Last summer I conducted a series of interviews with all the student workers around the Leatherby Libraries. These interviews helped inform the community about all the different areas of the library and all the services we have! Now, we’re doing the same with all our hard-working librarians. Jessica Bower, our Coordinator of Interlibrary Loan, was kind enough to answer ten questions for us.
- What is your name and title?
Jessica Bower, Assistant Librarian, Coordinator of Interlibrary Loan. My liaison areas are Business/Economics, Film & Media Arts, & Fine Art
- In what department of the Leatherby Libraries do you work?
Interlibrary Loan is my main department.
- How long have you been at Chapman University?
It will be 5 years this coming January.
- What is your job in a nutshell?
Like most of our librarians in the Leatherby Libraries, I wear many hats. One of my titles is the Coordinator of Interlibrary Loan. As the Coordinator of ILL, I supervise the operations of the interlibrary loan service we provide to our patrons including the supervision of two full time staff members, and three student employees. The interlibrary loan department is unique, as we not only provide service to our Chapman campus patrons; we also provide delivery of library materials to our students and faculty at the new Rinker Health Sciences campus, as well as delivery of materials to Brandman University patrons.
As a librarian, my duties are mostly related to reference and instruction. I work regular reference desk hours, providing research assistance in person, over the phone, via email, and through our chat feature on the Leatherby Libraries website. I am the liaison librarian for the Argyros School of Business and Economics, and recently took over the liaison responsibilities for the Dodge College of Film & Media Arts and the Fine Arts majors of the Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. As a liaison librarian, I teach library instruction tailored to the needs of students and faculty in each subject area, often demonstrating the use of subject specific databases. I also participate in collection development for these subject areas, which includes coordinating with our acquisitions department and department faculty to acquire new library materials in each subject area.
- Have you held any jobs at other universities or libraries?
The Leatherby Libraries was actually my first library or university related job. I started working as a library assistant in interlibrary loan as I worked on my Masters of Library and Information Science degree. As I was working on my MLIS, I was fortunate to be mentored by some great librarians at the Leatherby Libraries including Associate Dean Kevin Ross, Dean Charlene Baldwin, Chair of Public Services Carolyn Radcliff, and the previous Coordinator of Interlibrary Loan, Maria Yanez. I am grateful these mentors have not only made a transition from library assistant to librarian possible for me, but they have also greatly influenced my continued growth as a librarian. Previous to working at Chapman, I worked as a technical writer for Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, and previous to that I was a ride operator at Disneyland—piloting the Disneyland Monorail and working the Space Mountain attraction. Currently, I also teach a course at Brandman University titled Information Fluency and Academic Integrity. This eight-week course teaches students how to navigate library databases and find various library materials, as well as educates students about citation styles, evaluation of scholarly sources, and other aids related to scholarly research. I usually teach this course a couple of times a year at the Brandman Irvine campus.
- What are your passions/interests outside of work?
I am an avid equestrian. I have a thoroughbred horse named Gigi who I ride in several different types of competitions. I have been riding and competing in hunter jumper equestrian competitions since I was a teenager. Last year, I decided to try something different, and I took Gigi to some gymkhana (barrel racing) events. I also serve as the faculty advisor for the Chapman Equestrian club.
- Where did you get your degree?
I have a Bachelor’s in History from Cal Poly Pomona. I also rode horses on the Cal Poly Pomona Equestrian Team as an undergraduate. I have a Masters of Library and Information Science from Wayne State University, and I am finishing up a second Masters in Organizational Leadership from Brandman University. I will be graduating in Spring 2016 from Brandman University.
- Where is your hometown?
I grew up right down the street from Chapman University, in Garden Grove, CA.
- What is the last book you read, or the last book you loved?
I am almost finished reading Cheryl Strayed’s Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, and I am looking forward to seeing her speak on campus in September. I am also in the middle of reading two other books including Haruki Murakami’s IQ84, and Bill Bryson’s The Lost Continent. My favorite books of all time are the Harry Potter books.
- Any fun facts about yourself?
Between my time at the Leatherby Libraries, at the stables riding horses, and teaching at Brandman I don’t have a lot of free time! When I do have free time, my sister and I like to go to museums. This year we decided to go to at least one museum each month. So far we haven’t missed a month in 2015, and have visited 7 different museums. The last museum we visited was The Getty our August Museum of the Month.