A record seventeen iSchool master's students were named 2020-2021 Spectrum Scholars by the American Library Association (ALA) Office for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services. This "Spectrum Scholar Spotlight" series highlights the School's scholars. MS/LIS student Marisol Bribiescas holds a BA in psychology and a minor in art from Northern Illinois University.
Why did you decide to pursue an LIS degree?
My love for reading, helping the community, and working at public libraries convinced me to pursue an LIS degree.
Why did you choose the iSchool at Illinois?
I chose to pursue a degree at the iSchool because of the flexibility of the Leep [online] program and the opportunity to be a student while continuing to work at my job. I've been lucky to work alongside several iSchool alumni in the past who have had nothing but great things to say about the program. I was convinced that attending the iSchool at UIUC would be the best choice if I was accepted, and it’s a decision I do not regret.
What particular LIS topics interest you the most?
I'm interested in a little bit of everything. Topics related to public and international librarianship interest me the most. Being able to provide bilingual services is important for me. I also have an interest in the technical service area in libraries, such as acquisitions, collection development, cataloging, and school libraries.
What do you do outside of class?
I enjoy watching dramas (my favorite are fantasy-costume and thriller ones!), studying languages, listening to true crime podcasts, and drawing. Nowadays, with work and school taking up most of my day, I try to catch up on reading the many, many books on my "to read" list before anything else. The list has grown to be too long . . .
What does being a Spectrum Scholar mean to you?
I'm grateful to be part of the Spectrum Scholar community. Having the opportunity to network with such a large community and build relationships with other scholars is something I never thought I would have the opportunity to do. Being a scholar opens doors to communicate and build connections with individuals with diverse backgrounds, and this is important to me as a woman of Latinx background working in public libraries.
What career plans or goals do you have?
I hope to continue working at a public library after graduation! Recently, I've been considering going abroad and seeing if there are opportunities in other countries where I could work with children or adults in developing and improving their reading abilities.