Spotlight on Staff: Margaret Brown-Salazar

Every month throughout the academic year the Staff Council randomly selects a staff member to celebrate in our Spotlight on Staff.  Our recipient for May 2013 is Margaret Brown-Salazar.

Margaret Brown-SalazarThe Staff Council’s Spotlight on Staff for May 2013 is Margaret Brown-Salazar, reference and instruction librarian, serving the Kalmanovitz School of Education.  Margaret’s office is in St. Albert Library, where you’ll occasionally see her taking her turn at the reference desk. In addition, she supports the School of Education by facilitating some of the class meetings for graduate and doctoral students. In the classroom as an “embedded librarian” and in support of the faculty, Margaret helps students with their literature reviews and research in two library modules of each student’s academic program. She emphasizes today’s technology and why research is important to their studies. Between class meetings, Margaret supports KSOE students in person, by phone and email. 

There’s another thing you may enjoy knowing about Margaret and her involvement at Saint Mary’s. Her daughter, Rachel Salazar, is an SMC assistant athletic trainer in support of men’s soccer, baseball and golf.

Here's what Margaret told Spotlight on Staff:

How long have you been at Saint Mary's? Please tell us about your job.

I have been working at Saint Mary’s for 16 years!

All of our librarians work the general reference desk, which means that we all work with anyone who appears in the library, with any kind of question, to find information – which is always fun and unpredictable. As the education librarian, I am also responsible for developing and maintaining a collection of resources and providing reference and instruction services to support the curriculum in the School of Education.

What do you enjoy the most or find most rewarding about your job?

I am really proud to have worked with KSOE faculty to develop a substantial information literacy component for the M.A. and Ed.D. level programs. Our graduate students are required to do in-depth research, and I have the privilege to teach them how to use library tools and guide them along the “information highway” as they build an evidence-based foundation for their personal interest in education or counseling. Students often approach their research as a “part of the process,” so it is really fun to be working with them when they start to get as excited as I am about the interesting research we are finding. Of course, I couldn’t do my job without the rest of the library staff – we stay focused on our shared vision and as a group, we approach our work with high standards. I am so proud to be part of the library staff.

What do you enjoy most about the SMC Community/Campus?

There are so many opportunities at Saint Mary’s and each time I choose to participate in something I meet thoughtful, caring, amazing people.  

Some of the highlights of being a Gael:

~ I was so proud to present diplomas to my daughters, Rachel (2005) and Alexandra (2010) during their graduation ceremonies. Go Gaels!

~ Working my first reference shift after graduating from library school. My first five years here at Saint Mary’s, I worked as a catalog assistant while I was in graduate school. In 2003, I applied for and was hired as the education librarian. My first reference shift as a librarian was really spectacular; it felt like the entire library staff had helped me achieve that goal.  

~ Participating in the Christian Brother’s Vandu Paaru Immersion Program. The month I spent in India with the Brothers learning about their good work was life-changing in many ways. Understanding the work the Christian Brothers do globally was humbling. It has been a delightful surprise to find myself working with some of our colleagues from India over the years as a few have enrolled in the SMC Master’s in Lasallian Studies program.

Outside of work, is there anything you'd like to share about your interests, hobbies, family or volunteer work?

I love to travel with my husband and family. I am just as happy going to Nashville as Athens and I can be completely charmed by a spontaneous conversation with someone I meet in a park somewhere. I like to ride my bike, play bocce, knit and cook meals for friends and family. I love books (surprise!) and I volunteer with a literacy organization called In2Books that pairs adults with students in grades 3-6. We read six books a year (the students’ choice) and then we email each other sharing our thoughts and ideas about the things we read. It's so much fun to be reminded how wonderful a 9-year-old's life is.