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Bird is the word: Librarian aims high

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A man of the students

A man of the students: Sean Bird, Head Librarian of Mabee Library, works hard to engage Washburn students with the library. Bird has worked for Washburn for 10 years and has heavily assisted in various campus reforms, such as WU 101.

Sean Bird has been working at Washburn University for 10 years as a Librarian. 

He got his Bachelors of Arts in English from Washburn University and went to The University of Oklahoma for a Masters of Arts in English. He used to teach First Year Composition and some literature classes at the Topeka High as it would give some credits to the students if they studied at Washburn. He used to teach a couple of classes every semester but he wanted to work as a full time librarian so he decided to pursue a Masters of Library Science degree. 

Bird said that,"As I wanted a full time permanent position and having a degree in English, I was only able to have an adjunct position which only allowed me to teach one or two classes. I wanted to spend more time at Washburn and while I was teaching I noticed that we needed to focus more diligently on the students who may not have all of their preparation in place before they come to University. I wanted to prepare students while they are attending university, so I went to library school and became a librarian." 

"Within two years I was hired in the library and changes were made in the library that I suppose every student wanted, because even I used to think the same when i was a student," Bird said, "When I was a student at Washburn we were all about providing physical materials, books and scholarly journals. Internet was in the World but we didn't have much facility for it." 

Bird envisions a library that all students enjoy coming to. Adding more resources for student and faculty to use is a goal of the Mabee Library. It's not just about books and studying, but meeting and interacting with people. 

During the summers, Bird focuses on making improvements to WU101 courses.

Bird cares deeply about providing students with correct information. Finding information and using it effectively promotes student literacy and comprehension. Librarians are trained on helping students find the information they need. 

"Because we do live in an information age, the information is physically here, like books and journals, but I would say that learning how to become literate is a process that is learned most effectively in the library," Bird said. 

Bird is also a big supporter of using your public libraries. "Public libraries I think are important from birth until the other end. Academic libraries are important for students, and faculty, from the beginning of their academic career until they graduate," said Bird. 

Bird encourages students to frequent the library more. "I believe in my heart, but also with evidence we have from research done here at Washburn and universities across the nation and planet, students who use their library are more likely to graduate. There is one measure of student success that means the most, and that is students graduating," said Bird. 

He recommends building relationships with the librarians and exploring opportunities while at college. As librarians are not only helpful for finding books, but they care about the well-being and success of students at Washburn. It helps students to develop themselves so that they can be successful in their life. 

Professor Jordan Noller who teaches the WU 101 class and has her office is in the library, has been working with Bird since for four and half years. She loves working with him as he always has incredible energy with positive vibes. He always builds up other people and makes them feel good about themselves. 

Noller mentions that,"One of best thing about Bird is that he is constant,comfortable and always ready to help and always gives a positive vibe around." 

Even Noller wishes to have a bigger size library and more resources. As people use it so often, Mabee Library has became a home to everyone.

Edited by Adam White, Joelle Conway

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