Christine Goodwin earned her MLS in 1998 here at St. John’s. Today she works as the campus Director of Data Management, Analysis and Reporting. I sat down with Christine to speak about her role on campus as a higher education administrator and found just how applicable a LIS degree can truly be.
Christine loves St. John’s University. After obtaining her bachelor’s degree in mathematics here she went straight into the LIS master’s program under previous department head, Dr. Benson. After sitting in on a reference course before applying to the program, Christine knew the St. John’s LIS program was the perfect fit. Combining her passions for mathematics and information, were the bridge connecting Christine to the Library and Information Science discipline. In choosing this path Christine understood the multitude of choices and career resources and opportunity the degree could afford. For this reason, she is currently working towards a PhD in the field.
“This job and my degree go hand in hand,” Christine said. In her current position, working with information, tools and insights, Christine revealed the skills mastered in working toward the MLS that have aided her information driven profession, including: retrieval skills, research skills, database familiarity, the ability to distinguish between the good and bad results of Google searches. Planning and decision making is a key component of her current position and finds these skills ease the process.
As Director of Data Management, Analysis and Reporting, Christine is responsible for compiling student data into the St. John’s University Fact Book. She “slices and dices” the data to help with program accreditation reports and federal and state government reports for financial aid funding. Christine finds one of the most useful skills taught in LIS is the reference interview. She conducts these interviews for her current position very often. She states that people requesting information from her behave similarly to those seeking answers at a library reference desk. Because of her training, Christine can find out what callers are really looking for and can obtain a good grasp on her audience at hand to best serve her customers.
Above all, Christine emphasizes the value of service that underlies the philosophical and practical foundations of librarianship. Because she has such a profound understanding of this value, Christine does not settle for ‘good enough’. “People need data,” she said, “I give them all the pieces of they need to finish the puzzle.” Daily, Christine finds and provides data to fulfill the information needs of the St. John’s community, continuously grasping and utilizing the full potential of the MLS.