Thursday, August 29, 2019

Hello from the new librarian!

A walk along the lake, Central Park, Schenectady, NY. 1919 C.W. Hughes and Company, Mechanicville, NY (Wayne Tucker Postcard Collection at Grems-Doolittle Library). Like many of you, I enjoy postcards and collect them personally. This one caught my attention because one of my favorite activities is walking my dog in the park.

I’m thrilled to join the staff of the Schenectady County Historical Society as the librarian. I’ve been involved with historical societies and local history museums for most of my life, but my professional experience thus far has been in higher education. Most recently, I was the archivist at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland, OH. 

I grew up in Harrisburg, PA, in a family of teachers. When I started as a history major at Northeastern University in Boston, MA, most of my family expected me to follow in their footsteps, but I fell in love with processing archives and special collections. I started as an assistant in the University Archives and sought volunteer and intern positions in a variety of archives and museums.  One of my favorite internships involved cataloging souvenirs and books in the USS Constitution Museum collection. I earned a masters degree in history from Northeastern and a masters of library science from the University of Pittsburgh. My first job out of college was as a library circulation assistant at Harrisburg Area Community College, but my passion for archives and history drove me to establish the college’s archives and serve as the first archives and reference specialist. I moved to Cleveland a little over three years ago to take the archivist position at Cuyahoga Community College. My work as the archivist there focused on collaborating with faculty to bring the collection into the classroom and increasing the discoverability of the collection through finding aids and other descriptions. Currently, my goals as the SCHS librarian include learning where everything in the collection is located and getting to know the SCHS community, especially our excellent volunteers! Looking forward, I plan to encourage the community’s engagement with the collection through increased access and discoverability, grow and preserve the collection, and use the materials in a variety of programs and outreach activities.

As a new resident of the Schenectady area, I have a lot to learn about the history as well as figuring out my new job and the library collections. All of the staff, volunteers, and researchers have been generous with sharing their knowledge and teaching me what I need to know. I have a long reading list and I’m excited to explore the county. If you have suggestions for books to read, places to visit, or people to meet, please share! I hope you’ll stop by the library to say hello and tell me about your research, family, and memories of Schenectady. 

Erie Canal crossing the Mohawk River at the Aqueduct in Schenectady, New York. 1907 Robson & Adee, Publishers, Schenectady, NY (Wayne Tucker Postcard Collection at Grems-Doolittle Library). I learned about Ohio's perspective on the Erie Canal while living in Cleveland, and I'm starting to learn about its impact on Schenectady.
Marietta Carr