Tracy Sutherland … Success Story & Librarian in St. Kitts and Nevis

This interview is over 1 year old and may no longer be up to date or reflect the interviewee/interviewees’ positions

Naomi House’s interview with success story Tracy.

tracysNaomi:  How did you find your current job?
Tracy:  In 2004 I took a week vacation to Barbados and fell in love with everything about the island when I got back to the states I began my search for a librarian island position mind you I was still in library school at the time. I would log in to the University of the West Indies website to check on job listings constantly and would make sure to check the INALJ international section as well. I would constantly tell people about it and would often get laughs. I would think to myself what are the chances of a little black girl from rural Ohio getting an opportunity like that?  Turns out pretty good. Ten years later I was found on LinkedIn by the HR recruiter and am now the Library Director at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in St. Kitts & Nevis.  I had always wanted to be a library director specifically on an island so when the email and then the phone call came to interview I couldn’t believe it and had to take this once in a life time opportunity.

Naomi:  Favorite library you have been to?
Tracy:  There are many but I really do love the Library of Congress totally for its looks. That being said having worked in and studied at some of the best schools and libraries in New England I’d have to say there are some close seconds. Working at Smith College and Amherst College these two have a very special place in my heart where the collections are massive and painstakingly chosen to provide the best collection for future and current scholars. UMass – Amherst and Mt. Holyoke College where I studied for both my BA and MLIS served me on a different level and both have their own greatness in terms of physical size and architecture. And I must mention the last library I worked at in the states the J. Eugene Smith Library at Eastern Connecticut State University in Willimantic, Connecticut which is a Choice award winning library although I spent the shortest time in this library I will never forget it nor the wonderful people I had the pleasure to work with there.

Naomi:  Favorite book?mamba
Tracy:  My favorite book is Beloved by Toni Morrison. It took me 3 tries to actually get it started but it is truly a masterpiece. However, I must confess that I am a graphic novel and pulp fiction fan and have several on their way here in shipping barrels as well two Gary Larson books. A must have on an island full of veterinarians.

Naomi:  Favorite thing about libraries/ library technology?
Tracy:  As far as libraries go I love that they are all different and the same. The organization of the collection is the same there is always order but every collection and building is different.  With technology I am fascinated by the way in which we find new and innovative ways to connect with others physically and virtually to teach, learn, and make our communities better.

Naomi:  Any websites or feeds or blogs we should be following?
Tracy: iLibrarian blog by Ellysa Kroski is full of great current information and of course INALJ which lead me to some great interviews. For fun for videos.

Naomi:  Best piece of job hunting advice?
Tracy: Its a good thing to have your information online. Keep it up to date and make connections it pays off. Keep hunting and you never know your dream job may find you.

All Jobs for INALJ can be found here: Updated daily


About the photos:  “The library is just below me on the left and there is a garden with a lovely pomegranate tree and a pond of fish just in the front. I truly have been blessed this is an amazing adventure.My dog Mamba (Affenpinscher) came with me and I think she feels like I made the right decision in choosing this job. The second picture is of her during our first few days here in St. Kitts at our temporary housing.”

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