This is the latest entry in a series introducing LVA employees and exploring what they do day-to-day. If you are interested in what goes on behind the scenes entries in this series are collected under the tag 7 Questions. Other entries discussing the internal work of the Library of Virginia are filed under our new category “The Stacks”.
What is your background?
I am originally from Charleston, WV. I have a bachelor of music in music industry with a minor in political science from James Madison University and a Masters in Arts Management from American University. I have been working to promote and sustain arts and cultural organizations for the past 20 years.
How do you explain what you do to others?
The Foundation connects interested people and organizations to the Library’s vision and programs to help provide the best possible services to everyone the Library serves.
Have you held other positions at the Library? If so, what?
I have not.
How has technology affected your current job?
Technology is paramount to the Foundation’s ability to support the Library. Everything begins with our ability to discover who is utilizing the Library through online program registrations, patron card sign-ups, newsletter sign-ups, and social media. We use a cloud based donor database and several other online tools to manage and support our work. Social media, web properties, emails, videos, and other electronic communications are also incredibly important mechanisms that connect patrons, donors, and community members to the Library’s collection and initiatives. With over 129 million items in the collection and additional online initiatives, the Library’s website is also a great way for me and the Foundation staff to continue to learn about the institution every day.
Describe your best day at the Library of Virginia.
My absolute favorite thing to do is to take people on a tour of the Library and its collections. It is wonderful to see how people are amazed by the breadth and depth of the Library’s work when they have the opportunity to experience it in person. When someone is in the special collections room and sees first hand some of the remarkable foundational items like our original copy of the Bill of Rights or a book owned by Thomas Jefferson (presented by the very knowledgeable and friendly collections staff), they leave with a “wow” moment, an incredible experience, and hopefully a deeper connection to the Library.
What was your first paid job?
My first job was in high school as a counselor at a YMCA summer day camp and after school program.
What would people be surprised to find out about you?
I am classically trained on the tuba, but I also play a variety of instruments including guitar, bass, and ukulele (and occasionally sing).