Thursday, January 22, 2009

Little-known facts about library staff: Karen Preslock

Public services librarian Karen Preslock probably wouldn't have become a librarian at all if it hadn't been for her dog, Tundra King.

Karen was in college studying to be a veterinarian when her beloved dog had to be euthanized. Realizing she wasn't emotionally cut out to handle that aspect of the job, Karen embarked upon a career as a librarian instead. It's been a diverse path that's included a rewarding stint as a medical librarian in a teaching hospital, as well as jobs at the National Library of Medicine, the National Agricultural Library, the Smithsonian Libraries and several University and College Libraries.

In 1987, while working at the Smithsonian Institution Libraries, Karen had an idea for automating the matching of 'out of print' and 'rare books' and 'magazines' with the 'want lists' of libraries and collectors. In 1989, she raised $3 million to start the company ABACIS(Antiquarian Books and Collectibles Information Services), provider of BookQuest and SerialsQuest. This product later became the likes of the internet-based

In 1994, Karen became the part-time Corporate Librarian for a well respected career transition company in Altanta. She was quickly brought on full-time to run the company's IT department, and over an 11-year period was promoted to VP of Retained Search. During her time with the company, she worked with over 6,000 professionals, executives, graduate students and professional athletes (including several Atlanta Braves), working with them on a variety of aspects including: "Using the library and research skills during a career search", "Finding good/free or inexpensive assessments and how to use them in a career search", "How to REALLY use Monster and Careerbuilder in a career search" and more.

Karen helps students every day with research in all kinds of areas, and she has a special flair for business searches.

(Marley and Me by John Grogan, SF429.L3 G76 2005, is available in the Leisure Reading collection on the second floor of the library).

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