June 2024 Tristan Draper

We are proud to highlight our members who commit their time and resources to helping Wisconsin libraries and librarians thrive through their work with the Wisconsin Library Association. Each month, we will be sharing their stories and hope you will be inspired to learn more about our programs or get involved!

Fill out the Lead with WLA form and be connected with other change agents, leaders, and committees that can use what you have to offer.

Tristan Draper | June 2024

Photo of Tristan DraperFor which library, institution, or organization are you currently employed? If you are retired, what was your former organization?
Beloit College - Col. Robert H. Morse Library 

How many year(s) have you been a member of Wisconsin Library Association?
This is my first year!

What has been your favorite or most impactful function or event of WLA?
Soon after starting my new role at Beloit College, I attended the virtual WAAL conference, and it was a great way to learn about the state of academic librarianship in Wisconsin and connect with other academic librarians. I was the only librarian at Beloit College at the time and felt unsure about planning programming for the semester. I was able to reach out to other academic librarians in Wisconsin and learn about how they were preparing for the semester and develop my own plans with their guidance and suggestions. The support I received was so valuable for my first semester at Beloit!

How has being a member of WLA impacted you or your career?
Being a member of WLA has helped me to connect with other librarians in the state of Wisconsin. I've had the opportunity to chat with and learn from librarians from all over the state who work at a variety of libraries from public to academic to special. Being active in WLA has been a great opportunity to grow my network and to learn about the interesting and innovative projects and initiatives taking place in libraries across Wisconsin.

Do you have a library role model (in Wisconsin or elsewhere) that has provided you with inspiration or guidance? Please share a little bit about it. 
 My library coworkers at Beloit College and the previous libraries I have worked at have been a great source of inspiration and have been great collaborators. I have learned many valuable skills, library-related and beyond, from all of the great people that I have worked with! I also learned a lot about instructional design and the importance of accessible instruction from one of my MLIS instructors, Melissa Wong. The skills I learned and the guidance I received in her class have continued to serve me in my current role as I teach classes and even in other areas of my professional life.

Do you have any advice for new WLA members?
I would tell new WLA members to reach out to other WLA members and get involved! Everyone has been very welcoming and helpful. For a librarian who is new to the state being involved with committee work and other aspects of WLA is a great way to learn about what is happening in libraries in Wisconsin. Don't be afraid to reach out!