Member Profiles

Sarah Glogowski | Brian HildrethRebecca HopmanCurtis Kendrick | Kelly LaVoiceGail Wood

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Name: Gail Wood
Describe your current position: Director of Libraries at SUNY Cortland
 
Educational Background: B.A. Library Science Education (1974), MLS (1979) MA English (1989) all from University of Maryland
 
What is most interesting about your current position? The ability to be creative and innovate in response to the changing patterns of library use by students, faculty, staff and the library staff.
 
What has been your biggest professional challenge? Probably overcoming the nineteenth century concept of libraries as a warehouse for books, this attitude held by library users and library staff; changing people's concept into the 21st century library as a center of research and creativity.
 
What was your background before becoming a librarian? My first library job was at age 16 as a library page, I've never had any other type of job other than teaching junior high English and librarian in a Baptist K-12 school where I learned to pray with my eyes wide open.
 
What would you be doing if you weren't a librarian? I would like to think that I would be a mega-successful writer of novels and cogent essays, or a quilter of beautiful quilts, or an independently wealthy person making socially responsible choices with her money; or developing no-kill animal shelters....who knows what life would have brought. I started out thinking I'd like to be a children's librarian because the children's librarian where I worked was so wonderful (and nationally recognized) and creative. So was the Readers' Services Librarian. Life didn't take me in that direction but I remain a great reader and like to tell stories.
 
What is the most interesting issue in librarianship today? Oh so many! I think the creative use of technology as a tool to learn more, be more, and create more. Libraries have a big part in that endeavor, though we don't always see the vision because we focus on costs, logistics, and other obstacles.
 
What are you most proud of? That's a good question and those are moments, really. Over my 20 years at Cortland, I've been very proud of the way we've adapted in the middle of privation and chaos. Specifically, we have the Help Center, instructional design services, our wonderful Teaching Materials Center, the Computer Applications Program, the Certification Testing Center as well as the traditional library services of ILL, Tech Services, Research Help and maintaining a hospitable building. Our librarians and designers and other staff are being recognized for their abilities and their expertise! And, of course, maintaining my quirky sense of humor throughout!
 
What other organizations are you involved with? Since I've spent my professional life working in academic institutions (my husband is fond of saying I've been institutionalized), I tend to eschew organizations in the rest of my life. I haven't even joined a quilt guild.
 
What advice would you give to a new librarian? If it's not fun, don't do it; meaning if you can't tap into the joy or positive sense of professional pride during the rough times, it's time to move on. Never lose your sense of humor--if you don't have one, maybe you need one. One of the Provosts I worked for has a sign in his office that read, "if you are being run out of town, get out in front and act like you are leading the parade." Continue to learn, continue to change, and know that everything is different the next day, so don't waste your time worrying or dwelling in angst.
 
What software/web tools do you use regularly? The usual office products and SUNY stuff. In my personal life: Libib and the qwirkle game.
 
Favorite social media platform: The rabbit holes of FaceBook and Pinterest.
 
Favorite blog or website: www.bloggess.com, www.awfullibrarybooks.net; stopyourekillingme.com, goodreads.com and I read a lot of blogs on reading, books, quilting and random other things.
 
What do you do to relax? Quilt, embroider, read, write, work out, walk with dogs, yoga.
 
What is the most daring thing you've ever done? I went to a Tarot conference where I knew no one and now a lot of them are my greatest friends. I also got tattoos at that show and answered this question and the two below honestly.
 
What would you like to learn? Marseille Tarot, Lenormand, and mega quilting skills.
 
Is there anything about you that others would be surprised to know? I am a very good Tarot teacher and reader.
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Name: Brian Hildreth

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Photo via Twitter

 

Describe your current position:

Executive Director at the Southern Tier Library System.

 

Educational Background: 

B.S. in Marketing & Human Resource Management at Florida Atlantic University & Masters in Library Science & Information Studies at Syracuse University.

 

What is most interesting about your current position?

Human engagement and relationship building! It is at the core of what I do. Every director, librarian, trustee and volunteer is different. My job is to understand and empathize with their unique situation. And then determine the most sustainable path forward using the right resources.

 

What has been your biggest professional challenge?

Leveraging local funding for rural libraries. We have gotten fairly good at this, but it has been a process of trial and error. Fortunately, the results have been successful to date. It is ongoing and important work. Our region can't afford to not invest in libraries.

 

What was your background before becoming a librarian?

I grew up in retail, and I thought this was my path in life. My father owned and operated an independent grocery store. I wanted to do something similar. I am glad my first job in college was work study in an academic library.

 

What would you be doing if you weren't a librarian?

I would rather not think of doing anything else in my life.

