Meet Joe Easterly

Joe Easterly

Joe Easterly, Milne's Electronic Resources and Digital Scholarship Librarian

With Library service expanding deeper into the realm of digital scholarship – the new Digital Media Lab, open-source publishing, Digital Thoreau, etc. — could a matching librarian be far behind? Of course not, and he has arrived in the person of Joe Easterly, who became Milne’s first Electronic Resources and Digital Scholarship Librarian on October 24.

Joe is here to act as the primary human resource for faculty and students working on (or hoping to begin) scholarly projects with a digital focus. It’s what he’s been doing, more or less, at the University of Buffalo for the last four years where he was a media specialist and coordinator of the Media Resource Center, serving as the Visual Resources librarian to the university’s visual arts faculty. The skills he’s acquired through his coursework (he earned his master’s degree in library science in 2007, with an emphasis in digital media information systems and retrieval) and professional experience will serve him – or, more accurately, the Geneseo campus community – very well.

Among the projects Joe has been involved in is UBdigit, the University of Buffalo’s digital library collection. He managed and directed the Visual Resources Collection portion of that resource, from scanning the images to creating the metadata, working closely with faculty and supervising a team of student assistants. Joe is used to collaborating with faculty, having conducted workshops, developed image digitization standards, facilitated licensing and consignment of digital images, and helped write grants. He also has experience digitizing images for exhibitions and scholarly publication, and he’s done digital preservation consulting for UB Galleries and museum curators in the Buffalo-Niagara region. He was a charter member of UB’s Digital Humanities Initiative. Safe to say, Joe knows his way around the digital scholarship landscape and is prepared to lead others through it.

One of the first projects Joe has joined here at Geneseo is the Digital Thoreau Project, headed by English professor Paul Schacht and other faculty from the English department and Milne Library. Digital Thoreau aims to bring the works of Henry David Thoreau – beginning with a TEI-encoded scholarly edition of Walden – to scholars, students and general readers around the world.

Joe’s ease and expertise with digital technology and his commitment to librarianship are built on a solid humanities foundation. He received a BA in linguistics, has studied French extensively and is currently pursuing a second master’s degree in social anthropology. He is also a classically trained pianist. Lately, he says, he’s “really into” wine and photography, and when the weather’s fine he likes to go sailing.

The folks at Milne are very glad that Joe decided to join the faculty, and the feeling is mutual, he says. “I was really impressed by how committed and talented the library faculty and staff are … it was a big motivation for me to join.” Aesthetics played a (small) part, too, in his decision to come to Geneseo. “I was expecting the dreary early-70s late modernist architecture you sometimes see at [SUNY] campuses,” he says. “I had no idea how beautiful the town is, or the campus, until I came to visit.” Joe is not the only one who is optimistic about his future here at Geneseo, and about the future of digital scholarship.

Kim Davies Hoffman: Profile of a Milne Librarian

Kim Davies Hoffman bringing theory into practice

Kim Davies Hoffman bringing theory into practice

Kim Davies Hoffman is a tireless instruction & reference librarian, a valuable team player, a careful mentor, and, as of last spring, Coordinator of Instruction & Reference Services at Milne Library. Kim has risen through the ranks fairly quickly during her 12 years as a SUNY librarian (nearly all that time at Geneseo) and was promoted to Full Librarian on Sept. 1 this year. Of her professional growth in that time, she says, “There has definitely been a shift from learning and doing to guiding, mentoring and leading.”

With her extensive list of college committee memberships and outreach efforts, it’s a fair bet that Kim is familiar to many people on this campus, especially the faculty and students in the academic departments she serves as liaison – Anthropology, Sociology and Foreign Languages.  She has taught hundreds of information literacy and research skills classes over the years, but perhaps her most important and fulfilling contribution has been in collaborating with individual professors to integrate long-term, intensive and progressive library instruction within their courses. Her collaborators have included Ellen Kintz (Anthropology), Elaine Cleeton (Sociology) and Cristina Rowley (Spanish), to name just a few.

Kim’s professional reputation extends well beyond Geneseo, through the many presentations she has made at local, state and national conferences, as well as through articles she has written (or co-written), committee memberships and positions she has held, and programs she has been instrumental in creating. It is possible to list only a few here.  “My preference for professional committee work is on a local scale, she says.  “I have been able to make much more of an impact on my fellow colleagues and the profession overall than I would serving as a mere number within a larger national organization.”

