Student Spotlight: Katie Pierce-Farrier, UNT LISSA president shares the benefits of getting involved

Katie Pierce-Farrier is the current president of the IS Department’s student organization, the Library & Information Science Student Association (LISSA). She is pursuing her Master's in Library Science with a focus in health informatics.

Born and raised in Arlington, TX, Katie completed her undergraduate degree at UNT, majoring in business and technical writing. Her love of learning and desire to help people pursue their passions prompted her to go back to school to become a librarian.

Katie Pierce-Farrier
            Katie Pierce-Farrier

This semester is Katie’s last semester at UNT, as she will be graduating in May. She is eager to start her career as an information professional. With a background in sales and customer service, she hopes to work in an academic or research library.

Katie chats with us about her involvement with LISSA, the M.S. program, and what excites her about the LIS field.  

Why did you choose the UNT LIS program?

                I also went to UNT for my undergrad. I loved the environment. It’s a beautiful campus. UNT’s program also had a highly praised health informatics program, which is what I decided to focus on. They offered more flexibility in online classes. Overall, it was just a good fit.

What motivated you to join the UNTLISSA?

                I didn’t come from a library background, so I wanted to show that I was dedicated to the field, and make connections with other students.

What are you hoping to accomplish as president of LISSA?

                I am hoping to leave the organization with a strong view of what they want to continue to accomplish in the coming semesters. The spring has been so busy for everyone, we are focusing on smaller events like virtual happy hours and preparing for larger events in the summer and fall.

Why would you encourage other students to join LISSA?

                LISSA has really helped me stand out to my professors and the other faculty members. Dr. Philbrick, the faculty sponsor for LISSA, and Dr. Cleveland helped me get a job at a health science library, which lead to more exciting opportunities, like internships, networking and funding for conferences. Everyday gets me a little closer to the career I want, but I can honestly say it started with LISSA, because I took the initiative to join and get involved.

What has been the best thing about going through the UNT LIS program?

                The best part of the UNT LIS program is how supportive and encouraging the professors are. If you show interest and initiative, they are delighted to take you under their wing and help you.

As a soon-to-be graduate, what advice do you have for other students in the program?

                Get involved. As a librarian, you’ll constantly be asked and expected to serve on committees, be involved in professional organizations, and collaborate with other teams. LISSA shows that you’re willing to do that and you start building relationships with people that will be your future colleagues.

What excites you about the library and information science field?

                I love that the library and information science field is so diverse. So many people I have talked to said that they didn’t end up where they thought they would be, but they love the path LIS lead them on. Library and information science is about continued improvement and giving back. There is always something new to learn.