Like the character in a good library book, NECC librarian Jenny Fielding is a resourceful detective; which is just what college students want in their campus librarian – even if they don’t know it.
It’s the sleuth in Fielding that encourages students to drill down and unearth information using just a clue or hint of information. Sometimes, she says, it’s just a partial title or a germ of an idea.
“Librarians are jacks and janes of all trades, knowing a little about a lot,” she says. “We are the experts who know how to find the things that don’t show up on the first (or 10th) page of a web search. We know how to determine if a source is credible.”
As coordinator of library services on the Lawrence Campus, Fielding is not technically a faculty member, but she teaches information literacy classes in almost every subject.
Information literacy is one of Northern Essex’s new Core Academic Skills requirements.
“I love helping students make the connection between what we’re learning in the classroom and how it will apply to their coursework, as well as their lives outside of NECC,” she says.
Fielding acknowledges that the role of librarians has changed dramatically since the digital revolution, but says their new role is even more relevant.
“Where once librarians were guides and gatekeepers, now we are teachers, innovators, researchers, and curators,” she says. “The world of information has become increasingly complex. I love teaching students how to engage with and navigate this new shifting landscape both as information seekers and information creators.”
Fielding, came to the library stacks by way of the corporate world. With a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts from the University of Pittsburgh, she worked in marketing for a variety of companies including a restaurant chain, an insurance company, a real estate company, and a non-profit organization. She returned to school earning a Master’s of Library Science from Southern Connecticut State University.
“To be a successful librarian you have to have an insatiable curiosity, an organized mindset, and love to work with people,” she says. “I like that every day I encounter something different.”
But her real goal, she says, is getting students involved.