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The Special Collections Staff

The staff of Special Collections strives to preserve the heritage of the past and acquire important records of contemporary culture while making these materials available for use.

You may contact the staff during the reading room hours at (517) 884-6471

Peter Berg - Librarian, Head of Special Collections, Associate Director for Special Collections & Preservation

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Peter Berg was appointed head of Special Collections in September 1988. He is responsible for the administration and development of Special Collections, including direction of collection development, collection maintenance/conservation, and public service activities of the unit.

In 2005, he was appointed Associate Director for Special Collections and serves as a member of Executive Council of the MSU Libraries. Berg received his undergraduate degree in History from MSU (1969), his Library Science degree from the University of Michigan (1975), and his doctorate in History from MSU (1994).

Leslie M. Behm – Special Projects Librarian

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Leslie Behm joined the MSU Libraries staff in 1978 as a Science Librarian. In 1982, she became Head of the Clinical Center Library and divided her time between there and the Science Library. In 1984 she became Head of the Veterinary Clinical Center Library and split her time between the two branch libraries.

In 2009, Leslie joined the staff of Special Collections to work on special projects. She is responsible for Little Cookbooks: The Alan & Shirley Brocker Sliker Culinary Collection and the MSU Libraries' Archives. She received her Bachelor's degree in Biology from Heidelberg College (1976) and her MSLS from Case Western Reserve University (1977) with an emphasis on medical librarianship. She also has a MPH in Epidemiology from University of Michigan (1996) and a MS in Education from Capella University (2010).

Ruth Ann Jones, Education and Outreach Librarian

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Ruth Ann Jones joined Special Collections in 2015 as Education and Outreach Librarian, after many years of working with Special Collections in other roles.

Beginning in 1999 she managed two grant-funded projects to digitize materials from Special Collections: Shaping the Values of Youth: Sunday School Books in 19th Century America and Feeding America: The Historic American Cookbook Project. From 2005 to 2012, Ruth Ann was a Special Collections cataloger, working primarily with the Radicalism, Popular Culture, and Ethnic Studies collections.

She has prepared exhibits and promotional materials on many different genres within Special Collections: non-traditional publishers in Latin America; labor songbooks; the Changing Men Collection; gay pulp fiction; South American poetry; the Holtzman Israeli literature collection; international cookbooks; and the handmade books of Ediciones Vigía, to name a few.

Ruth Ann has a BA in Anthropology from Carleton College, an MLS from the University of Illinois, and a certificate in Special Collections Librarianship from the University of Illinois. She has also completed coursework at the University of Virginia Rare Book School.

Patrick Olson - Rare Books Librarian

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Patrick Olson joined Special Collections in 2014 to focus on managing and developing the rare book collection. Patrick has held special collections positions at the University of Iowa, MIT, and the University of Illinois, where he also earned his MLIS. Prior to crossing over to librarianship, he spent four years working in the rare book trade.

Diana Rivera - Chicana/o Latina/o Studies Bibliographer

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Diana Rivera joined Special Collections in 2009 and continues to build a core collection of primary sources, rare books and unique ephemera on the Chicana/o and Latina/o experience for the MSU Libraries. She is the Chicana/o Latina/o Bibliographer overseeing the Cesar E. Chavez Collection and provides reference desk assistance in Special Collections.

The Cesar E. Chavez Collection is a multi-disciplinary, multi-format collection which she has headed since 1995 when it was established. Many unique Chicano and Latino themed materials purchased and housed in Special Collections are regularly exhibited in the Chavez display case on 1 West. She received her undergraduate degree in Racial & Ethnic Studies from MSU and her Library Science degree from the University of Michigan.

Randall Scott - Librarian & Assistant Head of Special Collections

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Librarian Scott specializes in organizing and providing bibliographical access (cataloging and indexing) to rare, popular and radical materials, especially including comic books, popular fiction, and the fugitive publications of activist organizations.

Nicole Smeltekop - Special Materials Catalog Librarian

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Nicole Smeltekop began working at the MSU Libraries in June2014 as a Special Materials Catalog Librarian. She also has a secondary assignment managing the Archives and Manuscripts in Special Collections.  Prior to her hire at Michigan State, she was the archivist at Albion College and an archivist for the State of Michigan.  She received her B.A. in History from Michigan State University in 2005 and her MLIS from Wayne State University in 2006 with a concentration in archival administration.  She is a board member of the Michigan Archival Association and the Michigan State Records Advisory Board and a member of ALA, MAGRT, ALCTS, and OLAC. 

Lydia Tang

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Lydia Tang joined Special Collections in 2015 primarily to work with archives and manuscript collections.  Prior to coming to MSU, she was an archivist in the Music Division of the Library of Congress working on the Danny Kaye and Sylvia Fine Collection.  She also worked at the American Library Association Archives, and in a variety of positions at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, including the Rare Book and Manuscript Library, University Archives, Music and Performing Arts Library, and the Sousa Archives and Center for American Music.  She received her MLIS degree with a Certificate in Archives and Special Collections from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she is currently completing a Doctor of Musical Arts

Mary Jo Zeter - Latin American and Caribbean Studies Bibliographer

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Mary Jo Zeter is responsible for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at the MSU Libraries. She is contributing to the mission of Special Collections by acquiring and providing bibliographic access to popular materials from Latin America, the Iberian Peninsula and Italy. These  include comic books and graphic novels, as well as representative selections of alternative press publications from throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, such as the popular “cartonera” books and handmade artists books of Matanzas, Cuba. Mary Jo also identifies and acquires additional resources from or about her areas of responsibility that fall within the collecting priorities of Special Collections. She is, for example, actively engaged in strengthening a “Cookery of the Americas” collection with acquisitions from Latin America and the Caribbean.

Kristine Baclawski - Library Assistant

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Kris Baclawski began working at MSU's Library first as a student assistant at the Science and Vet Clinic (Med) libraries in 1978 and later in 1982, joined the pre-cataloging staff of Monographic Acquisitions. In 1985, she moved to InterLibrary Loan, working on both the borrowing and lending sides.

2001 brought Kris to Special Collections, where she divides her time between the desk, assisting patrons; supervising students; collecting and processing materials for the Vertical Files; filling what InterLibrary Loan requests can be copied; and cataloging incoming Special Collections gifts and serials.

Nora Carr - Library Assistant

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Nora Carr began working for the MSU Libraries while a student at MSU. After graduating in 1981 with a BA focusing on Library Science, she began working as a full time staff member in Serials Acquisitions. Since then she has worked in various units within the Libraries including Information-Reference, the Agricultural Economics Reading Room, Conservation and the Gast Business Library.  Nora joined Special Collections in 2015.

Carolyn Schein - Library Assistant

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Carolyn Schein began her lifelong love of books with her mother reading her little Golden Books.  Her first paying job was as a student shelving books at Wayne State University Library, where she graduated with a degree in Geography.  From there it was on to Chicago to work as a researcher for a publishing company, a labor union, and several jobs in education. 

Carolyn began at MSU in 2000 working in Purchasing /Inventory, and was hired by the Engineering Library in 2004 as a Library Assistant. In 2010 she transferred to the Main Library in Human Resources. She has also worked at the Vet Library.  Carolyn joined Special Collections in 2012, where she assists Diana Rivera with Latino/Latina materials for the Cesar Chavez Collection, and also Randall Scott with the Richard Webster Comic Project.  She has also worked on the Sliker Project and the MICHILAC Project. 

John Stone - Library Assistant

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John Stone works in the afternoon in special collections typing labels and tags, working in the vertical file and double checking the student workers shelving of materials