Educators That Rock!

Lauren Pressley, Lauren Pressley librarian
Ken Bennett/Wake Forest University

Educators That Rock!: Lauren Pressley

November 29, 2010
by Shannon Firth
Lauren Pressley is the instructional design librarian at the Z. Smith Reynolds Library at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C. In addition to her role as a librarian, Pressley is an author, a blogger and a frequent presenter.

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Pressley was named a Mover and Shaker by School Library Journal in 2009, and was sponsored by the Library and Information Technology Association (LITA) Board to participate in the American Library Association (ALA) Emerging Leaders Program in 2007. She also recently developed a very popular toolkit of short videos (two to three minutes long), which answer patrons’ frequent questions.

In a phone interview last year, Pressley told findingEducation about the impact online networks have had on her personally and professionally. “As a quiet person … I’ve been able to find my voice online,” she said. “It’s opened up a lot of doors that wouldn’t have been open to me otherwise.”

Learn more about Lauren Pressley at Lauren’s Library Blog.

fE: This past fall, Michael Porter and David Lee King published a collection of librarian essays for a project they called Library 101. In your essay, you describe the disappointment you felt after taking a personality test that listed librarian as one of the last possible careers for you to consider. What did it suggest you do instead?

LP: It actually said I should practice law or be a “professional philosopher.” I have no idea what that means. So the thing that is sort of interesting to me about that test is that all the qualities that it said that I had that would have made me a poor fit as a librarian were because they were assuming that the person needs to be really rigid and rule-following and not necessarily friendly. But the things that make me good at my job are actually the very things that that test thought would make me bad.

It’s indicative of how the field has changed, that people have such a clear idea of what librarians were and make assumptions based on that.

Read the rest of the Q&A with Lauren Pressley at findingEducation’s Digital Teachers’ Lounge.
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