Simmons Alumna Competes on Jeopardy!

May 11, 2017

Emma Florio and Alex Trebek

Emma Florio '16LS shares how librarianship prepared her to compete on Jeopardy!

How did your time at the School of Library and Information Science and your work as a librarian prepare you for Jeopardy?

I think my interest in being a librarian/archivist and my interest in Jeopardy go hand in hand. I like reading and learning new things in general, which of course is useful for Jeopardy! and I think is a big part of being a librarian as well. I like doing research on things I'm curious about, and then tend to retain a lot of the trivia on those topics, which can help in librarianship, especially for reference and related work.

Can you tell us a bit about the Newberry library?

The Newberry is an independent research library in Chicago, which is free and open to the public. There are exhibitions and public programs that anyone can see and attend. Access to the reading rooms is more generally restricted to patrons with research requests, such as independent scholars and faculty from universities. I work in Special Collections which covers a wide range of collections, such as rare books, modern manuscripts related to the Midwest, books and manuscripts related to Native Americans and other indigenous groups, and maps of all kinds. There is also General Collections, which focuses on local history and genealogy.

Any anecdotes to share about the show?

It was a whirlwind experience. I've grown up watching Jeopardy! — and being on the stage and talking to Alex Trebek were very surreal after seeing everything on TV for so many years. The set and the audience were smaller than I had expected! If you want to be on the show, you should take the online test and represent Simmons, too!