Meet July's Member Spotlight - Beth Johns

Beth Johns
E-resources Librarian
Saginaw Valley State University

What are you currently reading?
The Copper Beech by Maeve Binchy
The Tangled Tree: A Radical New History of Life by David Quammen

What are your research interests?
This is always an interesting question since I really do not "do research" as a part of my position, at least not as I am interpreting it. However, User behavior is always interesting to me -- generally how, why and when people need and access information . . . lots of user behavior issues to think about! We've come a long way in electronic access, but there are still hoops that people do not and probably should not need to jump through - so they resort to Google or frighteningly, purchase information. It's a struggle with the students and often faculty, if we are truthful. And of course, I'm always interested in new technology and how that might impact my work and the library environment.

Do you have hobbies or interests outside of the library?
I'm an ex-runner, trying really hard to get back to it. I am very much a beginner knitter and have progressed from wash cloths to a sock hat, which is giving me trouble at the moment. I really enjoy classic films and TV -- the old comedies that are STILL funny, all of those films that you should watch at least once in your life. Lately, we've been watching the old Twilight Zone and it's really kind of amazing how timely some of the stories are. Wild concerns about aliens and other unnamed invaders -- history repeats itself for sure.

What drew you to the library profession?
I came into it in kind of an odd way -- I really had no aspirations to do this as a young person and am not a particularly voracious book lover. I worked as a legal assistant for several years and realized a few years in that I wasn't truly cut out for it (and definitely did not want to go to law school). So I started exploring and one of the alternative careers for the field was a law librarian. That caught my eye - the helping and research parts - and I eventually worked at the Capital Area District Library as an administrative assistant, which gave me a good birds eye view of how libraries operate and the opportunity to really find out the good and bad about librarianship from several of the librarians there. I went to Wayne, got the degree and started working at SVSU about 2 months later. And never did consider law librarianship once I started working in libraries!

What do you value about MiALA?
It's nice to have a focused organization on academic librarianship that isn't wickedly expensive. I do feel we get back a lot for the cost, including a lot of opportunities to network and develop professionally.

Is there anything else that you would like to share?
These are exceptionally hard times for everyone in different ways. Be kind, as much as possible. (P.S. - if it shows in the photo, that's my remote work space with Cody, my trusted guardian (I think) in the background).