Meet our Staff: Lauren Pressley

  • What did you major in/are you majoring in at UWT? I attended North Carolina State University and majored in Philosophy and Communication. At the time, my college offered a specialty in Small Group and Interpersonal Communication, which was my focus. I also minored in Women’s and Gender Studies. Part of the reason I picked up a few different credentials along the way is that I am very interested in the connections between disciplines, and really valued an interdisciplinary approach to the things I was interested in. That approach is baked into education at UW Tacoma!

    Lauren, standing in front of the Library of Congress
    Lauren, at the Library of Congress
  • What drew you to working in libraries? I had volunteered in libraries as a child, and as a shy and bookish kid had always felt at home in them. I hadn’t considered working in one until after college. I didn’t know what I wanted to do, except that I wanted to contribute something good to the world. After a long job search I found myself working in an academic library and knew that I needed to find a way to make it into my life’s work.
  • What parts of your job are you most excited about? It’s an exciting time to be in libraries! Librarians and faculty are participating in transformative conversations about how researchers share their work, copyright and intellectual property, how to decrease the cost of textbooks, the best ways to help students and faculty navigate our increasingly complex information environment, and how to build a more equitable, inclusive, and diverse profession. There is a lot of good and important work to do, and the decisions we make now will shape the future of libraries and higher education going forward.
  • Have you read anything good lately? It’s no surprise to those outside the field, but it’s often a real surprise to fellow librarians: I read a lot. Right now I’m reading Peter Senge’s The Fifth Discipline as it supports the UW Libraries’ strategic plan. I’m reading Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility as part of a national library reading group. I’m reading Rachel Cain’s The Great Library series because my in-laws couldn’t believe that I hadn’t (as a librarian). I’m also listening to Michele Norris’ The Grace of Silence, as she’ll give a keynote at the upcoming Association of College and Research Libraries.
  • Any advice for UWT students? You have this! You made it to UW Tacoma and we are here to help you with your goals! I am so impressed with how student-focused my colleagues are throughout the UW Tacoma campus, and we literally come to work because of you. If you ever have questions, want to explore an idea, or just need someone to talk to, we’re here!

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