Member Spotlights

Nancy Abashian | Judith Andrew | Steven Bachman | Shelley Byron | Cassey Cornish | Dr. Kristin Dade | Sarah Glogowski | Brian HildrethRebecca Hopman | Eric Jenes | Erika Jenns | Curtis Kendrick | Kelly LaVoice | Jenny Shonk | David Stevick | Nicole Waskie-Laura Gail Wood


Dr. Kristin Dade

Dr. Kristin DadeYour position: I run a state grant called the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP) and a federal grant called the McNair Scholars Program. Both grants serve first-generation, underrepresented students pursuing careers in Science, Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) or PhD.
 
Educational Background: M.S.Ed. & PhD
 
What is most interesting about your position? Seeing students achieve their hopes and dreams.
What has been your biggest professional challenge? Completing my PhD while being a single mother.
 
What was your background before your current position? Before working in higher education, I worked as a Banker and at an Emergency Room on a Navy base.
 
What would you be doing if you weren't in your current position? I am doing exactly what I hoped to be doing when I embarked on this journey.
 
What is the most interesting issue in your field today? That even in this day and age, we are still lacking diverse representation among our medical professions and the professoriate.
 
What are you most proud of? Being the first person in my family to hold a PhD.
 
What other organizations are you involved with? Associate of Program Administrators of CTEP & STEP, Inc. (APACS) and National Academic Advising Association (NACADA)
 
What advice would you give to someone new to the field? Listen to the student. Hear their needs before you offer advice.
 
What software/web tools do you use regularly? Peoplesoft; Microsoft Office Suite, Google
Favorite social media platform: Facebook.
What do you do to relax? Read and watch tv.
What is the most daring thing you've ever done? I am not a fan of bugs, so the most daring thing I have ever done would be to hike to Taughannock Falls without my bug spray.
 
What would you like to learn? Everything. I wanted to remain in higher education because I am a life long learner.
 
Is there anything about you that others would be surprised to know? My daughter and I share the same birthday.

Shelley Byron

Shelley Byron member profileYour position: Director of Library Services at Davis College. I like to tell my students that I am their tour guide for information adventures.
 
Educational Background: BA in Music with a minor in Education from Mansfield University, MSLS from Clarion University.
 
What is most interesting about your position? The variety. Most days, it's a pleasant combination of library operations and student wrangling. Some days involve giving budget presentations to the Board of Trustees. Others include power tools. Being a solo librarian is a beautiful kind of weird.
What has been your biggest professional challenge? Accomplishing so much with so little.
 
What was your background before your current position? My 5th grade teacher predicted that I would be a librarian. I was offended. I loved reading, but at that point, every librarian I met was mean. My teacher's prediction haunted me until a friend got me a job in the university library as a first-semester freshman, and I loved it! The librarians were a fascinating group of people, and I felt at home in every department. By the time my senior year rolled around, I realized that I should pursue Library Science.
 
What would you be doing if you weren't in your current position? I've always wanted to be a train engineer, but don't love the hours. I'm surprisingly decent at taping and mudding drywall, but I'd get bored. I loved my indexing and abstracting class, so maybe indexing cookbooks? If I weren't a librarian, I would probably be working toward becoming a librarian.
 
What is the most interesting issue in your field today? Just one? Information literacy. Though most of my current reading has been about closing or merging libraries.
 
What are you most proud of? Personally, my family. I have a fantastic husband and an amazing 4-year-old daughter. Professionally, increasing library use and user satisfaction while enrollment declined.
 
What other organizations are you involved with? Association of Christian Librarians, Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), and the Association of Biblical Higher Education (ABHE).
 
What advice would you give to someone new to the field? Librarians like to share information. If you have a question, there is no better group to ask than other librarians.
 
What software/web tools do you use regularly? Microsoft Office Suite and our open-source, Linux-based OPAC, Koha. I've also been exploring the vastness of Alma.
Favorite social media platform: Facebook.
 
Favorite blog or website: Pinterest and the NYT Crossword app.
What do you do to relax? Read, ride my mountain bike, camp, and scrapbook.
What is the most daring thing you've ever done? During our honeymoon cruise of the Aegean Sea, my husband and I passed on the guided tour of The Acropolis, and instead hailed our own taxi from Pireaus to Athens, toured the ruins on our own, got lunch, shopped, and survived an unnerving cab ride to make it back to the ship on time.
 
