- likes classical music
- has a history of sneaking into libraries
- is in favor of having a library cat
What do you do here at The Jennie King Mellon Library?
I’m the Archivist & Public Services Librarian, so there are two aspects to my role in the library. As Archivist, I manage all aspects university Archives and Special Collections including acquiring, cataloging, and preserving documentation of the university with long-term historical and cultural value. As Public Services Librarian, I work with students and faculty to ensure that their research and educational needs are met.
What made you choose your current profession?
In many ways, a career in Archives is a logical choice for a former history major and I’ve found it to be a wonderful way to explore how the past has shaped the present. I was also inspired to choose career in the library field after spending many hours in the Harold Acton Library in Florence, Italy while I was a nanny for an Italian family. I would sneak into this then-private library, which is housed on three floors of a 16th century palazzo, and tip toe down a spiral staircase to the literature section, where I would relax into the ease of my native tongue.
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A Las Vegas Chorus Girl. I love glitter.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
It’s always a pleasure to be contacted by an alumnae about their time at Chatham or to work with Alumni Affairs to help former students and faculty reconnect to their time here. Since I’m fairly new to Chatham, I’m doing a bit of research on the history of the university and I’m enjoying learning about all the amazing men and women who have played a role in the development of our school. I also really enjoy helping students learn about the resources available to the library to further their academic and research goals.
If you could do one thing to change/improve the JKM Library, with no worries about time or expense, what would you do?
This is totally impractical, but it would be great to have a resident cat. On a practical level, I’d love a cold storage environment to help preserve our film and photograph collections.
What do you like to do on your days off?
I’m a classical music fan, so I attend Pittsburgh Symphony concerts pretty regularly. I love to practice yoga and the weekends are great time to take classes with Pittsburgh’s many fantastic teachers or with a visiting “yoga-lebrity.” I like to go hiking with my husband and we often make road trips to small historical societies or history sites.
What’s the last thing you checked out?
The Martian by Andy Weir. This science fiction thriller is as heavy on the science, as it is on the thrills. It is being made into a feature film starring Kate Mara, Jessica Chastain, and Matt Damon due in theaters in November.
What book do you think everyone should read? Why?
Whichever book I’m reading so that we can talk about it!
What’s your favorite thing about living in Pittsburgh?
I love the geography and exploring all the neighborhoods tucked into the hollows and the runs. The cultural amenities, restaurants, and all the friendly people are also high on my list of favorite things about Pittsburgh.
What’s one thing you think everyone should do while they live in the city?
Go to a Pirates game! See the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra! Rent a kayak downtown (especially nice on hot summer days)! Buy cheese at Penn Mac!
Tell us some surprising things about yourself:
- I did a cultural exchange with Norway when I was a teenager and lived in Trondheim for a month. It is an amazingly beautiful country.
- I catalogued a Christmas card sent from John Lennon and May Pang to Andy Warhol when I worked in the Archives of the Warhol Museum.
- I take gift wrapping very seriously.