Meet Our Graduate Assistants: Jason Smith

Jason selfie

What is your educational and/or professional background? 

I graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a bachelor’s in History and Cognitive Psychology and a minor in Music. While an undergrad, I worked at the Music and Performing Arts Library (MPAL) on campus, which is where I developed my interest in librarianship. While working there, I was responsible for the circulation desk, reference desk, shelving, and had some experience with special collections.  

What led you to your field?

I actually never thought much about librarianship until I reached my undergraduate years. A combination of working at MPAL, doing research for history courses, and a love for learning made me realize that a Library and Information Science (LIS) pathway was a perfect fit for me. I reached this thought in my freshman year of college, so over the course of 4 years, that passion did not change!

What is your specialty within the Scholarly Commons? 

I am one of the weekend and evening shift supervisors. I am responsible for supervising the undergraduate student assistants and ensuring the smooth operation of the Scholarly Commons and loanable tech during times when full-time staff are not working. I also do some work on our LibGuides, have created signs for the 220 space, and am hoping to pursue more data or audio/visual (AV)-related projects.

What Scholarly Commons resource are you most excited to learn about? 

I am really excited for the A/V booths! Since I have a background in music, I spent a lot of time in studios and recording spaces. I love being in them and being able to have a space to perform and record music. I would love to set up my equipment one day when I am not working and just spend some time in there! 

What do you hope to do after graduation? 

I am mostly undecided as to what I want to do after graduation! However, I am very interested in archives, special collections, and museums. I am hoping to explore courses relating to these and pursue whichever field that I think I will enjoy most!