Alumni Spotlight: Nancy Bolt, MA-LIS (’72)

Posted in: Alumni | LIS | News | Spotlight
Photo of Nancy Bolt
Photo of Nancy Bolt

Nancy Bolt is a 1972 alumna of the library and information science (LIS) program at the MU School of Information Science & Learning Technologies (SISLT). She is currently the owner and president of a library consulting company, Nancy Bolt & Associates. Prior to her entrepreneurial pursuits, she served as State Librarian in Colorado for 18 years.

For the last 20 years, Bolt has been active in international librarianship, working with a group that received a federal grant from the U.S. State Department to transform Bulgarian libraries. Additionally, she taught courses overseas and consulted with libraries in several countries.

Bolt’s decision to enroll in the LIS program was influenced by her St. Louis roots and her husband attending the MU School of Law, at the same time. Here’s more on her experience in the SISLT program and advice for prospective students:

What did you appreciate most about your experience at SISLT?

My fellow students and support from the faculty had a positive impact on my experience. Also, my introduction to technology by Dr. Ralph Parker. At that time, I believe he ran the only library school in the country that introduced technology in the curriculum. We had to write a program using IBM cards, which feels very primitive now but was very innovative in 1970.

How did your program at SISLT impact your career?

It gave me an MLS degree, which allowed me to work in this wonderful profession for 45 years.

What impact has SISLT had on your life?

I’m passionate about libraries. Graduate education instilled in me the values of the profession which I have implemented and defended all my life. My first job out of library school was as Executive Secretary of the Missouri Library Association. That made me a supporter of professional library associations for life. I’m now a member of the Colorado Association of Libraries, American Library Association (ALA), and International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) and am very active in all of them.

What advice would you give prospective students who are considering either program at SISLT?

Join ALA and MLA (Missouri Library Association) as a student and become active in ALA committees and volunteer for the association. After I became more active in ALA, many job interviews came from people who remembered me from my work with the association. Your volunteer work with ALA not only supports the profession, but it pays off personally.