As the new Dean of Mason Library, it is safe to say that Celia Rabinowitz is an important source on campus.
The former Library and Media Center Director for St. Mary’s College in Maryland is now in charge of one of the most valuable student resources at Keene State College.
This is not to say, however, that Rabinowitz wants to take full control of the library on her own.
“We need to create a vision for what we want the library to be,” she explained, “It’s not my job to come up with that vision, but to help establish what people want.”
Holding a PhD in Theology from Fordham University, as well as being the faculty advisor for the LGBTQ [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning] Club at St. Mary’s College, Rabinowitz is more than just your average librarian.
A self-proclaimed “armchair political scientist,” Rabinowitz has a strong interest in politics, music and theater.
She also has a huge love for animals and currently takes care of four cats and a dog, as well as possums, raccoons, birds and squirrels back in Maryland.
Through a public college like Keene State, Rabinowitz described her former school as being smaller and more rural than where she is now.
“The nearest student bar was four miles away, the nearest gas station was eight miles away and the nearest Target was twelve miles away,” Rabinowitz said.
With such an immense transition after being in Maryland for 22 years, she is extremely grateful of her co-workers and others in the Keene community that have assisted her.
Dana Clark, the Library Systems manager for KSC, is just as appreciative of Rabinowitz.
He describes his first impressions of her as being, “positive minded and oriented … Respectful in a very pronounced way.”
“I am very optimistic,” Clark said of his short time in working with Rabinowitz, “I have confidence in her.”
Rabinowitz explained her main goal was “coming in without too many ideas — more listening to others.”
One of the projects she is working on that seems to be getting people’s attention is a coffee service in the library.
A self-service machine, which could use both paper money and Owl Cash, would be able to make coffee, cocoa and tea.
Rabinowitz hopes the machine will be in place next semester; an achievement of her work with food services and Sodexo to create a service that would be “available all the time that we’re open and easy to use.”
This idea has attracted the attention of students like Nick Dubicki, a sophomore at KSC. “Coffee in the library can help students with their work,” he commented during a study session. Although he was concerned with making sure students prevent spills and stains, when asked how he felt about the machine, Dubicki firmly responded, “I’m all for it.”
Above all, Rabinowitz said she wants library users to be open about their ideas and experiences.
“I want to encourage students to come visit me. My door is always open. I’m hoping members of the campus community will see me and tell me what they’re thinking,” Rabinowitz said.
Joseph Stallcop can be contacted at email@example.com