Introducing Alexis Becker, Cataloging Specialist
In this post, we introduce the newest member of the Cataloging & Metadata team, Alexis Becker!
What does your job entail?
In the Cataloging & Metadata department, I get to work with an awesome team that orders new resources for the libraries and adds information about them into our catalog. Every day I get to look at incoming digital and print materials and get them ready for patrons to check-out. A great team of student assistants and I give these materials a makeover by adding physical labels, barcodes, tags, and jackets. We also have ongoing special projects to maintain our catalog. My first large project here will be (eagerly) reviewing a generous donation of books by the Omohundro Institute for Early American History and Culture for our collection.
What interests you most about this job?
At the College of Wooster in Ohio, I worked in Access Services at the campus libraries as a student employee. My two favorite parts of the job were making closing announcements (using a microphone felt novel) and summer inventory projects (since you spend hours looking at books). After graduating, I thought that a master’s degree in library science or similar field was necessary to work in a library and did not want to begin another degree program immediately. Only a couple of months ago, I was excited to learn that I could begin working as a cataloging specialist at William & Mary Libraries without an advanced degree. While using a microphone is not part of my new job, I still get to look at dozens of books daily and pay forward my positive experiences as a library student employee by supporting those working in the Cataloging & Metadata department.
What do you hope to accomplish in your first year?
In my first year at William & Mary Libraries, I hope to accomplish three things (in no particular order). Firstly, I want to get to know the William & Mary community—students, staff, alumni, and faculty. I believe whole-heartedly that when you know better, you do better, so to support William & Mary’s mission, it is important to know who the mission is serving. Secondly, I want to help library student employees reach their personal, academic, and career goals. Finally, I want to explore the different specialties and professions of people working within the libraries to find out in which direction I want to hone my skills as I grow in this field.
Tell us a little about your work background:
Since I was a child, I have always known that I wanted to have a career in or adjacent to education. I received a teaching license for middle and high school social studies but have yet to use it in a traditional manner. After waitressing at Red Lobster for a while, I worked at the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation as an educator leading programs for student and adult groups visiting the foundation’s two museums. During my time at the foundation, I also volunteered in historical interpretation and for many exciting events, and worked in training in the Human Resources department and later in communications in the Learning & Community Engagement department. Now, I am excited to foster learning by making educational resources more accessible through my job as a Cataloging Specialist.
What attracted you to W&M?
William & Mary attracted me as an employer because of its positive reputation in the community. When I first moved to Virginia, I worked alongside a William & Mary student at Red Lobster who loved the campus and her time here so much that we met up outside of work so that she could give me a tour. Later at the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, multiple coworkers spoke highly of their time here as employees (from the benefits, such as office book delivery regardless of department, to the culture created by staff, faculty, student, and alumni engagement). After having a genuinely delightful interview process and seeing such passionate students and staff, working for William & Mary became a dream job (that I now get to live).
What do you like to do in your free time?
Honestly, I am a homebody through-and-through (although I do enjoy the occasional café visit or trip to another city or country). I enjoy spending time at home with my husband and two dogs—corgis named Maizie and Pippin—please ask me about them. I dabble in a variety of hobbies, but spend most of my time reading, playing video games, watching shows (typically anime) with friends online, cooking, and baking. Currently, I am reading Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat by Samin Nosrat, The Autobiography of Malcolm X, The Cruel Prince by Holly Black, and Diana: Her New Life by Andrew Morton.