Three Questions with Breylin Becton
Three Questions is an initiative to share the value that our faculty, students, and others in the UNT community derive from using the Unique Collections at UNT Libraries.
How important are Unique Collections in your teaching, learning or research?
The unique collections hosted on UNT’s Digital Library were essential to my academic success in a variety of ways. I began working as a student assistant at Eagle Commons Library in the summer of 2014. My job has been to create and revise the metadata for Congressional Research Service Reports. So in that sense, the opportunity to work on the collection actually helped fund my education. However, as I began to grow more familiar with the collection I realized how useful the CRS reports could be in regards to research for school projects. From that point on, there were very few essays or articles I wrote in which I didn’t directly cite, or at least find other key sources by using the Digital Library and the CRS reports.
How have Unique Collections changed the way you approach your research, teaching or learning?
As someone who studies news media and political science you would think this would have been a no brainer for me, but having access to the CRS Reports really helped expand my understanding of just how many facets of our everyday life are directly affected by public policy. It also gave me a better understanding of the history of the political climate and public opinion surrounding important policy issues like social security, welfare, trade agreements, counterterrorism, and environmental protection. Now when tasked with a writing project, my brain often goes to policy first as a frame for understanding social issues, rather than the other way around.
What do you want others to know about your research?
This isn’t so much about me personally, but I want to let everyone know that UNT’s Unique Collections, both physical and digital can be great resources even if you don’t have a specific goal or task in mind. There have been several times where I found creative inspiration while just idly perusing all the interesting documents available in various collections. There’s something very entertaining about skimming through old maps, outdated UNT magazines, and other documents that shine a light on what life used to be like here in Denton and beyond.
Breylin Becton is a recent graduate from UNT’s Mayborn School of Journalism. He graduated with a BA in Journalism with a focus in broadcast and a minor in political science. He is a self-avowed public radio/podcast nerd.