Talisa Webber, an office manager at the Law Library, started her career with the university in the clerical learner program working as a secretary at David Kinley Hall in 1997. Webber then worked at Beckman Institute and then at Continuing Education as a secretary for the Elderhostel Program before starting her current job in 2001. Webber earned a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from Eastern Illinois University in 2006 and a master’s degree in human resource education in May 2007 from the UI.
Tell me about your job.
I provide the administrative support for the entire Law Library. I work closely with the director, and with the other reference librarians and the rest of the staff members. I do everything from ordering supplies, to making travel arrangements and making copies. A big part of my job is also dealing with maintenance service orders for things such as leaking tiles, temperature control, light bulbs that need to be replaced, and one time, a dead bird that was in a light fixture in the entranceway.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Helping the director and the faculty.
I’m a service-oriented person. There are eight librarians in the Law Library, not including the director, all of whom are faculty members. The faculty members here teach a legal research class to the first-year law students, and I also work a little with the students sometimes. They may need passwords for the research tool that they use or may need a professor for something. I enjoy seeing the students in the library and getting to know a few of them.
What’s the most challenging part of your job?
Being the only secretary here can be challenging when it gets really busy and everybody comes to me. I’ve learned to multitask and that’s when my organizational skills kick in.
When I was going to college and graduate school, I was a full-time student and was working full time too. I never realized how busy I was until I got done with school.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?
Spending time with my family. My husband and I have a grown son who graduated from Eastern Illinois University two years ago. Our son and I were both in college at the same time, but I got done first. My husband and I also have two younger kids, Kiona, who’s 14; she’ll be a freshman at Centennial High School this fall, and Karl Jr., who is 8. They are both heavily involved in sports – track, baseball and basketball – so I do a lot of running around with them. Karl Jr. is about to start tackle football.
I’m also very active in my church, New Generation Christian Fellowship, in west Champaign. It’s a fairly new church, but we’re growing. I am the church clerk and sing in the choir.
I enjoy spending time with friends, especially going shopping with my girlfriends. I love shoes; I have so many pairs I can’t count them. I have to switch them out according to the season.
When I’m not busy with my kids, I like to read. I like biographies and romance novels. Right now, I’m not reading a whole lot because I’m running my kids around.
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