MS/LIS student Vera Vasileva has been awarded an Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Student Scholarship to participate in the ACRL 2019 conference, which was held April 10-13 in Cleveland, Ohio. At the conference, Vasileva attended the presentation of “We Don’t Need that Anymore, Exploring the Myths and Realities of the Impact of Digitization on Print Usage,” a paper she co-authored with her graduate assistantship supervisor Thomas Teper, associate professor and associate dean of libraries for the University Library.
“As a pre-professional graduate assistant in the Library’s Office of Collections and Technical Services, one of my projects includes data cleaning, analysis, and visualization of Library catalog data by subject collection, location, publication year, format, frequency of item circulation, and number of duplicates, as well as by items that were digitized and have an electronic copy. The ACRL paper draws heavily upon that work,” Vasileva said.
Vasileva earned her BS and MS degrees in applied mathematics and computer science from the Far Eastern State Transport University in Khabarovsk, Russia. Before finishing her master’s, she started her career in the Far Eastern State Research Library, one of the largest libraries in Russia. She worked as a web developer in the IT Department and was responsible for the creation of the Library’s new website as well as its maintenance.
After completing an internship at the Boris Yeltsin Presidential Library (Saint Petersburg, Russia), she helped the Far Eastern State Research Library launch a new department of electronic resources and digitization with remote access to information resources of the Presidential Library, and in 2012, became head of the department. Her job duties included managing a team of librarians, coordinating digitization of local history rare and old valuable books, maps, and photo albums, providing remote access to information resources of the Presidential Library, and other electronic resources and external databases, organizing outreach activities, designing thematic lectures and presentations based on the Library’s digital collection, and promoting the Library’s digital collection.
“My seven-year hands-on experience at the largest public library in the Far East of Russia, academic background, and desire to continue to grow professionally in a library setting developed my strong interest in pursuing a degree in library and information science,” Vasileva said. “I decided to apply to the #1 ranked MS/LIS program to learn from faculty who are the top practitioners in their areas of expertise.”
Now in her second year at the iSchool, she is taking classes related to her interests in digital libraries, data analytics, data science, and data mining. In her free time, she is involved with GLOBE, the Global Leaders Orange and Blue Engagement program at the University, which brings domestic and international students together. Last November, the GLOBE program recognized Vasileva as Most Active Member and her group as Most Active Cohort. She also enjoys sharing her Russian heritage, most recently through a campus presentation about the Maslenitsa celebration in Russia.
Vasileva’s plans for the future include continuing to build her skills and becoming “a true leader who makes a real impact on the future of libraries.”
“I was extremely excited and honored to be selected for this scholarship,” Vasileva said. “I am very grateful for the opportunity to go to the conference and expand my knowledge by attending sessions, as well as to network with other professionals in the field.”
News release courtesy of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign School of Information Sciences