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Head shot of Alvie Sellmer
Alvie Sellmer

Photo Courtesy of NPS

What is your name and job title? Alvie Sellmer, Denver Service Center (DSC) Records and Library Manager

What education and experience do you have? I have a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a Masters of Library and Information Management from Emporia State University. I’ve worked in DSC’s Technical Information Center (TIC) since 2005, first as an archivist and now as records and library manager. Recently, I also started working as the backup to the DSC Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) officer.

Prior to finding my career at TIC, I did everything from retail, to janitorial work, to assembly line work, to working as an archival photo specialist at the University of Colorado Archives. It was that last position that opened the door to me getting a position as a contractor in TIC.

What is a typical day like? The most common answer I’ve found folks answer to this question is “there is no typical day.” That’s what makes working for the NPS so great – there usually is no typical day. On the library side of things, I do everything from handling patron accounts, Interlibrary Loans, and cataloguing, to managing and creating new processes that make the library run smoothly.

On the records management side, I help make sure that DSC adheres to NPS and National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) guidelines, ensuring that records are dispositioned properly, efficiently and timely. The wildcard in each day is FOIA. You never know when a request will come in, how large it will be, or who you’ll have to work with in order to get that request fulfilled by its deadline.

I also sit on and collaborate with various NPS and DOI library and records officer counsels. What makes my position so great is that each day I interact with so many people at DSC, parks, NPS offices, and with the public. Every day is a new opportunity for meeting people and making new friends all across the country!

What career advice would you give? Network, network, and also network! Never pass up an opportunity for growth and never pass up an opportunity to branch out from your comfort zone. Most importantly, treat interactions with others like they are unique and important to you – because they are. It’s those interactions that will make you stand out and be remembered. It’s the impression you make that may open the door to your greatest career opportunity. That’s what happened to me!