My name is Jennifer Harden. I attended Saginaw Valley State University (SVSU) starting in 1992, graduating with my degree in 1997. While there, I majored in Communication and minored in English. I was a very active student. I served as Vice President of the Communication Guild, was a member of Alpha Chi National Honor Society, and also belonged to the Alpha Mu Gamma National Foreign Language Honor Society. During my time at SVSU I worked numerous internships, including one at our local television station WNEM-TV5.

Upon graduation, I worked in marketing. My first job was in the circulation department at Business News Publishing in Troy, MI. Basically, I designed those annoying little cards that fall out of magazines and get thrown in the trash. Very fulfilling career path.

After that position, I worked at a food service consulting firm in Northville, MI, called The Hysen Group. This was a demanding job, but I learned a lot. Everything I did was done in-house except when we were working with clients. I took my first trip to New York City while working this job.

Upon returning to Mid-Michigan, I worked in marketing and public relations at Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland. I was an intern here during college, so this was an easy transition. As a full-time employee, I did all of our event planning and implementation; edited our e-newsletter; composed all of our online promotional materials; proofread our annual catalog; and did lots of other fun jobs.

I left Bronner’s to become a stay-at-home mom. I was a stay-at-home mom for six years, raising our daughter, Ella, who is eight years old. Our son, Trent, is four years old, so I was only a stay-at-home mom with him for the first two years. When I returned to work, I knew that I had to do something more fulfilling. I am a religious person who believes that everything happens for a reason. I won’t get into the details here, but let’s just say that my job at Public Libraries of Saginaw (PLOS) came about as a result of divine intervention. I currently work at our Zauel Memorial Library branch located in Saginaw Township.

At Zauel Memorial Library, I split my time (28 hours/week) between the adult reference desk and my cubicle. I am the Young Adult (YA) Librarian (I use the title “Librarian” loosely, since I obviously do not have my MLIS yet). I plan all of our YA programming and order all of our YA materials (i.e. fiction, non-fiction, biographies, talking books, e-books, and downloadable audio).

I am also the Audiovisual (AV) Librarian (again, using the title loosely). I order all fiction and non-fiction audiobooks, music, and fiction and non-fiction DVDs. I also order all of our e-books and downloadable audio.

I am our technology page supervisor. I supervise three pages. I make sure that they perform their job responsibilities; conduct their annual reviews; help with concerns and answer questions; and create their schedule every month. With three college students, creating their schedules is very challenging.

I serve on the PLOS Fundraising Committee, our One Book, One Community Committee, and our Website Committee. I enjoy participating in these committees, because it gives me another opportunity to serve our patrons and help our library system.

I am in charge of Zauel Memorial Library’s display case (which welcomes local non-profits to display their wares) and our topic area (which highlights a relevant topic by featuring all materials from around the library that pertain to that topic).

I love working for PLOS and hope to move up within the system. That is why I am embarking on this journey to obtain my Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) at Wayne State University. I always knew I would earn a Master’s degree in something; I just wasn’t always sure of what that “something” would be. I put a lot of thought into this decision and am moving forward without an ounce of hesitation or doubt. This is the path I am supposed to be on. I would even love a Ph.D. one day, but that’s strictly for personal fulfillment.

So join me on this journey as I start down the path toward my MLIS. That’s what this blog is all about. It is being created for LIS 6010 at Wayne State University. It will start with my assumptions/assertions and end with final reflections. It is sure to be an interesting journey. I can’t wait to get started . . .

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