What would you like to learn? I'd like to learn to read, write, and speak Arabic, become confident with Linux, and figure out how to keep a houseplant alive for more than a week.
 
Is there anything about you that others would be surprised to know? I enjoy mountain biking and mountain biking culture. My family makes events out of watching the latest Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) World Cup downhill and enduro races, and we'll travel to races when they are close enough.

Cassie Cornish

Cassie Cornish member profileYour position: Medical Library Services is one of my many hats at Cayuga Medical Center. I am also the Administrative Assistant to the Vice President of Medical Affairs and Continuing Medical Education Coordinator. My position in Medical Library Services includes maintaining our virtual library for the Medical Staff Members and Cayuga Medical Center. I provide literature, articles and assistance in retrieving requested items from our patrons and support to member libraries.
 
Educational Background: B.S. in Education Studies; A.A.S in Early Childhood Education
 
What is most interesting about your position? Every day is different which keeps me engaged and prevents getting stuck in a dull routine. I also work with an amazing group of people in the Medical Staff Office who have help steered my way and our Medical Staff Members are incredible people to work with. I am fortunate to have a supportive and encouraging team backing me.
What has been your biggest professional challenge? Trying to navigate my way through a new career path and put all the pieces together.
 
What was your background before your current position? I have always been committed to being a life long learner and thought that teaching was my set path. I used to teach Early Childhood and then thought that I would give health care a go! I began my journey at Cayuga Medical Center in the Maternal Child Health Unit working with families, children and newborns. Once I decided I wanted to spread my wings, I landed in the Medical Staff Office.
 
What would you be doing if you weren't in your current position? I've always wanted to be a cartoonist or some type of artist.
 
What is the most interesting issue in your field today? Change. NYS Laws, Regulations, Health Care, everything is consistently changing and evolving.
 
What are you most proud of? My daughter, Gianna.
 
What other organizations are you involved with? New York State Library Assistants Association, NNLM and MSSNY.
 
What advice would you give to someone new to the field? Don't be afraid to ask. It's okay to question everything and explore. That's how you learn and gain understanding.
 
What software/web tools do you use regularly? GotoWebinar, Outlook, Drop Box, Power Point, Excel, Microsoft Word, Publisher, Cactus - I like to use any and all tools that will help me achieve my goals.
 
Favorite social media platform: Facebook and Instagram
 
Favorite blog or website: I don't really utilize just one blog or website. I do however participate in the facebook community groups! Such as FLX Career Goals and Ithaca Mama.
 
What do you do to relax? Spending time with my family and friends. During the work week, the gym is my me time/relaxation space.
What is the most daring thing you've ever done? I became suit qualified and I am active member on the Hazmat team!
 
What would you like to learn? Everything!
 
Is there anything about you that others would be surprised to know? I have a pet cow.

Erika Jenns

Erika Jenns member profileYour position: Engagement Consultant, Southern Tier Library System
 
Educational Background: Master of Arts in English, Indiana University; Master of Library Science with Rare Books and Manuscripts Specialization, Indiana University; Bachelor of Arts in English and Psychology, Minor in Spanish, Indiana University
 
What is most interesting about your position? The variety! It's rare that I do the same thing two days in a row. I enjoy splitting my days between answering emails, posting to social media, purchasing titles for our OverDrive collection, working on graphic design, and tackling whatever else comes my way.
 
What has been your biggest professional challenge? Becoming familiar with the structure and funding of public libraries in New York State.
 
What was your background before becoming a librarian? For all of my professional life, I've been a librarian. Prior to STLS, I was the Scholarly Engagement Librarian at Indiana University, and before that, I worked at IU's special collections repository, the Lilly Library, in both public services and conservation. I am also occasionally an assistant to antiquarian bookseller.
 
What would you be doing if you weren't a librarian? I'd be working in interior design. In high school, I shadowed an interior designer, and I thought I would definitely pursue that career path. While that's not what I'm doing now, I do rearrange the furniture in my house quite often, and most of my Instagram feed is filled with interior design posts - and cats.
 