 

What is the most interesting issue in librarianship today?

It's an unfair question. There are so many interesting and important issues in our field. And they are all equal. This is why librarianship is so amazing!

 

What are you most proud of?

Working with community members to restore and reopen a 300 seat auditorium that is part of the David A. Howe Public Library. It was closed for seven years as a result of marginal funding and neglect. The facility has been reopened for almost a decade now and serves as a vital resource for the Wellsville community.

 

What other organizations are you involved with?

The New York Library Association has been a solid pillar for my career. I have been actively involved in various sections, committees and rountables since 2010. My favorite year was serving on NYLA Council as president of the Public Libraries Section.

 

What advice would you give to a new librarian?

Do transformational work, not transactional! Every job has the day to day stuff that just needs to get done. You need to push yourself beyond that and make sure your approach to librarianship is project-based. Be certain you are always owning a project that you believe in and will have life-changing results. Get out of your comfort zone regularly. It makes the journey more interesting!

 

What software/web tools do you use regularly?

Anything that allows me to look at data. My job is rooted into the "big picture". Data helps me think strategically about our organization's approaches.

 

Favorite social media platform:

Facebook for personal/professional entertainment. Twitter for professional development.

 

Favorite blog or website:

SCRLC News rocks!

 

What do you do to relax?

I like to stay physically active. It helps me mentally. Brazilian jiu jitsu and running are my current relaxation techniques.

 

What is the most daring thing you've ever done?

I had a close encounter run-in with a black bear in the Adirondack High Peaks during a backpacking excursion. It was more scary than daring. I still have much respect for that bear today.

 

What would you like to learn?

Yoga and meditation. I try meditation, but I can never turn my mind off. I am constantly thinking. And I am just really bad at yoga. My wife is good at both. There is much I can learn from her.

 

Is there anything about you that others would be surprised to know?

I was a terrible student in high school. I think I only graduated because some of my teachers took a liking to me. It wasn't until college that I realized learning was fun. I did well in undergrad and grad school. Quite honestly, spending so much time in the library is what turned my learning ways around. This might be why I love libraries so much!

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Name: Kelly LaVoice

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Photo via VIVO: Cornell

 

Describe your current position:

Research and Instruction Coordinator of the Business & Hospitality Research Team at Cornell University Library. I also teach a 2 credit course for the School of Hotel Administration, Information Retrieval & Research Methods.

 

Educational Background: 

BA in English and Gender Studies, The College of New Jersey; MLIS, Rutgers University.

 

What is most interesting about your current position?

I enjoy working with students interested in pursuing careers as entrepreneurs and business owners. It is exciting to see the relevance of our collections and services to these real world applications.

 

What has been your biggest professional challenge?

Developing a credit-bearing course, and convincing students of its importance.

 

What was your background before becoming a librarian?

I went directly from college to library school. I originally thought I wanted to be a high school English teacher, but then discovered librarianship and never looked back.

 

What would you be doing if you weren't a librarian?

I like to think I could have been a successful real estate agent-or if nothing else, an excellent character for a House Hunters episode on HGTV. 

 

What is the most interesting issue in librarianship today?

The increasing importance of information literacy instruction, as we all are aware of the social, legal, and economic implications of information in the real world. 

 

What are you most proud of?

I am very proud of all of the wonderful students I work with, many of whom go on to have very successful careers in the hospitality and real estate industries.

 

What other organizations are you involved with?

In addition to my involvement with the Education Advisory Group for SCRLC, I serve on the Education Committee of BRASS, (Business reference and services section) of ALA.

 

What advice would you give to a new librarian?

To a student studying library science or archival studies, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of internships and real work experience. To a new librarian, I would suggest building a network of both mentors and peers.

 

What software/web tools do you use regularly?

I manage LibGuides for our library, and am often tinkering with them. I also regularly use Blackboard, Excel, PowerPoint, Word, and Adobe products.

 

Favorite social media platform:

Instagram! I am visual thinker.

 

Favorite blog or website:

http://librarywriting.blogspot.com/. This is a great way to learn about opportunities to present or publish.

 

What do you do to relax?

When the weather is nice, I enjoy hikes and outdoor dining. In the winter, I enjoy Netflix marathons and baking.

 

What is the most daring thing you've ever done?

Move to a new city in a new state for my first librarian job.

 

What would you like to learn?

I would love to learn more about coding. I would also like to teach classes about instructional design and curriculum development.

 

Is there anything about you that others would be surprised to know?

I work in a library without physical collections, but I like to think that we are busier and more influential in the lives of our community than ever before.

