Julie Howe, director of e-learning and health science librarian at Somerset Community
Colleges Laurel Campus, has been named the president-elect of the Kentucky Library
Howe, a native of Tollesboro, Kentucky, grew up a reader and majored in English with an area of concentration in education. She taught in a public school for a year before realizing her passion was librarianship and leading readers to their books and resources.
According to Howe, she became involved with KLA when her mentor at the time, Terry Buckner, recommended she take advantage of what the association had to offer. Buckner works as a public services librarian for Bluegrass Community and Technical College (BCTC). Buckner served as Howes mentor when she was a graduate intern at BCTC and the University of Kentucky (UK) Medical Center Library while completing her masters degree in library and information science at UK.
I was aware of KLA at the time, but I wasn't sure exactly how I would fit in, Howe said. Now that Ive been involved for several years, I understand how much our association provides: the opportunity to make connections, advocate for yourself, and build long-lasting relationships throughout the state and beyond! I have met incredible people through this organization that have led me to opportunities that I never would have had on my own.
As president-elect of KLA, Howe is primarily responsible for fall conference planning, along with a planning committee.
For me, this is a big undertaking, and Im trying to make conscious choices for a new, fresh perspective, while keeping our theme in mind: Standing Up and Standing Out: Advocating and Innovating for Kentucky's Libraries, Howe said.
In addition, Howe will represent Kentucky at American Library Association (ALA) conferences and work to creative new initiatives, such as a partnership with Teach for America-Appalachia, as well as other state-wide organizations, to help promote a statewide literacy campaign.
Howe feels that all professionals can benefit from becoming involved in professional organizations on a local, state and national level.
If I were to recommend some things to professionals looking for leadership skills, I would recommend getting involved in a bigger organization in an area that you love, Howe said. Following your passions can lead to connections that can last, and opportunities that you may never realize that you had. Because Ive said yes and volunteered for opportunities, I have had the great fortune to represent Kentucky at ALA. If I had said no, I would never have gotten this incredible chance.
Howe has been at SCC for four years and said she is thankful for the opportunities the college provides for personal and professional growth.
I am grateful for the constant support of the Somerset Community College faculty, staff and administrators, particularly that of Margo Hamm, my associate dean, Howe said. They have encouraged me to follow this path and given me the flexibility to pursue this great opportunity. Im honored to represent SCC, and hope to use this position to highlight the efforts of our KCTCSs professional librarians and the essential work they're doing to provide students with resources to successfully complete their credentials.