Jessica L. Colbert is the current Resident Librarian at the Marriott Library. This residency program, like many library residencies, is intended to get people who are traditionally underrepresented in academic librarianship working in the field. As the Resident, she works in all departments of the library, completing projects on a rotating basis. She also acts as a co-liaison to several subject areas, including English, Ethnic Studies, and Gender Studies.
Jessica is originally from a small former-mining town in Southern Illinois with less than 7,000 people. While there, she volunteered with both her local library as a Teen Advisory Board member and her school library as a Student Library Aide. In 2015, she earned her Bachelor of Arts from the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. Although her degree was in English, she also took classes in linguistics, German and Japanese language and culture, music, and film. Her background in literary theory and linguistics shapes her work and research to this day. Working at the William & Mary Music Library for three years is what inspired her to become a librarian. In 2017, Jessica completed her Master of Science in Librarian and Information Science at the University of Illinois, and she completed her Master’s thesis, titled “Comparing Library of Congress Subject Headings to Keyword Searches Involving LGBT Topics: A Pilot Study.” This experience gave her a passion for evidence-based practice and qualitative research.
Jessica’s research interests include the ethics of information organization, LGBT resources and users, and the relationship between language and power. She is passionate about getting people excited about the library and forming helpful connections with patrons.
Outside of the library, Jessica is an obsessive film fan. The walls of her apartment are covered with film posters bought from movie theaters, and she spends way too much money any time the Criterion Collection has a sale. Her taste in film covers all geographic areas, decades, and genres, but her favorite films are cheesy exploitation and horror films from the 1970s, especially those from Japan and Italy, and her favorite director is David Lynch. Jessica also has a passion and dedication for the practice of Tibetan Buddhism. She currently lives in Salt Lake City with her bearded dragon, Coop, who is named after the Twin Peaks character FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper.