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Making the Unconventional Conventional

“I was lucky enough to receive a graduate assistantship, which enriched my study and career experiences.”
Dr. Mari N. Itoh, Graduate School of Education
Hiroshima City, Japan

How Dr. Mari N. Itoh brought new ideas to the conventional library field through UB's Graduate School of Education

Dr. Mari N. Itoh did not plan on becoming a teacher. With a bachelor’s degree in music, she first had her sites set on combining her passion for music with her interest in library studies. She came to UB because it was one of only a few schools in the United States that offered a double master’s degree in music librarianship.

“I was lucky because it enriched my education and experiences as a librarian,” she says, fondly recalling her time at UB. Dr. Itoh appreciated the music library’s rich collection, the many diverse music events held throughout the City of Buffalo, and the financial support (including a graduate assistantship) provided through UB.

As an international student, Dr. Itoh also appreciated UB’s ESL program, which helps staff at the university understand the cultural diversity of foreigners. In fact, with students from more than 100 countries, UB is one of America’s most internationalized universities. For those looking for even more cultural opportunities, Toronto is only an hour and a half away, and offers world-class dining, shopping and more.

After graduation, Dr. Itoh pursued her interests, working as a music librarian in Tokyo, Japan, for ten years. She enjoyed her work, and even had an opportunity to present a paper at the International Association of Music Libraries, Archives and Documentation Centres meeting held at UC Berkeley.

Despite her many accomplishments, Dr. Itoh realized that there were not many opportunities for music librarians in Japan. She then decided to join the faculty of a private college in the city of Nagoya, Japan, where she has spent the past decade.

Today, as an associate professor in human informatics at Aichi Shukutoku University in Japan, Dr. Itoh enjoys working with young people who are bright and able to bring new ideas to the conventional library field. By sharing her knowledge and experiences with her students, she can help them grow and achieve success. And, as part of her lifelong commitment to education, Dr. Itoh continues to contribute to the music librarian community in Japan, helping bridge the gap between library practices and academia.