Megan England

Megan England

Q: What did you do after graduation and what are you doing now?

At first, I went into a Ph.D program for Computer Music, but I quickly discovered that it was the wrong path for me. I left that program after two years with a Master’s Degree instead of a Ph.D, then worked retail for a bit until my teen librarian friend said, “Hey, why aren’t you a librarian? You’d love it.” I had no good answer for her – the thought had never crossed my mind, even though I’d worked and volunteered in libraries on and off since I was a teenager. I went to library school, loved every second of it, and emerged with a Master of Library Science degree and a full-time job. I’ve been at that job for a year and a half now – the Teen Services Coordinator for the Atlantic City Free Public Library. Best decision ever.

Q: Did you ever see yourself doing what you are doing now when you took your first Digital Arts course @ Stetson?

Nope, never! Like I said, librarianship never occurred to me – I have ALWAYS wanted to teach, and I was totally fixated on teaching digital arts and computer music as my future. In a way, that’s where I ended up, albeit via a very different path. Public libraries provide a different sort of education than schools do. The learning is more self-directed and exploratory in nature, which really appeals to me. Also, open access and intellectual freedom (anti-censorship) are huge values in the library community. Right up my alley! I am one of only a few people in my organization with the sort of skill set that my DA education gave me, and those skills are very valuable and marketable, especially since libraries all over the country are adding Makerspaces to their services.

Q: What advice do you have for someone taking their first course right now?

Push the envelope. Don’t just do the assignment, destroy the assignment. Approach each task a chance to make something really amazing and innovative. You’ll learn more and come away with strong portfolio pieces, a serious work ethic, (a crippling caffeine addiction), and some real problem solving and creative thinking skills.

Q: What’s the best thing you learned studying Digital Arts @ Stetson?

I learned how to learn and question. The assignments in DA were never about learning the software or the tools – you have to figure that part out mostly on your own, and that’s where learning how to learn comes in. The assignments were about seeing all the possibilities. I gained the confidence to pick up any piece of software or tool, dive in, learn, and experiment. I learned to look for opportunities that a tool provides, not just its standard advertised use. Librarianship is a jack-of-all-trades profession where learning quickly and adapting is highly prized. I could not have asked for better preparation than the Digital Arts program at Stetson.

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