Name: Beth Cuddy
Education Background: 
MLS Syracuse University; MA in Journalism SU

What was your professional background before your current position?
I worked as a newspaper reporter for The Post-Standard for seven years.

Describe your current position:
I am an elementary librarian for a K-6 building in Auburn.

What do you like best about your work?
I love sharing stories with kids. There's nothing better than getting children excited about books. I think when a child makes the connection that reading is not drudgery, that child becomes a life-long reader.

What has been your biggest professional challenge during the pandemic?
I had to make the decision to step away this year in order to care for my 10-year-old son while he studies remotely. Like many families, we had to make the choice between health vs economics.

How are you seeing issues of diversity, equity and inclusion play a more prominent role in your work environment?
My district supported our training in conducting diversity audits of our collections. I recently completed the training through Library Journal, and although I'm not technically working, I am reviewing the collection and focusing on making equitable and inclusive selections when piecing together book orders.

What other organizations are you involved with?
NYLA and ALA

What advice would you give to someone new to the field?
My advice if you work in a school is to let your administrator know what it is you can do and offer to the school. Many people do not really understand what librarians do and feel they need to assign extra duties as a result.

What software/web tools have helped you best pivot to remote work?
Screencastomatic, Canva, GSuite

Favorite blog or website:
I'm embarrassed to say it, but I check Twitter obsessively.
 
What is bringing you hope or comfort right now?
As much as I feel we are living in a dystopian hellscape, I do think we are seeing a resurgence in public engagement and what it means to be an active citizen.

What are you most proud of?
I and another librarian, Kelly Chambala, created a podcast called Strange Country and we're currently at 165 episodes.

What would you like to learn?
How to create a podcast that makes money.

Is there anything about you that others would be surprised to know?
I play bass and sing in the band A Cast of Thousands.
 
Thanks for sharing Beth!
We would love to have more regional library and cultural organization
staff members featured in a Member Spotlight.

Would you like to share? It's easy!