What is the most interesting issue in librarianship today? One topic that I find interesting is the pairing of makerspace technology like 3D printing, scanning, and modeling with the humanities. I'm particularly interested in the place where maker culture meets the study of print history. Here's a great article from RBM (A Journal of Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Cultural Heritage) that delves a bit deeper: https://doi.org/10.5860/rbm.19.1.59
 
What are you most proud of? In semi-seriousness, creating a mascot for STLS. Our OPAC is called STARCat (Southern Tier Area Regional Catalog), and I reimagined the logo as a cat wearing a space suit. Then, I decided that we needed a costume version that we could wear at continuing education events, at our annual meeting, and for our members to borrow for parades/fairs/etc. We also took STARCat to NYLA in 2018 and had a great time taking pictures with attendees.
 
What other organizations are you involved with? I'm a member of the American Library Association (ALA), the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL), the Public Library Association (PLA), and the New York Library Association (NYLA). I'm also an active participant in the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section (RBMS) of ACRL. I'm currently co-chair of the Membership and Professional Development Committee within RBMS.
 
What advice would you give to a new librarian? Get involved immediately - especially if you're still in school. The most valuable experience you'll have during your time pursuing the MLS is volunteer/work experience. Find a professional organization to join. You can't start building up your resume quick enough, and it can take time to get on committees. Also, find a mentor! And, don't be afraid to advocate for yourself.
 
What software/web tools do you use regularly? WordPress, the Adobe suite, Canva, the Google Suite, Spotify, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, OverDrive, Freegal, RBdigital, Microsoft Office
 
Favorite social media platform: Instagram (personal), Twitter (professional)
 
Favorite blog or website: For library things: http://www.inthelibrarywiththeleadpipe.org/. For fun/casual consumption & browsing: https://www.dwell.com/ or Spotify: https://www.spotify.com/us/.
 
What do you do to relax? Walk my dog, run, hike, watch basketball (NBA) and NBA-adjacent news/shows, or binge-watch a series with a cat on my lap.
 
What would you like to learn? So many things - I'd like to casually study linguistics, learn more coding languages, really understand systems & networks, and figure out how to keep plants alive.
 
Is there anything about you that others would be surprised to know? I play Ultimate Frisbee pretty regularly. It's not uncommon for me to travel across the country to play in tournaments (for fun). There's such a great community of people who play Ultimate. I love it.

Jenny Shonk

Jenny Shonk member profileYour position: Continuing Education and Outreach Librarian at Finger Lakes Library System (FLLS). My official description is: Responsible for developing methods of improving libraries and library services in the areas of adult services, reference, and outreach. Provides continuing education and support to member libraries and FLLS staff.
 
Educational Background: B.S. in Childhood Education and M.S. in Literacy Education, SUNY Cortland; MLIS from San Jose State University (CA).
 
What is most interesting about your position? A big portion of my job involves working with prison librarians in the FLLS service area. Learning about the challenges of being a prison librarian and getting the chance to visit the facilities was eye opening and exciting. These librarians do an incredible job of providing education, entertainment, and access to incarcerated individuals, all with very limited internet and resources. I am in awe of them.
 
What has been your biggest professional challenge? I wish I would have gotten my MLIS much sooner, but I am glad I got it when I did!
 
What was your background before becoming a librarian? My original plan was to become a reading teacher, then the economy crashed and teaching jobs were nonexistent. My former director at the Cortland Free Library (where I worked as a teenager) asked if I would like to teach computer skills to adults as part of a NYS grant. I fell in love with librarianship and I've never looked back!
 
What would you be doing if you weren't a librarian? I recently became fascinated with nursing and radiology. I think the medical field is so exciting and it would still involve helping people.
 
What is the most interesting issue in librarianship today? The question of whether libraries are neutral or not.
 
What are you most proud of? I completely overhauled the marketing for our annual Outreach Mini-Grant cycle and the total ask increased 180% from 2016 to 2017. I also started holding an annual Grant Writing Workshop for our member libraries. I am proud that I was able to help our member libraries become better grant writers.
 
What other organizations are you involved with? I am the NYLA CORT (Correctional Outreach Resource Team) treasurer. I am also a member of LAR (Library Access Round Table), RASS (Reference and Adult Services), and RLRT (Rural Libraries Roundtable) at NYLA.
 
What advice would you give to a new librarian? Remember why you started.
 
What software/web tools do you use regularly? I am the primary technology trainer for FLLS so I have to stay up to date on our ILS (Polaris) and eContent platforms (rbDigital, OverDrive, Hoopla). I also use Canva for all my marketing. It is just so easy and fun to use!
 
