A Librarian for the Students

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Published on October 22, 2014

Mark Gore is a book lover, like most librarians, but his favorite part of working in Housatonic’s library is definitely helping the students.

At first glance he’s tall, with slightly dark and slick hair, glasses, and an English accent. He’s probably one of the first people you see when you walk into the library, sitting at the front desk either working on his computer or helping a student.

Photo by the author

Photo by the author

As a seasoned employee of 25 years, he’s seen the library expand, and loves the atmosphere it has created. While his main job is Circulation, what really drives him to work every morning are things like supervising his student workers, and helping students in their academic endeavors.

Gore stumbled upon a library career when he first took a job as a student worker, while he was attending City College of San Francisco. He describes working in a library while in school as “advantageous”, because he’d have access to research materials and time to study for classes.

Gore remembers a time before computers transformed the library experience. “It was a whole different world back then,” he recalls. One enormous change was from card catalogs to online public access catalogs.

If you wanted a book, Gore says, you’d have to look through huge drawers filled with thousands of cards, then take out the card for the book you wanted and copy down the information. Replacing the cards, however, was a much more arduous task, because misplaced cards could lead to chaos in the drawers, hindering everyone else from finding their own books.

Gore also remembers typing up  overdue notices on a typewriter. “Life was more complicated back then,” he says.

Housatonic’s current library, by comparison, is a place filled with vast amounts of resources that quickly and efficiently help students. Gore is happy to take anyone on a quick tour of the library, pointing out the textbooks available for students without books, the lab materials for those studying sciences, current newspapers and magazines, group study rooms with interactive keyboards, and a whole section devoted to financial literacy.

The most rewarding times for Gore are when students come back to thank him for his help, maybe bringing a card with them or just so pleased to have done well on their exams and term papers.

He says he truly enjoys working with the students at Housatonic, and is pleased each time a student uses the library resources to help them achieve their best.