In the SUNY Librarians Association (SUNYLA),  Kim served  for five years as Chair of Membership Development Committee, from which sprang MEOW (Membership Enthusiasm and Outreach Workgroup) which Kim helped formSUNYLA  logo with a few other librarians who were frustrated with the lack of participation in SUNYLA. She also served as Chair of the Working Group for Information Literacy and in that capacity worked with fellow Milne librarian Michelle Costello to design and host a one-day interactive workshop entitled Library Instruction: Teaching Tips from the Trenches, in January 2009. That workshop led to a similar one hosted at the University of Albany plus a follow-up pre-conference workshop at the SUNYLA annual conference, also in 2009. The program evolved, with the help of a $3,500 grant, into LILAC, the acclaimed Library Instruction Leadership Academy. For their work, Kim and Michelle were recognized by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) with its 2011 Instruction Section (IS) Innovation award.

Kim with LILAC co-creator Michelle Costello

Kim with LILAC co-creator Michelle Costello

Among the several other awards Kim has received are the Friend of SUNYLA award and the (SUNY) Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Librarianship.

So where did she come from?  Shortly after she was born, in England, Kim and her family moved to Canada where she lived for the next ten years before moving permanently to the U.S. (she has dual British-U.S. citizenship). She has lived for two years in France, as well – studying abroad in Dijon for a year, and, soon after, for another year as a teaching assistant in Paris. She earned a BA in French and International Affairs from the University of New Hampshire and, after receiving an MLS from the University of Buffalo in 1997, took off for New Orleans, working first in the public library system and then at the University of New Orleans.  When NOLA’s heat and humidity drove her back north, Kim found a part-time librarian position at SUNY Fredonia (which she supplemented as a barista at Starbucks), until she landed a full-time job as a librarian at UB’s Health Sciences Library. By late summer 1999 Kim was hired by Milne Library as a reference & instruction (with a side of government documents) librarian.  She hit the ground running and hasn’t slowed down since.

As for where she is going from here, her priorities lay, as usual, with finding new and creative ways to increase information literacy among the students – and faculty – at Geneseo, in an increasingly online world.  As Coordinator of Instruction & Reference Service, she will work to refine assessment of the library’s instruction program, not only to prove what she and many others already know – that it IS effective – but to enable it to become even better.  And plans are well underway for LILAC2, which will help empower a fresh crop of new library instructors to “teach it forward.” Citing a commitment to lead by example as one of her greatest strengths, Kim says “The opportunity to co-teach with novice librarians allows me to share my understanding of pedagogical theory and practice without appearing lofty and without exposing their insecurity or uncertainty about teaching.”  She adds, “My fearlessness in the classroom opens the door for others to experiment with new ideas and technology.”

Celebrate a New Faculty and Student Publication

Milne Library invites the Campus community to a reception to celebrate Professor Emilye Crosby’s new book, Civil Rights History From the Ground Up.

Thursday, April 21
 Milne Library, Room 105
 4-6 pm

This edited collection grew out of a March 2006 Geneseo Conversations in the Disciplines Conference on Civil Rights Movement Historiography which brought together nearly 200 people – students, activists, teachers from K-12 to university professors and scholarly specialists.

For more than a decade, Geneseo students have been actively engaged in studying Civil Rights Movement history. They were central to the conference, have met with movement activists and historians, and are quoted in the book. Join alumni and current students in this ongoing conversation about the significance of movement history to today’s society.

View the official invitation here.

Geneseo Professor wins Barricelli Prize

Gene Stelzig, Distinguished Teaching Professor of English at SUNY Geneseo

Eugene Stelzig, Distinguished Teaching Professor of English at SUNY Geneseo, has been awarded the 2010 Jean-Pierre Barricelli Book Prize for the year’s most distinguished contribution to Romanticism studies.  Nominations are made by publishers and an international committee of scholars makes the decision. He will receive a commemorative plaque at the annual meeting of  The International Conference on Romanticism (ICR) in Montreal next October.

