Secret Lives of the Mudd Library employees: Part Two

Kathleen Isaacson BillyBy Ollin Garcia Pliego

Reference Librarian and Library Systems Coordinator and Associate Professor Kathleen Isaacson

Ollin García: What’s your hometown?

Kathleen Isaacson: I was born in Milwaukee.

OG: When did you start working at the library?

KI: In the mid-1970s, September 1975.

OG: What did you do before joining the Mudd?

KI: The library was the first actual job I ever had in my life. I went to school at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and I got my library degree and looked at the libraries around Appleton and luckily I found an opening.

OG: What’s your job’s main task?

KI: If you look at my screen [she has two computers on her desk], you can see, I am above the only staff person who works at the command line level, so I run the library’s software systems and the data base system and the SFX, which gets you connected between data bases and journals and interlibrary loan and all those connections.

I manage the off-campus access to our databases. It’s all kinds of small pieces that together work to provide services.

OG: What’s your funniest memory here at the library?

KI: My husband kind of makes fun of my life as a librarian and sometimes he’ll, when I say I’m off to work, back to the rat race because he doesn’t think the library world is very much like a rat race. The impression people have of what happens at the library is quite different from what it is from a staff point of view.

OG: Do you have any hobbies?

KI: I have a lot of plants. I have about 35 orchid plants. I do a fair amount of gardening [although] I only have a little yard. We have a sun room in our house so, that is packed.

We have a very energy efficient house so on the south side we have a large room that has its own windows and net traps. Sun light helps heat our house and it’s full of plants.


 Amanda LeeAcquisition and Cataloging Assistant Amanda K. Lee

Ollin García: What’s your hometown?

Amanda K. Lee: New Lisbon, Wis.

OG: When did you start working at the library?

AL: March of 2005.

OG: What were you doing before joining the Mudd?

AL: Well, I graduated from [the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay] in 2003, so I was going to school and I was also working in retail.

OG: What’s your main task as an Acquisition and Cataloging Assistant?

AL: My main task is acquisitions, so I’m responsible for ordering all the material, accepting the deliveries, making sure it’s quality. For example, this DVD I have is broken so I have to send it back.

OG: What kind of material do you add to the library? Who request the material?

AL: Most of the time, faculty will request the material, sometimes the librarians. Sometimes I order things that I think students would like.

I try to keep up with movies and specially DVDs that I think students will like, because I know you’re kind of stuck here so [laughs] there’s not really a movie theater or somewhere that you can really go for entertainment. Sometimes I will have a student track me down and ask me to order something.

OG: What do you like the most about your job?

AL: I find it really rewarding when somebody is really anxious to get something and I can get it for them very quickly and they seem very surprised that I can get it so fast, that all they had to do was ask.


Colette Brautigam BillyDigital Collection Librarian Colette Lunday Brautigam

Ollin García: What’s your hometown?

Colette L. Brautigam: I’m from Minot, N.D.

OG: When did you start working at the library?

CB: In December 2003.

OG: Why is your office located in the Art Center?

CB: It says Slide Librarian on my door and I like that, I have it as relic, a reminder of where we’ve come from because slides are the analog version of what we do digitally now.

When I started at Lawrence, my job was to take photographs out of books and have the film processed and mount it as slides and catalog the information and do a database to maintain the Slide Library, which is now a faculty office and classroom. The Slide Library just went away this summer. We had 65,000 slides.

OG: What did you do before working here?

CB: I went to College at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. It was a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing and English. Then, I went to Alaska and I worked on fishing boats and met my husband. It was a great experience. I got my master’s degree in Library and Information Science in Minneapolis College of St. Catherine.

OG: What’s your main task as a Digital Collection librarian?

CB: Making things accessible online for the students, faculty, staff and alumni. I’m also a Reference Librarian so I’m at the Reference Desk too, maybe 10 hours a week. It depends on the week.

OG: What’s your favorite thing about your job?

CB: I meet with classes and do instruction and I really enjoy showing students how to use the resources that we’ve created. I like doing the library instruction of all digital collections.