Shanika Heyward 2009 I-LLID Fellow Follow-up

In 2009, the I-LLID fellowship launched its first co-hort of M.L.S. candidates. The fellowship was funded through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and administered through a partnership between the Indiana State Library and IUPUI’s School of Library and Information Science.

Over the next several months we will be including spot lights on past fellows to highlight their personal and professional accomplishments.

ShanikaName: Shanika Heyward

Cohort: Cohort 1

Current Employer: Community Branch Manager, Indianapolis Public Library.

Can you tell us a little bit about your background and what led you to apply for the fellowship?

I’ve always had a passion to serve and empower others to succeed. I’ve been working at the Indianapolis Public Library since graduating from High School. I started at the Lawrence Branch as a work-student from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. Then, I was promoted to Clerk I, promoted to Clerk II, and finally to Clerk III. Then, I transferred to Collection Management Service Area as Receiving/Processing Clerk III to pursue my undergraduate degree. After graduating with my Bachelor Degree my former Manager, Jeanne Gabonay recommended I attend IU SLIS. I applied and was accepted. A few days after being accepted I received an anonymous email to apply for the ILLID’s fellowship.

How did the fellowship help prepare you for your career?

Being a single-parent with limited income and support. The fellowship gave me the support system and the financial resources to succeed. I was able to focus on my studies without worrying about how I was going to pay my bills or purchase textbooks each semester. The camaraderie shared among the fellows, mentors, and Marcia Smith-Woodard provided the wisdom for continual success.

What was your focus while you were working towards your Master’s degree?

I wanted to be a Cataloger. I took all advance cataloging related classes. However, at the time IndyPL was not hiring catalogers.

Describe your career path.

I am looking to advancing my career at IndyPL and/or pursing my PhD in the future.

What advice would you give to someone who is considering pursuing a master’s degree in library science?

I would tell them not to wait! Apply now! Study-hard! Enjoy the journey!

Outside of your job, what ways do you stay active in the profession?

I serve on numerous boards: The United Northeast Community Development Corporation; our mission is to Empowering, Engaging and Energizing Communities. And, the Forest Manor Multi-Service Center; our mission is to empowers the lives of our neighbors by offering individuals and families the services and support they need to become self-sufficient.

Have you received any professional or personal awards outside of the fellowship?

  • United North East Community Development Award 2015 • Forest Manor Community 5th Annual Champions Service Award 2014 • Indianapolis Public Library Foundation- Beth Tindel Award 2014 • Community Faith-based Love Award 2014