Emily Flynn, OhioLINK’s Metadata and ETD Coordinator, earned her bachelor’s degree in English from Lawrence University, Appleton, Wisconsin, and her Master of Science in Information with a specialization in Library and Information Services from the University of Michigan.
Emily, who has experience as a catalog librarian at ProQuest and a cataloging assistant at the University of Michigan Law Library, began her library career as a student worker.
OhioLINK recently talked to Emily about her profession, love of Japanese culture, and her blog writing.
As metadata and ETD coordinator, what are your job responsibilities?
I catalog eBooks and e-journals for OhioLINK. I also fix the metadata and eBook issues if links aren’t working or if we don’t have access. In addition, I manage the ETD (Electronic Theses and Dissertation) Center; I work with and train librarians and graduate school staff to ensure that their students can submit their documents and answer their questions.
OhioLINK just made a significant change to the ETD Center. Can you tell me about it?
We’ve added ORCID ID to the ETD Center. This will provide students and researchers with a way to manage their intellectual records while also distinguishing their works from others with a similar name. Our hopes are that students can promote their own work and allow other people to find what they are doing in the future as they continue in their profession.
What led you to this profession?
My first library job was during my freshman year of undergraduate school. My aunt had told me that if I wanted to work at the library I had to go first thing when I got on campus and apply immediately, because they were the first jobs to go. I ended up in technical services, which is behind the scenes, getting materials ready.
As I learned what librarians really did and how complex the jobs were, I got really interested in the profession and worked there all four years. After graduating, I went directly to library school.
Are there any goals you have set for yourself for the upcoming year?
I’m going to learn Japanese. I went to Tokyo for two weeks in March 2014 with my husband, because it’s somewhere I’ve always wanted to visit. I hope to be fluent enough for a return trip, which might be in a couple years or further down the road.
For right now I plan to learn from YouTube videos and online flashcards. As I get more serious I might take a class at Ohio State. Before our last trip we learned “excuse me” and “thank you very much.” Because most things are transactional, such as ordering food or tickets, we didn’t need to know too much. I’d really like to learn more, especially if we travel outside of Tokyo to more regional areas that will require more language skills.
What started your interest in Japanese culture?
In the sixth grade I did a report on Japan. I had to create a little travel pamphlet on why I would want to go, including information on the food and culture. Ever since then I have been captivated. It seemed like an awesome culture that is really tech savvy, yet very polite and formal.
You have a blog called ReadWriteLib. What do you blog about? What inspired you to write it?
Recently, I cover library conferences that I’ve gone to, as well as library metadata topics. I’m hoping to help people understand how the libraries organize, especially since we use some really complicated terms to describe things.
It all started in 2011 when I was working at ProQuest, cataloging e-books. All daylong, I saw so many subject headings, and so many just started to jump out at me. I would write them down and then blog about them later. For instance, some of The Library of Congress subject headings are thought provoking and quirky, so I decided to write about them.
I also have another blog called Moving Bookmark, which is a book review site to try and encourage me to read what is on my bookshelf. I started collecting the book list in high school, and I’m still getting through most of them. I’m reading Jonathan Franzen’s book Freedom right now. I have a lot of classic literature, sci-fi and fantasy on my list.
Is there anything about you that might surprise people?
I really love to travel. I’ve now been to Asia, Africa, Europe, Canada and many states in the United States. I like to live like the locals and mainly concentrate on food and seeing the place for what it is.
What’s your favorite place to visit in Columbus and why?
I love Tensuke Japanese Market in Upper Arlington. They have this little restaurant and an attached market that’s great to visit. They have everything from tempura shrimp to Japanese curry. It’s very busy, but worth the wait.