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Lauren Aaronson
Contributing editor, Popular Science
Freelance science & technology writer
Graduate student, Queens College GSLIS

I'm a freelance journalist and a graduate student in library science. I'm thrilled that Beyond Books combines my two careers in a way that helps communities, and I'd like to apply for a graduate-student fellowship to attend the symposium.

I think that my background would let me contribute an interesting perspective to the symposium, as well as to the movement that follows. I'm a science and technology writer by trade, which has given me an up-close view of just how much electronic media is changing the way people read, communicate, and engage with their fellow citizens. I worked as a staff editor at Popular Science magazine for four and a half years, during which time I wrote or edited dozens of articles on information technologies, and Ive continued to cover the info tech beat since going freelance in the fall.

In fact, it was my coverage of new media technologies that inspired me to leave full-time editing and become a librarian. As I followed developments in e-readers, social networks, and other Web tools, I became increasingly aware that we need creative librarians to help ensure that changing forms of information remain available to the public. Whats more, I felt that being a librarian could actually let me help on the frontline of journalism: As the information literacy teachers of their communities, librarians can encourage and teach the use of social media for new forms of citizen journalism and civic participation.

Im now in my second semester of library school at Queens College in New York, and as I define my research interests and future path as a journalist-librarian, Id love to collaborate with others who share my belief that journalism, librarianship, and public service are far more similar than they might at first appear. Please let me know if theres any other information youd like for my Beyond Books fellowship application, such as clips, references, or a resume, and thank you very much for your consideration.