SLASC Presentation: Panel for Archivists in Special Libraries

Student Group

Join us for a panel discussion with Laura Fisher, Chief Archivist at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, CA and Samuel Russell, Library and Archives Collection Manager at Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales, FL. They will be sharing the educational and professional backgrounds that lead them to their current roles as archivists in special libraries, in addition to sharing what it is like to work as an archivist in special libraries.

More about Laura Fisher: Laura Fisher started her career in public history as an archeologist and historian. She completed her undergraduate education at Cal Poly Pomona and received her master’s in history from Cal State Northridge. Having participated in nearly every aspect of public history, from excavation to curation, Laura tries to use her varied experience to serve the museum community. As the archivist for the Petersen Automotive Museum, Laura describes her job as, “taking care of everything that is not a car” and acts as a conservator, librarian, archivist, and special collections caretaker for the Petersen. As a passionate public historian, Laura advocates for increased public accessibility to history and supports museums as a tool for social bonding and an expression of community identity.

More about Samuel Russell: Sam began working in libraries in his undergraduate career. He first worked as a general student worker, then as a copy-cataloger for a donated collection, and lastly as a student worker in a Federal Depository Library Program library. While completing his library science and history graduate studies, Sam worked as a graduate library pre-professional at The Catholic University of America’s Mullen Library. His primary area of focus at work was in one of the special collection libraries: religious studies, philosophy and Canon law. Upon graduating in 2017, Sam began contracting in Washington, DC: first for the Library of Congress and then for the Government Publishing Office. In January of 2022, Sam began working as the Library and Archives Collection Manager for Bok Tower Gardens which was founded by Edward Bok in fulfillment of his grandmother’s wish for her children: “Wherever your lives may be cast, make the world a bit better or more beautiful because you have lived in it.” Sam is an active member of SLA and has served as the program chair for Washington DC’s community and as the co-chair of the Technology Advisory Council.

Sam is the solo librarian and archivist at the Bok Tower Gardens and is responsible for the general management of the library, keeping the collection up to date, managing subscriptions, working with colleagues across the institution to determine needs, assisting with archival questions or research questions as they arise, cataloging the material, researching grants, engaging with vendors, and working to preserve the material in the institutional archives. He serves the organization in other areas where he is able.

With respect to tips for navigating archival and/or special library jobs, Sam would like to offer the following: be not afraid. You have, or are in the process of learning, a great number of skills that will aid you on your journey. He encourages you to take advantage of all the networking opportunities that you have access to, and to get involved in organizations where you have an interest and where you are able—even if it is for a limited time duration. He has found engaging with other professionals to be very rewarding for professional growth, guidance, and reaching out for help when needed.

Register in advance for this meeting:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Date: Tuesday April 19, 2022
Time: 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. (Pacific Time)
Location: Online via Zoom