Meet our Featured Library Employee for the Missouri Library Association, Tracie Gieselman-France!
What is your name, your library, and your role at the library?
Tracie Gieselman-France, Duane G. Meyer Library at Missouri State University, Archivist
What originally got you interested in working at a library?
I have always loved libraries and reading books (you’d be jealous of all the ice cream cones and personal pizzas I “won” for reading books as a child!) but I hadn’t really thought about working at a library. I originally visited the MSU Archives as a researcher the same semester I was completing an internship at our local history museum and quickly realized that I enjoyed working with archival materials. I jumped at the chance to apply for a position as the Archives Specialist when it became available and have always felt it was pure luck that the Archives are a part of the library on our campus!
What keeps you coming back every day?
It is a combination of my colleagues and the community, the collections, and our researchers. Every day is different and I learn something new every day from my own research, or by assisting a patron. My colleagues and the community are equally important, as we often work together to create exhibits or suggest resources to our researchers, and the collaborations extend out to other libraries and cultural heritage institutions in our region.
What’s challenging about your work?
I think it is important to be creative with how we present research and archival materials to the community and that can be a challenge. COVID has certainly accelerated the need for creative content and different ways to deliver content to our patrons.
Has your work made you either curious, or passionate, or awestruck about something?
I’m passionate about sharing the treasures found in archival materials with our researchers, whether they are college aged, elementary students, or seasoned authors.
I also feel very rewarded when a student experiences the magic of carefully turning the pages of a rare book!
What book, author, artist, show, or music are you engaging with this week, either personally or professionally? Persuade us in one or two sentences that we should pick this up, too.
Professionally, I have been reading through Ozarks Folklore from authors such as Vance Randolph and Fern Nance Shumate/Nancy Nance. Always interesting and entertaining, especially since I am working with a collection related to both authors!
Personal consumption: We watched it a few weeks back, but I definitely recommend watching The Social Dilemma. This is a documentary on Netflix about social media and how it influences society.
I also look at a lot of cookbooks since we are eating at home more often. I have my own collection and look at a lot of websites, but I encourage everyone to check out the cookbooks at your local library too!
For inspiration, I’ve been reading The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron. I haven’t committed to the exercises yet, but I like the techniques!
Would you like to nominate someone to be our next Featured Library Employee? Examples could be:
…a new employee you’d like to introduce
…someone with a unique job or on a unique career path
…an employee you find inspirational
…a coworker whose gifts you wish were more widely known
…someone who’s “an institution” full of interesting stories
…a role that has a new focus or is reaching a new audience
…someone you’d like to make more visible to potential employers
Submit name(s) and contact information, along with place of employment, to Shannon Mawhiney at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll do all the work of contacting; we just need you to connect us!