Favorite social media platform: Instagram! I regularly post for @fingerlakeslibrarysystem as part of my position. Personally, I created an account for my dog in 2017 and it has amassed over 1,100 followers, which is so funny to me. Check out @labnamedmolly to see some cute pictures of Molly Rae.
 
Favorite blog or website: I check out BuzzFeed (www.buzzfeed.com) or Book Riot (https://bookriot.com) almost every day. There are a lot of funny articles and excellent book suggestions.
 
What do you do to relax? I watch Netflix and I love a good mystery novel. I like swimming and hiking in the summer and ice skating in the winter. I also spend a lot of time with my dog which can relax me or stress me, depending on what kind of trouble she's getting into.
 
What is the most daring thing you've ever done? I presented at NYLA in November to over 120 people. That is one of the biggest crowds I've ever spoken in front of. It was nerve-wracking but I am glad I did it.
 
What would you like to learn? My goal for the last few years has been to learn how to speak French and learn how to paint (watercolor). I really have to stay focused next year and not let life get in the way.
 
Is there anything about you that others would be surprised to know? I am obsessed with the TV series, The Office. I have to restrain myself from bringing it up in everyday conversation.

Nancy Abashian

Nancy Abashian member profileYour position: I am the Head of Reader Services and Resource Sharing responsible for all things typically considered Access Services: circulation, reserves, resource sharing, stacks maintenance and oversight of the Libraries' annex [At Binghamton University Library]. I am also the the librarian for Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies.
 
Educational Background: BS Human Development (Binghamton University), MLS (University of Buffalo), Currently pursuing Ph.D. in Community Research and Action (Binghamton University)
 
What is most interesting about your position? It's so dynamic -- it's something different every day. I'm allowed to be a creative problem solver and I get to work with an incredible team of people who help to innovate and bring new initiatives to life.
 
What has been your biggest professional challenge? As my career has advanced so to have the size and scope of the challenges. It's hard to say, relatively speaking.
 
What was your background before becoming a librarian? I was a general manager in a number of retail environments, all of which provided me with the fundamentals of leadership and management and also which prepared me well for work in public services.
 
What would you be doing if you weren't a librarian? I'd likely pursue a career in Social Work, maybe Public Administration.
 
What is the most interesting issue in librarianship today? For me, social justice.
 
What are you most proud of? Helping to organize the Social Justice Summit -- a partnership between Binghamton University and SCRLC. I think we reached librarians of all types, and helped to brainstorm strategies for tackling big issues.
 
What other organizations are you involved with? Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), Sharing and Transforming Access to Resource Sharing (RUSA-STARS), Broome County Public Library (Board of Trustees), Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL).
 
What advice would you give to a new librarian? Diversify. Learn as much as you can about all the operations of your library and how they can work together to serve the organization as a whole.
 
What software/web tools do you use regularly? Aleph, Ares, ILLiad, I spend a lot of time learning Alma -- we're in the process of migrating.
 
Favorite social media platform: I'm old -- Facebook :)
 
Favorite blog or website: I can't choose just one, but I tend to follow a lot of news sites.
 
What do you do to relax? Who has time to relax? When I have time I enjoy cooking, live music, and binging on Netflix :)
 
What is the most daring thing you've ever done? I followed the Grateful Dead up and down the east coast, living alone in my car one summer -- a long strange trip.
 
What would you like to learn? Professionally: bigger, better strategies for engagement and community building. Personally, maybe to learn how to play the guitar or re-learn piano.
 
Is there anything about you that others would be surprised to know? Probably not, I don't love surprises!

Eric Jenes

Eric Jenes member profile

Describe your current position: Reference and Instructional Librarian; Coordinator of Writing and Research Center, Tompkins Cortland Community College

 

Educational Background: BA Cornell University 2003; MLS Rutgers University 2009

 

What is most interesting about your current position? Finding effective ways to integrate research instruction, information literacy, and writing tutoring.

 

What has been your biggest professional challenge? Finding my first job! I graduated during the great recession and jobs were scarce. I worried I would never begin my career as a librarian.

 

What was your background before becoming a librarian? I taught GRE and GMAT classes for Kaplan, worked as a teaching assistant in special education, and had a brief stint as a political organizer.

 

What would you be doing if you weren't a librarian? Private tutoring or academic coaching.

 

What is the most interesting issue in librarianship today? Teaching information literacy in an age of social media and fake news.

 

What are you most proud of? My son Oscar.

 

What other organizations are you involved with? I'm the Treasurer for the Fall Creek School Age Program.

