New Online Librarian Takes Learning to the Lakes

Please help us welcome Associate Online Librarian Ally Addison (L), to the Globe University team!

Have you ever had a question about navigating the Globe University-Online library? Have you ever wondered who was on the other side of the phone or email message assisting you? Well, allow me to make a formal introduction.

At the beginning of this quarter, the Online division was lucky enough to hire a new employee to fill the role of our associate online librarian. Her name is Ally Addison, and she comes to us with a vast background and professional experience in library sciences. And, chances are she’s the one helping students with any and every question they may have about our Online library. Keep reading for a quick recap on her experiences and what she enjoys doing when she’s not working.

Where did you complete your education?

I have a B.A. in English from Valley City State University. After working in libraries and bookstores, I went back to school and completed my MLIS online from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan.

Tell us a little about your professional background.

Before working for Globe, I worked for Hennepin County Library as a technical assistant training staff and patrons on software and hardware and as an associate librarian, working with mostly with teens and immigrant communities. After completing my MLIS, I worked as a children’s librarian for Rochester Public Library before starting at Globe Education Network. I’m a member of the Minnesota Library Association Institute of Leadership Excellence. I enjoy volunteering for libraries in my spare time. I help run a manga library for an anime convention, I still volunteer at teen events for Hennepin County Library, and I work on any odd project I hear about.

What’s your favorite part about working as an Online librarian?

The questions! Each day, there’s a new variety of questions and requests from faculty, staff and students through email, phone calls and our online library chat system. I get to see the different types of research being done and learn a lot in the process as well.

What’s the most frequent question you get from students, and how do you answer it?

My most frequent questions are about APA citation and formatting. APA can seem challenging, but that’s why we’re here to help. I begin by pointing people to our APA guide which has tutorials, templates and examples of references, but I also take the time to go through a citation, help edit and give pointers.

What’s a piece of advice you’d give to our Online students?

As a former online student and now as an online librarian, the best advice I can give is to ask questions when you have them. Asking questions not only helps you get the answers you need, but it also helps you build professional relationships and develop networking skills. It can seem lonely when you take classes online, but there’s actually a great community to assist you. We (staff and instructors) want to assist you academically and professionally.

And finally, what do you enjoy doing outside of your work with our Online library?

This summer I actually spent some time volunteering with the Floating Library. It’s a library that has a collection of books and librarians to help you, but this library floats somewhere on Cedar Lake and one of the books is potato starch wrapped in nori: designed to be read, then fed to fish. After I saw the call for volunteers on Facebook, I emailed the artist, Sarah Peters, and signed up. A friend and I decided to volunteer on opening weekend. We were both available and it seemed like a great and fun opportunity.

So, armed with a ukulele and plenty of sunscreen, I spent an afternoon strumming songs, talking to patrons and recommending books. There’s a circulating collection that readers can take home for a week, but there’s also a collection of books that stay in the library. The books were created and donated by artists from around the world. On the floating library, there’s something for everyone. Even fish!