Emily Ford

Emily Ford drawing by Derik Badman

[Articles by Emily]

I became a librarian so that I could effect positive change in my communities. Coming from a background as an Americorps*VISTA member, my commitment to service-learning partially led to my decision to enroll in library school, as did my far left-leaning political beliefs and my admiration of the Library as the last (theoretically) socialist institution in the United States. Since earning my MLS (and MIS) in 2007 from what was then called the School of Library and Information Science at Indiana University, Bloomington, my philosophy of librarianship has evolved, but that drive to effect positive change has not.

Even though I finished my graduate education in 2007, it took some time for me to establish my career.  After graduation, I returned home to Portland, Oregon and spent five years working part-time or temporary positions. In 2012 I finally landed a great job working with smart, capable, and passionate colleagues at Portland State University.

In my current position as Urban & Public Affairs Librarian, I serve as reference and instruction librarian with liaison responsibilities to five subjects: Urban Studies & Planning, Community Health, Public Administration, Criminology & Criminal Justice, and Political Science. One of the awesome things I get to do on a daily basis in my job is work on a project with a team of people to investigate using badging in course-integrated instruction to certify and acknowledge information literacy and critical thinking skills.

Effecting positive changes does not stop with my job. My librarian ethic also extends to the profession as a whole. In this community, I am attempting to effect positive change by working (as prodded and assisted by Lead Piper Kim Leeder) with the College & Research Libraries Editorial Board to investigate implementing some experimental peer review methods for the journal.  Similarly, I see my work with Lead Pipe as a way to positively impact the librarian community and librarianship. It is this desire to have impact within our community that first led me to help found Lead Pipe and this is what has driven me to stay and help improve our humble publication and our community.

Outside of libraries, I love to spend time with my pet cats, Severin and Harvey, and my pet rat, Prince Freddie B. Ratcliffe. Other things that occupy my time: my neverending effort to perfect a kale-carrot salad recipe, shopping for vinyl, sipping cappuccino, taking walks with friends, riding my bicycle, and practicing the piano. Yes, I live in a little utopia.