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Meet Jill King: Connecting campus with music resources

Jill King
Jill King (DePaul University/Jeff Carrion)
Whether you’re a student in the School of Music in search of a new piece to perform or a staff member on the Loop Campus looking to stream tunes at your desk, Jill King is here to help. Since 2008, King has served as the music librarian in DePaul’s University Library, helping community members find the music and audio resources they need. 

“I’ve always loved music – I studied music as an undergraduate and graduate student at Northwestern. I played the organ,” King says. “During that time, a teacher of mine mentioned music librarianship as a good career path for musicians, and I was sold.”

After earning a master’s degree in library and information science from Dominican University and several years working with Chicago Public Libraries at Harold Washington Library in the Loop, King made her way to the Lincoln Park Campus. There, she is part of a team of Blue Demon librarians who work every day to ensure faculty, staff and students are equipped with the resources they need.

“Each college and department has a library liaison,” King explains. “I work with the School of Music, as well as the Departments of Modern Languages and of Women’s and Gender Studies. But, of course, we’re all here to help anyone who may need it, whether via the AskALibrarian chat or in person at the research help desk.”

So, what does a music librarian do, exactly?

“I make sure the library has all the resources the School of Music needs to support its curricula,” King says. “I track down, order and select our music materials, such as books, scores, CDs, DVDs, streaming audio, journals and magazines. I partner with faculty to deliver information literacy instruction tailored to their classes. I also help our community members navigate library resources. For example, I once helped an opera student find pronunciation for a particular Russian opera.”

While much of King’s work may seem specific to the School of Music, she and her team emphasize the notion that the library’s resources are for everyone, no matter their discipline. 

“Anyone from the university is welcome to tap our content and integrate it into their curricula or projects, and, of course, come to us with questions,” she says. “I recently assisted a faculty member from the Department of Religious Studies with finding a specific hymnbook. We had to ship it in from Colorado. Whether through research workshops, AskALibraian chat, or in the libraries themselves, we’re here to help our community members succeed in their quests for information.”