Faculty Profile: Dr. Vanessa Irvin

Name: Dr. Vanessa Irvin

Title: Associate Professor

Department: Department of Interdisciplinary Professions – Master of Library Science Program

Hometown: Philadelphia

Colleges attended and degrees: 

BA from Rutgers (1987); MSLS from Clarion (2003); EdD from UPenn (2012)

Years working at ECU: It will be one year in August!

What do you love about ECU?

I love the welcoming, supportive collegiality of everyone in the MLS program, the IDP department and College of Education. The campus is beautiful; I enjoy coming to the office for the people and the environment.

What are your research interests?

I am researching ways in which our heritage-based knowledge systems impact our information seeking behaviors and literacy practices in daily life.

What is your favorite course that you have taught or currently teach?

My favorite course to teach is Introduction to Reference.

What drew you to IDP and, in particular, library science?

When I was actively working as a librarian I enjoyed the organized chaotic messiness of working with the reading public or school community to help people of all ages navigate their lives. The practice of librarianship drew me to want to teach the discipline of library science. I wanted to share with students how this profession is rewarding, amazing, hilarious, mysterious, but always awe-inspiring. People think library science is just about books in a building. I would say the library itself is about 10% of what librarianship is about. The other 90% is about building and sustaining positive relationships with people in communities so that the library is their go-to place for community engagement.

Outside of work, what are your favorite hobbies or interests?

I enjoy painting, crocheting, watching sports, and container gardening.