Each spring, our partner in Frankfurt Academic, the Society for Scholarly Publishing (SSP) awards 12 students and early-career professionals with a highly competitive Fellowship. Students of publishing, librarianship, and information science, together with early-career professionals in the scholarly communications industry, are invited to apply. One of the student fellows is Monica Hoh, a current Library and Information Science student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. As SSP Ambassador, she has also received a Business & Conferences Ticket for her first visit to the Frankfurter Buchmesse. Time for an interview!
Dear Ms Hoh, first of all: Can you give us a brief insight in your everyday university life and your connection to the Society for Scholarly Publishing?
MH: Most days you can find me running from class, to a meeting, perhaps a webinar and then over to work at the university library. At least once a week, I’ve got different groups I attend to connect and collaborate with fellow students, like the iSchool Students of Color. Somewhere in between it all, I find time to relax and recharge! In this program the ability to gain hands-on experience in libraries while still as student has been a huge advantage. I’ve been able to work as a graduate assistant at the University library, which is how I heard about the Society for Scholarly Publishing. I work for Lisa Hinchliffe, who is one of the writers for the Scholarly Kitchen. When I told her about my interest in metadata, she suggested that I explore publishing and mentioned the SSP fellowship experience. I was lucky to be chosen as one of twelve SSP Fellows this year, and so far it’s been a wonderful experience getting involved in the world of Scholarly Publishing.
You represent the offspring in Library and Information Science — what kind of upheavals could we expect there in the next few years? How will job profiles change?
MH: As a current student, I feel like I’m preparing for all sorts of possible futures in Library and Information Science. Libraries are facing a lot of changes, as we’re not just spaces that hold information, but also as we’re becoming community hubs for the public, the researcher and the publisher. There are many possibilities, but I think that libraries will each need to redefine their missions moving forward to make sure that they are accessible, inclusive, and able to collaborate meaningfully with the communities in which they’re situated.
As for jobs, I’m noticing larger emphasis on technical skills that focus on empowering the users that we serve. I myself am fascinated by the way we can use better standardized metadata can help boost discoverability and accessibility for patrons. Non-traditional positions are also opening up as viable pathways for a LIS graduate. I think we’re seeing how the hard and soft skills that Library and Information Science students know are relevant and vital to any number of professional fields.
How important is networking in information science for you? Which networks, platforms, events and tools do you use for this?
MH: Networking is immensely important for me in Library and Information Science. Whether it’s in person with interest groups or online, meeting new people provides new perspectives, gives support, and broadens my view of LIS and publishing. I’ve found that the most up to date information can be found through social media platforms like twitter. Keeping an eye on what the library and publishing world is up to is much easier if you’re able to follow some of the leaders in these fields as they share ideas and chime in on new trends in LIS. The Scholarly Kitchen blogposts have also been eye-opening as I’ve begun exploring publishing and compliments what I’m learning in my program. I’m also a fan of webinars, and I try to attend as many as possible so that I can stay up to day with trends, issues, and research that’s currently being discussed in the field.
This will be your first visit to the Frankfurter Buchmesse — what do you expect in Frankfurt in October? Where will you be found?
MH: I expect to be a bit overwhelmed by the size of the fair, by both attendees and events, but also energized by it all. As the fair happens during last semester of my program, I will be looking at exhibitors to consider potential job opportunities post graduation. You’ll probably also see me around various exhibitions, attending conference meetings, and meeting professionals in the field. I’m incredibly excited to have the opportunity to dive into this fair with an open mind.
Thank you for the interview and welcome to the Frankfurter Buchmesse in October!
(Interview by Frank Krings, PR Manager at Frankfurter Buchmesse.)
Tickets to Frankfurter Buchmesse are available here.