After 31 years of service to the University Libraries, Cathy Dwyer called it a career on May 29, 2020. Before she signed off for the final time, we caught up with the former Director of the Dewey Graduate Library and asked her a few questions.
1. What was your journey like getting to the University Libraries?
Often people re-career into librarianship. But I always wanted to be a librarian. When I was a little girl my dad bought me a date stamp and some cards. I went directly to library school from college. My first job was Government Documents Librarian at the Troy Public Library. A beautiful old library with stained glassed windows and lovely art. In 1989 I accepted the position as Government Documents Librarian at the University Library. I had a number of different roles and in 2016 I went down to Dewey to be the Subject Librarian for Political Science, Public Administration, Public Policy and Law. I was still the Government Information librarian. I did some soul searching when the Dean of Libraries offered me the Director of Scholarly Communication and Head, Dewey Graduate Library position, but it has been a great experience. I learned a lot and got to work with some great folks. Now I am retiring from the Dewey Graduate Library, a beautiful old library with stained glass windows and lovely art.
2. What’s your favorite memory of working at the Libraries?
So many things – as I said I have worked with some wonderful folks. My favorite memories center around the student employees – graduate students who went on to be librarians with us, undergraduates who brought such energy and humor to working at the libraries, and getting to meet people from all over the world without ever leaving home.
3. What is Dewey’s best kept secret?
If I told you it would ruin it – go down to Dewey and discover for yourself.
4. What advice do you have for students pursuing a career in the information field?
Think broadly about information science and librarianship. Remember how much of the field is people centered and take advantage of training/education in management and people skills as well as traditional library sciences.
5. Any exciting retirement plans?
Unfortunately some of my plans will have to be postponed. Don’t retire during a pandemic, kids. But in the immediate - I love the warm weather and hope to spend as much time as possible outside. I know there are a lot of great parks and walking trails locally but I have not had time to explore them. Now is my chance!