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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

College hires new librarian

Megan Adams poses in front of bookshelves in Burling Library. Photo by Scott Lew.

By Esther Hwang

This fall, the College hired a new librarian, Megan Adams, to step in for four librarians, Rebecca Ciota, Chris Jones, Julia Bauder and Liz Rodrigues, who will be taking consecutive leaves in the academic years of 2018-2019 and 2019-2020.

Growing up in Largo, Florida, Adams aspired to be a teacher. However, while she was attending the University of South Florida, she realized that working in public schools was not for her.

“Working with kids is a skill, and you should be passionate and good at it,” Adams said.

Instead, Adams decided to work in education with young adults. She obtained a Master of Library Studies (MLS) and an MA in literature at UW-Madison.

For her thesis, Adams looked at historical trauma in two writers’ countries of origin — Haiti and the Dominican Republic. She looked at the way these 1.5 generation immigrants represented a violent incident that occurred at the borders and how they used their voices in a way that people back home could not.

One of the writers she looked at was the Haitian American writer Edwidge Danticat, whose book “Farming of Bones” is her favorite.

“It talks about violence in a disturbing way that’s also beautiful, the way the characters work through things and experience stuff, experience each other. I think that’s one that will last,” Adams said.

She has also worked in GRE test assessment, done freelance editing with graduate students, most often with international students and is also interested in web design, nature and drawing.

Her job at Grinnell is her first time working as a librarian instead of as a library assistant, and Adams hopes to support students during her time here.

“I like connecting people with information. I realized the thing I hated about standardized test assessment, besides the fact that it’s standardized test assessment, was that it was too late to help the people. You’re just assessing it at that point. They don’t get feedback beyond the score,” Adams said. “I realized I wanted to work with people in the process. So, I started putting all those things together and realized ‘Oh, I could be a librarian.’ Because you get to work with people in the process, help people find information, organize information. That’s what’s interesting to me.”

She has been settling into Grinnell and, so far, she has enjoyed talking to Kamal Hammouda, the owner of Relish and going to a folk music performance at the Arts Council with her partner. She is thrilled about the two-minute walking commute to Burling.

Megan Adams poses in front of bookshelves in Burling Library. Photo by Scott Lew.
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