The Ella Johnson Crandall Memorial Library (our campus library where students can often be found cramming late into the night) has had some changes over the past couple years, and it’s about to undergo yet another one. As many may be aware, current library director, Sabrina Riley, will be leaving Union Dec. 19. Stepping up to the position is current public services librarian, Keiren Bailey.
I was able to sit down with both ladies and find out more details about this switch.
Sabrina Riley has been employed as Union’s library director since June 2003. On top of her administration duties, she manages electronic resources, serials and the overall management of handling subscriptions, as well as organizing and maintaining the Heritage Room. She also assists with student reference and instruction.
Riley loves to get people excited about the Heritage room and our college’s history. Over the years, she has focused on organizing and documenting the large collection of historical artifacts, making them easily accessible to students, faculty and the public.
“Stories are what get people excited about it [items from the Heritage room]—and that’s our reason for keeping something. If there’s no story to it, there’s no reason to keep it. That’s my philosophy as a historian ... I can dig up stories on a lot of stuff that people would write off and say, ‘oh, there’s no story there,’” she shared.
Sometime last year, when Riley began to think seriously about her move, she opened up a word document and titled it “Library Director’s Manual,” where she has since journaled her thoughts and notes all about what she has learned during the past 13 years, which she hopes those that follow her will find beneficial.
What will Riley be doing next?
She and her family will be moving to Virginia, where her husband is stationed in the military. She will be working on a book about the medical cadet corp., which she has been heavily involved in researching over the past six years.
Once completed, this book will be the first piece of academic writing on the history of the medical cadet corp., founded by Dr. Everett Dick in 1934. Riley will also be authoring approximately 25 articles for the new Seventh-day Adventist encyclopedia set, scheduled to debut at the next General Conference session in 2020. On top of the large amount of research writing, Sabrina stated, “Somewhere in there, I’m hoping to homeschool my boys.”
We wish her all the best as she moves on—although this won’t be the last we see of her. Riley confirmed she will be returning to use resources from the Heritage room while writing her book.
In the meantime, Keiren Bailey, our current public services librarian, works alongside Riley. She began working at Union this past May, but will move up to the position of library director in January. The search has already begun for a replacement public services librarian.
This will be Bailey’s first time as a library director. She shared with me that she never imagined she would be where she currently is in her eighth academic year.
When asked about her transition to Union, Bailey said it has been easy. She feels she’s already been here much longer than six months, and loves the small-city feel with the friendly, welcoming people.
She finds the thought of her new position a little overwhelming at times, but is excited and looking forward to it. “I’m excited to see how we can move the library to the next level, and part of what I see going forward is working with the faculty on how we can improve on teaching research.”
Riley concludes, “I don’t always see the difference [I’ve made], but I know I’ve made an impact on some students’ lives just by being their supervisor or friend. It’s always rewarding when you help someone find their place as an adult.”
Head on over to the library and say goodbye to Riley, take a look around the Heritage room and meet Bailey if you haven’t already. It’s a great place to study—plus there are Legos and puzzles for when you need a study break.