Author Archives: Colin Kehm

Salem Press Online

A miniature, digital reference section of sorts, Salem Press Online is a collection of mostly full-text electronic versions of popular Salem Press print books. It is best thought of as a collection of subject-specialized digital encyclopedias, and thus makes for an excellent starting point of research for many topics. Continue reading

Getting to Know… Robin Bernstein, Senior Director, Library Services

Hi Robin. I’ve opened most of this series with the same question: why do you work in a library? The question should be “why wouldn’t everyone want to work in a library?” I can’t imagine doing anything else. It kind of just fell into my lap… I had every intention of becoming an accountant; however, once I started working here part-time I knew I didn’t want to do anything else. Continue reading

Getting to Know… Pam Fanelli, Technical Services Librarian

Hi Pam. Let’s start with the same question that we’ve started everyone else on: why do you work in a library? Though I never enjoyed school, I’ve always loved reading and learning, so I’ve been a fan of libraries for as long as I can remember. I’ve also always been happiest working in organizations where some sort of social good is the primary mission, rather than profit, and libraries typically fall into the former category. Continue reading

Getting to Know… Allie O’Connor, Document Delivery Specialist

Hi Allie. Tell me about why you work in a library? I enjoy helping people locate literature they enjoy, and because I enjoy being in contact with books, movies, and audio books.

Did you spend a lot of time in libraries before you worked in them? Before I was paid to work in them, I spent most of my free time after second grade in our public library, browsing and regularly checking out biographies and authors who wrote books in a series, like Laura Ingalls Wilder, Helen Fuller Orton, and Helen Dore Boylston. Continue reading

Getting to Know… Chrystal Dawson, Access Services Administrator

Hi Chrystal. What were your experiences with libraries before working in them? I went to a country school. From K-6th grade I attended a two-room school in which our library consisted of four tall shelves of chapter books, an encyclopedia set, a dictionary, a thesaurus, two short shelves of elementary picture books, and a bathtub full of pillows to lounge in while we read–oh, and we also had an Apple 2e computer with The Oregon Trail! We may not have had a very large selection of books, but I still found ones to read and do remember that the Boxcar Children were one of my favorite series, as well as the ‘choose your own adventure’ books. Continue reading

Did You Know? Spring 2018

The Freeman/Lozier Library is always changing to keep up with the latest trends and services to offer you our best.  Our More Than Books newsletter has a “Did You Know” section that keeps you informed about the changes that have taken place in the library.  Here is the latest news from that newsletter:  Continue reading

Getting to Know… Eric Saxon, Electronic Services Specialist – Web

Hi Eric–I think I’ve been starting most people off with the same question: why do you work in a library? The library represents a democratic ideal: there’s something there for everyone to better themselves, so that’s a mission I can get behind. I also see libraries as places where a variety of great projects can take shape or get started, and as someone with interests ranging far and wide, I appreciate that.

I think a lot of our staff members can get behind your sentiment concerning wide-ranging interests. It’s not a surprise, but I’m continuously impressed at the richness and variety of library worker’s interests and experiences.

Speaking of which, we have to get a feel for your interests. Do you collect anything? Fossils, when I can get ’em.

What’s something you’ve ‘discovered’ recently that you want everyone to know about? Pizza. Everyone should check it out when it arrives in their town.

Favorite artists? So many, but recently I’ve been admiring the work of Anne Truitt, a sculptor.

What kind of music are you into? I first liked early rock and roll. As a small child I used to imitate Elvis for my relatives, using a tennis racket as a guitar. Then it seems like I went through a phase of recording selections from Casey Kasem’s Top 40 on cassette, and jumping around to that. Then I liked heavy metal. Through that metal door I finally found punk, which is what I was really wanting all along. I just couldn’t get a hold of any because I had no money and no connections. Through punk I found folk music, and other stuff. I think a punk aesthetic is at the heart of most of what I like. Keep in mind however, that I think some classical music is ‘punk.’

Sounds like you and I wound up at much the same place, albeit via different routes. We’ll have to compare notes sometime. Do you have a favorite book? Moby Dick, and Mad Magazine.

Awesome. You talked a little bit about your childhood; what were your experiences with libraries before working in them? My first experience going to a library that I can remember was when my dad took me on a bike in a particularly hot summer. I rode on the bar between the seat and the handlebars, and it was very uncomfortable, especially on broken pavement. The library–quiet and cool, was like an oasis after this.

What excites you most about the present or future of libraries? I think that in the future libraries will be places where creative products such as films or animations will be made, and libraries will have certain ‘house styles’ that people will associate with that library. Capabilities for filming and editing previously available only to big studios are increasingly accessible, so I see no reason why there can’t be a portion of a library that is like a small, independent studio. Growing up around Memphis I remember there was a public radio station in the main library, so this wouldn’t be unprecedented.

Alright, we’ve got a little bit of time left still, so let’s wrap up with some quick-fire questions. Where would you most like to live? Many different places; a small home in each place.

What do you look forward to doing most on the weekends? First, sleeping in. Then I can think of what else goes on the list.

What ‘virtue’ or ‘positive’ personality trait do you think is most overrated? Any of them when they’re used as an excuse for doing something horrible.

Growing up, what did you want to be? A cowboy, because of that song ‘Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys.’

Any favorite words? I’m probably guilty of overusing the word ‘extrasomatic.’

I look forward to catching you using it in everyday conversation. Favorite poem? ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ by Iron Maiden.

Hah, nice. Favorite TV series? A show I want to see more of is The Prisoner, a British television show from the late 60s. I’ve only seen a few minutes of it and it gave me a very unusual feeling.

Getting to Know… Jessica Omer, Senior Circulation Assistant

Hi Jessica. What was your experience with libraries like before working in them? I started working in libraries when I was sixteen, so before that it was mostly participating in summer reading programs and hanging out at the public library looking for stuff to read.

Did you always want to work in libraries? Growing up I wanted to be an archaeologist. I wanted to travel the world discovering the past. It might have been because I had seen Indiana Jones one too many times. But I have always been obsessed with history, and archaeology was a way to get my hands on it. Continue reading

Getting to Know… Brandi Bengtson, Circulation Clerk

Welcome to the first interview in the ‘Getting to Know…’ blog series, where I will be interviewing Library staff and learning a little bit more about what makes them tick. For the inaugural post in this series, I’ll be interviewing circulation clerk Brandi Bengtson.

Hi Brandi. Let’s jump right into things–why do you work in a library? I work in a library because I’ve wanted to be surrounded by books from a very early age. Also, I really enjoyed Evelyn in the The Mummy saying ‘I am a librarian!’ As I got older, the desire to help people came along with it. Continue reading

Letter Writing Day

Today is Letter Writing Day. With the rise of internet communication letter writing has arguably become something of a lost art, or perhaps even an altogether obsolete one. Why take the time to compose a letter (handwritten or typed) and post it when you can send a quick text or email that the recipient will receive almost instantly? Continue reading