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Dallas Librarian Says Education Changed Her Life

(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)

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Management positions come in many different varieties. Regardless of this diversity, one theme in the management profession remains constant: education. A Dallas librarian expresses her opinion on the importance of education in management. Mary Jo Giudice is the director of libraries for the City of Dallas. She credits her extensive education as a major factor in her successful career.

Mary Jo Giudice, director of libraries, City of Dallas (photo courtesy of Mary Jo Giudice)

Mary Jo Giudice, director of libraries, City of Dallas (photo courtesy of Mary Jo Giudice)

Where do you work and what is your title? 

“I work for the City of Dallas, Library Department in Dallas, Texas. My title is director of libraries and I manage 28 branch library locations, two bookmobiles and a 10-story Central Library building with 253 people on staff. On a day-to-day basis, my job includes reaching out to potential corporate partners to fund program initiatives, answering questions from City Hall about library policies and procedures, and meeting with executive staff over public services to be sure we are meeting the needs of the citizens of Dallas.”

What kind of degree is required for this position? 

“The director of libraries position requires a master’s degree in library and information sciences. I pursued a bachelor’s degree in journalism and communication from the University of Florida, which I completed in four years. I did not pursue my MLIS — Masters of Library and Information Science — until later in life when I returned to college as a 40-year-old. I completed my master’s degree in two years at the University of South Carolina.”

How has your education prepared you for this position?

“Without my master’s degree, I would have only qualified to be a library assistant, limiting my chance at upward mobility. Because of my education, I was able to enter the library field as a professional librarian and within a year move into management, which opened up many opportunities for advancement.”

Do you have any advice for someone interested in pursuing a similar career?

“The 21st century librarian will not only recommend a great book, but they will show you how to download it on your e-reader. Today’s librarians can be subject specialists in chemistry and work for Exxon, or they can enjoy helping people and work in a large urban public library like we have in Dallas. Many librarians spend the better part of their day assisting customers who are looking for jobs, getting into GED classes and getting connected on the internet. This is a multi-faceted job, blasting the old stereotype of the old lady sitting behind the desk, shushing people. It is the most fulfilling position I have ever held.”

Judy Serrano writes romantic thrillers at www.JudySerraon.com. She graduated from Texas A&M Commerce with a BA in English. She is also a freelance writer for Examiner.com. She lives in Texas with her husband, four boys and five dogs.