 

What advice would you give to a new librarian? Develop your teaching and/or tutoring skills. Teaching students/patrons to make sense of and better use the abundant information at their finger tips will continue to grow in importance.

 

What software/web tools do you use regularly? Little besides web browsers and Microsoft Office. There is probably a lot of good stuff out there I need to learn to use.

 

Favorite social media platform: Instagram; it's the most positive and least likely to stress me out.

 

Favorite blog or website: The Ringer and Talking Points Memo

 

What do you do to relax? Hiking, running, watching basketball, reading, seeing live music

 

What is the most daring thing you've ever done? I ended up in a Romanian soccer riot once.

 

What would you like to learn? Anything I don't know!

 

Is there anything about you that others would be surprised to know? I can stand on my head and juggle flaming torches (but not at the same time ;-)


David Stevick

David Stevick member profileDescribe your current position: Director of Libraries & Information Resources, Houghton College

 
Educational Background: I hold a B.A. in Humanities from Houghton College and an M.S.L.S. from Clarion University of Pennsylvania.
 
What is most interesting about your current position? The students here are great, the liberal arts college environment stimulating, and-hey-I get to work in an academic library with all of its wonderful resources!
 
What has been your biggest professional challenge? Budget. I am continually seeking to maximize the impact of the library budget, continually rethinking the delivery of resources and services. With diligence, there always are new efficiencies to be gained or savings that may be reallocated.
 
What was your background before becoming a librarian? I spent a few years in graduate school reading philosophy before switching tracks to libraries and library science.
 
What would you be doing if you weren't a librarian? Surely I would be a philanthropist.
 
What is the most interesting issue in librarianship today? I am excited by the possibilities of the open access movement!
 
What are you most proud of? Professionally-- I spent six years directing a library at a tribal college in New Mexico. We saw significant growth and maturation of that library, and it was a privilege to serve the under-served and to be part of tribally-controlled higher education.
 
What other organizations are you involved with? I'm a member of the American Indian Library Association, for which I serve on the scholarship committee.
 
What advice would you give to a new librarian? Even if you aren't religious, make time to take a weekly "sabbath," a rest from the constant demands of work. You will be more well and more effective for it.
 
What software/web tools do you use regularly? Both professionally and when assisting students, I continue to derive great benefit from the periodicals and ebook databases to which the college subscribes.
 
Favorite social media platform: My wife's Facebook account.
 
Favorite blog or website: I'm a New York Times junkie.
 
What do you do to relax? I must spend too much of my working life indoors, so I enjoy practicing outdoor sports-hiking, biking, kayaking, and combat sports-boxing and several forms of martial arts. I also enjoy languages and (lay) sociolinguistics.
 
What is the most daring thing you've ever done? !!!!
 
What would you like to learn? Python. I've been studying the programming language R, and Python seems the next step on the data science ladder.
 
Is there anything about you that others would be surprised to know? I must seem very clean cut as people always seem shocked by photographs of me from when I wore long hair and a pony tail.

Judith Andrew

Judith Andrew member profile

Describe your current position: I am the Music Cataloging and Acquisitions Specialist in the Music Center of the Ithaca College Library. I am one of two full-time staff members in this area of the Library and I assist in supervising our staff of student assistants. My days involve ordering, receiving, and cataloging all print and media music materials; maintaining the integrity of the music headings in our online catalog; assisting in music collection development; serving two hours a day at the music reference desk; managing the department when the music librarian is not there. I also am a member of the Library's Technical Services Team and our Marketing Team.

 
Educational Background: I have a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education, so clearly I changed my mind career-wise after graduating from college!
 
What is most interesting about your current position? I am very closely associated with the faculty and students of the college's School of Music and I am constantly fascinated while helping them with their research needs, hearing about their projects and accomplishments, and attending their performances. I often order musical scores and recordings related to the school's repertoire, sometimes directly from the composers, and that is always interesting.
 
What has been your biggest professional challenge? I think my most major challenge has been keeping up with the technology involved with my position.
 
What was your background before becoming a librarian? During high school and college I always felt very comfortable and enervated when I was in a library. Those feelings led me to work in my college's library the year after graduating and that, in turn, helped me obtain my current position in the I.C. music library.
 
What would you be doing if you weren't a librarian? I would be doing something in the theatre world. In addition to my day job, I am an actor with the Ithaca Shakespeare Company and other local theatre companies. That is a major love of mine so I can't imagine not being involved with that segment of our world.
 
