- Grew this extra-large tomato herself!
- Once listed pizza among her top priorities
- Is the Archivist and Public Services Librarian here at JKM Library!
What do you do here at The Jennie King Mellon Library?
I am the Archivist and Public Services Librarian. In this role, I handle all aspects of the Chatham University Archives and the Jennie King Mellon Library Special Collections. The Archives holds records, photographs, and other materials on the history of the school, and Special Collections is where we keep all of our rare and fragile books.
What made you choose your current profession?
When I was an undergraduate at the University of Delaware, I got a work study job in the Art History Slide Collection—now known as Visual Resources as everything moves into a digital format. I thought it was wonderful how the librarians there got to learn about all these different periods in art history and didn’t have to focus on any one time or place. It was there that I realized being a librarian would fuel my intellectual curiosity. Then, after a summer volunteer position at the Pennsylvania State Archives, the whole world of archives opened up to me. I loved the chance to work with one of a kind pieces of history. There is so much excitement and potential in all the untold stories archives can hold.
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was very small, I wanted to a be a waitress in a pizza parlor, because I figured the waiters and waitresses could eat all the pizza they wanted—What could be better? As I got a little older, I was interested in being a children’s book illustrator and then later still a microbiologist. I saw the movie And the Band Played On in health class, and it made working as a scientist for the CDC look incredibly exciting.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
I love working with students and faculty, especially when I can get a whole class into the Archives or Special Collections.
What do you like to do on your days off?
I love to travel when I can and especially love to eat new foods in each city I visit. I also enjoy a laidback weekend camping trip with hiking, a campfire, and some quiet time in the woods. When I’m not travelling I enjoy puttering around in my vegetable garden, playing tennis (poorly) in Arsenal Park, and catching up on my reading.
What’s the last thing you checked out?
I always have tons of books checked out at once from both Chatham and the Carnegie Public Library. Just yesterday evening I checked out In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson, The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri, and When She Woke by Hillary Jordan. One of the best books I’ve checked out recently at the Jennie King Mellon Library is Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman. I already loved the Netflix series based on the book, and I always enjoy a good memoir. My favorite thing about Orange is the New Black are all the stories of the women she meets in prison. The book really sheds light on the importance of prison reform and any movement towards keeping more folks out of prison for non-violent offences.
What’s one thing you think everyone should do while they live in the city?
This isn’t something I’ve completely done myself, but I think everyone should try to visit as many neighborhoods as possible. Every neighborhood has its own unique flavor and something fun to see or do.