Our final graduate profile highlights Frank Bonnevier, an operations manager and graduate associate at the iSchool’s Information Policy and Access Center (iPAC).
What made you decide to get an MLS?
After graduating from Temple University with a degree in English, I found myself in a large pet-retail company managing the wholesale division. Although I was as passionate about dog beds, pet nail polish and generic knock-off Kong toys as one can be, I decided to volunteer at the Philadelphia Free Library. After moving to D.C. I continued to volunteer for other library systems, Library of Congress, DCPL and finally at the National Archives. It was through these experiences that I came to the conclusion that it was possible to leverage my existing technical skill-set into a career as a librarian– one that would keep me in organizations that I felt provided substantive and important educational and social services to the public. The iSchool at UMD was a great fit and allowed me to mix MIM courses into my MLS degree.
What was the most useful thing you learned or useful course you took while studying at the iSchool?
I was fortunate to have the opportunity to pursue an independent study with Dr. Golbeck focused on developing a basic literacy in scripting/programming languages, specifically Perl. This class laid the foundation for subsequent Management of information courses, specifically Web Enabled Databases (as PHP and Perl share certain similarities). I only highlight this course as it was an obvious contrast to the other professionally-focused courses required and offered as electives within the iSchool MLS.
What advice do you have for current or future iSchool students?
It is important early in your MLS coursework to identify professors whom you believe can help your professional and intellectual growth. Find out what courses they are teaching, what projects they are involved with and make a conscious and obvious effort to become more involved in their respective fields of research. These relationships will help you during the degree and certainly afterwards.
What are your plans after graduation?
Raise some twins. My twins in particular.
Fun facts about Frank:
Favorite band – Lightning Bolt
Currently reading – From Hell, a graphic novel about Jack the Ripper by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell
Pets – A cat name Jefe!