Katie Roberts is the Education Director for the Wisconsin Technical College System, and a member of the BadgerLink Advisory Group. She provides oversight for a variety of programs across the 16 technical colleges in Wisconsin. This is her third professional job in Wisconsin and her fourth time being a resident of Wisconsin.
How has education (or library profession, or libraries) changed since you were a kid?
Technology, of course! I grew up in Volo, IL and attended a parochial school school through eighth grade. When I went to the public high school I went from a class of 25 students to a huge school. I didn’t know very many people in my school because the school wasn’t in my hometown. Technology really did not exist at this point – landlines were the norm and cable television was just starting to surge.
When I watch my daughter in school, I realize she has lots of friends online. She is interested in herding dogs and has friends from all over the country that she interacts with on the computer. We even ended up driving to Idaho over the summer to meet one of them in person. Today’s technology in the 80’s…it was just a dream at the time.
What’s a typical day like? How has that changed during pandemic?
Generally, I would be driving every day from Stoughton to the west-ish side of Madison. I am a state employee and our office is next to the crime lab on University Avenue by Hilldale Mall. Driving into and out of work would allow me thinking time as well as listening to a bunch of books on my reading list. I don’t miss the drive, but I do miss those two perks.
My day is generally filled with emails, virtual meetings, more emails, and individual duties like program approvals and ensuring policy, certification, and licensing are within our program work.
The difference in my day during pandemic? I wake up, sit down at my computer, start working on emails, have back-to-back-to-back-to-back virtual meetings with colleagues, external partners, and our technical college programs. The day goes by so fast. It is so much more tiring than working in the office. Who knew?!
How has your online resource use changed in the last 6 months?
Personally, my online resource usage hasn’t changed for the most part. What has definitely changed is how I interact with people and organizations to learn and share information. So much more virtual sharing. I miss being around people, but honestly, being online for meetings and the like is so much more effective (most of the time) and so much more efficient.
How long have you known about BadgerLink?
I discovered BadgerLink when I got my job with the Wisconsin Technical College system. I looked at the DPI webpage to familiarize myself with what is available through the agency. Part of my job is sharing resources with faculty and deans. I signed up for the Badger Bulletin email updates right away and have been receiving them for several years. The plethora of resources has been fun to share with my colleagues.
What do you wish Wisconsinites knew about BadgerLink that you don’t think they do?
First, I’m not sure that many people know about BadgerLink in general. There are so many resources available and often content like BadgerLink gets lost in the shuffle. Aside from teachers, I am guessing the general public doesn’t realize this is a resource for them as well – and a free one. I wish there were a way you could get more public service announcements out there so people knew what was available to them on BadgerLink.
Tell us the benefits you’ve found to statewide availability of an online resources library like BadgerLink.
I love the fact that BadgerLink does the heavy lifting for us. We don’t have to find the time to pull everything together to have a “full resource.” If there is a need, they likely have it or have access to it. It’s a value add for Wisconsin taxpayers.
We’re all about our students and it feels great to provide these resources to them. I just get excited when I can share a resource that has done a lot of the research for my busy faculty and deans. If they can use the resource and/or share it with our technical college students, I am happy and grateful for the find. Then I can feel like I’m done for the day!
Thank you for sharing your BadgerLink story with us, Katie!
Share your story with us at https://badgerlink.dpi.wi.gov/get-word-out/share-your-story.