New Librarian Vanjury Dozier Discusses Books and Technology
Although Stillman’s new Technical Services Librarian, Vanjury Dozier, admits that she enjoys reading the old-fashioned way—with an actual book in her hand, she is excited about Sheppard Library’s commitment to providing state-of-the-art resources and services. “E-readers, laptops, and tablets give students easier access to the materials they need, so we’re planning upgrades to help us process materials faster and make e-books more easily accessible to students and faculty,” she states.
Dozier believes that one downside of technology is that students have easy access to incorrect or incomplete information. “When students ask for information on a particular subject, I tend to steer them toward using the library catalogues and databases we subscribe to. Sites like Wikipedia are great jump off points when studying a new topic, but I want students to take a step further and go to more valid sources,” states Dozier, who hold a B.A. in English from Tuskegee University, an M.A. in Teaching English from Duke, and an MLIS (Master of Library and Information Studies) from the University of Alabama.
At the beginning of the semester, Dozier noticed groups of students lining the steps outside of Sheppard Library. Although she likes that “they’re comfortable enough to hang out at the library,” she is pleased to see that more students are beginning to venture inside now that the semester is in full swing. This gives her and other librarians an opportunity to make students aware of the many resources available to them.
“Often, when students come in the library, their primary focus is to study or to use the computers and print resources for class. We encourage students to also check out more books and other resources to read in order to supplement their studies.” Despite the library’s increased focus on e-books, Dozier says that students who still enjoy curling up to read a good book should not feel dismayed. Books that are not on the shelves are almost always available through inter-library loan.
Having degrees from three distinct institutions makes Dozier particularly well equipped for her new position. Her training at Duke, in addition to her experience as a sixth grade teacher, helps her to better assist students. “I’m able to advise students; to help them with their study skills; and to help manage the library environment so that everyone can study and be productive.” The technological skills acquired while working on her MLIS at the University of Alabama allow her to serve as a resource for the Stillman community. But Dozier believes that her Tuskegee University background is particularly invaluable at Stillman. “Being here is a lot like walking on Tuskegee’s campus. I know the clientele and the unique challenges that face HBCUs. Being able to work at an HBCU is important to me because I am an alumnus of one. I like that I am able to give back by working here.”
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