Meet Gretchen Sotomayor– Part of our “Featured Librarian” Series

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Welcome to our “Featured Librarian” series!

We thought it would be fun for everyone to know who we are, what we do and learn a bit about why we love libraries.

Gretchen Sotomayor, Research, Instruction and Archives Specialist

This month’s Featured Librarian is Gretchen Sotomayor, Research, Instruction and Archives Specialist.

Here are some answers Gretchen gave in a recent interview:

What is your job here at McKillop library?
I am a Research, Instruction and Archives Specialist, so I spend part of my time working at the information desk answering questions and helping people find what they need for their research. I recently started (in April) working in the University Archives and Special Collections, and it sounds like it will be very interesting and busy.

What degree(s) do you have and where did you get them?
I have a BA in Communications, Editorial Journalism, from the University of Washington and a Master’s of Library and Information Studies, from the University of Rhode Island.

What is the best way to contact you?
Through email (gretchen.sotomayor@salve.edu), as I am moving around to different areas of the library, or by phone at 341-2289 or 341-2281.

What is the best part of your job?
The people. Whether it is helping someone at the Information and Research help desk, or showing a class how to access library resources, I like being able to help people find what they are looking for. We have so many amazing resources and tools here, and while they might seem intimidating at first, it is so much fun to dive into research and explore all that the library has to offer – and I want to share that!

What do you like most about the library?
I love that it is a welcoming place for all – students, faculty, staff, local visitors, Circle of Scholar members. Students fill the various floors, and it is often buzzing with groups meeting to work on projects. Faculty come together here often to celebrate and support each other’s achievements in research. We currently have an exhibit, the Seeking Shelter project with Block Island roots, that honors the faith-based activism of Father Daniel Berrigan and his friend, theologian and civil rights lawyer William Stringfellow, and that has attracted a wide audience to our library.

What library resource do you think is most useful for students and why?
Aside from the eager librarians who enjoy sharing their knowledge, I think the ability to easily search many EBSCO databases simultaneously from our simple search box on the library’s home page offers students a less intimidating way to get started in their research. Also, our very valuable online chat service is available six days a week – we do our best to answer any and all questions!

What are your hobbies and/or personal interests?
I love to travel and explore new cultures, and enjoy spending time outside in the garden, hiking, sailing, biking and walking on the Cliff Walk.

Do you have any pets?
I did have a brave, one-eyed cat who gamely moved with us to the tropics and to Italy, and also lived here in Rhode Island! She preferred the south-facing window, where her bed was situated on top of a radiator, in our Rhode Island house.

Do you have a favorite author and/or quote?
I did have the pleasure of hearing poet Billy Collins recently recite some of his poetry, so here is one to share (as snow is falling outside) as we wait for spring.

Today

If ever there were a spring day so perfect,
so uplifted by a warm intermittent breeze

that it made you want to throw
open all the windows in the house

and unlatch the door to the canary’s cage,
indeed, rip the little door from its jamb,

a day when the cool brick paths
and the garden bursting with peonies

seemed so etched in sunlight
that you felt like taking

a hammer to the glass paperweight
on the living room end table,

releasing the inhabitants
from their snow-covered cottage

so they could walk out,
holding hands and squinting

into this larger dome of blue and white,
well, today is just that kind of day.

What are you reading right now? What do you think about it?
“Feel Free: essays” by Zadie Smith. It’s an eclectic collection of essays on all topics – global warming, growing up in a multicultural environment, Facebook, the current political environment, Joni Mitchell. She is fierce, in examinations of herself and others, which encourages you, the reader, to examine your choices.

Is there something random about you that you’d like us to know?
I have moved every three to four years throughout my life, but Rhode Island, a quirky and beautiful state, has become the place where I have lived the longest – 12 years.

