Sunday, October 28, 2012

NPR Librarian Talks Radio, New Book

I think working as a librarian at a radio station is one of the coolest jobs a person could have. Kee Malesky has that job. For more than 20 years, she's worked as a librarian at National Public Radio (NPR), headquartered in Washington, DC. 

Research librarian Kee Malesky finds the answers for NPR hosts, editors, and reporters.
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Malesky recently came to New York to promote her new book at an event hosted by METRO, a nonprofit organization that works to develop and maintain essential library services in New York City and Westchester County, New York. When not discussing Learn Something New Every Day: 365 Facts to Fulfill Your Life, which hit bookstores earlier this month, Malesky delivered tidbits about being a research librarian at NPR to an eager and inquisitive audience.

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Since 1984, Malesky has been on staff at NPR, which actually doesn't have a centralized library. She and her colleagues - 14 full-time librarians in all - are embedded in various bureaus throughout the media organization, such as the News and Science desks. There, they field questions from NPR hosts, editors, and reporters. Some of the questions that she and the other librarians are asked have to do with proper pronunciation, while others concern statistics and research. Together, they answer more than 11,000 reference questions a year. Although NPR staffers can be demanding, Malesky said that "for the most part, they're very appreciative of our efforts."

On being a librarian, Malesky said, "We read all the time. We're constantly looking at new sources, at websites, at all kinds of things that are happening in the world. We're all very proactive. It's really a part of the proper job of a librarian."

In July, Kee Malesky was named the 2012 recipient of the Dow Jones Leadership Award, which "recognizes exemplary leadership as an information professional through personal and professional achievements," according the SLA Blog. Congratulations, Kee!

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