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Katie Cunningham's Spotlight

Katie Cunningham ('09)


Graduate Program of Study: Library and Information Science
Degree: Master of Library and Information Science
Graduation Date: May 2009
Areas of research: Library service to Latino Communities, Bilingual Storytime, Early Literacy
Hometown: Blue Rock, OH
Current Employment: Independent Librarian

Katie’s helping nature has always played a large role in her life. In fact, much of her career has involved improving the quality of library services afforded to Latino communities. In May 2009, Katie attained a Master of Library and Information Science, which opened the door to many new opportunities. Katie attended the School of Library and Information Science satellite branch in Columbus, Ohio. After discussions from past alumni, Katie deemed that the Library Science program at Kent State University would bestow rapid advancement in her career.

“I hope to continue to seize exciting professional opportunities as they arise,” Katie stated as she describe her long term aspirations. Katie plans to continue her role as an independent librarian, educating libraries of the information needs of Latino communities. Additionally, Katie strives to continue her commitment to preparing children from English non-speaking homes to begin their education.  “I hope to continue working with libraries and community organizations on projects that improve the school readiness and literacy rates in Latino communities.”

Katie’s favorite part of graduate school was being surrounded by new ideas. “The readings, field experiences and conversations with fellow students were always inspiring and engaging, challenging me to push beyond my own experience into the realm of what could be possible in our ever-changing profession.”

Katie praises her mentor, Dr. Belinda Boon, who enlightened Katie to follow her professional ambitions. Katie stated, “Dr. Boon helped me to understand how to utilize my language skills and experience with multicultural communities in unique ways in order to build a rewarding career.”

Katie takes advantage of her free time by doing things she loves the most, such as yoga, hiking, cooking vegan food, music, traveling, and writing. She wishes to provide the following advice for new Kent State graduate students: “Be willing to move to where the opportunities that fit your skill set can be found.  Be professionally involved and contribute to the profession at large, even as a student.  Always maintain good professional relationships.”