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Library mentor guides senior to career choice

Jan 25, 2023
A student crochets in the library
A student crochets in the library

KOKOMO, Ind. – Librarians have played an important role in Jasper Redman’s life.

From a high school librarian who instilled a love of books and reading, to an Indiana University Kokomo librarian who demonstrated how it’s the helping profession Redman sought, librarians helped them plan their future.

After previously earning a degree in social work from another university, Redman enrolled at IU Kokomo to make the change to sociology. After graduating in May, they have been accepted in the Master of Library Science program at IUPUI.

“Careers in social work were not as good a fit as I thought,” said Redman, from Kokomo. “I looked into sociology and realized that studying people is something I’ve always enjoyed. I like looking at patterns and understanding why people do what they do.”

They connected with Meg Galasso, information services librarian and archivist in the campus library their first semester, while taking a research methods class. The assistance Galasso offered made Redman realize that library science might be the right path.

“I always wanted to be a librarian when I was a teenager,” they said. “I didn’t know all that went into being a librarian, so I chose social work instead, because it involved helping people. I saw from Meg’s example that as an academic librarian, I could help guide people to success.”

Galasso said she’s enjoyed researching with Redman.

“They’re willing and excited to jump into the deep end with their research, so we have a lot of fun digging through databases and combing through sources together,” she said. “I can’t wait to see what Jasper will accomplish in and beyond graduate school. I have every confidence they will be a fantastic librarian and make a big impact on the profession.”

Redman was a little nervous to return to college but decided to make the most of the opportunity by getting involved in Student Life, which they missed out on the first time around.

“I’ve always struggled a little with bursting that social bubble and feeling like I fit in,” Redman said. “After years of looking inward and outward, I noticed most of the reason I hadn’t had a good college experience the first time was because I didn’t put myself out there. I realized this was a very welcoming environment, and everyone was always willing to say hello.”

In addition to working in the Office of Career Services, they participated in student government, the film society, and the Student Sustainability Council, and traveled with the Kokomo Experience and You (KEY) to Louisville. They plan to go on a sustainability tour of the region this semester to see the wind energy industry in action.

“These trips let me see and meet a lot of different people outside my major,” said Redman. “Once you get into the third and fourth year of your major, it’s harder to meet people outside your program. This puts us together and gives us a common interest.”

While college may be stressful at times, they have a unique way to relieve the pressure.

“Everyone knows me in class, especially in sociology, as the student who is always crocheting in class,” Redman said. “I’ve shown it doesn’t impede my ability to learn. I can take notes between stitches. It’s helped me in times of stress, and what comes out of it is I get to make awesome gifts I donate, or people ask to purchase them.”

Education is KEY at Indiana University Kokomo.

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