Kevin Young stepped into his role as director of New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in September 2016, succeeding former director Khalil Gibran Muhammad. Young most recently served at Emory University, Atlanta, as curator of the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library and curator of literary collections at the Rose Library, at the same time holding the Charles Howard Candler Professorship of Creative Writing and English. If it were not enough that Young now helms Harlem’s Schomburg Center, on March 15 he was also appointed poetry editor of the New Yorker, to succeed Paul Muldoon.
As an army veteran returning from Iraq in 2007, Sarah LeMire struggled to balance family responsibilities with her pursuit of a master’s degree in English. A few years later, in library school, she found a support network through the campus veterans office. At meetings with the student veterans group, she met people who understood what it was like to leave a war zone and attend college.
Cynthia Mari Orozco realizes asking a librarian for assistance can be intimidating. Her first and only experience asking for guidance as an undergraduate resulted in her quickly leaving the building. These days, Orozco goes out of her way to make herself approachable to students who may be experiencing library anxiety.
“I can’t afford both books and food,” reads a University of Idaho student’s comment on a Change.org petition to reduce the cost of textbooks. “I have to choose to either eat or pass my classes.” That student has a champion in Annie Gaines, who moved from a clerical position to become the University of Idaho Library’s first scholarly communications librarian.
Mara Thacker’s love of Indian culture began at 18 when she watched her first Bollywood film. Captivated, she dove into South Asian literature, learned Hindi, and, ultimately, earned a degree in Indian literary and cultural studies. This gave her the tools to create a unique collection of South Asian comics and graphic novels at her library.
Digital scholarship outreach librarian Jennifer Johnson has worked with more than 40 cultural heritage organizations to create 80 digital collections since she arrived at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) in 2001. While working at the library, first as a GIS applications analyst and then as digital initiatives project coordinator, she also earned her library degree.
“I kind of thought you had to get a letter from Hogwarts to become a librarian,” says Lindsay Cronk, coordinator of online resources and collections at the University of Houston (UH). Luckily, her mother wasn’t a muggle: when she retired after three decades as a public school teacher, she turned to librarianship.