Featured Interview with the Library Tutor Jen Traore

Name:  Jen Traore

Position Title:  Library Tutor
Worked at the Library6 years
Contact Info:  jheiding@ivytech.edu or 480-4176
Q. What do you do at the library?
I teach information literacy skills to our patrons.  Most of my time is spent teaching others how to find information in databases and other resources, but information literacy also encompasses how to appropriately use and think critically about information.  I also dabble in decorating the library, creating library guides and marketing materials, and I organize our annual Edible Book Festival. 
Q. Where does your expertise come from?
I worked in my college library while earning bachelor’s degrees in Anthropology and Religious Studies at the University of Virginia, and after graduation I joined the Peace Corps to teach English in central Africa for a few years.  We were trained to lesson plan using 4MAT, which divides each lesson into segments where students are motivated, informed, practice what they’ve learned, and then apply it to new situations.  When I returned to the States I wanted to continue teaching while working in an academic library, and this position was perfect for me.  I’m now in my sixth year of researching on a daily basis and have grown very familiar with available databases and how they work.  It’s not always intuitive!  I also just finished a master’s degree in Library Science, which familiarized me with the wide variety of issues involved in running a library:  selecting and organizing library collections, intellectual freedom and censorship, management, etc.
Q. What is unique about you that could be of service to the Ivy Tech community?
I’m very familiar with where information sources are hidden and how to find them.  I am also naturally curious about the world and will pursue the answers to questions to the ends of the earth – it’s not at all unusual for me to continue looking for the “perfect” source long after the patron requesting it has left the building!  I can also chat with you in French if you prefer it to English.
Q. Recommend a book to us that you enjoyed.

A few years ago I took a class on youth literature, and futuristic novel The Uglies by Scott Westerfeld was assigned reading.  I don’t normally read teen fiction, but I found this one so compelling that I was driven to seek out and read the rest of the books in the series (usually until the wee hours of the morning.)  The constant cliffhangers drew me in despite the fact that I disliked the main character, but I also enjoyed the social commentary.

Q. What’s your favorite thing to do outside the library?
I love spending time with my family.  My daughter, Mimi, is 16 months old and enjoys dancing, taking long walks, and pretending to sneeze.
Q.  This YouTube video makes Jen laugh. See below: