Reference and instruction librarian Jen Schlau teaches students the critical thinking process of how to organize information, a trait she put to good use during her initial hiring process before she began her now decade-long tenure at ECC.
“I got a flat tire in the SRC (now Building A/B) parking lot minutes before my job interview at ECC,” Schlau said. “So I interviewed, then went back outside to deal with it.”
It is this type of critical thinking and organizational skills that have been the secret of her success working with students at the library.
We caught up with Schlau to learn more about her life and her work at ECC. Here is what she had to say:
In your words, what do you do at ECC?
I teach students how to critically think about how information is organized and where to find the types of information they are seeking.
What is your greatest accomplishment since you’ve been here?
The day-to-day job of answering questions sometimes turns into a visit from a student telling me that they did well in their class or are graduating or are on to their next degree. I am never inoculated to those moments of joy. On a larger scale, I’m proud of my research study with the Faculty Research Community that brought attention to ways the library can further help students.
What would you do if you were ECC president for a day?
I would have us start and end our day with something relaxing–maybe meditation or a massage.
If there was a movie about your life, who would you want to play you?
What’s on your “bucket list?”
Travel! I know this is broad, but I have a lot of places I hope to see.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work (i.e., hobbies/interests)?
Reading or spending time with my husband, children, or friends.
Where was the best place you’ve traveled? Or, where would you like to visit?
My ultimate dream is to go to Bora Bora.
What’s one fact we should know about you?
I’m a night owl by nature.
What’s something about your job that others should know?
You may not always think about it, but every time you look for information, you use skills that librarians teach.
What was your favorite class in school (could be elementary, high school or college)?
Theories of Personality (psychology) during my undergrad was my favorite.
What was your first job out of school?
An entry-level job (outside my field) to pay the bills.
What quote best describes your philosophy?
This quote is attributed to Gandhi all over the internet, but I’ve not taken the time to verify it. It’s a great quote even if he was not the originator: “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
Complete this sentence: “I enjoy working at ECC because…“
I get to watch students grow and teach them lifelong skills that they will use in any situation where they need good information.