Last summer I conducted a series of interviews with all the student workers around the Leatherby
Libraries. These interviews helped inform the community about all the different areas of the library and all the services we have! Now, we’re doing the same with all our hard-working librarians. Stephanie George, our Special Collections & Archives librarian, was kind enough to answer some questions for us.
1. What is your name and title?
Stephanie George, Special Collections & Archives Librarian.
2. In what department of the Leatherby Libraries do you work?
Frank Mt. Pleasant Library of Special Collections and Archives.
3. How long have you been at Chapman University?
I began in mid-November 2015. It wasn’t all that long ago!
4. What is your job in a nutshell?
Working as an archivist typically entails overseeing all aspects of a collection, from evaluating the materials for retention through preservation and access. That often includes making decisions about conservation, arranging and re-housing paper documents, artifacts, born-digital objects, and creating an
inventory or finding aid, so that potential researchers can find them. I answer research questions, facilitate users, and teach instructional sessions about how to use archives and find materials in our collection. I’m also the library liaison for the Art Department that includes information literacy and bibliographic instruction, communicating with faculty about how the library can help their students excel in their research, and ordering books that would benefit, primarily, students in the art department.
5. Have you held any jobs at other universities or libraries?
I was the archivist at the Center for Oral and Public History at CSU Fullerton for fourteen years, so I bring quite a bit of experience working – with faculty, staff, and students—in an academic library.
6. What are your passions/interests outside of work?
I’m a huge history nerd, so that certainly influences what I do outside of work, including researching and writing about several aspects of Orange County history. I’m a rabid genealogist (again, research and writing), love to travel, enjoy photography, museums, “old time-y” music, and roadside attractions and
“oddities” (who doesn’t love the Cabazon Dinosaurs?).
7. Where did you get your degree?
My B.A. in American studies was earned at CSU Fullerton, as was my M.A. in history. I earned my MLIS through San Jose State University.
8. Where is your hometown?
I’m an Orange County girl. Born at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, I was brought home to the same house in Anaheim—built by my grandparents–in which my mother was raised. My parents still live there. (Perhaps you can see why local history and genealogy are great interests of mine.)
9. What is the last book you read, or the last book you loved?
Postville: A Clash of Cultures in Heartland, America was an interesting narrative about a generally homogeneous community in the middle of Iowa dealing with the influx of Hasidic Jews who established one of the largest kosher meat-processing plants in the US. (Just for comparison, the book I read before
immediately preceding was The Sweet Potato Queens’ Book of Love.)
10. Any fun facts about yourself?
My parents pulled me (when I was in 7th grade) and my siblings out of school, so we could travel through Europe for six months. It was an incredible gift and probably what fueled my lust for travel and a desire to learn and experience new things.