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“The A-List is really like a family. The community and mentorship from A-list is what got me through school. I felt like I had value– putting passion into things I cared about. I have my job at Howard County Library directly because of being an A-List.”

The Albert S. Cook Library Leadership Institute for Students (A-LIST) offers participants experiential learning opportunities in leadership, research, writing, teaching, and outreach. These opportunities enable A-LIST students to give back to their peers, the library, and the university.

After only applying to two schools, one of which was TU, for Ash, it was the honors program and affordability that drew them to TU. Entering TU undeclared, Ash quickly found their purpose with the A-List Program in the Albert S. Cook Library coupled with help from Dr. Michael Elliott, associate professor, Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice, who served as Ash’s mentor. Ash declared sociology as their major with an LGBT Studies minor.

“I found the A-List through a Facebook page and thought it sounded interesting,” says Ash. Students are invited to participate in a panel interview for A-List positions, with three students accepted into the program each spring for one year.

“In the middle of my A-list experience, I started thinking about library as a career,” says Ash. “It was the interactions I had as a research associate, wellness and peer educator that started me thinking. As time went on, I really liked working in the library.”

Currently at Howard County Library System since July 2019, Ash is an Instructor and Research Specialist and is a State certified Library Associate. Next steps for Ash? “I’m considering an advanced degree in Library Science.”

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Towson University