Lynnette Jordan (’78 M.L.S.) grew up watching her mother, Mary Lankford (’52), establish libraries at each school in the Irving Independent School District as director of library services. Lankford, who began working as a children’s librarian shortly after receiving her bachelor’s degree in library science, also created the district’s professional service center to provide centralized cataloging and processing services for all libraries.
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Jordan says, like her mother, she loved books and valued information, but she had little interest in becoming a librarian herself.
“I always wanted to work for a corporation, and I wanted to travel on the job,” she says.
She enrolled in the library science master’s program at North Texas, knowing that the degree would allow her to be hired by a corporation right away.
In 2000, she began working in the Dallas office of ExxonMobil Corp., which has 80,000 employees worldwide. Until recently, she was the senior advisor in the global information management services group, which has more than 400 employees in library and records management. Jordan is currently managing and leading the information management function for a major special project for ExxonMobil, based in Houston.
She regularly travels around the world to mentor and train ExxonMobil information professionals in affiliate companies. She has made trips to Africa, Australia, the Asian Pacific, Canada, Europe, Central America and numerous locations in the U.S.
“I am on my third passport since joining ExxonMobil,” says Jordan, who was one of the first students in the master’s program to learn new technology for information professionals.
She says the company creates millions of records that are required to be kept — in some cases, permanently.
“Published information is needed by employees in every type of engineering discipline by medical and safety personnel, geologists, attorneys and executives. They’re working with information on everything from industry standards and patents to technical articles and historic data from published sources around the world,” she says. “We view information as an asset to be managed, whether it is published externally or created within the company.”
Jordan says she has been able to apply her library science degree in ways she “could not have imagined 30 years ago.”
“Looking back though, I am really not that surprised,” she says. “My curiosity and questioning nature is still as strong as ever.”