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April 2016


Ask her anything: Kerry Carlson
Susan Rubenstein DeMasi


Kerry Carlson
Kerry Carlson is a new librarian at the Grant Campus (photo by Victoria Pendzick)

Ask her anything. What’s the allowable maximum number of players on a soccer team and when can substitutions be made? Were the members of the Continental Congress all at the Constitutional Convention? Is it okay to scan full-text articles from a journal and put them on a Blackboard site?

Meet Kerry Carlson, the Grant Campus’ new full-time librarian. Throw any question at her. She’ll assess it, research it if she doesn’t already know the answer, then hit it out of the ball park. “I like to problem solve,” she said. “Find an issue that’s really hard to solve—that’s what I like to do. It doesn’t matter if it’s science or if it’s law or any other area.”

In fact, Kerry has a law degree, and although she doesn’t practice or maintain clients, she certainly hasn’t lost her knowledge base. She is particularly interested in American history and government, constitutional studies and copyright infringement and rights.

Admittedly a little bit of a geek, she took no time at all to become conversant with the FA contract and has already answered questions for me (that I should have known) regarding various provisions. Additionally, she’s made herself, in less than a year on the job, an integral member of the college community, serving as a member of the nursing program’s accreditation team, the Standard 2 subcommittee for the Middle States Decennial Self-Study and as the lead investigator in applying for a SUNY technology grant.

This is the first time that Kerry has worked full time as member of a labor union and is thankful for the many benefits that come along with it. “I’ve never had a prescription reimbursement benefit before, I’ve never had the benefits the FA provides for glasses and dental.”

She’s especially appreciative of the new member program and the help it provided in helping her acclimate to the new environment. She’s impressed by the fact that not only does the union offer such programs but that it actively encourages members to participate. “For me, it’s also important to feel that I’m standing with people on the same side and fighting for a common cause,” she added.

When she’s not problem solving at work, she’s doing it at home. She and her husband have three children and spend many waking hours chaperoning, car-pooling, cheering them on in soccer, lacrosse and basketball and generally doing what it takes to support their kids’ academic and extracurricular activities. You are certain to run it to Kerry somewhere along the line. And when you do, hit her up with a question. She’ll be happy to put her problem solving skills in to action.