Christine Mastalio’s research focuses on traditionally underserved populations in public libraries, namely the poor and those for whom English is not a first language.
The graduate student in the School of Library and Information Science notes that public libraries are the only freely available point of Internet access for a majority of U.S. communities in an era in which even unskilled positions require online applications. Many government agencies refer job seekers to libraries for help. As a result, many librarians are adding employment assistance to their list of expected skill sets. Libraries also serve as referral points for new immigrants. “My studies at Iowa have opened my eyes to how many different roles librarians and information specialists can play in communities,” Mastalio said.