Director of Library Services
Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College (ABAC)
Patrons Your Library Serves:
ABAC students, faculty, and staff, and as a State-supported library, we are open to everyone.
What was your first library job?
My first job right after high school was at the main library at Clemson University. I was one of the circulation assistants, or as we thought of ourselves, library peons.
Why are you proud to be a librarian?
I’m a bit of a know-it-all, and being able to find that one little piece of information that someone needs because they couldn’t find it elsewhere really gives me a charge. I heard someone say, years ago, “Get your education, because nobody can ever take that away from you.” I like doing my part to further someone’s education (including my own).
How do you stay inspired?
It doesn’t take much. I believe in what I’m doing, and when I have impressed a student by showing him what he can do with the library resources, and see that light bulb come on, it’s very rewarding.
What do you do for fun? What’s one thing people wouldn’t guess about you?
Of course I read, but not everybody knows that my current favorite genre is romance. Steamy or not, if there’s a good story well-told, I thoroughly enjoy it. Once a month I get together with a group of smart women and we have a potluck dinner, we knit, and we solve the world’s problems. Other than that, I like to bake, especially cakes. I’m the de facto cake maker in our extended family, and often I’ll find a new recipe and I’ll keep it a secret until after the family dinner has been eaten and we dig into dessert.
Describe your best day at the library. What made it memorable?
When I was in library school, I had an evening job in the natural sciences library of the university. Our security guard was from Poland, and one night he brought in one of his friends from back home who spoke practically no English, although he did read some. The guard translated for a few minutes until I understood what his friend needed (it was something about tractors). I managed to find something in the card catalogue (yes, OPACs were just a twinkle in some librarian’s eye at the time), even though the university did not teach any kind of agricultural sciences. I found a few call numbers and led him back to the stacks (we were in the basement of the main library and the ceilings were only an inch or two higher than the top of the stacks — good thing I wasn’t claustrophobic), and when we found the books on tractors, he was quite pleased and spoke one of the few English phrases that he knew, “Thank you.” I was tickled that I had managed to find him what he wanted. I feel good any time a patron thanks me.
What are your favorite Demco products? (Oldies but goodies and newbies welcome.)
Scratch-and-sniff bookmarks. Our students — and some of the faculty — get a big kick out of them. The pickle– and dirt-scented ones didn’t go over as well as coffee, s’mores, and pizza, but one of the agriculture faculty members came over to the library and took all the dirt ones that we had left.
If the sky were the limit, what would you do at your library?
First, I would have a new, larger, and far more elegant, library building constructed. I would have unlimited funds to take advantage of new technologies, and we would have databases and books galore. The furniture would not look so institutional, and it would be comfortable. We would have display/performance spaces for faculty, staff, and student artists and musicians. We’d have at least 2 classrooms, and a room just for showing movies for students. The staff offices would be bigger, and the director’s office would have a fireplace. Every study room would have both a computer and a printer. I could go on …
How do you envision your library in 2025?
By the time 2025 rolls around, I will be retired, so I see a young and enthusiastic librarian who is extremely knowledgeable about the technology we’ll be using by then, leading the library smoothly toward the rest of the century. But there will still be plenty of traditional books. May they never go out of favor.
What’s the best piece of advice you have for your fellow librarians?
Keep learning. The more you know about anything, the better.