SIUC librarian aids statewide libraries

By Gus Bode

Recently promoted Morris librarian helps libraries obtain reference books.

Note:I think that a great idea for a pop-out quote would be “I’ll always be a librarian at heart- just without the bun.”

A common librarian stereotype is a quiet female with glasses and a bun, but Cristy Stupegia does not fit that ideal as a professional at Morris Library.

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In her new position as the library’s constituency development officer, Stupegia coordinates fund-raising activities for Morris Library.

Stupegia made the leap from serving as a reference consultant for the Morris-based Shawnee Library System to her new job in four years. She began working in her new position Aug. 1.

Before her promotion, Stupegia served as an academic librarian concentrating in educational psychology and special education.

“I have always had aspirations to be an academic librarian so I applied and in 2001 became the educational psychology librarian,” Stupegia said.

As an academic librarian, Stupegia organized the Illinois Library Association Project Reference Recycling program, which assists libraries statewide in obtaining reference books. She acquired used reference materials that were then given to libraries that could not afford new books.

Stupegia, along with her colleagues Kendi Kelley of Mount Vernon Library and Linda Mathias of Marion Carnegie Library, were recognized with the Reference Services Award for their dedication to the program.

Shawnee Interim Director Joe Harris, who nominated the three librarians for the award, said Stupegia made an important contribution.

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“Cristy is an excellent example of some of the new librarians entering into the profession and has already had a statewide impact by expanding the Reference Recycling Program,” Harris said.

Stupegia said she was pleased by the award, but also looks ahead to providing libraries with more books.

“It’s a great honor to be recognized,” Stupegia said, “We worked hard [and] we have more work to do.”

With her new responsibilities and a one-hour commute from Sparta, Stupegia doesn’t know if her duties will allow her to escape to Morris Library’s fourth floor balcony to relax and gaze at the tower across campus; a pastime she has long enjoyed.

And although she loves to spend time with her husband John, whom she married in March, and their dog Domino, Stupegia says she will always set aside time for her favorite activity – reading.

“I’ll always love libraries and I’ll always be a librarian at heart- just without the bun,” said Stupegia.

Reporter Lindsey J. Mastis can be reached at [email protected]

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