What is the most interesting issue in librarianship today? Watching libraries become more and more involved in the education and the bringing together of our communities has been very interesting to me. We hear all the time of people who predict that libraries will become obsolete because of various technologies and electronic books, but I see no validity in that opinion.
 
What are you most proud of? Career-wise, I am very proud of my role in helping to make the Music Center of the Ithaca College Library one of the best music libraries in the country. In my personal life, I am most proud of my husband and me raising a son who is fascinating, kind, respectful of all people, and a lover of art.
 
What other organizations are you involved with? I am a co-founder of the New York State Library Assistants Association and am still a proud member. I am also helping to revive the Library Assistants Special Interest Group at SCRLC.
 
What advice would you give to a new librarian? Don't ever lose sight of the importance of our role in helping the people of our community learn, grow, and prosper. And be proud that libraries have been, throughout history, centers of education and freedom.
 
What software/web tools do you use regularly? Our library's online system (Voyager for many years, soon to be Alma); various music databases to which our library subscribes; Google.
 
Favorite social media platform: Facebook.
 
Favorite blog or website: The New York Times.
 
What do you do to relax? Go see a play or a film; read non-fiction; take a walk or visit a park; spend time with loved ones.
 
What is the most daring thing you've ever done? Any time I do something out of my comfort zone, I feel very brave. In acting, accents do not come easily to me, and a few years ago i succeeded in performing an entire play with an Irish accent, which scared me to death! I felt very daring when I took a hot air balloon ride some years ago.
 
What would you like to learn? I would love to learn the Welsh language. My maternal grandmother was Welsh and I have always been drawn to anything having to do with that country.
 
Is there anything about you that others would be surprised to know? I love loud noises, like fireworks and thunder and timpani.

Steven Bachman

Steven Bachman member profile

 Describe your current position: Executive Director of the Four County Library System

 
Educational Background: BA from Union College (Schenectady, NY); MLS from SUNY Buffalo
 
What is most interesting about your current position? From where I sit, I get to see the broader picture of what is going on in libraries across a 4000 square mile, four county area. There are a lot of great things happening within our system.
 
What has been your biggest professional challenge? Delegation, without a doubt. I am so interested in the various aspects of libraries and library systems, that it is hard to take a step back.
 
What was your background before becoming a librarian? I dove right into librarianship after getting my undergraduate degree.
 
What would you be doing if you weren't a librarian? Javelin Catcher.
 
What is the most interesting issue in librarianship today? It is becoming a bigger challenge to lead people to solid, quality information. Part of that challenge is that not everyone seems to want to think critically about the information they receive.
 
What are you most proud of? When I came to 4CLS, one of things I really wanted to do was implement a mechanism for patrons to pay bills with a credit card. It took two years, but the system is up and running and working pretty well. We also just recently expanded the delivery service to our member libraries. We went from 87 weekly deliveries to 111, which should have a really positive impact on our member libraries and their patrons.
 
What other organizations are you involved with? I am an ALA & NYLA member. For the last few years I have been a section representative to NYLA's Legislative Committee.
 
What advice would you give to a new librarian? Be prepared for the landscape to change very quickly in unpredictable ways.
 
What software/web tools do you use regularly? Outside of the standard Office suite, I use Wordpress and Canva.
 
Favorite social media platform: This will make me sound like a stick in the mud, but I'm not really a big fan of social media.
 
Favorite blog or website: www.si.com (Sports Illustrated), but also check out www.GirlGeniusOnline.com.
 
What do you do to relax? Reading, crosswords, & podcasts.
 
What is the most daring thing you've ever done? In gym class in second grade I attempted a forward flip dismount from the balance beam. Landed right on my head.
 
What would you like to learn? I'd like to learn how to keep ferns from taking over a garden.
 
Is there anything about you that others would be surprised to know? I'm pretty much an open book.

Gail Wood

Gail Wood member profile
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.

Brian Hildreth

Brian Hildreth member profilePhoto 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!


Kelly LaVoice

Kelly LaVoice member profilePhoto 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.


Rebecca Hopman

Rebecca Hopman member profile

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.


Nicole Waskie-Laura

Nicole Waskie-Laura member profile

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.


Curtis Kendrick

Curtis Kendrick member profile

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.


Sarah Glogowski 

Sarah Glogowski member profile

(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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