Capstone ePortfolio: Joanna Russell Bliss 

My Background and Plans

As someone with a background in both literature and digital marketing, working in a library, particularly in a university setting, would combine my interests and skills in the best ways. After a few years of teaching middle school in my twenties, I knew I would not be happy in the classroom, particularly at that level. I completed a master's degree in literature in 2002, but I found there were far more jobs in marketing than publishing, at least where we were living at the time in Chicago. I have enjoyed growing as a digital marketing professional, mastering various content management platforms and reacting to the changes necessitated by website and then mobile site evolution. But when I looked forward to higher-level roles in marketing, I saw a future spending more time with reports and data than words and ideas.

When I began taking classes in the fall of 2019, I wanted to learn more about the new methods being used to organize and share knowledge. I was specifically interested in digital resources and archival work, as well as how resources (both paper and digital) are being stored and shared across libraries. 

Working at Southern Methodist University has confirmed my suspicion that I'd prefer to work in an academic library, helping students and faculty with research. I have enjoyed working with students to facilitate their research, and I have embraced the challenge of presenting to freshmen classes on how to do research for their classes. This is why I hope to find a position after graduation in user services or subject librarianship. 

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