What are the duties and responsibilities of your work?
I am a Data/GIS Librarian, which means that I work with students, faculty and staff to find appropriate resources for their research needs. I am also called on to provide specialized support for projects requiring numeric and geospatial data.  Sometimes this means finding publications and tables which may, or may not be readily available on the internet.  Other times it means going beyond what has already been analysed and presented, to find original data source so researchers can do their own analysis. I also provide GIS support for researchers; some of whom are familiar with Geographic Information Systems and others who have little to no experience with mapping.

How can students prepare themselves at STU to work in your field? (eg. volunteer work, internships, extra-curricular activities, specific courses)
Working in a library setting is always beneficial to students, but particularly those who might be considering becoming information professionals. Similarly working as a teaching or research assistant for professors can provide great experience in developing research skills. 

For my area of specialization taking advantage of the freely available tutorials and courses on using statistical and GIS software programs  would also be useful; however, it is certainly not a requirement.  When available, internships and work study projects set in libraries are a good way to find out if you might be interested in working in a library in the long term, and they will also look good on an application to a Masters of Library and Information Studies program.

How has STU and your liberal arts education helped you in your career?
It might not be obvious at the outset that someone with a liberal arts education might end up working with data and GIS for a living; however, attending St. Thomas University was an opportunity to explore a number of options for my future. With a liberal arts degree behind me I was ready right out of school to work in an environment which required a broad range of research skills.  After some years I decided working in libraries was the career for me, and when I applied to the appropriate graduate school my undergraduate degree from STU stood me in good stead.

Attending St. Thomas University, where students are encouraged to be critical thinkers and engage with their peers and professors, was an excellent experience and the natural precursor to becoming an information professional.