Monday, October 22, 2018

Getting to Know TS Librarians: Sue Burkhart

Sue Burkhart is the Acquisitions Librarian for the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals Library and she has been here for 24 years.  She grew up in Middle Georgia and went to Tift College in Forsyth, GA (now closed) and worked in a library for the first time as a student assistant. From there she travelled around the country and worked in libraries wherever she went.  Sue got her MLN from Emory University with two young children in the house.

Sue worked at a law firm in New York City, Mercer University Law School Library, and the University of Southern California Law Library before starting with the Circuit Library.  She began her career here as the catalog librarian keeping our online catalog up to date.  She moved on to acquisitions of legal materials for the libraries, the judges and other court staff.  She is also in charge of our Library Digital Collection of court historical material.

In her spare time, Sue enjoys spending time with her nine grandchildren and travelling to visit them as often as she can.  She also has an old English bulldog who takes her for a walk rather than the other way around.  If there is any time left she enjoys quilting and reading.

1. Does your job title describe what you do? Why?
I believe my job title does describe what I do. Since we have a small library staff I get to wear many hats.  I am the Acquisitions Librarian purchasing reference materials for judges, probation officers, federal public defenders, and other federal court staff in Alabama, Florida, and Georgia. I am also the Catalog Librarian performing copy cataloging using OCLC and original cataloging when the demand is there. I am also the Serials Librarian in charge of bindery for the few law reviews that we still bind. I am also in charge of our Digital Collection which consists of staff scanning historical court documents, creating metadata for these items, and entering them into our digital repository.

2. What are you reading right now?
I am usually reading two or three books at the same time.  I like all genres but at the present time I am reading historical fiction and non-fiction. For my book club I am reading America’s First Daughter by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie. This is an interesting look at the life of Thomas Jefferson through the perspective of his daughter, Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph, from the time she was a young girl, acting as hostess at the White House during the presidency of her father, and through his death. I am also reading Not Everyone Gets a Trophy by Bruce Tulgan so that I can learn how to better manage members of the millennial generation.

3. If you could work in any library what would it be? Why?
If I could work in any library it would be the one that I am working in right now. I have been here for 24 years and I still love my job. People ask me when I plan to retire and right now I can not give them an answer.  I like the variety of things that I do everyday.

4. You suddenly have a free day at work, what project would you work on? 
I do like the variety of tasks that I do everyday, but some days it feels like I don’t get a lot accomplished because I do have so many things that need to be done.  If I suddenly had a free day at work I would work all day on our library digital collection. That always seems to be at the bottom of my list of things to do but I like having our court history available to people who are looking for a specific item and we don’t have to go looking in file cabinets for them.