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DMIL Member Interview with Pat Alderman

How did you get involved in military librarianship? 

My husband was a career naval officer and I knew that becoming a military librarian increased my chance of finding a job.  I was very fortunate that during his military career I was always able to find a job, with no break in service.

How did you get involved in DMIL?  

When I was working at the Ft. Story Post Library in Virginia Beach my boss, Carl Cannon was active in the Virginia Chapter of Special Library Association.  He got me involved in that and also brought the Military Libraries Division  to my attention.  It was a natural fit.

What has been your best experience working for the military?

I was mostly an Army Librarian, despite being married to a naval officer.  My most unusual experience was probably deploying to Taszar, Hungary as an MWR specialist, in support of Operation Joint Guard.  We trained along side Army soldiers, contractors, and civilians first at  Ft. Benning, then at Hohenfels in Germany.  We finally got specialized MWR training in Heidelberg where we learned how to prepare brackets, given an overview in repairing some sports equipment, learned about paperback book kits, Army entertainment program, and other things. The deployed MWR specialists came from all of the different recreation branches including sports, outdoor recreation, arts and crafts, library (me), rec centers, auto crafts, and theater.  It was the first time I lived almost like the military–wearing the same uniform, living in the same barracks, eating in the dining facilities.  We did not have to carry weapons with us, although we did have to qualify with M-16s before leaving Ft Benning.

taszar-c130-jul-97

What has been your best experience being involved in DMIL?

I have really enjoyed the comaraderie of other military library staff.   We are a special bunch who provide library and information services to all branches of America’s military, their families, retirees, and authorized civilians.

What positions in DMIL have you held? 

I was chair elect, chair and past chair from 2003-2005.  I was director-at-large for the SLA centennial in Washington DC in 2009.  I was webmaster for several years in the 1990s and early 2000s.  I was also copy editor for the Military Librarian, and have served on the resource and finance committees for several years.  Most recently I have been assistant discussion list manger.

If someone were to visit your library or your town, what would you be sure to show them or recommend that they see? 

We now live in San Diego and I volunteer in the library of the USS Midway Carrier museum.  It is the most successful ship museum anywhere.  The Midway was the longest serving air craft carrier in the 20th century.  It was commissioned in September 1945, shortly after WWII ended and served through Desert Storm, before being decommissioned in April 1992.  She  was recently named the 6th best museum in the United States.  I would definitely recommend the USS Midway.

Please recommend one LIS-specific book or article that you read recently that you found particularly good. What makes it worthwhile? 

My favorite LIS related book is This Book is Overdue by Marilyn Johnson.  She focuses on both real and virtual libraries.  Most books do not pay much attention to virtual worlds.  I met Marilyn’s avatar in Second Life, when she came in world to give a book talk shortly after her book was published.  Marilyn was also the featured closing speaker at the 2016 SLA annual conference in Philadelphia.

marilyn-johnnson-this-book-is-overdue

If you were to recommend one book, just for fun, what would it be? 

I am currently reading Harry Potter and the Cursed child.  I love the scene where Hermione, who is now the Minister of Magic, has put a spell on her bookcase so people can not carelessly rifle through her collection of books on Dark Magic.  There have been times in post libraries, particularly in the children’s room, where I wish I had had such a spell when parents have looked the other way while their darlings remove every book off the shelf and throw them into a pile on the floor.

 

One Response to “DMIL Member Interview with Pat Alderman”

  1. Bill Drew says:

    I really enjoyed reading this interview. Well done, Pat.

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