Love for literature sparked career for new UAH electronic resource librarian

Laura Slavin

Laura Slavin is an electronic resource librarian and lecturer at M. Louis Salmon Library.

Michael Mercier | UAH

An interest in business propelled Laura Slavin to achieve a Masters in Business Administration from Lincoln Memorial University in 2010, but a love for English literature and working at a Franklin, Tenn., bookstore sparked a career that has brought her to The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) as an electronic resource librarian and lecturer at M. Louis Salmon Library.

"When I found out I could build my career around books and libraries, I jumped at the chance and applied for graduate school in library science," Slavin says. "During my first semester of graduate school at The University of South Florida (USF), I took an introductory cataloging course that sparked my interest in the technical side of librarianship. I started taking every library technical course they offered and accepted a one-year appointment as a graduate assistant in the Main Library’s cataloging department. I enjoyed learning about their catalog system and the cataloging records they were using instead of cards."

In her second year of graduate school Slavin accepted an appointment at the USF Health Sciences Library Systems Department where she learned how computer and library services work together. After graduating in 1998, she says she knew she would stay in the technical side of library work. Previously, she worked university libraries at Lincoln Memorial University in East Tennessee and Troy University. Slavin joins UAH after working in the Huntsville Public Library System.

"I missed academic library work and wanted to return to it," she says. "In this position, I am responsible for making sure all of our library databases are working for the students and faculty and I manage the discovery system, which is basically the side of the catalog that the students and faculty use to search for items that the library owns or subscribes to – books, articles, media, etc. Also, I work with library subject liaisons and faculty members to find new resources that are helpful for faculty and students.

"We have well over 150 different databases and many other electronic resources, so it's a challenging position, trying to make sure all of these resources are functioning and available to all UAH faculty, staff and students, and to help coordinate the efforts of library staff, faculty, various university departments and vendors to make things work," she says. "My primary role is to make sure the new discovery system, called Primo, is at optimum performance when we go live for the students and faculty. I'm very excited about taking on this challenge!"

An avid soccer fan, Slavin played midfield during college.

"I'm excited about attending some of the UAH soccer matches," she says. "I also enjoy spending time with friends, especially going to a rock and roll concert every once in a while, going to the movies and walking on the Greenway. My closest friend has a rescue dog that I often look after for her. Frequently, you will find me curled up on my favorite recliner with my friend’s dog in my lap, while I read a good book."

Her mother, Genny Slavin, who turns 80 this year, lives near her in Huntsville and loves to read, do needle point, "and is a tremendous Italian cook." A half-brother, Mark Oliver, is a power plant operator residing with his wife in Effingham, Ill.


Laura Slavin

Jim Steele