myMETRO Member Spotlight: Marie Sciangula

We're thrilled to interview Marie Sciangula for our myMETRO Member Spotlight series. Marie participated in the myMETRO Researchers Project in 2012 on the Fashion Blogging Team; the group presented their research at the ARLIS/NA 41st Annual Conference. She is our newest lifetime myMETRO member.


10032013_myMETROSpotlight_Marie.pngMarie Sciangula is the Assistant Director of the Teaching, Learning, and Technology Center (TLTC) at Purchase College, State University of New York. In this capacity she manages and administers Moodle, the campus’ learning management system, and promotes the innovative use of academic technologies and pedagogical approaches campus-wide.

Marie has been working with Purchase College faculty and instructional technologies for over a decade. She serves on several campus committees including the Instructional Technology Advisory Committee (ITAC), Affirmative Action Committee, and the Library’s Communications Committee and maintains the Library and TLTC’s social media presence.

Marie offers a variety of workshops for faculty and staff geared towards integrating technology into teaching and learning. She encourages the use of open source applications like Drupal, OpenScholar, and Zotero. Marie regularly presents at local and national conferences including SUNY’s Conference on Instruction and Technology (CIT), ARLIS/NA, and METRO’s annual conferences. She holds a bachelor's degree in Women’s Studies from Purchase College, SUNY and received her MLIS from Long Island University’s Palmer School of Library and Information Science. Marie is obsessed with music and plays a variety of instruments including guitar and banjo.

1. When did you first join myMETRO?

I joined myMETRO in July 2010 after attending the “Copyright and Digital Project Planning” and “Essential Zotero” workshops. It was a pivotal moment for me. Even though my campus is an institutional member, I felt that it was important for me to join myMETRO so that I have a professional membership that belongs to me as an individual. It is important to me to have an identity in a professional organization that is separate from my institution, especially since I am not technically a librarian at my institution. 

2. Describe your work experience prior to joining the profession. What has been your most rewarding experience as a professional so far?

When I arrived at Purchase College as a transfer student, I was given the opportunity to help create a brand new instructional technology office based within the Library. I began training faculty in academic technologies and realized that I truly enjoy helping people learn new skills and encouraging them to face their technology fears. I soon found a niche that bridges the gap between the library and technology, a key component of my role as the assistant director of the Teaching, Learning, and Technology Center (TLTC).

What I find most rewarding about working at Purchase College is the trust-based relationships that I’ve fostered by virtue of being at Purchase for over a decade. My position has evolved from student worker to leading a technology office. The institutional knowledge and deep understanding of our culture guides my day-to-day work.

3. What drew you to your particular line of work?

I love the idea of knowledge organization and the fulfillment of helping people. Since I was already working with faculty and instructional technologies in an academic library setting, attending library school was the next logical step. Librarianship has embraced the rapid pace of technological change, so the formalization of my skillset made sense.

4. Tell us a little about the projects that capture your interests these days (either for yourself or an organization).

I’m currently engaged in a number of challenging and exciting collaborative projects.

I was part of the pilot run of the myMETRO Researchers Project in 2012. My team’s research on fashion bloggers is ongoing almost two years later. The project has resulted in a number of amazing presentation opportunities and published articles for our team and continues to inspire us to research fashion bloggers as information users and creators.

I am partnering with colleagues in the library to work on the planning and development of a student project (senior projects, capstones, and master’s theses) archive. The library is the repository for culminating student projects, both electronically and in print, so we are developing a searchable digital repository with an aesthetically mindful front-end. This will allow better access to these important works of student scholarship and creativity, and will help us preserve institutional memory. 

5. What are your favorite ways to stay on top of industry trends?

Twitter is the most effective and quickest way for me to stay up to date on library/technology news and developments, but I learn so much from simply talking with my colleagues and friends (who are usually one and the same). I try to take advantage of any chance I get to learn from other information professionals, via conferences, workshops, webinars, articles, etc. Staying immersed in the conversation is essential.

6. What do you find most valuable about your myMETRO membership?

Engaging with my fellow myMETRO members is invaluable to me. I love my college and my day-to-day work, but my experiences at METRO have developed my career on a different level. I’ve connected and collaborated with other librarians and professionals that I would never have met prior to joining. If you told me a few years ago that I would be presenting a research project at ARLIS/NA with art librarians and a prominent fashion blogger, I wouldn’t have believed you. This is one of the many myMETRO experiences that have put a new spin on my everyday work.

Are you a myMETRO Member? Would you like to be featured in a myMETRO spotlight? Contact Tom Nielsen at for more information.