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Photo of Lisa Blouch Lisa Blouch ’88

As the summer draws toward an end, we are now three-quarters of the way through our series of posts highlighting some of the amazing Furman alumni who have gone on to work in library and information professions. Click here to view all posts in this series. Today for our fifteenth post we are featuring Lisa Blouch ’88.

Blouch graduated in 1988 with her bachelor’s degree in English. In 1990 she completed a master’s in library science from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. She has worked in a variety of libraries throughout her career; currently, she works as an information specialist/school librarian at Shady Grove Elementary School, a part of Henrico County Public Schools.

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

“I’ve loved libraries, of all types, as long as I can remember…and reading has been my favorite thing to do since I learned HOW to read. I read a lot of books featuring wonderful Librarians as a kid, and the ones I knew in person were fabulous, too.  It wasn’t really a stretch to think that being a Librarian would be something I might want to do as a career.  Libraries of all types have always been my “happy places.”  Whenever and wherever I travel, I always visit the libraries in that particular place, and I always learn something new and wonderful in each one.”

What has been your professional path to your current position?

“I majored in English at Furman, taking the necessary classes to become an English teacher at the secondary level and pursuing a teacher’s license, which I received.  I realized early in my senior year, however, that I wanted to be a Librarian, so I took the GRE and applied to UNC-Chapel Hill while I was student teaching. I decided to concentrate in Children’s Librarianship because I recognized that some of the best books being written were (and still are) for younger readers.  I spent two years studying for my M.L.S., then worked in public libraries, first as a Children’s Librarian, then as an administrator, for the next ten years.  After the birth of my three children, and a five year hiatus until my youngest was in Kindergarten, I went back to work.  I wanted to return to children’s librarianship, but within the more family friendly schedule of a school.  I have been a Librarian in an elementary school for nearly 15 years now, and I absolutely love it!”

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

“This is a difficult question to answer because they’ve all been interesting…if you work in a library, you get interesting people, questions, and situations all the time!”

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

“I don’t know that this is surprising, really, but it’s very affirming to realize that you can make a deep and lasting connection with other humans, whatever their ages, through stories.”

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

“I loved working in the James B. Duke Library as a student assistant when it was converting from card catalog to online catalog.  The experience of pulling out the catalog drawers, threading in new cards, then inputting that same data into computer programs not only made for good conversation, it was also very helpful for understanding a lot of things that would later become very important in our digital age.”