Jessica Lacher-Feldman has joined the LSU Libraries faculty as the new Head of Special Collections at Hill Memorial Library. Jessica comes to LSU from The University of Alabama, where for thirteen years she was the Curator of Rare Books & Special Collections and Public & Outreach Services Coordinator at the W.S. Hoole Special Collections Library. A native of New York State, she holds an undergraduate degree in French Studies and History and master’s degrees in History and Library Science (Archives Concentration) from The University at Albany.
While at The University of Alabama, Jessica served as project manager for Publishers’ Bindings Online, 1815-1930: The Art of Books (http://bindings.lib.ua.edu), and worked with LSU Libraries Special Collections to include a selection of books from Hill in the project. “It was just a pleasure to work with Elaine Smyth [current Interim Dean of LSU Libraries] on Publishers’ Bindings Online. Fast forward several years, and here I am, and I could not be happier to be working with her and with the wonderful people and collections here at LSU.”
Jessica is active in the Society of American Archivists, as well as the Rare Books and Manuscripts section of the Association of College and Research Libraries, a division of the American Library Association. She is a member of CALM, the Committee on Archives, Libraries and Museums, representing the Society of American Archivists. She teaches a workshop on exhibit development in archives, and in August 2013, her book, “Exhibits in Archives and Special Collections Libraries” (http://saa.archivists.org/store/exhibits-in-archives-and-special-collections/3333/) was published by the Society of American Archivists. The first full-length monograph of its kind to focus on exhibit development with rare books and archives, it has already been assigned for use in the classroom.
With many ideas and a great deal of energy, Jessica has a vision for what she would like to see and accomplish at LSU. “As a curator, archivist, and librarian, I see the great need for creative outreach and growth. We have a responsibility to protect and preserve the treasures in our library, but we also have a great responsibility to share them with the world, starting with our undergrads, graduate students, faculty, and the community at large. Archives and Special Collections are exciting places to be, and the magic and wonder of the past, whether you are interested in the history of LSU, or of the region, or are interested in seeing one of our thousands of rare books, maps, or photographs, there is something here for everyone. If I may be so bold, I have the greatest job in the world, and I have the distinct pleasure, along with the great staff and students working at Hill, of sharing my excitement and enthusiasm for our collections and what they hold with those around me.”
Jessica has come to Baton Rouge from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, with her husband, Thomas Little, and their two dogs, Astro and Luna. She has spent some time visiting South Louisiana over the years and is thrilled to be living in such a beautiful and historically significant place.