Kentucky SLA: Members Profiles
Kentucky Chapter Special Libraries Association

What Does a Librarian Do?
Profiles of real information professionals


Constance Ard -- Information Broker DBA Anser Maven, Louisville, KY
BA English and History, Alice Lloyd College 1994; MSLS, Univeristy of Kentucky, 1995

Working in Special Libraries was not Constance's plan when she finished library school. An academic library position was her goal. The reality was that work was hard to get due to geographic constraints. So she took a job as an Administrative Assistant at Bank One. There she performed background research on companies and industries in order to assist the Commercial Loan Department in making good lending decisions.

After working there for a while Constance heard about a job at a law firm in Lexington, KY. She jumped at the opportunity to introduce herself to the librarian at the Kentucky Library Association Annual Meeting. She interviewed for the position that same afternoon and was offered the job the next day. During her tenure at Greenebaum Doll & McDonald, Constance worked as Assistant librarian, the first professional branch librarian in the Greater Cincinnati office and finished her tenure there as branch manager for the largest office. In her last years at Greenebaum she served as the Library & Research Services Trainer.

Working as a private law firm librarian was truly satisfying. Constance not only experienced variety in the types of reference requests she received, she benefited from a variety in her job duties including training, management and collection development.

Currently, the challenge in Constance's career is the development of her consulting business. Billed as the Answer Maven, Constance is concentrating on growing her clientele while learning the ropes of running a business. Answer Maven offers consulting and research services covering competitive intelligence, market research, legal research and information management solutions.

The need to constantly write to the target audience keeps Constance's days full. Outreaching and networking in environments outside the library world is critical to the success of the business. Updating the blog with enough research rich data to prove her abilities as an information professional occupies time in her schedule nearly every day.

The challenge in working as an Independent Information Professional is extremely satisfying. It blends the knowledge and skills acquired over a lifetime and stretches Constance beyond the comfort zone to achieve ever-changing goals.


Susan Brown -- Library Director, Transylvania University
BA English, Hiram College 1989; MSLIS, University of Illinois 1995

Susan loves connecting people with the information they need. "I get a kick out of the light that goes on in someone when they finally find what they need." In her job as director of a small college library she does a bit of everything. She creates web pages; she knows where to find information in article databases, in the print collection or on the web; and she manages the people, budgets and collections of the library.

Her career path has been varied. She began her work in libraries at the Education and Social Science Library for her graduate assistantship at University of Illinois. The assistantship covered the cost of her tuition for graduate school and a small stipend. When she graduated, she went to work as the Interdisciplinary Librarian at Colorado College. There she worked to refine the collection and teach students and faculty about the resources for interesting programs such as Asian Studies and Women's Studies. She left Colorado to be the associate director for the Kentucky Virtual Library, a multi-type library consortium providing information resources to all Kentucky citizens and libraries. It was after this that she began working for Transylvania.

Catherine Lavallée-Welch -- Associate Librarian, University of South Florida Polytechnic Library
BA History, Université du Québec à Montréal 1992; MBSI, Université de Montréal 1995

Catherine has been working at the University of South Florida Polytechnic campus since May 2005. A solo librarian, she created the first USF library on campus. She takes care of collection development, reference and research assistance, instruction, and administrative duties. She is also very active in governance on her campus' committees and councils. Her current projects include the planning and design of a learning commons for her campus.

Before moving to Florida, she worked at the University of Louisville Libraries from 2000 to 2005. Before becoming an academic librarian, she worked for the non-profit and co-op sectors on two continents and was an entrepreneur. A blogger since 2001, she has created and maintained several sites in, and outside, of the biblioblogosphere.

Active in SLA, she has held various board positions in the Science and Technology Division, the Information Technology Division, and the Kentucky Chapter.

She believes the best librarians are very curious, creative and quite a bit tenacious. Helping others finding the information they need and making sense of all the information resources available are very rewarding to her.


James E. Manasco -- Head, Collection Development, University of Louisville
BA American History, University of Kentucky, 1994; MSLS, University of Kentucky, 1996

James has worked in several academic libraries. He began his library career as a student assistant in the University of Kentucky Education Library from 1987 to 1991 and then served as a library technician at both the Margaret I. King Library (from Aug. 1991-Jan. 1992) and the Chemistry/Physics Library (from Jan. 1992-November 1996), both also at UK. While his academic background was primarily in American History, emphasizing the history of women in America, he really enjoyed working with the scientists at the Chemistry/Physics Library and desired to become a Science Librarian. Several mentors were instrumental in preparing him for this role, which left a lasting desire in him to mentor others. He acquired his first professional position as Natural Sciences Liaison Librarian at The Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Colorado (December 1996-October 1999).

Longing to return to the Promised Land, and the University of Kentucky, he accepted a position as Head Librarian at the Robert E. Shaver Library of Engineering in 1999. However, no matter how much he enjoyed being at UK, James chose to accept a position at the University of Louisville in order to be closer to his wife. He began to serve as Coordinator of Liaison Activities for the Kornhauser Health Sciences Library on July 1, 2003.

James transferred to Special Collections at the Ekstrom Library at UofL a year later. He was appointed Coordinator of Operations for Special in July 2005 and then also assumed the position of Head of Collection Development in January 2006. In July 2008, James was finally allowed to work only one position for the University of Louisville Libraries and still currently serves at Head of Collection Development.

James has been very active professionally in the Special Libraries Association and has served as President of the Kentucky Chapter and Chair of the Science-Technology and Information Technology divisions. He is serving as Chair of the association's Bylaws Committee and Chair of the 2010 Annual Conference Planning Committee. For the Kentucky Library Association, he served as Chair of the Library Administration and Management Round Table (twice) and Chair of the African American Librarians and Library Employees Round Table. His interests and hobbies include: reading anything science fiction, or having to do with the history of women in the USA or Kentucky history; playing cards and other games with friends; getting thrown out of Special Libraries Association Annual Conference Open Houses; hosting the Cabin of Impropriety at the Joint Spring Conference and living and dying by how the Kentucky Wildcats are doing.


Linda Minch -- News Researcher, Lexington Herald-Leader
BS English Literature 1974; MSLIS, University of Wisconsin 1976

Linda has worked in various types of libraries. She began her professional librarian career, ten years after completing her Information Science degree, as a part-time public library reference librarian in Arizona. That position led to a full time position as a Reference Supervisor. After moving to Kentucky she became the cataloger for the State Law Library at the Capitol in Kentucky. Cataloging was not her first love so after a couple of years she took a position as News Researcher with the Lexington Herald-Leader.

"The experience from my other library jobs helped me land this great job! I find that the sources I used at the reference desk in public library service and the information I gleaned from cataloging legal materials, help me daily to do background research for the reporters." Linda feels that doing research for the newspaper is similar to reference work but much more challenging because it's more than finding sources and providing them to the patron; it's finding the sources, analyzing information from them and providing the patron with a report of the findings. "I contribute in ways that, to me, are more satisfying than typical reference librarianship. It's also a nice perk to get a 'contribution' line at the end of an article when a reporter recognizes my assistance."


Virginia M. Smith -- Cybrarian, Louis D. Brandeis School of Law, Univeristy of Louisville
BA Business Administration, Bellarmine College 1993; MLIS, University of Hawaii 2001

Prior to being hired by the University of Louisville in June 2006, Virginia was an astronomy librarian and webmaster for the Gemini Observatory in Hilo, HI. She's been employed as an academic librarian for both the University of Hawaii and Sullivan University. She developed an interest in research and technology while working as an Internet Content Provider for from 1997-2001. Her responsibilities at the law school include communications, content management, legal research, and tech support.

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