Jane Bentley works in Questar III’s School Library System. She was also recently selected by the Digital Public Library of America (dp.la) to be a Community Representative. Read on about what she does here at Questar III and what she’ll be doing in this new role.
Q: What is your role here at Questar III, and where do you work?
I am the Union Catalog Librarian for Questar III’s School Library System. I support our districts’ school librarians to meet the needs of their teachers and students.
Q: How long have you worked here?
I have worked for Questar III’s School Library System for five years.
Q: How do you see your role in supporting the BOCES and the school districts it supports?
The School Library System supports BOCES’ initiative as a learning organization. We provide services that aid our districts’ students and professional development for our librarians and teachers. It is my role to assist our school librarians by providing the best tools and resources to fit their needs. If our librarians are supported, they can better serve their districts.
Q: You were recently selected to be a Community Representative for the Digital Public Library of America (dp.la). What will you be doing in that role?
Digital Public Library of America is an impressive digital library of American culture. Collections from libraries, archives and museums, once inaccessible or difficult to find, are made freely accessible through DPLA’s web interface. DPLA collects content from large public libraries and major museums to small historical societies and archives. This allows for a blend of content from local to national levels. Our Capital Region area has several libraries and museums that have contributed content to DPLA. The same value is placed on collecting local treasures as it is in assembling large collections. I think that’s what makes DPLA so unique.
As a Community Representative, it is my role to spread the word about DPLA’s resources by engaging local communities through outreach programs. I wanted to share DPLA’s rich collections with school librarians and teachers, so I applied to be a Community Representative and was accepted.
My goal is to bring school librarians and teachers together to collaborate. I want librarians and teachers to take an in-depth look at DPLA’s resources so they can feel comfortable using the content in class. DPLA’s collections can enhance a classroom activity, build knowledge about a topic in alternative ways, or spark the interest of students when introducing content.
Q: What is your background like – previous jobs, your education, etc.?
I received a Bachelor’s Degree in Studio Art and Museum Studies from SUNY Plattsburgh and a Master’s Degree in Information Science, Archives and Records Management, from the University at Albany. My position with the School Library System is my first librarian position. I also work remotely for Clarkson University as a Public Services Librarian.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
I enjoy working directly with our districts’ librarians to learn from them and understanding their needs. I value being part of a service that helps to address those needs and influences our area’s students.
I like that my job varies; something new and interesting is always happening! For example, I am able to visit schools to introduce our services to librarians and teachers, participate in professional development opportunities and serve on area committees, and learn about new trends and technologies to share with our librarians.
Q: Tell us a bit about your life outside of Questar III.
Outside of work, I like to go concerts, visit museums – art museums are my favorite, I like to draw, and stay active at the gym and through classes.