Associate Director, Pappas Law Library, Boston University
Like many college students, Raquel Ortiz worked at the campus library while pursuing her undergraduate degree in psychology from Harvard. "In the summers, I would return home to Puerto Rico and work as an administrative assistant in a variety of industries," says Ortiz. "But when graduation came along, I knew I did not want a career in the corporate world. I was fascinated with libraries and librarianship and felt I held the values and skills required to excel in the profession."
Upon completing her degree at the Simmons GSLIS, Ortiz returned to Harvard and worked at a number of the university's libraries, eventually ending up at the Harvard Law School Library. "My interest in law began while I was at Simmons," explains Ortiz. "Electives like Literature of the Social Sciences and Legal Bibliography introduced me to the complexity of legal materials, and I knew I would end up becoming a law librarian."
Ortiz went on to receive her juris doctor from Suffolk University Law School. She is currently associate director of Boston University's Pappas Law Library, where she coordinates the library's reference and research services and supervises a staff of four people. "My coursework at Simmons initially was selected to prepare me for reference work, but in the end it also prepared me very well to lead. Courses in management, research and bibliographic instruction rounded out my education by giving me particular skills that fit well with duties as the head of reference services."
Ortiz says working with students and faculty at the academic library is very rewarding. "They are so receptive to being 'taught' about how to find the information they are looking for or how to use a particular search tool." Ortiz now is using her recently developed passion for teaching back at Simmons, as an instructor for the Legal Information Sources course.
"Throughout my career, my Simmons education has proven a valuable networking tool, a source for inspiration, and a place where I can always go to learn more about my profession," says Ortiz. "The GSLIS's nationally renowned faculty, who are leaders in the field, have provided me much needed support — offering career advice and even suggesting I teach at Simmons. I enjoy my relationship with the school immensely."
Lecturer in LIS 437 - Legal Information Sources