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An abstract painting, one of the entries in the annual Al Young Art Show.

Anne Thomason

At Knox since 2021

Director of the Seymour Library

Anne Thomason was recently named the seventh director of the Seymour Library.

Anne Thomason

Anne Thomason is the seventh director of the Seymour Library. A Macalester College alumna, she attended the University of Michigan School of Information, where she received her master of science in information (MSI).

Why did you choose this career?

When I graduated from college, I thought I would become a history professor, and I was accepted into a history program and took some classes. I also started working in the archives at Emory University in Special Collections and Archives. I realized I didn’t want to write a dissertation. I like variety, and I thought focusing on one project was not who I am. I really enjoyed working with researchers on their different projects, so I got to learn about a new collection or help them with different research questions, and I really enjoyed that. I also learned how to use technologies with archives—this is back when the internet was new to most of us.

How did a liberal arts education prepare you for this career?

I think a liberal arts education can really prepare you for whatever career you want to go into, but it can also prepare you to be a citizen of the world. If it does what it’s supposed to do, you should be able to think critically, learn fast, be able to adapt to all kinds of different environments, think in creative ways about problems, and find results.

What makes you excited about your job?

I love the staff at Seymour Library. They’ve done a really great job over the years. They work really well with students. The building itself has so much charm. I love all the nooks and crannies. I think there’s a lot we can do with the building to improve the instruction spaces. I want to work more with faculty to make sure collection development meets their needs. We’re rethinking collection development to make it more student and faculty centered, to bring the librarians and the Knox community together.

What advice do you have for someone considering library science as a career?

Get a job in a library or take an internship so you can find out if you like the actual work before you go to library school. You may like to read, but that’s not what being a librarian is all about. Be comfortable working with people and technology. It’s a great field for someone with varied interests. It’s fun! You are going to have a lot of great colleagues. It’s an open-minded field. I do recommend taking a couple of years and working before you go to library school—I recommend that to anyone before going to grad school. I’m happy to talk to anyone considering library school at any time.

Do you have any book recommendations?

The last books I read were histories of Knox (Missionaries and Muckrakers and Fighters for Freedom, and I’m supposed to be reading They Broke the Prairie.) I will recommend a book I read a while ago called Station 11, which is about a Shakespeare troupe/musical group in the Midwest following a pandemic that wiped out most of civilization.

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Knox College

Printed on Saturday, May 18, 2024