Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Take a moment to get to know Dr. Lucy Santos Green, the new SLIS director. Dr. Green joined the SLIS faculty in January 2022. She recently sat down to share about her background in LIS, how she's adjusting to living in Iowa City, and her goals for the program.Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your work before joining SLIS?

I’ve been an educator for over 25 years. I started out as a middle and high school choir teacher in Fort Worth, Texas, and then eventually became a school librarian. Since then, I’ve been a teacher educator at Texas Tech University, a professor and program director of Instructional Technology at Georgia Southern University, a professor of Information Science at the University of South Carolina and now I am here in Iowa City. Throughout this entire time, I’ve kept choral music close to my heart…and now I get to be a proud parent and watch my son, Myles, perform with the Davidson Chorale. If you want to hear just how amazing they are, check them out on this episode of NPR’s From the Top celebrating Juneteenth.

What drew you to researching school librarianship? 

I’m a former school librarian and a school library educator. So much of the work we do as LIS faculty, preparing professionals and scholars, depends on our ability to stay current, keeping a close connection between research and practice. When I research school librarianship, I am delving into what works, what doesn’t work, what needs to be questioned, what should be challenged, what should be celebrated. It also means that I am doing everything I can to contribute and advocate for strong school library programs – and every single child in this country deserves a strong, well-funded school library program, under the direction of a certified school librarian. If you want to dive into the work I’ve done, please visit www.lucysantosgreen.com and follow the work there!

Why were you interested in directing the University of Iowa SLIS program? 

There are both personal and professional reasons why I came to the University of Iowa. On a personal level, Iowa City is closer to family, and a culturally rich, diverse, but still smaller town with just the right amount of dog parks. I love it here! On a professional level, the faculty at SLIS have always had the reputation of being a kind and caring group. And it’s true! I also treasure how the program prioritizes cultural heritage, fine arts, the humanities in general. This is the part of librarianship I am most deeply connected to.

What has been the most interesting part of living in Iowa City so far? 

So far, it’s been learning how to live in a place with a proper winter. I never considered I might need something like a spring coat, or gloves for the serious user. But the snow is lovely. So, so beautiful.

What are your goals for the program? 

My number one priority is to support SLIS as it builds on the work it does well! My goal is to remove any barrier to that building process I can. My second goal is to make sure our program’s processes and structure operate smoothly and efficiently. You will see some changes and adjustments as we get there, but I am already proud of what SLIS faculty and staff have accomplished in the short time since I’ve been here!