Amy Wallace

Amy Wallace

Associate Vice President Academic Affairs – Library & Continuous Improvement, California State University – Channel Islands

Brief Career Biography: 
Amy Wallace is currently the Associate Vice President Academic Affairs – Library & Continuous Improvement at California State University, Channel Islands (CI). She oversees the planning, operations, and budget for the John Spoor Broome Library, a digital teaching library as well as the university’s academic program review process, serves as the university’s accreditation liaison officer, and builds faculty capacity in the area of student learning assessment.  Prior to this position, Amy was the Head of Public Services and Outreach and held the rank of tenured librarian. In this position, she had the once in a lifetime opportunity to design and implement an information literacy program, develop innovative services and outreach programs, and a plan for public computing for a brand new university.

Amy received a BA in History from San Diego State University and a MLIS from San Jose State University. Her first librarian position was as an Off-Campus Services Librarian for Chapman University. There she traveled to learning centers throughout the state of California to provide reference and instruction services. Her second position was as a Reference and Instruction Librarian for the Libraries of The Claremont Colleges. There she served in a variety of positions, including Team Leader for Digital Libraries and Team Leader for Reference and Instruction. She led special project teams that created an interactive online tutorial, helped develop the passport orientation program, and conducted focus groups to assess student needs. She served as the bibliographer for gender studies and religion. Her last position prior to coming to CSUCI was as the Assistant Department Head for Public Services for the Social Science and Humanities Library at University of California – San Diego. There she helped to implement user centered services, which included upgrading the library instruction classroom, securing more public access terminals, and leading the team that planned for the next generation of public services computing in the libraries.

Benefits of ASIS&T:
Amy has been active in ASIS&T since 1998. Over the years she has held a number of key leadership positions in the Los Angeles Chapter (LACASIS), including chair, program chair, nominations chair, publicity, awards chair, and treasurer. In 2003 she received the James M. Cretsos Leadership Award. Her involvement in the Los Angeles Chapter introduced Amy to the person who hired her at CI as well as many other local information professionals that have served as her mentors.  Her involvement at the national level has introduced her to forward thinking people around the world. In addition, ASIS&T has had a profound impact on the way Amy thinks about the intersection between technology and public services. Read all about it in an article she wrote for the ASIS&T Bulletin back in 2004.

Advice for New Information Professionals:
I knew nothing about libraries when I began my library degree. I had used them, but never worked in them. I went to school wanting to be an archivist and having a huge fear of public speaking, and came out as a travelling instruction librarian. I had no idea how many different types of libraries and librarianship there were. My advice would be: 1) Do as many internships in different types of libraries and areas within those libraries. While in these internships look for the intersections between areas that have long been separated or people tell you are distinct. 2) Join professional organizations and get to know people in places where you want to be. Every job I have gotten has in some way come from a relationship within the field of library and information science. And now as a person who hires it is rare that a applicant’s reference list does not include at least one person that I know or one of my colleagues knows. 3) Don’t focus on learning a specific technology. Focus on learning the history of library automation, how things work, relationships between technologies, long term and short cost-benefit concepts, and ways to assess usefulness. Don’t limit your notion of technology to computers. 4) Take classes, read, and go to workshops/conferences that are beyond your identified area. I am a public service librarian but as I reflect my database and cataloging classes were my most useful. Plus attending conferences like ASIST, AACU, and things like WASC (my university’s accreditation agency) have been extremely useful even though I have to pay much out of pocket. 5) Don’t be afraid to ask why have things always been done that way, and how long is always 🙂