Many St. Mary’s graduates have gone on to careers in Information Studies, a field that includes library science and archives. Eight history majors in the last two years alone have chosen to attend the “iSchool” (Information Science School) at the University of Maryland. To address the growing interest in the field among St. Mary’s students, in the Spring of 2015 the Museum Studies Department will be offering Introduction to Archives and Information Science, a 2 credit course.
Included among St. Mary’s alumni in the Information Science field is Jennie Thomas ‘95, head archivist of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. She graduated from St. Mary’s of College of Maryland with a music degree, and after studying music education at the graduate level for a time, as well as working music retail, she finally entered the field of librarianship as way to combine her interests in a variety of subjects. Looking back on the education courses she took at St. Mary’s, she says that it provided her with a foundation for working as head archivist at the “Rock Hall” by learning about ways to teach, put together exhibits, and capture the imagination. This education background, coupled with her St. Mary’s vocal degree, helps her contextualize rock and roll in a historical framework.
Jennie Thomas spoke at St. Mary’s as part of Museum Studies Week earlier this semester, and gave this advice: “Be patient. Don’t think that you’ll get your dream job right away. Getting a lot of experience in different things – which a liberal arts education provides – can only help determine whether something is what you want to do. Volunteering and internships are great ways to do that and when you do these sorts of things, be willing to go the extra mile. A lot of jobs can be what you make of them.”