Meet October Member Spotlight - Cynthia Simpson

Cynthia Simpson
Director of Library Services
Madonna University
2020-2021 MiALA President

What are you currently reading?
At the beginning of quarantine, I read The Dragon Behind the Glass: A True Story of Power, Obsession, and the World's Most Coveted Fish, by Emily Voigt. My son is very interested in exotic fish and we have several aquariums in the house of over 100 gallons. I have a better understanding of the fish that fascinate him after this incredible dive into this NYT best seller. This book had everything; travel, science, biology, murder and fantastic writing. It was, by far, one of the best reads of my life. I recently finished Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead, exceptional, and look forward to reading more from this talented author. This week I'm focused on Mindset by Carol S. Dweck. I've wanted to look into her work for awhile now, and this being a required text for class this term helps move it up the list! 

What are your research interests?

Do you have hobbies or interests outside of the library?
I love to run outdoors, the wilder the trail the better! It resets my disposition and provides a wonderful launch to the day. I live in a rural area and neighbors I meet on my treks include deer, turkeys, raccoons, sand hill cranes and Kevin, the neighborhood rescue peacock.

I live vicariously through my son's many pets including Bella, our lovely rescue Pitt Bull and his three new Amazon stingrays, known to locals as the "wish you were dead fish". I keep my hands out of that tank!

My significant other, family, friends and school, working on a doctorate, make a complete life. 

What drew you to the library profession?
A good friend of mine was in the program at Wayne when I was figuring out life's next steps. I don't know why I never thought of it myself, but as soon as she mentioned it, I applied to the program, from her kitchen, the very next day. I started in youth services, moved to adult after two years, managed an interlibrary loan department and then transitioned into academic librarianship. Prior to becoming a librarian, I taught in Asia and loved it! Everything I enjoyed about teaching I can do in a Library, from working directly with students and faculty to learning about new trends. It's fascinating and every day offers a different buffet of intriguing options. 

What do you value about MiALA?
MiALA is inspiring, educational and empowering. Through my experience with MiALA, I have meet and been encouraged by a variety of professionals on a variety of topics. The conferences are outstanding, the perfect culmination of a year of hard work by the committee and presenters, always pulling together an enlightening program that enriches your passion for the profession while expanding your skill set. Additionally, it's so fun to check out the CUTE purses people bring!

The mentoring opportunities and boot camps are also not to be overlooked.

MiALA is currently gathering reopening plans to help build a repository for benchmarking in the current landscape, and also to preserve this valuable information for future scholars. 

Is there anything else that you would like to share?
MiALA is only strong because of the involvement of its members. We need you. YES, YOU! We need your voice, your experience, your perspective. If you've ever thought about joining a committee or investigating an interest group, now's the time. Check us out! 

COVID has hit our professional community hard and this year, you have an option to join MiALA for free. We realize financial hardships prevent people from investing in professional development and, if you are experiencing a financial hardship, just join us without cost this year. You define what hardship means, no strings attached. We just want you on board.

Take care and stay safe out there!