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College of Information and Communications


Alumni Spotlight: Susan Lyon

Posted March 31, 2017


Richland Library Learning Engagement Manager Susan Lyon is more than just a 2006 MLIS alumna — she’s also a 2017 Public Library Association Fellow. Lyon recently participated in a week-long leadership development program with other library leaders from across the nation. 

What do you do in your current job?
I lead and develop learning initiatives for Richland Library staff. A few examples include employee onboarding, tech skills and leadership development.  My department anticipates and responds to the learning needs of both library staff and customers.  We like to think of this as the parallel path of learning.   

What’s the most interesting or significant thing you’ve done since graduating?
Become a mom to a vivacious, strong-minded little girl 

You’ve recently been named a PLA Leadership Fellow. Tell us a little about that honor and what impact you hope it will have.
As a fellow, I will have the opportunity to participate in a week-long leadership development program with other library leaders across the nation.  I look forward to collaborating with these colleagues as we identify specific projects that will better our communities. 

What are you passionate about in your work?
I am passionate about encouraging people to take ownership for their own learning.  My learning engagement team at Richland Library (some of the most amazing people on the planet) help design environments and opportunities that encourage learning. When we observe someone becoming inspired and wanting to learn more is when we know we're doing something right

What did you learn while in school at the CIC that still resonates today?
Never stop learning!  

Do you have a favorite professor or a favorite memory from your time at the CIC? 
I laugh as I recall Dr. Dan Barron pointing his finger at us in my very first SLIS course, and in a bombastic, almost militaristic voice saying, "information to the people; womb to the tomb!"  We were having fun, but it was, at that time, I realized what an incredible responsibility we have as librarians to provide access to learning throughout someone's entire life.  No other institution does this.  He helped me see just how essential public libraries are for a democratic society.