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Photo of Heather Kanipe Heather Kanipe ’97

We are nearing the end of our summer series of blog posts in which we highlight some of the amazing Furman alumni who have gone on to work in library and information professions. If you have not been keeping up, you can view all previous posts here.

Heather Kanipe ’97 is our second to last alumni to be featured here. Kanipe completed a bachelor’s degree in early childhood and elementary education. She is a board-certified early childhood educator and holds two advanced degrees from the University of South Carolina: a master’s in library and information science and a master’s in elementary education. Kanipe currently serves as the library media specialist at Oakland Elementary in Spartanburg School District Two.

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

“I have always loved reading and books.  I was even a “library helper” when I was in elementary school.  I helped change the “due date” stamp each morning and also helped shelve and straighten books.  I became interested in library science while taking education classes at Furman, specifically while enrolled in Nelly Hecker’s children’s lit class.”

What has been your professional path to your current position?

“I began my career teaching third grade at Chesnee Elementary.  I worked on my Masters in Library and Information Science while teaching.  A new elementary school was built in my district, and I was asked to fill the library position at the new school.  I have been at this school ever since!”

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

“I have only been in one library…  here at Oakland Elementary.”

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

“I am sometimes surprised at how quickly technology has advanced in the library field, yet at the same time, both kids and adults still love to have a book in print!”

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

“Some of my favorite memories at Furman are from my freshman year.  My freshman hall participated in many “bonding” activities. I was in Blackwell Hall, which was a co-ed dorm, so we also did a lot of fun things with our brother hall, too.  Their hallway was right across the stairway from ours!  Football games were also a highlight of my time at Furman.”