Brian Flota (MS '13) is the focus of a recent Illuminate Illinois feature by the Special Libraries Association (SLA) Illinois Chapter. He recently was hired as the English librarian at James Madison University. In the interview with SLA, Flota discussed how his previous experience as a PhD student in English influenced his decision to pursue a degree at GSLIS and a career in LIS:
What advanced degree/s do you have? Any comment on how that fits with your work or goals today?
I received my PhD in English from the George Washington University in 2006 and just recently earned my MS in library and information science from [the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign] in May 2013. My current position combines my strength in teaching and research from my previous career as an English professor with the skills I acquired as a special librarian while at [Illinois].
Are you in the job today that you thought you would be [in] 10 years ago? What was something you were doing then that influenced your eventual career path?
Ten years ago, I thought I was either going to be a novelist or an English professor. As I was working on my dissertation proposal, and otherwise working on scholarship to make me become increasingly familiar with library resources—especially archives, special collections, interlibrary loan, and databases—I became constantly reminded of the value of libraries.
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