2010 Kovacs Award Recipient Carol Stanley

This month’s featured alumna is our 2010 Kovacs Award for Outstanding Alumni Achievement recipient, Carol Stanley. Carol has been an extremely active member of the profession since graduating  from UNCG in December 1988. Currently, she is a Branch Librarian at Athens Technical College in Elberton, Georgia and the President of the Georgia Library Association.

Read on to learn more about our Carol!

What was your first library job?

My very first was as a student work study at NC State in cataloging, typing name authority cards for the authority file! And on a typewriter (at least it was electric!) using an electric eraser to correct mistakes at that! Our supervisor Pam Goetz was deaf but would constantly be telling the group of students typing and talking to “Be Quiet”! My first librarian job was Catalog Librarian at Queens College—now Queens University in Charlotte. I also provided reference service and served as interim director while there. My fantastic cataloging assistant there, Colleen Turnage, received her MLS from UNCG after I left for Georgia, and is now a big time cataloger—Director of Cataloging Services for the NC Community Colleges. She taught me bunches!

Had you worked in other areas before entering library school?

I was a Business Management major and had NO intention of working in a library, but other than summer jobs in retail, customer service, and manufacturing, I had had no other full-time jobs that were not in a library! You know, stuff just happens. And I’m so glad. There is nothing else I’d rather be, than a librarian!

What do you remember most about your time in the UNCG LIS program?

Loved it all! I was fortunate to be able to go full-time and work as a Graduate Assistant for different departments including our very own. My first semester, I was researching AIDS for the Nursing School using the red CINAHL indices in Reference in Jackson Library, writing down citations, finding the articles and photocopying them. Ahhh….where was I…oh…another memorable time was our LISSA trip to DC and LC when another LIS student, David Stegall started flirting with me. He is now my husband of 21 years! And I remember painting the halls outside the department and scrounging up furniture from surplus so we could have a communal area around the student mailboxes. What is it like now?! I hope that old chair is still not there—I mean the kind you sit in…not our professorial leader! And of course our professors were something else—Keith Wright, Sangster Parrott, Jim Carmichael, and Bea Kovacs, with Department Chair, Marilyn Miller and her assistant…the top notch and efficient, Liz Meeks! Memories…

What is your current position and what does it entail?

I truly love my job as Branch Librarian at Athens Technical College in Elberton, Georgia “Granite Capitol of the World—makes the most granite memorials—okay, so it could be called “Tombstone, Georgia”. Also famous for the Georgia Guidestones—like Stonehenge but was built in 1980! Anyways, I began on the main campus in Athens in 1995 as Evening Librarian and Cataloger, and when the Elberton Campus opened in 1993, I became the librarian there. There are about 500 students that I get to know and help in our tiny library with 10 computers and 3 shelving units. I provide information literacy instruction to classes, ILL, and supervise 5 student assistants, AND am still THE cataloger for the college. We have had two additional campus libraries open in the last few years and sometimes I’m the traveling librarian to teach on those campuses. I also work some Saturdays on the Athens campus. When there, I am able to catalog the college archives!

Do you have any projects going on that you’re particularly excited about?

Serving as the 2010 President of the Georgia Library Association is definitely a “project”! We’ve had a busy year organizing our Mid-Winter Conference with special guest speaker Dr. Jim Carmichael,  our first annual “Georgia Library Photo Contest,” “Virtual Library Legislative Day” in conjunction with our actual “Library Day” in Atlanta, hosting ALA President, Camila Alire to present a workshop on “Frontline Advocacy”, and am now preparing for our annual conference in October.

Do you have an accomplishment that you are most proud of?

I didn’t know this until just now, but I’d have to say it is raising money for our Georgia Library Association Scholarships for Library School students. We have had a raffle at the annual state conference for many years and I began emceeing the event- dressing in costumes and being silly. Last year I was “Susan Boyle”. It is now such a big event that we have made it the closing conference event this year instead of having a keynote speaker. We raise about $5,000 which keeps us from dipping into the account, so hopefully it can grow to fund more scholarships. I enjoy bringing all types of librarians together for a good cause and making it fun.

What does it mean to you to receive the Kovacs Award for Outstanding Alumni Achievement?

I am extremely honored and humbled. Dr. Bea Kovacs was my Cataloging and Collection Development professor. These two aspects of librarianship have been strengths of mine and I owe it to her. She was feisty, intelligent, humorous, and caring. I hope she is enjoying retirement!

How do you feel the profession has changed since you graduated from UNCG?

Let me see….can we say “blog” as a good example?! Electronic communication and the technology/information explosion has put the library and information services profession in a unique position to provide access to the public serving as “information first responders”!—I heard that at a conference yesterday. We always have been in the information business and always will, just the format of the information has mostly changed.

Anything else you’d like to say to the UNCG Alumni?

I cherish our profession and am fortunate to be among you! Whatever type of library you work in we need to support each other. It is wonderful we all have such different careers but are tied together as UNCG LIS alums.  I vow to be a better alumna and support our library school.

Thanks, Carol! And congratulations!

Camila Alire and Carol Stanley (as Susan Boyle) at an event for the Georgia Library Association.