Thirteen iSchool master's students were named 2022-2023 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. Zhaneille Green holds a BA in geography and history from Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Why did you decide to pursue an LIS degree?
After spending a year in the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps during the onset of the pandemic, I decided I wanted to pursue a service-oriented career, and librarianship ticked all the boxes for me. In one of my community service projects, I served at an elementary school and met students dependent on hardware and software provided by the school district that they could not access at home. The experience highlighted how reliant our communities are on information institutions. I determined that I wanted to better understand the factors that affect information access and work to bridge the gaps in accessibility.
Why did you choose the iSchool at Illinois?
I chose the University of Illinois because of the rich opportunity for integrating knowledge gained through courses with experience from graduate assistantships provided via the libraries on campus. The iSchool also only requires foundational courses, which allowed me the freedom to customize my library school "pathway."
What particular LIS topics interest you the most?
For me, it continues to be information access. However, the topic has evolved for me. I used to only think of working on avenues for people to find the necessary resources. Now, because I've learned so much about information accessibility, I also think of ensuring that people can understand the information when they find what they need. I'm confident that I will keep learning more about information access with regard to accessibility, affordability, and information/digital literacy. The learning process will change how I understand these issues and develop solutions.
What do you do outside of class?
Outside of class, I split my time as a graduate assistant working in the Acquisitions & Cataloging Services Department, maintaining access to e-books and online journals, or at the service desk in the Scholarly Commons, helping patrons with our media spaces and loanable technology. Outside of librarianship, I spend time drinking copious amounts of bubble tea, reading books, creating online courses, and writing a ton of unfinished fiction.
What does being a Spectrum Scholar mean to you?
It means that I'll join a community of professionals committed to serving their chosen communities in their professions, whether in an academic or public library setting. It also means accepting the support given by the ALA Spectrum Institute and using my voice and presence to help other library professionals.
What career plans or goals do you have?
I will be pursuing a career in academic librarianship or the nonprofit sphere. No matter the setting, I want to provide greater access to resources, whether as a university staff member or a local government employee. One of the most significant benefits of an LIS degree is the flexibility it offers to its holders. I am always open to new and different experiences.