New Resident Librarian

September 8, 2016

College Library is delighted to welcome Elizabeth Tappy to our staff. As the new Teaching & Learning Resident Librarian, Elizabeth will split her time between College and Steenbock assisting the instruction efforts at both libraries for the duration of her two-year position.

Elizabeth will receive her M.A. in Library & Information Studies from UW-Madison in August 2016. She is finishing a course on Tribal Libraries, Archives, and Museums with a two-week residency at the Medweganoonind Library at the Red Lake Nation Tribal College in Red Lake, Minnesota. Elizabeth is excited to pursue this “opportunity to go beyond the typical boundaries of a library school class.” As she notes, “What’s great is that I’m not just developing my own skills, but continuing to build on a relationship fostered by the TLAM program.”

In addition to the tribal libraries course, Elizabeth took a number of classes related to archives and academic libraries while attending the School of Library & Information Studies. Her ultimate goal is to work in public services in Special Collections, helping researchers and visitors find, understand, and appreciate the rare volumes held by the library.

Elizabeth earned undergraduate degrees in English and Philosophy from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in May 2014. As a student of the classics (mythology, literature and philosophy), she started considering books as material objects and became fascinated with how written knowledge is both transmitted and stored. For example, one of her favorite volumes at UW-Madison is a 16th century copy of Virgil’s poetry. This particular edition was bound with blank leaves and has been extensively annotated over the years. Being able to trace another’s thoughts as they responded to Virgil’s work is a special thrill. She finds it a great way to “engage students in thinking about the owner of the book, who wrote these notes, how it affected them.”

It was an incident in her instruction practicum that cemented Elizabeth’s love of teaching. While assigned to observe a class, she had to step in when the original instructor was delayed. She felt the thrill of taking the material, making it her own, and helping students navigate the complexity of the library system on campus. Elizabeth happily reports, “It gave me the confidence that I could handle anything in the classroom.”

We hope her time at College is less fraught, but equally satisfying. Welcome, Elizabeth!