ILA Reference Services Award winner Stacey Knight-DavisSeptember 20, 2019
Interviewed by Jill Harper, Heartland Community College
Stacey Knight-Davis is the Head of Library Technology Services at Eastern Illinois University and has won the ILA Reference Services Award for 2019. We wanted to catch up with Stacey and hear her thoughts about the profession and what inspires her creativity with her exhibits and displays.
What do you find most rewarding about working with reference services?
The most rewarding part of what I do is helping people accomplish a goal. Whether it’s helping a student find sources for a paper or working with a faculty member to start a new research journal, I like being part of making new things.
How do you think information professionals will have to adapt to the ever-changing landscape of our field?
We need to enthusiastically embrace roles beyond collecting and curating information. Community building, teaching, providing publishing platforms, and providing access to technology services and equipment are essential roles. The key thing is wanting to adapt and looking ahead for ways to grow and change. Once you have to adapt, you are already in trouble.
If you could have access to only three books for the rest of your life, what would they be?
That’s a tough call. My three favorite authors are Terry Pratchett, Lois McMaster Bujold, and Ben Aaronovitch. I carry around digital editions of most of their books on my phone and re-read them regularly.
I read that you have been working with providing cultural displays for your library including a Harry Potter themed Quidditch display. What are your plans for your next display? And where do you get your inspiration for your displays?
I am currently involved with exhibit programming for the traveling exhibit “For All the People: A Century of Citizen Action in Health Care Reform” from the National Library of Medicine. Booth Library has an exhibits committee that selects topics for exhibit programming several years in advance. “Major exhibits” will have an overall theme that has individual exhibits spread throughout the library. We typically have a mix of locally selected topics and traveling exhibits that are the basis for major exhibits. Local topics tend to focus on anniversaries, such as the 20th anniversary of the first Harry Potter book or the 100th anniversary of the influenza pandemic of 1918. Working with themes in the major exhibit, I try to find a particular facet to build an exhibit around. This could be a local tie-in, an aspect that highlights items in the library’s collections, providing background information, or just something that offers an opportunity for eye catching visuals and props.