Lanett Bagley, who graduated with an English major in May 2019, is the new Circulation Clerk at Hurlock Public Library in Dorchester County, MD. She has also just received acceptance to the Master of Library and Information Science program at the University of Maryland and will begin in Spring 2020.

We asked Lanett a few questions about her experience at Stevenson and her current position.

English Department: What are some of your responsibilities in your new position?

Lanett Bagley: Since the library that I am working in is so small, I have a wide range of responsibilities. My main responsibility is to handle the circulation desk, where all of the books are checked in and out to patrons. I also handle the inter-library loans through the Marina system to send books to libraries that are not within our consortium. The circulation desk doubles as the information desk. I answer some questions for patrons regarding a number of things but mostly about books, basic computer questions, and coping and printing issues. I have been able to help the branch manager with some basic collection curation, helping her to decide what new books we should bring into the library. So far this has mostly focused on children’s fiction and nonfiction and young adult fiction. My position is very flexible and I can pursue many things within the library system that interest me.

ED: How did you secure your position? Were there any experiences or courses that paved the way?

LB: I found the position through, which was a resource that I used heavily during ENG 331 Design Your Career. It was during Design Your Career where I found my interest in pursuing a degree in Library Science. I had been floundering with career options and was open to anything. After having a library research session with Sara Godbee and hearing her talk about how much she loved her job in the library system I decided to seek out more information on what kinds of positions were available. Other than Design Your Career, I feel like all of my classes that helped develop my love of literature also put me on this path, specifically my Major Work class with Dr. Chandler analyzing Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut and my Creative Writing Capstone with Dr. Majer.

ED: Is this the career you expected to pursue when you entered Stevenson? If your plans changed, how did that happen?

LB: This was so far removed my where I thought I would be when I initially entered Stevenson. When I came into SU, I was a Chemistry major on my way to pursuing the four plus one Master’s in Forensic Science with a minor in English. When I decided that math was not one of my strengths, I changed to become an English major with a minor in Psychology because English was always where I did well and where I felt the most excited to learn. The change left me with no clear idea of where I wanted to be in the future but that was okay with me because I was so much happier.

ED: Where do you see yourself going in the next few years?

LB: My current goal for the next few years is to gain as much experience as I can in my position and finish my Master of Library Science. My manager recognizes that this is where I want to go in my career and she is eager and willing to teach me all that she can to help me get where I want to go.

ED: What advice would you give current students?

LB: To current English majors I say, don’t let yourself be contained by other people’s ideas and listen to your heart. As cheesy as that sounds that is how I got to where I am right now in a place that feels so right. To this day, when I tell people I have an undergraduate degree in English, they cringe and say “What are you going to do with that? Teach?” That’s what people think English majors are confined to, but it can take you absolutely anywhere. Even though what I decided to do is still somewhat of a classic English major’s job, it’s where I am happy and where I feel like I can grow and succeed.