Name: Jai Blackburn, She, her
Education Background: 
BA in Anthropology/Human Biology from Temple University, MLIS from University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee with a specialization in Archives

What was your professional background before your current position?
I started at Tompkins County Public Library as a paraprofessional. I worked at Cornell University Student Disability Services and Rare & Manuscript Collections while in library school. I began working for NY State as an adjunct at the NYS Academy of Fire Science, then spent several years as a librarian in correctional facilities. This year I returned to the fire academy as a Senior Librarian.

Describe your current position:
I am the Senior Librarian for the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services/Office of Fire Protection and Control at the NYS Academy of Fire Science, which trains New York State firefighters.

What do you like best about your work?
I work as reference and instructional support for first responders that do amazing work for their communities. I also get to visit with very good working canines who are onsite for training.

What other organizations are you involved with?
I am a board member of NYLA's Academic and Special Libraries Section. I volunteered with Tompkins County Friends of the Library book sale for 19 years and still maintain FoL membership even though we now live outside the area. I am Secretary for the Finger Lakes Button Club.

What advice would you give to someone new to the field?
Consider civil service as an option early in your career. Talk to someone familiar with the system and keep requirements in mind as you gain experience.

What is one thing you would you like to learn?
How to make bobbin lace.

What are you most looking forward to doing this fall?
Cooking with my new cast iron pumpkin-shaped cookware.

Thank you Jai!
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