Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Awesome Alumni: Dalia

This week's interview is with Dalia Corkrum. Dalia graduated from Drexel in 1979 with her MLIS, and is currently the Library Director at Whitman College. During her MLIS program, Dalia worked as an intern at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and was a member of Beta Phi Mu. Since graduating, Dalia has worked as a Cataloguer/Information Specialist at Air Products and Chemicals, a Retrospective Conversion Cataloguer at Aurora University, the Head of Technical Services at both St. Charles Public Library and Tacoma Public Library, and as the Library Director at Saint Martin's College. 

What is your current job? Library Director at Whitman College

How did you find your job? I was nominated for the position; it was also advertised in all of the usual publications.

What does your typical day look like? Is this what you expected when you took the job? There's no such thing as "typical". I spend a tremendous amount of time building relationships, answering/writing email, budgeting, managing, etc., etc.

What do you enjoy most about your job? Working with talented people and making a difference in peoples' lives. I enjoy the variety of work that comes with my position. 

What are some of the common misconceptions about your job/your area of librarianship? That everyone who works in the library is a librarian and that I have plenty of time for recreational reading.

What was the most valuable thing that you did or learned while in library school? My cataloging and management classes! Learning how to catalog has served me exceptionally well. It provided me with the skills to help patrons find information, understand database structure, evaluate and implement integrated library systems and make decisions that affect the future of information acquisition, access, and preservation.

What inspired you to choose this career? It was a practical choice. I contemplated law school but thought that librarianship would provide more flexible and varied opportunities. 

What do you wish you had learned more about? Law. Everything we do now, from copyright to employment, has legal ramifications. 

Any tips for current students? Don't just take the easy courses or the ones that sound really interesting. Oftentimes you'll learn things that you didn't expect and that knowledge will serve you well in the future. Become as active professionally as you possibly can at the local, regional and national levels. 

**Interested in providing your own professional perspective on how to use your Drexel MLIS? Email us at drexelscala@gmail.com to participate!**

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