True Librarian — Interviews with UWM Libraries Staff: Lynne Jones

photo of Lynne Jones

Lynne Jones. Photo by Christina DeSpears.

Lynne Jones joined the UWM Libraries staff in 2018 as electronic & continuing resources librarian in the Collection & Resource Management (CRM) division. A member of the Collection Management department, she participates in the acquisition, management, and delivery of continuing resources in all formats, which includes providing the UWM community with seamless access to some 360 databases and the over 100,000 journals within those databases.

Q: How does your job impact student success at UWM?

Lynne: When students or faculty are doing their research and they want something that the UWM Libraries offer online, it’s my job to make sure that the link they click actually works. That is a lot more complicated than it sounds. For example, when publishers change their linking structure, a small change on their end can end up breaking 6,000 journal links, and however many articles belong to those 6,000 journals. You can imagine the scale of it. When I’m doing my job really well, and when vendors aren’t breaking things, I’m kind of invisible. It’s nice not to be noticed sometimes!

Q: In addition to your main tasks, what else are you involved with?

I administer LibKey and BrowZine, tools that provide streamlined access to full-text scholarly articles. My job isn’t just making sure a link works, but also making sure that students can get to the link without having to jump through a bunch of hoops. Students have jobs, they’ve got family to care for, they have so much to deal with, and working on ways to ease access to our resources is really important.

Q: When did you decide to become a librarian?

My first job ever was in the library of the School of Information and Library Science when I was an undergrad at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill studying history. I was especially interested in Islamic history and military history, but because I have an auditory processing disorder that makes learning foreign languages very difficult, a graduate degree in history was out. I was thinking about what I was going to do with my degree, and what would I want to do going forward in life. I thought, well, I like working in the library. Personality-wise I am kind of a stereotypical librarian. I like quiet, I like order, I like putting things where they go–all that makes me happy. So I applied to library grad school.

Q: You stayed at Chapel Hill for your MLS?

Yes. My first year I took organization of information and loved that class. It’s all data and categorizing things and creating ontologies. It was clear to my professor that I enjoyed it, and she encouraged me to take a cataloging course, which I did. Then one of my cataloging instructors offered me a job in Special Collections cataloging materials related to North Carolina. I took the job and totally loved it. It was fussy and nit-picky and had zillions of rules and every once in while you would have to go down into the stacks into the biographical files and figure out who this person was who had authored this thing you had–many people’s nightmare, but I loved it.

Q: What was your first post-grad job?

It was at a tiny university in the original Las Vegas, which is in New Mexico. It was mostly traditional cataloging with a bit of archival work. I soon realized that publishers were starting to do a lot of the cataloging of popular materials themselves, and that my career should be a little more future proof. So my next job, at Chico State in California, was cataloging and e-resources. After Chico, I came here.

Q: What do you like about your job at the UWM Libraries?

One of the really nice things about CRM is that we are a small department. My job is mostly electronic resources but when a colleague has a question about acquisitions or needs help with an analytics report, I can help with that. Whenever different little projects come up, there’s an opportunity to work on them. If I was doing just cataloging or just e-resources, that would drive me a little batty. My work to-do list is two pages long. I love that. I hate not having something to do or not being useful. In this job, I am useful. And I like that.