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Name: Rebecca Hopman

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Photo via the Corning Museum of Glass

 

Describe your current position:

Outreach Librarian at the Rakow Research Library of The Corning Museum of Glass

 

Educational Background: 

BA, History, English, and German, Augustana College (IL); MLS, University of Maryland, College Park

 

What is most interesting about your current position?

Learning about a whole new subject area (glass) and exploring the unique collections at the Rakow Library.

 

What has been your biggest professional challenge? 

Curating the Rakow's upcoming exhibition, Curious and Curiouser: Surprising Finds from the Rakow Library. We are showcasing well over 200 items from our collection over the course of two years.

 

What was your background before becoming a librarian? 

I've always worked in libraries! I did consider going to art school for sculpture, but the history nerd in me won out.

 

What would you be doing if you weren't a librarian?

Trying to make my way as a writer or artist.

 

What is the most interesting issue in librarianship today? 

Finding innovative ways to reach out to and engage current and new communities. I love seeing the campaigns, programming, and events my fellow outreach, marketing, and programming archivists and librarians create.

 

What are you most proud of?

The 2016 World Series Champion Chicago Cubs!

 

What other organizations are you involved with?

Mainly the Society of American Archivists (RAO, SNAP) and the American Library Association (ACRL, RBMS).

 

What advice would you give to a new librarian?

Enjoy what you do, it shows in your work! And try to volunteer or get internships in a variety of libraries/archives. You might find you like a job you wouldn't have expected.

 

What software/web tools do you use regularly?

Microsoft Office, Adobe CS, Google Drive, Dropbox, and Basecamp, among others.

 

Favorite social media platform: 

It's a tie between Instagram and tumblr. There are great library and archives communities on both.

 

Favorite blog or website:

npr.org, and recently, apartmenttherapy.com.

 

What do you do to relax?

Read, binge-watch Netflix, listen to podcasts, and do a variety of crafty things (embroidery, knitting, etc.).

 

What is the most daring thing you've ever done?

Moving to places where I don't know anyone.

 

What would you like to learn?

Graphic design and Swedish. I'd also like to go back to school for a MA in history and/or gender studies.

 

Is there anything about you that others would be surprised to know?

I may be the most introverted outreach librarian around.

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Name: Nicole Waskie-Laura

Photo via Twitter

 

Describe your current position:

School Library System Director for Broome-Tioga BOCES

 

Educational Background: 

BA, English Literature, SUNY Geneseo; MS, Information and Library Science, University of Buffalo, MS, Educational Administration, University of Scranton; Advanced Certificate, School Building and District Leader, Canisius College

 

What is most interesting about your current position?

Having the time and capacity to be on the front lines of educational trends, changes, and research - as well as having the privilege of being a trusted communicator of that information to the librarians, teachers, and administrators in our schools.

 

What has been your biggest professional challenge? 

My first day on the job: 25 Kindergartners, one me.

 

What was your background before becoming a librarian? 

My first "adult" job was in a school library. Prior to that, I was spending my summers scooping ice cream at a local shop.

 

What would you be doing if you weren't a librarian?

Something in graphic design or an Etsy-esque job: paper crafts, baking, party planning. I can throw a well-planned party like you wouldn't believe.

 

What is the most interesting issue in librarianship today? 

The convergence of all subject areas toward a model of inquiry - English Language Arts, Social Studies, and Science are all moving toward a focus on student-led discovery and construction of knowledge. It's an exciting time for school librarians since this is right in our wheelhouse.

 

What are you most proud of?

My husband and my two boys

 

What other organizations are you involved with?

School Library Systems Association, NYS Educational Media and Technology Association, Roberson Museum and Science Center & WSKG Education Advisory Committees.

 

What advice would you give to a new librarian?

Find your niche within the profession. There is such a diversity of options for those trained in library science, find what you're passionate about and run with it.

 

What software/web tools do you use regularly?

Microsoft Office Suite, Google Drive, PicMonkey, FormSite.

 

Favorite social media platform: 

Personally, Instagram; professionally, Twitter.

 

Favorite blog or website:

NPR.org, KQED Mind/Shift

 

What do you do to relax?

Do something crafty, yoga, go exploring in the great outdoors with my kiddos.

 

What is the most daring thing you've ever done?

Jumped off a concrete breakwater in Denia, Spain.

 

What would you like to learn?

Oh, everything! I love learning. I could happily be a professional student. I'm intrigued by the neuroscience of learning. I also want to become fluent in another language - Spanish or Italian.

 

Is there anything about you that others would be surprised to know?

I have a homemaker's heart and a feminist brain.


 

Name: Curtis Kendrick

Photo via Inside Binghamton University

(and another Q&A with Curtis)

 

Describe your current position:

Dean of Libraries, Binghamton University

 

Educational Background:

AB, History, Brown University; MS, Library & Information Science, Simmons College; MBA, Emory University

 

What is most interesting about your current position?

