Last month, first-year master's student Amanda Weber presented her research at the Guadalajara International Book Fair (FIL). During FIL's International Librarian's Colloquium, she talked about the power of bilingual children's literature and how it plays a role in identity formation and affirmation. Weber had researched and written about the topic for her undergraduate thesis at DePauw University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Spanish. "When picture books are culturally and linguistically appropriate, accurate, and affirming, they represent children's realities and inspire them to discover, create, and celebrate their identities," she said. It was this interest in children's literacy that led her to the iSchool.
Why did you decide to pursue an LIS degree?
I am passionate about literacy and education, and an LIS degree will allow me to use my diverse interests and talents in order to serve people and help them find their voice and write their own story.
Why did you choose the iSchool at Illinois?
I chose the iSchool at Illinois because I felt comfortable here, and it allowed me flexibility with classes so that I could explore what interested me.
What particular LIS topics interest you the most?
Generally, I am interested in youth services as well as serving the Spanish speaking population. I'm in my first semester, so I haven't really had a chance to delve deeply into topics yet.
What do you do outside of class?
I work at Facilities and Services in the Information Resources Department, and this semester I am also the graduate assistant (GA) for the Less Commonly Taught Languages program. Next semester, I will be the School Collection GA for the Social Sciences, Health, and Education Library. When I'm not working or doing homework, I like to read, run, and talk to my best friend.
What career plans or goals do you have?
I don’t have any concrete plans yet, but I want to be able to use the knowledge I learn here at the iSchool to help connect people to their libraries and provide a place for them to learn and grow.