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Engineer-turned-librarian awarded travel stipend by SPIE Digital Library
Date:6/28/2012

BELLINGHAM, Washington, USA (PRWEB) June 28, 2012

The SPIE Digital Library will award a travel stipend enabling a library studies student at the University of North Carolina (UNC), Chapel Hill, to attend the 2012 Special Libraries Association (SLA) conference in Chicago next month.

Melanie Sturgeon, a practicing mechanical engineer employed by IBM, was selected to receive the stipend, the SLA Engineering Division Awards Committee has announced. SPIE Digital Library representatives will present the award to Sturgeon at the SLA Engineering Division business meeting luncheon on16 July during the SLA meeting.

Sturgeon, who is finishing her master of science in library studies at UNC, is balancing school, work, and part-time library graduate assistantships at both the reference desk at UNC and the learning commons at North Carolina State University.

She said she hopes to combine her engineering master’s degree and 14 years experience in that field with her new library science and information literacy skills in a career as a librarian in an academic or corporate environment.

“After moving to North Carolina, I decided to volunteer at a public library since I am very passionate about reading and thought it would be a good way to meet people and get involved in the community,” Sturgeon said. “I soon discovered that I loved working at a library, and that the top-ranked school for library science was just down the road at UNC.”

Soon she was in school part-time in addition to work. “As I progressed through the program I realized that I really enjoyed helping people find information,” she said. “My experience has made me excited about the future of libraries.”

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