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CAS Graduate Study Success Stories

Finding a New Career

Lill, an artists' bookmaker, plans to pursue a career in special collections and archives.

Jonathan Lill always respected the value of libraries and gained personal enjoyment from time spent in them, but he never expected to become a librarian — even when friends would tell him he'd make a good one. "I really never considered a career in library science until I became a casualty of a poor economy," Lill admits.

When Lill was laid off from his job as an assistant project manager for a graphic design company, he pondered a new career path — one that could still utilize his undergraduate education in art and the technical skills he'd acquired at the design firm, but that could provide better job security. He was surprised to discover that attending library school would set him on that path.

With a passion for art and a love of paper and printmaking, Lill is an artists' bookmaker. His books are in collections at a number of galleries and special libraries, including the Sterling Memorial Library at Yale University and the Clapp Library at Wellesley College. "The main market for artists' books is libraries," explains Lill. "I visited quite a few of them in my efforts to place my own work and to promote artists' books as an educational resource. In spending quality time face to face with librarians, I became quite intrigued with them and their work. After the lay off, I made the connection. Obtaining my master's in library science would enable me to combine all of my interests and work experiences in pursuing a legitimate career path with leadership possibilities."

While at the Simmons SLIS, Lill concentrated in archives and completed additional course work in cataloging, preservation, and art documentation. He plans to pursue work in special collections, particularly where he can work with archiving visual information.

"The Simmons program allowed me to draw on my background in art, and it showed me the crossover among my fields of interest," says Lill. "It then opened the doors for me to obtain practical experience at area libraries and archival organizations while I attended classes. I feel I'm well prepared for my job search."