After many years working as a chef and artist, Jocelyn McNamara, MLS ‘16, was inspired by her love of literature, and a drive to work in leadership, which led her to pursue a career in librarianship.
After many years working as a chef and artist, Jocelyn McNamara, MLS ‘16, was inspired by her love of literature, and a drive to work in leadership, which led her to pursue a career in librarianship. At the start of her new professional journey, she joined the LAC Group in 2012 as a Library Clerk where she was heavily involved with a special project at Tulane University’s post-Hurricane Katrina library recovery center. She later relocated to Washington D.C. to work on other projects at the Library of Congress and USDA National Agricultural Library.
With its close proximity to D.C. and flexible course offerings, Jocelyn began her Master of Library Science (MLS) degree at the University of Maryland College of Information Studies (UMD iSchool). At the start of the MLS program, Jocelyn took the Achieving Organizational Excellence course with Dr. Michael Kurtz, whom Jocelyn declared as a motivational industry leader and influential faculty member during her time at the iSchool.
“I immediately knew I wanted to work in management and leadership,” says Jocelyn as she recalls her first semester of the MLS program. “There is such a need for good leaders who can keep the big picture in mind and move the ball forward for their organizations.”
After graduating from the iSchool, Jocelyn continued to work at the LAC Group where she quickly moved up the ladder, eventually becoming its Senior Vice President. In this role, Jocelyn led an organization of more than 140 information professionals who provided a vast array of information services and insights.
“If you are given the opportunity to take on a supervisory role, grab it, even if you don't want to work in administration long-term,” says Jocelyn as advice to current students. “Supervisory experience is the quickest way to make your resume stand out and accelerate your career.” She also emphasizes how important it is to network and volunteer in a leadership role in one of DC's professional associations.
This summer, Jocelyn accepted a position with the Library of Congress as a Section Head for the Geography, Political Science and Education Section, Acquisitions and Bibliographic Access Directorate.
Jocelyn continues to indulge her artistic side through writing poetry and reading. She also enjoys spending quality time outside with her kids.