The first thing one notices about Sarah Faye Cohen is her energy. The new associate university librarian for academic services seems to be everywhere: in her office, in meeting rooms, chatting with university librarian Anna Gold in the hallway. And no matter how busy she is, Cohen always seems to be wearing a big, bright smile. That same energy, along with a desire to avoid boredom at all costs, is part of what drew Cohen to working in libraries, she said.
“To me, the cornerstone of librarianship is curiosity,” Cohen said.
Like people and learning
In addition, potential librarians should like people and learning and hate being bored, Cohen said. As a librarian, Cohen loves constantly discovering new things, as well as working on projects that change and improve the role of libraries in this age of technology.
Cohen’s last job was at Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont. There she helped build the school’s information literacy program and was involved in as many different projects as possible. “It was a very collaborative place,” Cohen said. After seven years, though, Cohen’s curiosity and energy led her to think about changing jobs. When she saw the position available at Kennedy Library, she was immediately intrigued.
“I read the job and I thought, ‘That’s different,’” Cohen said.
Preparing students for the real world
The job description was not just about helping students use the library, but about preparing them for the real world, a mission of Cohen’s. Unsure, she showed the job description to a colleague and then to her husband, and their responses were identical. “(My husband) was like, ‘Sarah, they’re looking for you,’” Cohen said, “And apparently (that’s true) because here I am.”
Eager for fall quarter
The hardest part for Cohen now is that, as associate university librarian, she works more with other faculty and staff and less with students. Nonetheless, she is full of ideas about information literacy, and eager for school to start in the fall.
“I’m excited to meet faculty and students,” Cohen said.
Right now, Cohen is still trying to get to know everyone and get her bearings at a new library, but that helps keep boredom away, she said.
“It’s fun. It’s still very exciting,” she said. “I’m really happy to feel that much excitement about my work.”
Read more about Sarah Faye Cohen at Kennedy Library.
– Victoria Billings