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Rachel Inabinet ’04

Thank you for joining us for part 8 in our ongoing series of blog posts featuring Furman University alumni who work as library and information science professionals. To read previous installments in this series click here.

Today we are featuring Rachel Inabinet who graduated from Furman in 2004 with a bachelor of arts degree in political science. After graduating from Furman, she attended Loyola University in Chicago where she earned a master’s in political science. In 2018 Inabinet graduated from the University of South Carolina with her master’s in library and information science with a concentration in library management and administration. Currently, she serves as the adult outreach and events coordinator for the Greenville County Library System!

Tell us a little bit about how you chose to work as a library and information professional?

“I had not thought of it as a career for myself until my older brother started working for the public library. I eventually realized that I wanted to be involved in work that made me feel like I was actively helping people. He inspired me to work in a public library – a place open to absolutely everyone where I can teach literacy skills and provide a safe space for all. I love people, and I have never once been bored in this profession!”

What has been your professional path to your current position?

“Once I pivoted from political science to librarianship, I started work as a library assistant at the Greenville County Library System. I moved from that to a team leader, and then to Staff Development, training library staff. I’ve only been in my current position for about two months, but this is the dream job! Of course, all of this stemmed from my time at the James B. Duke Library.”

What is the most interesting library in which you’ve worked?

“I’ve only worked at two libraries, but the public library is certainly the most eventful one! Whether it’s running huge programs for patrons or handling emergencies, we stay constantly busy.”

What is something you have been surprised by during your career?

“I was surprised by how much public librarianship can feel like social work. I wish more libraries were equipped with true social workers on staff, but we make do with teaching ourselves the best we can. We spend a lot of time listening to needs and recommending outside services to help as many patrons as possible. I think I was also surprised by how much I love it and how deeply I hold the values of librarianship. Libraries are for everyone!”

Is there a particularly fond memory from your time at Furman that you would be willing to share?

“I had the BEST time working with Julie Carter throughout my time at Furman (2000-2004). A group of us called ourselves L6 (the Library Six) and we would often ask ourselves, “What would James B. Duke Do?” This ultimately led to writing WWJBDD all over scraps of paper at the circulation desk and thinking of ways he was haunting the stacks.”