Henry Crabb Robinson in Germany

Henry Crabb Robinson in Germany: A Study in Nineteenth-Century Life Writing is a critical and biographical study which demonstrates that Robinson is an important nineteenth-century life writer.

In addition to nearly forty articles on romantic and modern literature and autobiography, Professor Stelzig has published books on Wordsworth (1975), Hermann Hesse (1988), and Rousseau and Goethe (2000), and has edited a collection of articles on Romantic Autobiography in England (2009). He has also published poetry (including Fool’s Gold: Selected Poems of a Decade, 2008) and translations of German poetry as well as several autobiographical essays.

We bid adieu to three excellent librarians

Barbara Clarke, Donna Howe, Paul MacLean and Diane Johnson

When you stepped into Milne Library this semester, did you notice something missing?  Three of our librarians are retiring, having logged their last days at Milne before the year’s end.  They represent, collectively, 100 years of exeperience at SUNY Geneseo — Barbara Clarke, the Head of Milne’s Teacher Education Resource Center, retiring after 35 years here; Paul MacLean, Head of Information Technology Services, 31 years; and Diane Johnson, Head of Serials, 34 years.  Donna Howe, Secretary to the Library Director, also retired last semester but has returned to Milne on a part-time basis until May.

Be assured that, while Barbara, Paul and Diane and all their excellent work will be missed, the folks at Milne are endeavoring to transition as smoothly as possible and will continue to provide the same high level of service our users expect and appreciate.

To read more about these librarians’ careers and retirement plans, see the front-page article of the Fall 2010 Milne Library Infobits .

What’s up with Ghana and Geneseo?

Ghana Exhibit informationWhen: Wednesday, January 26th, 2:30pm

Where: Milne 105

What: Dr. Jennifer Rogalsky, Geography, will discuss her recent Fulbright experience in Ghana with a talk titled “Fulbright Research & Teaching Experience in Kumasi, Ghana: Urban, Gender, and African Geographies.” the first of the Teaching and Learning Center’s Faculty Colloquium Series for the semester, this series is jointly sponsored by the Provost’s Office and the TLC.

While the official opening will be in February, when you’re in the Library, be sure to check out an early peek (it’s still a work in progress!) of the Milne Gallery’s latest exhibit,”Grassroots Diplomacy: A Dance of Collaboration, Engagement & Learning.” Highlighting the wide variety of community and Geneseo faculty and student partnerships with Ghana, it includes photos and information on Dr. Rogalsky’s work.

All are welcome.  The  intention of the talks are for faculty and staff members
in all departments to have a chance to engage colleagues across campus and to learn about each others research.

Snacks will be provided.  Please RSVP to tlc@geneseo.edu

Celebrating Tom Greenfield’s New Encyclopedia

In case you were unable to attend the event on Thursday, February 18th, Milne Library hosted a reception to celebrate the publication of Dr. Tom Greenfield’s newly-published work, Broadway: An Encyclopedia of Theater and American Culture. Published in December 2009 by ABC-CLIO, Inc., the two-volume set features contributions from several Geneseo faculty.


The crowd of nearly 50 attendees was comprised of students, faculty from several departments, President Dahl and Provost Long. Milne’s Director, Ed Rivenburgh, opened with the promise of this being the first of many future events focusing on and promoting faculty scholarship. He also mentioned the new digital projects being worked on, and that Associate Director Cyril Oberlander and Special Collections Librarian Liz Argentieri were at that very moment attending a Thoreau conference gathering ideas about digitizing SUNY Geneseo’s Walter Harding’s collection.

Sue Ann Brainard, Instruction Librarian and author of five entries to the encyclopedia then introduced Dr. Greenfield, who graciously and humorously thanked every one who worked on the project. He pointedly thanked Ms. Brainard and another librarian from the Performing Arts Library in New York City Public Library, for their enthusiasm, saying that, “whenever I asked either one of them a research question, they would get back to him with 6 more sources than I needed, and they kept working on a question even after I was done with it.”

In his appreciation, he relayed how “he was the envy of all his academic friends from other institutions, who were amazed that the library was doing this.” The reception was completed with the cutting of the cake, conversation and many congratulations.

The books are currently available for in-Library use and located in the Author’s Hall upstairs in Milne. Stop by the Reference desk and we’ll help you find it.

Congratulations, Tom and all the contributors!