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Complete Our Satisfaction Survey – Win $100 Amazon.com Gift Card

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Complete our annual satisfaction survey and enter your Salve email address for the chance to win a $100 Amazon.com gift card! Last year our survey received over 800 responses. Your suggestions and comments assist with library planning, so tell us what you think! Click here to take our survey!

*Amazon gift card winner chosen by random draw among completed entries. Salve email required to enter and win. Winner will be notified by Salve email after survey ends.

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Meet Nancy Barta-Norton – Part of our “Featured Librarian” Series

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Welcome to our “Featured Librarian” series!

We thought it would be fun for everyone to know who we are, what we do and learn a bit about why we love libraries.

Nancy Barta-Norton, Acquisitions and Cataloging Librarian

This month’s Featured Librarian is Nancy Barta-Norton, Acquisitions and Cataloging Librarian.

Here are some answers she gave in a recent interview:

What is your job here at McKillop library?
I am the Acquisitions and Cataloging Librarian. I order print books and audiovisuals covering all subject areas for the library and catalog them when they arrive.

What degree(s) do you have and where did you get them?
I have a B.A. from the University of Rhode Island, where I majored in English; I also received an M.A. in English Literature and my M.L.I.S. from U.R.I.

What departments are you a liaison for?
I am a liaison for the Religious Studies, Philosophy, and Music departments.

What is the best way to contact you?
People can contact me by email nancy.bartanorton@salve.edu or phone at 341-2296 or stop by my office (Room 308) anytime.

What is the best part of your job?
Selecting great new materials for the library, being the first to see them when they are delivered, and knowing that they are being checked out and used by our patrons.

What do you like most about the library?
I love libraries and being surrounded by books in general – but specifically, I enjoy working with McKillop Library’s students and library staff, meeting people from many different campus departments and — schedule permitting — attending some of the many interesting programs hosted by the library.

My sunny third floor office looks out over an incredible skyscape, a massive old beech tree filled with birds, and—in the distance — the roof of Chateau-sur-Mer. All my plants seem to enjoy this location too!

What library resource do you think is most useful for students and why?
Particular disciplines or types of research questions determine the best or most useful resources. Our library has a very diverse collection of books, movies (both DVDs and streaming), and databases to address a wide variety of information needs – also a browsing section of popular fiction and plenty of great titles and films for entertainment.

What are your hobbies and/or personal interests?
I enjoy spending lots of quality time with my husband and son. I’m always listening to many different kinds of music and especially like to attend live concerts. Almost every week includes a musical event of some kind – sometimes several! I see a lot of movies. And — whenever possible — I love to travel.

Do you have any pets?
Yes, two rather quirky and ridiculously affectionate cats, a huge, furry black-and-white Maine Coon and a petite but extremely vocal Calico; we also have a small fish pond stocked with Koi.

Do you have a favorite author and/or quote?
“I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library.” – Jorge Luis Borges

What are you reading right now? What do you think about it?
I am always reading, fiction and non-fiction – in fact, I am most often reading several books at once! With the amount of reading I do, it would be really difficult to settle on a favorite author or book, but one of the books I am currently reading is Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver.

Is there something random about you that you’d like us to know?
I like teaching college students, most recently a three-credit library research and citation skills class for ESL students.

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Study Room Tech Upgrade & New Chairs

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Lots of great changes are happening in the library lately (and much more to come!) and two of these are new chairs on 3rd FL and technology upgrades in study room 304.


We allowed students to test-drive some new chairs last year and the clear favorite was a cleanly designed wooden chair with upholstered seating. These chairs are scattered along the 3rd FL (silent study floor). Enjoy!

Study room 304 has been fitted with:

  • 75″ LED flat panel display
  • HDMI cable, VGA cable, and 3.5mm audio cables to connect laptops and other devices to the display (additional dongles available at the front desk)
  • Touch control panel
  • Dedicated PC attached to the display
  • Wireless keyboard/mouse
  • New larger and wider table — accommodates at least 6 comfortably

You can reserve any of our four study rooms online!

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