Name: Pearce J. Carefoote
Job Title: Early Books Librarian, Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library
Description of unique interest/hobby: Gardening

What is the most rewarding thing about your hobby?

Being outside enjoying the fresh air and getting my hands dirty. Generally, I just enjoy seeing things grow, knowing that gardening is a long term commitment, not just something you do for a single season.

What is the most rewarding thing about your job?

That I get to time travel every day through the rare books that I handle. I particularly enjoy the opportunities for research that work in a rare book library allows and encourages.

How your professional life informs your recreational life?

My professional life forces me to broaden my personal horizons through the research that I do daily, often in areas that I had never studied before. As a result, the effect of historical trends on current events becomes more apparent to me even when reading the newspaper or a news magazine. I also find that it affects which books I choose to read for pleasure – biographies, histories, even mysteries that I wouldn’t have been naturally inclined to read.

What do librarians/you do all day?

My day is a mixture of researching, cataloguing, reference, and occasionally committee meetings.

Is every librarian doing the same thing?

Not in our library. We each have our own niches, though of course there is some overlap, especially with reference to our public service duties.

How often do you shelve books?

That’s not one of the librarians’ jobs here at the Fisher; one of the technicians is responsible for that since one can’t take the chance that books could be misshelved if too many people are involved.

How often do you do office work?

Most of the day, unless I’m on reference, which currently is one 4-hour shift per week.

Is what you do satisfying?

Immensely, for the reasons cited above.

Do you love reading?


Do you need peace and quiet to work?

For the kind of detail work we do, it helps immensely.