Heather Smith – Beard Scholarship Winner:
Heather Smith is originally from Murray County, Georgia, and currently lives in Hall County. Heather received a Bachelor of the Arts in English from the University of Georgia in 2014, and went into her first library job for Gwinnett County Public Library System immediately following her graduation. As a library associate, Heather has had the opportunity to offer customer service and to experience the many facets of public librarianship. Heather has been on many system teams and has helped lead many system initiatives, including leading new hire training, developing a new employee evaluation system, and implementing a new service model without service desks. Currently pursuing her MLIS online from Valdosta State University, Heather is eager to continue expanding her knowledge of library services both through her degree and through her professional experiences.
Heather wrote: “One of my favorite things about working in a public library is the ever-changing nature of the job. Technological advances and changes in customer services are never-ending, but a focus on community also ensures that libraries will be constantly adapting their resources to fit their users’ needs. I am passionate about providing patrons with services that are relevant to them, and I feel strongly about catering to the specific needs of library communities. I am thankful and honored to be the recipient of the Hubbard scholarship, and I look forward to continuing to push myself to learn and grow as a library professional.”
Amanda Roper – Hubbard Scholarship Winner:
Amanda Roper is the Resource Sharing and Library Communications Specialist at Brenau University. She has a B.A. in English Literature from Brenau and has worked for the library for 13 years. Amanda is a member of the Georgia Library Association Marketing and Branding committee and is the vice-chair of the Paraprofessional Division. Amanda is a student at Valdosta State University’s MLIS program and is focusing on library communications and information literacy instruction. She currently lives in Gainesville, Ga with her husband and three children. Amanda enjoys reading, blogging about books, consuming mass quantities of coffee and finds there is no greater pleasure than writing with a nice pen in a notebook.
Amanda wrote: “After graduating with my MLIS, I plan on continuing to serve college communities in academic libraries by pursuing a career that involves reference, instruction, library communications, and student outreach and engagement. I plan to focus on critical library pedagogy to empower students to seek, critically assess, and contextualize information. I’d also love to continue to advocate for social justice and equity in library collections, services, and programs. I’m excited to work with my library colleagues to bring the libraries to the people by encouraging accessibility, quelling library anxiety, and meeting patrons at the intersections of their life experiences.”