plans for after graduation?
I’m currently working at the Fayetteville Free Libraries as a circulation worker. I help patrons with books, checking out, and I also run their book sales. I’ll be continuing to work there. I have to take the civil service exam, and that takes a long time to be graded. While I wait for that, I’ll be working there and taking conferences. The goal is to take the exam, get my score back, then apply for a youth services position.
It’s bittersweet. I’ve been here for two years. But at the same time, I’m ready to go off and and explore.