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Ever since she was a little girl and discovered that the path to learning was through books, Theresa Strike wanted to be a librarian.
"I was always reading and just liked being around books," she says.
As she grew up, Strike, who recently joined the UNM Law Library faculty as an assistant professor, enjoyed research and knowing a little bit about everything.
After earning a bachelor's degree in cultural anthropology at Beloit College, not far from her hometown of St. Paul, Minn., she headed off to the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, where she earned a Master's in Library Information Science. Strike knew she wanted to become an academic librarian, but wasn't sure which field to go into until Harry Haynsworth, then-dean of William Mitchell College of Law, suggested she consider becoming a law librarian.
After sitting in on a law-school class, she agreed and quickly applied to William Mitchell, receiving her acceptance letter only two weeks before classes began. During law school, she worked as a reference librarian at the University of Minnesota and at the Warren E. Burger Library at William Mitchell College of Law.
Through an internship, she responded to requests from inmates at Oak Park Heights Prison, the state's only maximum-security prison. She enjoyed the broad scope of requests, from looking up cases, laws, bankruptcy issues and information on how to get records sealed or expunged.
"It was a good introduction to obscure cases," she says.
At the UNM Law Library, Strike also is a librarian, helping out at the reference desk and handling faculty research requests.
When she pulls her head out of her books, she enjoys cooking, tai chi and playing with her 10-year-old cat, Cleo.