MS student Madina Grace is the recipient of a Fritz Schwartz Education Scholarship from NASIG, an independent organization working to advance and transform the management of information resources. The award provides enhanced educational opportunities to an aspiring library student who has prior experience with managing information resources.
Grace, who holds a BA in international relations from East Kazakhstan State University in Kazakhstan and an MA in European studies from the Europa-Universität Flensburg in Germany, has been working in public and academic libraries for the last ten years. She decided to pursue her LIS degree to advance her knowledge in academic librarianship and learn more about metadata services, programming languages, and e-learning.
"My last job was in a brand-new academic library in Kazakhstan, where I had an opportunity to work with students and faculty from all over the world," Grace said. "It inspired me to learn more about reference and subject librarianship, and eventually information access. I was promoted to a position in which I was responsible for managing information resources, and I was among first group of librarians in Central Asia to work with integrated library systems and share my expertise with other librarians."
Grace currently works as a full-time library specialist in acquisitions and cataloging services at the University of Illinois.
As a Fritz Schwartz Education Scholar, she will receive a $3,000 scholarship as well as payment of her registration fee and travel expenses to attend the 2021 NASIG conference in Madison, Wisconsin. At the conference, she will give a presentation at the Student Spotlight session.
Grace was also recently selected to participate in the Library Technology Career Jumpstart Program, a new initiative of the North Carolina State University Libraries, which will be held virtually on August 10–14. The program is designed to give LIS students a better understanding of job opportunities available in library technology, build up their technical skill sets, and provide career preparation.
In the future, Grace intends to pursue a career in technical services, electronic resources management, library systems and metadata services.
"Due to increased demand for electronic resources, there is a need for librarians to work with and provide 24/7 access to online informational materials," she said. "The area of technical services is 'behind-the-scenes' work, but it is hard to imagine research without access to electronic databases, journals and books."