By ALI KURECZKA
Valerie Gouse is more than just your average librarian. She helps students do research, teaches information literacy classes and effective speech classes, she catalogs books and puts them into the library system so students can use them for research, and she even has a side band with her husband just to name a few.
Valerie Gouse went to Vineland High School and then to Ithaca College in New York. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications.
Valerie didn’t always want to be a librarian.
“Oh it’s every girl’s dream, right?” said Gouse.
Her mother would take her to the Vineland Public Library but Valerie was always reluctant to go. Her reason for choosing this field was actually her work-study program at Ithaca College.
“The only jobs that were available on campus for freshmen were in the dining hall. So for a month I suffered by working in the dining hall at Ithaca College. It was horrible. So I quit and I wandered into the library and I saw a sign. It was just the right time and right place. So for the four years I was at Ithaca I worked at the library,” said Gouse.
Once Valerie was ready to graduate, the director that she worked under asked if she ever thought of becoming a librarian. Valerie thought about it and then ended up getting her master’s degree in Library Science at Rutgers in New Brunswick.
“So I guess I owe it to her. She put the idea in my head,” added Gouse.
After getting her master’s degree, she was brought back to Vineland for a job opening here at the college in 2002.
“My mother sent me the job announcement and said, ‘Look at this, right in your home town,’’ said Gouse.
Outside of the library, Valerie enjoys skiing. She’s gone on the school sponsored ski trips a few times. She also enjoys playing the piano with her husband, who plays the violin. They have their own side business where they play for weddings and parties.
“We started in high school. It was just some random thing to make money. But it’s nice; we enjoy it. We go to a lot of weddings,” added Gouse.
Recently, Valerie graduated with a second master’s degree in Communications, which has allowed her to teach communications classes. So, in addition to working in the library she’s also an adjunct professor at the college. One of the classes she teaches is the Effective Speech class on Mondays and Wednesdays.
“I really like the teaching aspect of my job. I’m hoping that someday I may end up in the classroom fulltime as a professor. But I do love my job here [in the library]. I love my co-workers. We really work as a team,” said Gouse.
Valerie also teaches literacy information courses. She teaches students how to use the library’s resources for research assignments in English 102 classes.
“My motto is if you use the library’s resources, it makes doing your schoolwork a lot easier and quicker. But students think that Google is the answer. I’m all about opening their eyes to the better, more scholarly, credible sources,” said Gouse.
“We’re always here to help and answer questions. Give us a chance. Come in and we’ll help answer any questions,” added Gouse.