The Library’s newest staff member is Instruction & Outreach Librarian Lindsay Harmon. Lindsay’s subject specialties are business and communication. She is also responsible for the Library’s social media, events, and marketing. You can reach her by email at harmonli@lewisu, or just stop by the Library and say hi!
Welcome to Lewis University Library, Lindsay! In your new position as Instruction and Outreach Librarian, what aspects are you most excited about?
I’m looking forward to getting out on campus and talking to students and faculty about what the library can do for them. I believe a library should be where its users are—people shouldn’t have to come in to the building to take advantage of all it has to offer. If I’m doing my job well, you’ll see me outside of the library more than in it. I’m also looking forward to engaging with the Lewis community through social media and expanding our social media presence. I’d love to hear from students about where you’d like to see us and what information would be most useful for us to provide.
Can you tell us about your past work and how you chose to become a librarian; what is your favorite part about being a librarian?
In high school I worked at my local public library and the librarians there encouraged me to go to library school, which I thought was a ridiculous idea. I went to college planning to become the next great American novelist and graduated planning to edit the next great American novel. I ended up editing pharmacy, business, and finally dental textbooks before I broke down and became a librarian. I guess I should have listened to my coworkers in the first place! After I got my master’s in library science I worked as a librarian at two art schools in downtown Chicago, the American Academy of Art and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Lewis might not seem to have a lot in common with a college like SAIC, but students at both places are looking for information for their assignments and projects, and that’s where I come in. I love helping to connect people with the information that they need, and I always learn a lot in the process.
How has the role of marketing in Libraries (any type) changed in the 21st century?
I think the biggest change is that we are more willing to admit that we do it. Libraries have always promoted their resources and services, but no one wanted to call it marketing for fear of sounding too corporate. The web, and especially social media, have made it easier to bring the library to its users in ways that go beyond traditional advertising. Libraries have a lot to offer, and we need to be more aggressive about getting the word out.
What are you passionate about?
I’m a voracious reader of contemporary fiction and I love discovering new writers. While everyone else is creating their basketball brackets during March Madness, a group of my book-nerd friends and I participate in the Morning News Tournament of Books, in which works of fiction published in the past year go head to head. At the risk of further outing myself as a nerd, I’m also passionate about grammar—once an editor, always an editor, I guess.
Now, the customary questions that everyone asks a librarian; what are your favorite foods?
Chocolate anything—I have a terrible sweet tooth. I also love sushi. And coffee.
What are you reading/ last book read?
I have a giant stack of books about marketing and social media strategy on my desk, but the book I just finished is the latest edition of the Best American Travel Writing series. As a parent of two small kids, I don’t tend to take many exotic vacations, so I like to live vicariously through people who can.