Katie Franklin @kayefraye

Librarian (public, part time), PhD student (Humanities Department)

Research interest: The critical relationship between fashion and literature as an expression of cultural history and contemporary meaning.

Recreational and professional life:

I’m very lucky that I can incorporate aspects of my research into my professional life. I’m responsible for collection development in the 391s (Dewey) which is of course the fashion section. Not only is it exciting to locate gaps in the collection where I can use my outside research interests to make sure that the collection is complete, I also get the opportunity to see what new books are being published which definitely informs my research.

What do librarians do all day?

This question definitely varies from person to person. Since I’m only part time my main responsibility is to be on the reference desk helping library patrons find materials and information. However, while I’m on the desk I will often be working on collection development and programming.

How often to do you shelve books?

Silly, that’s what pages are for! (although to be kind it is nice to help out your colleagues).

Is what you do satisfying?

I once helped a young woman find materials about how to come out to her parents and then I recommended additional resources where she could find support groups as well as various outlets to let her know about events in the community. She was so incredibly grateful and I found it immensely satisfying to connect with the public on this level. Now, that being said, I also spent half a day today telling people where to find the washroom . . .

Are you so bored that you have to find a crazy hobby to keep your life interesting?

Choosing to do a PhD in this economic climate instead of taking on more hours at the library can definitely be qualified as crazy. I had always wanted to do a PhD but I was nervous that my job prospects would be limited when I finished especially since the trend in academia is to phase out tenure. However, if it wasn’t for my job at the library then I probably wouldn’t have had the motivation to pursue my goal. The luxury of being a part time librarian is that I can do both jobs and possibly amalgamate the two when I’m finished my studies  (attention Fashion Institute of Technology!)

Why are all librarians women?

This is such a stereotype! When I started working in my department at the library most of my co-workers were men! I would say right now it is almost an even split between men and women.