WOLFSONIAN PROFILE: LIBRARY VOLUNTEER, ARMANDO SUAREZ
Today I would like to feature one of several persons working in the Wolfsonian-FIU library in a volunteer capacity. With a full-time staff of two librarians and one digital library specialist, we are extremely dependent on student interns and volunteers to meet the reference needs of our many student and faculty visitors and to keep up with our daily work regime of preserving and making accessible to the public our vast library holdings. Fortunately, we have had a number of dedicated individuals willing to donate their time in return for some practical training and experience in special collections librarianship.
One such individual is Armando Suarez. A native of Madrid, Spain, Mr. Suarez has been working full-time for the Wolfsonian as a financial and administrative assistant since November 2007. Those duties have not deterred him from coming in on his free days to work with us here in our rare books and special collections library. Armando has provided us with invaluable assistance in processing and accessioning several recently-acquired collections, cataloging the same in MARC21, making Melinex enclosures for rare and delicate items using our ultrasonic polyester welding machine, and creating digital images of our ephemeral items and linking those images to the catalog records in our OPAC.
Armando has also been able to work directly alongside Dr. Laurence Miller, retired director of libraries at FIU and donor of a large collection of post-war materials promoting the cruise line industry. That collaboration has provided Mr. Suarez with a rare opportunity for knowledge acquisition and expertise in the field. “It has been a particularly wonderful experience to work hands-on with the donor of a large and varied collection,” says Suarez, and “particularly significant on a personal level, as it has awakened my interest in furthering my education in the field of library science.” Based on his dedication and outstanding performance here, we know that when he does leave us it will be to begin walking down the path to a fine career in the field.