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Lauren Tubbs' Promise for a Successful Future

When Lauren Tubbs joined University Libraries as a library assistant in the circulation department, she already had a Master’s in English and had spent time teaching as an adjunct professor. However, she knew that she wanted to be a librarian in an academic library one day.

“Although I loved teaching, I discovered that it was research that I loved the most. Librarianship combine smy love of research and my love of teaching into one profession. When the Covid-19 pandemic shut down in-person classes and University Libraries closed its facilities in March of 2020, Lauren was devastated.

Having been accepted to The School of Library and Information Studies (SLIS), a top-ranked program for library, information and book arts education, she was worried about job security and the ability to pay for graduate school once the pandemic shut down campus. “When I found out that I had the chance to begin SLIS here at UA I was overjoyed and terrified at the same time.I knew this was an amazing opportunity, and, although I had no idea how I was going to finance it, I knew that I would find a way somehow to start this journey. When the pandemic hit, I was afraid that I was going to lose my job and then lose my opportunity to start the program.”

University Libraries was able to transition in-person employees like Lauren to provide virtual services to assist students and faculty in finishing the spring 2020 semester. When the University piloted face-to-face classes during the summer, University Libraries also participated as one of the campus units offering in-person services, and Lauren returned to work. She then applied for and received the Patricia S. Henderson scholarship, created in memory of a formerAssociate Dean of Libraries whose career at University Libraries spanned 26 years. The purpose of the scholarship is to promote the education of library staff in graduate degree programs at The University of Alabama that lead to careers in libraries.

“Associate DeanHenderson was an accomplished woman and I am humbled to receive this honor. She was devoted to her studies and to her work, and I will strive for the same level of excellence in my career,”Lauren said.Donor funded entities like the Henderson Scholarship are impactful in preparing future librarians like Lauren, who will one day support student and faculty success as a librarian. “Having this opportunity for staff employees is truly a blessing. It makes me feel valued as an employee.It boosted my morale and quieted the financial fears I had starting this endeavor.Without University Libraries and the Henderson scholarship, I wouldn’t be on the road to a new career. ”

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