Wellesley Alumnae and Staff Speak to Students about Careers in Libraries and Archives

April 29, 2019
Three members of the archives and special collections staff look at a book.

Two Wellesley alumnae and one staff member spoke to spoke to students and faculty during a panel discussion in early April, led by Ruth Rogers, curator of Special Collections, about careers within librarian and archival services.

Paulina Borrego ’84, science and engineering librarian and patent and trademark resource center librarian at UMass Amherst; Sara Ludovissy, assistant archivist at Wellesley; and Bethany Templeton Klem ’05, head of children’s services at the Bedford (Mass.) Free Public Library, discussed the unique paths that led them to working within libraries and archives and what they enjoy the most in the field.

They touched on the joy they find in helping others and making a difference in the world. Borrego mentioned her love of “the hunt” of finding information for others.

None of the three ever expected that they would ever work in libraries or archives. Borrego, for example, spent 20 years as a science teacher before attending library school. Klem, a religion major at Wellesley, took her first part-time job as a children’s librarian while she was applying for other positions.

After the formal discussion, the three panelists and Wellesley staff librarians met individually with groups of students to discuss the students’ interests and their work at Wellesley, and offer career advice. “When one is fortunate to have a job one loves, it is easy to transmit that to others,” said Rogers.

Rogers said the event was a huge success, with some students staying long after the panel ended to continue socializing and asking questions.

Library staff first organized a Careers in the Library panel in 2012. In response to steady student interest in careers in library services, the staff teamed up with Career Education and the steering committee of the Friends of the Library to host this year’s event.

Photo: Sara Ludovissy, assistant archivist, Library Collections; Mariana S. Oller, associate curator, Special Collections; and Ruth R. Rogers, curator, Special Collections, prepare for ARTH 299, History of the Book from Manuscript to Print.

With reporting by Christine Roberts ’19