Posted by: G. Karen Merguerian
Today I am saying goodbye to a friend and colleague, Maria Carpenter. Maria is leaving Northeastern to become Director of Somerville Public Library. Today is her last day at Snell. Maria arrived here 10 years ago as a reference and instruction librarian. As soon as we met her we knew she was the one we wanted to hire for the position. It was clear that her first priority as a librarian was attentive, compassionate communication between librarians and library users. Her role has expanded over the years and as our Director of Advancement, Marketing and Communications (a position she created), she has become the ear and the voice of the library, coordinating all communications, from the suggestion box to press releases to Meet the Author programs. As the Library Web Manager, I have always looked to Maria for support and guidance. She’s been able to give me advice on big picture communication priorities, and she’s been able to read over a sentence and tell me if the tone is right. She’s happy to experiment with any technology that might help the library communicate, including Facebook, YouTube, Flickr and Twitter, and she was the force behind the creation of this blog. Above all, Maria has always been a great bridge for me. I think that’s because she makes a point of going outside the library. She attends NU events and professional conferences, audits classes and has dinners with alumni. Everywhere she goes, she listens to what people say about Snell Library and brings their perspectives back to me and my colleagues, asking us to look up from our books and our laptops and engage with what’s going on at Northeastern and beyond. Not content with the relentless pace of her professional library activities, Maria’s recently begun to take an interest in yoga, and has found it so satisfying that she’s become an instructor. One of the things I will miss is being able to attend the occasional noon yoga class she leads for her friends in the seminar room at Snell, once again, getting us to lift our heads up from our laptops and stretch a little. In fact, stretching is what I expect Maria to continue to do, in who-knows-what unexpected directions, when she takes the reins at Somerville Public Library. Back here at Snell, I shall follow her career with interest, and I hope that once in a while she’ll meet me for a Mark N Stormy at Highland Kitchen, so we can continue talking about the future of books, libraries and communities as we’ve been doing for the past ten years. Goodbye, Maria, and always when you stretch, don’t forget to breathe! To view the official press release of Maria’s departure, visit the Northeastern University Libraries’ News & Events page.