We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths. ~Walt Disney
As I look back on the last four years and four months that I’ve spent as the project archivist at the Burke Library, I am so thankful to have had this opportunity. This position is what brought me to New York City. I’ve grown so much professionally and personally thanks to Columbia.
My main priority at the Burke Library was to process, arrange, describe and make available collections. My first grant from the Henry Luce Foundation focused on the Missionary Research Library Archives and the William Adams Brown Ecumenical Library Archives. Over the three-year time period, my team of students and I processed 781 linear feet of archives (178 collections). Since the start of my second grant, which began in January 2015, 377 linear feet (45 collections) has been processed. In total, I’ve had a direct impact on scholarship, research and learning because I’ve made 1158 linear feet (223 collections) available for researchers.
Apart from the archives having an impact on research, teaching and learning, the internship program that I created and run has been very successful. I supervised a total of 18 library school interns, not only from NYC schools but also from other locations in the USA, as well as France and Canada. They are now employed by museums, archives, universities, corporate businesses, seminaries and other institutions. I supervised 17 other students who were matriculated at Columbia or Union Theological Seminary. Thirty-five students in four years – not too shabby.
This very blog that you are reading started because I thought it would be useful to have students write more in-depth about their experiences with collections that were part of the first grant. Now it has grown into the general Burke Library blog and has so many voices and knowledge reflected by the posts. I also started running the Burke Twitter and Facebook pages; both of which have an ever-growing list of followers. All of these things are now in the very capable hands of Burke’s public services librarian, Elizabeth Call. She has taken these social media accounts into new and exciting venues and I’m looking forward to continuing to follow them.
I’ve written reports; participated in Wayfinding studies; served on committees and other advisory committees; curated two digital exhibits; written newsletters; made the Burke more efficient with usage of space; created documentation; written LibGuides; presented in classes for Columbia, Union Theological Seminary and Barnard College; presented at conferences; and on and on. I’ve grown tremendously as a professional over the last four years in New York City. And really, what more could you ask for?
I want to thank my amazing coworkers for being so supportive of me and bringing their own expertise to the table. I want to thank Alysse Jordan, who was interim director of the Burke Library when I first started in August 2011 – I could not have asked for a better “First Mentor” at Columbia (who I am very happy to call a friend now!). To my wonderful students that I’ve supervised over the past 4+ years: I’m proud to have been part of your career and look forward to watching you grow in our field.
Thank you to all and I wish you the very best!