To meet the growing instructional demands of the program, the Learning & Research Support team at Miller Nichols Library offers two Information Literacy Fellowships that are awarded to any library science graduate student able to reside in the UMKC area.
This is a pre-career developmental program, thus fellows may remain in their positions for up to a year post-graduation while they transition into professional employment. This program is designed to transition current students of library science from practical work as a student into professional level work as a new graduate, thus preparing them for greater opportunities as new librarians.
Job training is provided across all duties of the fellowship, to include:
- Information literacy concepts
- Teaching techniques at the college level
- Instructional pedagogy & design
- e-Learning technologies
- Assessment principles/practices
- Reference services
- Program administration
Fellows are assigned and encourage to develop projects tailored to their individual goals within Research Essentials and in keeping with the overall strategic plan. Our focus is on turning good fellows into excellent librarians!
Fellows spend the majority of their time teaching and working with Research Essentials. As a member of this team, fellows plan and teach weeklong information literacy instruction sessions and complete assigned projects related to developing instructional materials and managing online instructional content and technology. In addition, fellows answer reference questions at the service desk and through chat, email and text as well as assist with Public Services Department projects as needed.
The fellowship is a one-semester appointment, renewable for up to one year post graduation.
All current students working on their Master’s in Library Science in an ALA-accredited graduate degree program, as well as those who have graduated within the last year, are welcome to apply if able to reside in the UMKC area. We do encourage students to apply early in their degree programs.
Competitive applicants are--
- Service, detail, and goal oriented
- Dependable, mature, flexible
- Good oral and written communicators
- Self-starters and autodidactic
- Highly collaborative and team-centric
- Tech savvy and adaptive
Two fellows are employed at a time. When an appointment is open, a link will be posted here to the UM System Job Board. Further instructions will be given in the job posting.
Application materials must be submitted online through the listing on the UMKC Careers site and include:
- Personal letter of interest
- Resume or curriculum vitae
- List of LIS coursework completed
- List of references
Since 2014, 100% of former Fellows and Graduate Students have obtained full-time, professional postitions.
Addison Lucchi, Fellow, 2016-2017
“My experience serving as an Information Literacy Fellow with UMKC Libraries was overwhelmingly positive and beneficial to my career as a librarian. I am incredibly grateful for everything I learned during my time as a fellow – including the experience in teaching, learning about educational technologies, participating in instructional design projects, and collaborating closely with librarians and faculty. Particularly, the opportunity to teach so many information literacy classes as a part of such an innovative instruction program was incredibly valuable to me, especially as a paraprofessional. In addition, the mentorship and career coaching provided by Dani and Jess, and the amount of effort all colleagues put into the development and success of the fellows is invaluable. Because of my time as a fellow at UMKC Libraries, I was able to secure a position as a Reference & Instructional Librarian only a few months after graduating with my MLIS. I am so thankful for this program, and for all involved!”
Anna Dunson, Fellow, 2016-2017
This fellowship has shaken things up for me, definitely. It did just as I had hoped it would and know it will continue to do, expand the parameters of my comfort zone. The teaching experience alone is extraordinary, especially for a library-related fellowship (from what I hear). Apart from that, I have most benefited from merely getting acquainted with the workings of an academic library. We have truly been incorporated as staff/faculty, brought in on the full gamut of departmental meetings, even those concerning hiring practices. Having never before worked within an academic library, this intimate interaction has enlightened me to the dynamics at play within a university library system. I have never before been a part of an organization of this size or as pioneering. And, with the latter, comes a drive for imagination and innovation. It is this renewed sense of impact that I will take with me into my career, the intention of advancing, contributing to, and advocating for my profession, of wowing rather than simply maintaining the status quo.
Additionally, I have received these supportive comments from my library science program Department Head in reply to my supervised fieldwork reports:
- “It sounds like the program you are in is really designed to make you into an academic librarian and that all your supervisors are completely committed to your success. It also sounds like you are learning a lot and figuring out how you need to work to best be successful. All of these are good learning experiences and learning is what you are there to do.”
- “I am very impressed with the depth of learning your fellowship is providing. The immersion in instruction will certainly help you decide whether working in academic library public services is for you or not.”
- “It sounds like you are in a wonderful environment designed to maximize your time spent at the institution.”
Patricia Barra, Graduate Assistant & Fellow, 2015-2016
During my time as a graduate assistant, I learned everything I needed to be a successful librarian. I learned how to do assessment of collections, space, and student learning. I participated in research and in data driven decision making. I wasn't just a spectator, but rather an active participant. If I had to summarize my time with as a graduate assistant for Dani and Jess, I would say I got real world experience most of my peers had to go without during library school. I walked away confident in my abilities and with a stronger skill set as an academic librarian.
Abigail Broadbent, Graduate Assistant, 2015-2016
While I enjoyed my time at MU SISLT, nothing prepared me for a career in librarianship like my time as a GTA at UMKC with the Research Essentials team. It wasn't just the skills I learned as an instructor and librarian, but also the confidence and the savvy to be a professional in the field. Jess and Dani are two of the greatest role models for what librarians should be, and having the opportunity to work with them is worth 5 years of library school. I was fortunate enough to earn a full-time position after leaving UMKC in the Kansas City area, and the connections I gained from that time have been invaluable. Not only Dani, Jess, and my fellow GTAs, but all of the library faculty and staff at Miller Nichols have been an incredible resource. As a GTA at Miller Nichols, I was treated like a respected peer, and that relationship continued into my professional career. You are working with students, doing instruction, reference, and research coaching, and really digging in to the nuts and bolts of course design, an opportunity that many GTA positions elsewhere would not afford you, and I think that gives you the chance to gain practical knowledge and confidence that you need after you graduate, when you're trying to land that first big library gig. I feel extremely fortunate to have been given the chance to prove myself as a GTA at Miller Nichols, and I envy anyone who gets to work alongside such powerful, cutting-edge, inspiring librarians.