Kaley Iacovetta MI’19 (they/them) was raised on the Great Lakes in Pennsylvania. They fell in love with Philadelphia after a month-long visit and spent nine years living, working, and learning in the greater metro area. Kaley studied English Literature and Creative Writing at Eastern University, later transferring to Temple University to complete their degree. After nearly a decade of exploration, including living in a traveling bus community, studying herbalism in the Pacific Northwest, and teaching wilderness skills to children, Kaley returned to their Northeast community in search of a more sustainable way to continue their work with youth.
A fateful search on Indeed led Kaley to apply for a youth services position at Collingswood Public Library. They recalled, “I was convinced there was a literal lightbulb turning on above my head as I realized that library work is the perfect nexus of education, literature, and community service. Soon after, I enrolled in SC&I’s Master of Information program with a concentration in School Librarianship.”
Kaley, who currently works as an Adult and Teen Services Librarian at the Blanche A. Nixon/Cobbs Creek Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia, moved back to Philadelphia after 10 years away. “During my previous time in Philadelphia, I saw so much need in the community. I wanted to serve but didn’t even know how to take care of myself. Returning after a decade of life experience and personal growth, I finally have the skill set to serve my beloved city. Philly gave me so much: community, culture, and a sense of belonging. The city made me the person I am today. I am delighted and honored to give back in a meaningful way.”
Thinking about their coursework at SC&I, Kaley noted that “Search and the Information Landscape” with Associate Teaching Professor of Library and Information Science Joyce Valenza widened their perspective on research and supplied an entirely new toolbox. “I learned to think outside traditional search channels and meet users where they are.” “Emerging Literacies” with part-time faculty member Jennifer LaGarde challenged the then technologically resistant Kaley to try new tools and push their edge. “Both of these classes taught me how to navigate educational technology and quickly learn new tools while also preparing me to dive into the next new tech,” they said.
Kaley offers sage advice to students: “Don’t get bogged down in the details. You’ll remember what you need to know when you need it. Take care of yourself the best you can. Take breaks, sleep when possible, go to therapy, and make time for yourself, even when the assignments are looming. Accept that you can’t do and be everything and that you are, indeed, enough! No one like you exists in the world, and the profession needs all of us to bring our authentic selves to the table.”