Theological librarianship lies right at the intersection of my two greatest passions. Having studied theology while working as a student employee in the library during undergrad, I realized that I wanted to spend my professional life in the library—not only as a student, but as a librarian, facilitating knowledge-sharing between scholars and helping students gain access to the best resources and ideas for their research. Upon graduation, I was taken on full-time as the Circulation Supervisor at my undergraduate institution, and I began library school, eager to learn the tenets of librarianship and practice the concepts I was learning in class in my everyday work. I’ve simultaneously continued theological study on my own, staying abreast of the theological community in my own reading and writing and presenting at conferences. My main theological interests are sacramental and liturgical theology, viewed through a postmodern framework. I hope to pursue graduate work in theology in the future.
Last year I moved to Nashville to do paraprofessional circulation work in the theological library at Vanderbilt, and it has been such an affirming and life-giving experience for me to be in the kind of dynamic academic environment I know I was made for.
In addition to typical supervisory and circulation tasks, my current position involves the administration of the Kesler Circulating Library, an endowed service by which ministers and clergy of any stripe or denomination in the United States and Canada may have access to the whole Divinity Library collection—I communicate with members by email, doing some reference interviews and pointing them toward resources, and also mail them books at their request. In the past year, I’ve worked to grow the service, doubling its membership and creating a research guide including a small collection of free religion databases. I’ve also had the opportunity to do some collection development for this group, and am currently in negotiations to extend some ebook privileges to them. Working with these ministers has revealed to me my interest in bridging the gap between theology in academe and theology in the churches, and I think opening channels of information flow between scholars and clergy is an important and exciting challenge for theological librarians in a seminary setting.