Shanda Hunt, Public Health Librarian and Data Curation Specialist, was recently promoted from assistant to associate librarian, while being awarded continuous appointment (similar to tenure). This is one of a series spotlighting the librarians who received promotions in 2020.
What are a couple of things you have accomplished that contributed to your receiving the promotion?
I really enjoy conducting research and jumped into a number of Libraries research projects right from the start of my career here, leading to several publications. Caitlin Bakker and I joined Ithaka S+R in a multi-site study on how modern public health academics use libraries. I also helped to spearhead the Research Sprints, a project that engaged faculty and spurred new collaborations.
How and when did you decide on pursuing a career in libraries?
I never really made the “decision.” I was in a grant-funded research position at the U, and, as my funding ran out, I was searching for a new job and saw that the Libraries was looking for a public health librarian. The job description sounded parallel — in many ways — to what I was doing in research. That being said, I am eternally grateful for stumbling into life as a librarian. It seems as if this is what I was meant to do all along!
Where did you begin your libraries’ career?
How long have you been at the U?
I’ve been employed in a professional position at the U since 2010, but I was an undergraduate worker here in the early ’90s! I’ve been the public health librarian for four years.
When you look back at your path so far, have you had any surprises?
I was delightfully surprised to discover how exciting, flexible, autonomous, and cutting-edge life as a librarian can be!
When you introduce yourself to a new person as a librarian, what is the first thing most people say?
Really?! What do you do?
Do you have a favorite library building or location (not limited to the U, can be here or anywhere else)? If so, what makes it your favorite?
My favorite library is Walter Library. I love the history and architecture — and I got my undergraduate degree at the U, so Walter Library reminds me of being a small-town girl moving to the big city to get lost in marble and books. (My academic library was Wilson, but I loved exploring Walter and worked there in the Digital Media Center.)