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Meet our Board Member – Stephanie JH McReynolds

Stephanie McReynolds is currently serving as president-elect of UNYSLA and is also the business and management librarian at Syracuse University Libraries, where she instructs students, faculty, and staff on how to find valuable information to support their research and scholarship, including information crucial to the successful completion of course projects and papers (such as business plans). She enjoys working with the SU community and often finds the many creative product ideas and business plans, fostered by a campus-wide spirit of entrepreneurship, to be intriguing and refreshing.

As UNYSLA president-elect, Stephanie is focusing on planning for the two UNYSLA conferences this year (one in April and one in the fall).

How did you get where you are?

Like many of my colleagues, I took a rather circuitous route to librarianship. After working for a number of years as a medical assistant in a podiatry practice while earning a BA in English from Saint Louis University, and becoming frustrated with my inability to land a job as a copy editor, I met with an academic advisor who suggested that I consider librarianship. Clueless, I replied, “That sounds really boring.” The advisor said, ever so graciously, “Actually, it’s not that boring. I was a librarian before becoming an advisor.”

After earning an MLS by completing the distance learning program offered by the University of Missouri at Columbia, I worked as one of two librarians at a small business college in St. Louis. We did anything and everything library-related, including cataloging, circulation, instruction, reference, collection development, website development, social media, and shelving. From this diverse experience, I learned that I especially enjoy working with faculty and students.

When I saw the SU business librarian job posting, I was excited by the prospect of using my business library experience as a strong foundation for focusing on the role of library liaison to the Whitman School of Management, while setting aside a number of the “hats” I had been wearing as one person on a two-person library team. After moving across the country and enduring nearly two snowy Syracuse winters, I still know that I made the right choice.

What roles have you been involved in with UNYSLA?

My current role as president-elect is the first position I have held in UNYSLA. However, I have served on various committees and held the positions of newsletter editor, membership chair, president-elect, and president in my hometown chapter—the St. Louis Metro Area Chapter.

How long have you been a member of UNYSLA?

About a year and a half. When I learned that I would be moving to Syracuse, one of the first things I did was to look up and join my new local SLA chapter. After experiencing the support and community of the St. Louis chapter, I knew that joining UNYSLA would be a great way to become better connected to my new colleagues throughout Central and Upstate New York.

What is your current role like?

This year, I’m focusing on planning the two conferences. The spring conference planning is well underway. So, my role involves a lot of event-related emails (and a few phone calls). It’s actually a lot of fun to see everyone’s suggestions and recommendations come together as this conference takes shape. Fortunately, in addition to the UNYSLA board, I now have two wonderful conference co-planners: Zari Kamarei and Sue Cardinal. Both are UNYSLA members and librarians at the University of Rochester (our conference location).

What is your favorite part of being a board member?

Everyone on the board has been very welcoming and supportive— what a great group of people! Also, board meetings are quite enjoyable. Past-president Linda Galloway hosted last year’s summer board meeting at her home, where we enjoyed good food and conversation, while also attending to important chapter matters. Anyone who is interested in potentially volunteering to serve on the board is encouraged to attend a board meeting to learn more about what is involved. I’m so glad I attended that summer meeting, which greatly informed my decision to run for president-elect.

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