Our Bright Young Librarians series continues today with Tamar Evangelestia-Dougherty, Associate University Librarian at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Ms. Evangelestia-Dougherty spearheaded Cornell Library’s transition to Rare and Distinctive (RAD) Collections.
From the FB and C Interview:
Please introduce our readers to RAD and your work on that very interesting initiative:
My Associate University Librarian (AUL) position at Cornell University Library (CUL) is newly created. From the very beginning, I wanted to implement a reimagined approach to special collections that cultivated a community of collaboration between curators and library liaisons. I also wanted to be inclusive of rare and “medium rare” collections in our subject libraries. My first eight months involved a lot of listening to librarians, curators, faculty and students. It also involved a lot of self- reflection on my own experience working at other Ivy Plus academic libraries…and a lot of contemplation. Cornell University is a very special place. We see all of our libraries as forming a constellation. I wanted to create a model for special collections that made all Cornell librarians feel vested and consulted — not only archivists and curators. A model that draws us all closer to the core of our mission that goes beyond treasures in chambers or vaults. In the world we live today, amidst calls for social justice and racial equity special collections are never meant to be neatly packaged. They represent a wide geographical and intellectual environment. As a power construct, special collections must be connected and always engaged in institutional conversations that interrogate historical questions of today. CUL needed something that allowed the true inclusivity and versatility of our collections to emerge.
Read the Complete Interview