Getting to work with a group of fantastic people committed to public higher education and Binghamton University in particular.

 

What has been your biggest professional challenge?

Convincing the faculty of Harvard University that it was ok to send their library books 35 miles away to an off-site shelving facility.

 

What was your background before becoming a librarian?

I played in an unsuccessful rock and roll band. Mostly we practiced in the basement of our house.

 

What would you be doing if you weren't a librarian?

Hard time.

 

What is the most interesting issue in librarianship today?

The social, cultural and economic implications of the transition from print to digital information.

 

What are you most proud of?

My wife and children.

 

What other organizations are you involved with?

American Library Association, Association of College & Research Libraries. Until very recently I was a Trustee of the Yonkers Board of Education.

 

What advice would you give to a new librarian?

Enjoy what you are doing or do something else.

 

What software/web tools do you use regularly?

Word, Excel, Safari, Logic, Cubase.

 

Favorite social media platform:

Facebook.

 

Favorite blog or website:

http://orb.binghamton.edu

 

What do you do to relax?

Play music.

 

What is the most daring thing you've ever done?

Fill out the SCRLC Member Profile.

 

What would you like to learn?

How to sing.

 

Is there anything about you that others would be surprised to know?

Mistakes were made.


 

Name: Sarah Glogowski 

(Photo via the Lansing Star)

 

Current Position: Executive Director of the Finger Lakes Library System

 

Education: B.A. in History from Syracuse University; MLS from SUNY Albany

 

What is the most interesting part of your job? 

I love visiting all of our member libraries to see what interesting programs and services they are providing to their communities. I'm constantly amazed at the high quality programs and commitment the library directors and their boards have to making their libraries succeed, often with limited resources and staff.

 

What has been your biggest professional challenge?

My largest challenge is to make sure our libraries are sustainable financially in order to survive. I feel one of my most important roles as a public library system director is to show the importance of advocacy and making people comfortable explaining why their library is vital to their community and why they need more funding. 

 

What was your background before becoming a librarian?

Professionally, the only job I've ever had was being a librarian. Before I decided on library school, I did some curating work in some museums and thought of getting my Masters in museum studies. 

 

What would you be doing if you weren't a librarian?

I'd love to research and write true crime articles.

 

What is the most interesting issue in librarianship today?

For me, my first love in librarianship is readers' advisory and I still think it is one of the most interesting aspects of being a public librarian. Librarians tend to panic when someone asks them for a good book to read. But for me, it always opened up an opportunity to have a conversation about different authors, titles and genres with our patrons. 

 

What are you most proud of?

I've been lucky enough to work on some large scale community reads in my previous job at our central library, Tompkins County Public Library. I'm proud that we went from working with just a small handful of community organizations to over 70 for the Cornell/TCPL Community Read. I also am proud that through my work with the MLK Community Build project a few years ago, I got 10,000 copies of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s last book out into our community.

 

What other organizations are you involved with?

Besides library organizations, I'm on the Board of Leadership Tompkins, a leadership program for aspiring or existing community leaders to learn about local issues and leadership skills. It's a program I went through in 2007 and love immensely. I also am the Past President of the Ithaca Downtown Business Women Association and am a public library representative for the TST BOCES School Librarian Consortium. 

 

What advice would you give to a new librarian?

Learn about the community you are serving and remember that you can't wait for the patrons to come to you – you need to go to them also.

 

What software/web tools do you use regularly?

Lately I've been on a lot of meetings through GoToMeeting.

 

Favorite social media platform:

Instagram. I follow everything from libraries, to home design, to chefs, to Goats of Anarchy.

 

Favorite blog or website:

I read a lot of fiction blogs, and a new one I like is crimebythebook.com. I also spend too much time on the New York Times and Daily Mail websites.

 

What do you do to relax?

Reading Nordic mysteries, baking, and hanging out with my nephews who are four and seven.

 

What is the most daring thing you've ever done?

The most daring thing I've done professionally is leaving a job I loved. Leaving led me to my current job, which I also love, so even though it was scary, it was the right decision.

 

What would you like to learn?

I love learning languages, and over the years I've learned French, Spanish, Italian and Russian. I'd like to learn more languages, but I'm not sure which one is next!

 

Is there anything about you that others would be surprised to know?

Libraries have been a part of my life since I was four years old. I grew up living in the Weller Library in Mohawk, NY. My living room had a door to the non-fiction room. One of my favorite memories is sneaking into the library at night to grab books to read off the shelves. It really was the best place to grow up and I'm sure influenced me to become a librarian.

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