News & Notes has asked the recently elected members of the LHRT Executive Committee to introduce themselves and share their enthusiasm and interests in library history. We’re pleased to present our first feature, an introduction from Dr. Suzanne M. Stauffer, recently elected Secretary/Treasurer-Elect.
I have a long history in libraries. My first job, at 15, was as a page in the local public library. As an undergraduate, I held a half-time staff position in the college library. While earning my MLS, I worked as a pre-cataloger in the university’s serials department. After earning my MLIS in 1986 from Brigham Young University, I worked for a year as a manuscripts processor in Special Collections of the University of Utah. I then served as Adult Services/Local History Librarian at the Allard K. Lowenstein public library in Long Beach, New York for two years, then as Judaica Librarian at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York City for seven years. At that point, I was accepted by the UCLA Department of Information Studies, from which I received my PhD in 2004. From 2001-2003, I was children’s librarian for the San Fernando Public Library of the County of Los Angeles Public Library – and writing my dissertation on the history of the establishment of public libraries in Utah.
After spending a couple of years as an adjunct instructor for UCLA and San Jose State University, I joined the LSU SLIS faculty in 2006. I advise students in the specializations of Youth Services Librarianship, Adult Services in Public Libraries, and School Librarianship, as well as Graduate Certificate in School Librarianship students. I teach courses in those areas, as well as the history of the American Public Library and the History & Theory of Cultural Heritage Institutions. My research areas are print culture, American public library history (and all that entails), the history of education for librarianship and gender issues in librarianship.
I have held many positions in the LHRT, including Member-at-Large, Secretary/Treasurer Elect, Secretary/Treasurer, Vice Chair, and Chair. As well as incoming Secretary/Treasurer Elect, I am currently chair of the Library History Seminar XIV committee. For obvious reasons, the Seminar, which was scheduled for August, has been postponed. We anticipate rescheduling it for early 2021.
Students in both of the history courses I teach are amazed, excited, and enthused by library history. They begin to see themselves as part of a profession and that profession’s history. They are inspired by the stories of their professional foremothers and forefathers. LHRT needs to build on this excitement and continue to make library history accessible to practitioners, as well as scholars through our journal, Libraries: Culture, History, Society, this blog, and social media, as well as ALA conferences and the Library History Seminar.
Suzanne M. Stauffer, PhD
School of Library and Information Science
Louisiana State University
270 Coates Hall, Baton Rouge, LA 70803
office 225-578-1461 | fax 225-578-4581
firstname.lastname@example.org | http://www.lsu.edu/chse/slis/