Friday, April 15, 2011

Katherine’s Goodbye

Katherine opening her farewell gift

Yesterday was Librarian Katherine Chansky’s last day with the Schenectady County Historical Society. Katherine has been an amazing asset to the Society over the past four years and the next librarian has very large shoes to fill. One volunteer, Elsie Maddaus described Katherine as “organized, knowledgeable and pleasant” and the other library volunteers are in agreement with her. Some words most often used to describe Katherine were friendly, eager, enthusiastic, helpful, dedicated, cheerful and persistent.
There are many projects that Katherine should take credit for including updating the Stockade Booklet, which was first published in the early 60s. She was also the originator of genealogy day here at the Society, a day of workshops and speakers discussing genealogical topics and research. Having historical fiction book discussions, like the program in March on My Name is Mary Sutter was another one of her brainchildren. Katherine has always been anxious to do what was best for the library. Bill Buell told me “when I asked her to be the subject of one of my Gazette QNA's, she agreed, not because she enjoyed the spotlight, but because she knew it would be good publicity for the library.”
Katherine has gone out of her way to teach the volunteers how to handle the library collections with care and how to manage a collection of this size. She has been a great person to work with, and she helped the volunteers to form a cohesive and content group. She has worked hard to make the atmosphere in the library friendly and welcoming, from her smile when you first walk through the door, to her garden of fake flowers plotted around the library.
Katherine posing for one last picture with library volunteers
and staff.
Overall, it is Katherine’s vision for the collection that has set her apart from many of the librarians before her. She has always had, and probably still does have, a to-do list for the library that is a mile long. But that list grows because Katherine is always anxious to take the collection one step further, making it easier to use, and manageable for the researchers and volunteers alike. I know she has left her mark here in the Grems-Doolittle Library and I would like to end by saying that Katherine will be missed as a colleague and a friend and we all wish her much success in her future endeavors.

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