Portraits of the Jane Bancroft Cook Librarians: Part two

All photos Corey Rodda/Catalyst

Brian Doherty at his desk.

Dean of Cook Library Brian Doherty

Where are you from?

I was raised in New Jersey

How did you decide to become a librarian?

I was working on my musicology studies at Rutgers University and had several friends in the library science program and became very interested in it that way. And, also when I was a grad student in musicology, I got a job at a music library cataloguing and became very interested in the whole library process.

What book are you currently reading?

I am reading a translation Jean Baptiste Duroselle’s France and the United States from the Beginnings to the Present Day.

What is your most memorable on the job moment?

I suppose it was my very first job in Boca Raton, Florida at what is now Lynn University — an independent private music conservatory. I had to build their library between June and August —before their classes started. Students had to use the library when it was being formed and that was very interesting. Fresh out of library school it was very interesting to build a library.

How many years have you been working here?

It will be two years at the end of this fiscal year — July 1.

What is your favorite type of food?

I grew up in a meat and potatoes family and I don’t eat much of that anymore. I guess Italian — my wife is Chinese so we eat a lot of chinese food. We eat thai food a lot, which she likes, and my daughter likes hot dogs.

If you weren’t a librarian, what would you be?

Since I had a career before being a librarian, I was a musician and, in fact, when I look to the future, in you know, the distant future when I will no longer be working as a librarian, I would like to be a musician of some kind. An organist or doing something.

Are you a bookworm outside of the library?

Not really. You know musicians are bookworms of a different sort. You know, we are print oriented people because when you play composed music you are dealing with scores so I have a lot of scores that I look at. I read quite a bit, but I wouldn’t say that I am a bookworm. Unfortunately, I seldom read fiction and though, from time to time, I pick a piece of classic literature to read. I am not as engrossed in that as I would like to be.

How do you serve the students and staff?

I’m responsible for basically everything that goes on in the library. We develop services here, the librarians and staff collaborate intensely and figure out how best to use our resources. We work very closely with the faculty to determine things to add to the library. I’m always interested to hear from students as to how they see how effective the library is for them. We want to create a space where students can work efficiently and effectively.

Caroline Reed poses in the library.

Interim Director of Public Services Caroline Reed

Where are you from?

Originally, I’m from North Hampton, Mass. and I actually came to Florida via the Caribbean.

How did you decide to become a librarian?

Well, it went back to when I was about four years old. My father used to bring me to the public library and that was in the days of the card catalogue. He would hold me up to the card catalogue and have me write down the call number and help him find the book. That wasn’t the conscious decision at that point. My undergraduate degree is actually in social work but in high school I worked at the public library. My work-study job in college was at my college library. I practiced social work for three or four years [until] my husband and I moved to St. Thomas and there was an opening at the University library there. People say to me, “Gee, going from social work to a librarian, isn’t that sort of a strange thing?” My philosophy is that they are much the same because people come to you with a need and you help them find resources so that they can help themselves.

What book are you currently reading?

I just finished one and haven’t decided on a new one. It’s called Eat First — You Don’t Know What They’ll Give You. It’s by a woman from Sarasota who was involved in the National Organization for Women when it started. I got a chance to meet her and ended up picking up her book. I was pleasantly surprised to see that we had a copy of it here. I don’t usually buy books and I will either get them at the library or do inter-library loan.

What is your most memorable on the job moment?

I was at the 50th anniversary celebration at the Ritz and was sitting at a table with an alum who is on the foundation board. She told me that she was so excited when we started using instant message reference. She was trying to find a title for her thesis, it was confounding her and she wasn’t able to find it. She used instant message to contact a librarian and I happened to be on the desk. We were not only able to find that source but we found others. She said it was the essential source for her thesis. It was so exciting to hear that because with our new service we were able to serve her. It was so incredible to hear that something so simple that we do every day made such a big impact on somebody’s thesis work. I was floating on air after that.

How many years have you been working here?

I’ve been here since 1996.

What is your favorite food?

I don’t have a particular food, but probably anything that’s spicy. Indian spicy, mexican spicy — just something with flavor.

If you weren’t a librarian, what would you be?

I probably would have continued on my social work path, but I never really did direct case work. I always did more of an administrative kind of thing — working with groups on proposals, funding and organization. I’m very emotional so to have a case load would be difficult for me.

Are you a bookworm outside of the library?

I’m really not, I hate to admit that I am not a bookworm. It usually takes me sometimes a month or two to finish a book.

What do yo do as a librarian here?

In terms of the students, faculty and staff, I do a lot of individual meetings with people to try to help them find the research that they need. I’m beginning to do some outreach. In a couple of weeks, I’m going to be doing two sessions for people who are interested in going into the library science field and we have 13 student at New College who have expressed interest in going to that workshop so far. I’m a thesis coordinator so, not only do I meet with thesis students on their research, but I’m also responsible for taking their thesis in, which is such a joy — when you get this thesis — the culmination of somebody’s work here. I work with the thesis database and make sure that that is all up to date and working. A lot of times people donate books and we have to see if they will fit into the collection here. My role where public service is can be anything from having a problem patron in the library and talking to campus police to figure out what to do. I do a lot of the instruction in classrooms so it is not uncommon for me to come into a class to show students the easiest way to get their research. All of the librarians are doing some guides in subject areas and putting together the top sources for people to use. A lot of my job is planning, whether planning extended hours for exam week or looking at what’s going on in terms of answering questions — are people getting good information, are there things that we need to clarify.

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