When Maddi Loiselle ’19 transferred to Illinois State University from Illinois Valley Community College in fall 2017, she wasn’t sure what she wanted to study and felt more than a little lost. Loiselle explored quite a few options and landed in the School of Communication studying journalism. Still she didn’t feel that she had found the perfect career. She turned to her mother and fellow alumna, Jane Loiselle ’83, for advice. Jane suggested she get a job at Milner Library to further explore career options. Turns out, it was a match made in book heaven.
Loiselle began as a student worker in Access Services at the beginning of her senior year. “I went from still feeling pretty lost on campus at the end of my junior year to finding a home amongst the stacks. I would spend hours working with the books, shelving and shifting them,” she said. Not only did Loiselle enjoy her job, she also liked the people she worked with. “Everyone at the library is so helpful, and I’ve been able to learn about so many different aspects of libraries.”
Connections made during her initial student worker position sparked interest in other areas of the library. In spring 2019, Loiselle completed an internship for course credit. Her internship was split between the Public Relations and Reference Services areas of the library. While the public relations aspect of the internship was fun, it wasn’t exactly what she envisioned for her future. However, during her time with Reference Services, a light bulb came on. “Working at the Reference Desk was the first time I realized that I had found something I saw myself doing indefinitely,” she said.
Helping students is something that really appeals to Loiselle. “By far, my favorite area to work in at the library is the Reference Desk,” she said.
She also enjoys the continual learning that takes place at the Reference Desk. From textbooks to campus trees, Loiselle has fielded a lot of questions during her time at the Reference Desk. “We never know what questions we’ll be asked, and I love the challenge of working with the librarians to find the answers and resources for students in need,” she said.
Postgraduation, Loiselle still works as a standing orders specialist at Milner Library in Cataloging, Acquisitions, and Processing (CAPS) as well as at the Bloomington Public Library. In addition to her position in CAPS, Loiselle continues to shadow librarians at the Reference Desk. Her plans include continuing to work at both libraries and taking a year off from academics, before attending graduate school for library science.
While she is keeping her options open, Loiselle hopes to continue working in an academic library. “The more I learn about all that Milner offers students, the more I wish I would have paid more attention and utilized the library,” she said. “It’s very gratifying to help students and watch them use the information you shared. I want to keep doing that.”