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Greg Holch’s Library: A Blog

A Fond Farewell to Professor Deirdre S. Stam

Dr. Deirdre S. Stam
Photo © by Greg Holch

Late this afternoon, I attended a party on the third floor of NYU’s Bobst Library, just outside of the Fales Collection. The occasion was the retirement of Deirdre S. Stam from her position as a professor at the Palmer School of Library and Information Science (part of Long Island University), where she directed the program in Rare Books and Special Collections. I had the good luck to take one of her last presentations of “LIS 713: Rare Book and Special Collections Librarianship”.

Dr. Stam will be succeeded as Director of the Rare Books program at Palmer by J. Fernando Peña, who comes to Palmer from the Grolier Club in New York.

I found the following excerpt from an article by Professor Stam, and I thought it fit the moment:

“This has been a long and exhausting, if not exhaustive, journey to, over, and away from our metaphorical bridge. But before answering that profound and perennial question of the traveler—“Are we there yet?”—I want to give my peers an opportunity to criticize, complain, and hijack the debate. Are we headed in the right direction? What have we forgotten? For that I turn to my colleagues in special collections and the bridges they propose to cross… But first, I suggest that this driver retire, with thanks for a first turn at the wheel.”

(Dr. Deirdre S. Stam, “Bridge That Gap! Education and Special Collections,” RBM 7, no1 Spring 2006, Pages 16-30)

I am curious to see what bridges Dr. Stam builds and crosses next.

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