As the current president of the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA), Paolo P. Gujilde aims to streamline the organization's workflow and processes, increase membership, and provide more opportunities for members to be involved. He credits the continued support from APALA members for making a very busy year a wonderful one as well.
Where do you work, and what is your role?
I work at National Louis University in Chicago as the collections & scholarly communications librarian.
What did you do previously?
Prior to NLU, I worked as a coordinator of collection development at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro.
What do you like best about your job?
One of the best aspects of collection development and acquisitions is strategic planning and project management. I like planning what library resources should explore and what should be implemented. There are a lot of new products out there that sound great; however, they might not be the right products for the institution. I enjoy planning what's next for the library and the institution.
Why did you decide to pursue a degree in LIS?
My undergraduate degree is in anthropology from the University of Illinois at Chicago. I was working as an archaeologist in Champaign when I decided to make a career move. I chose the LIS program at Illinois because of its similarities with archaeology, especially as it relates to information. Archaeology deals heavily with finding and analyzing information from the past, and that to me translates to the way we work with information in LIS. So I like to think of it as a continuation of my career in information.
How did the iSchool help you get to where you are today?
One of the things that helped me throughout my career is the combination of research and working with people. I took multiple courses in community informatics at the iSchool, and the lessons I learned from those courses resonated with me. In particular, the way we work with people is a tremendous skill to have in LIS. It is not just about providing what the community needs but rather engaging with the community.
What advice would you like to share with iSchool students?
If you can, take some courses that interest you and not just the ones you should take to graduate. Also, take advantage of resources around you, such as scholarships, career planning, mentorships, and many others. I did not do any of that when I was in graduate school, and looking back, I wish I had.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Most of the time, I like to do simple things such as watching television, going for a walk, and playing pool. If I have some extra funds, I like to travel. In addition to my work and APALA service, I am trying to finish my doctoral degree in education through Valdosta State University in Georgia.