Friday, May 11, 2012

Sisters in Crime Interview with Wendy Maxwell

Wendy Maxwell
at the Circulation Desk of
The Makiki Community Library
Sisters in Crime/Hawaii Chapter meets on the third Wednesday of each month at Makiki Library on Keeaumoku Street in Honolulu, Hawaii. Wendy Maxwell, a member of Sisters in Crime Hawaii, is the Makiki Library Librarian.

GAIL: Wendy, thank you for appearing in the spotlight today for a SinC/Hawaii interview. You are currently working for The Makiki Community Library. What experience or education led you to a position as a librarian?

WENDY: I have a masters degree from UH Manoa in Library and Information Science LISc. The "information" portion consists mainly of using the internet for research purposes.

GAIL: Have you worked for a library system other than Makiki Library?

WENDY: After graduation, I worked for a semester at Kamehameha Middle School Library and at Iolani Upper School Library. Then I landed a job with Mid-Pacific Institute. I was there for 4 years while my youngest son was a student there. I continue to return to MPI when they need extra help and for their annual Scholastic Book Fair. My work with MCL is entirely in a voluntary capacity. I am currently President of the Friends of Makiki Community Library and the Librarian.

The Makiki Community Library

GAIL: Have you assisted other libraries outside of Hawaii with setting up their programs?

WENDY: In 1999, I set up the library skills program at the College of the Marshall Islands. I taught everything from alphabetizing the English language so that the students could use the reference materials, to how to evaluate websites. I have given workshops at a library conference on Palau; I was hired to upgrade the school libraries in American Samoa and spent 3 weeks there.

GAIL: What improvements are you implementing at The Makiki Community Library and how are these changes funded?

WENDY: MCL was closed for renovation for about 4 years. During that time I got involved. With the addition of larger windows, the library is brighter. We have acquired new furniture from Booksellers, when that book store closed downtown a few years ago; the electrical has been completely upgraded and 4 new ceiling fans have been installed. We recently received a large donation to automate our library. With those funds we were able to purchase 5 Apple computers; library software; barcodes and scanners. We are currently working on data input for all of the books/media in the library. We hope to "launch" the new system on August 1st.

Wendy (right) with library co-workers

GAIL: During a Sisters in Crime, Inc. sponsored event “LIBRARIANS SOLVE MYSTERIES EVERY DAY”, I was able to “Shadow the Librarian” at MCL, and I learned how to scan those bar codes to enter newly acquired books into the system! Wendy, aside from work related programs, do you ever have an opportunity to travel?

WENDY: My husband, who is slowly working less with an eye on retirement, and I have become cruisers. In the Fall of 2011 we took a 6-week cruise from New York City, through the Panama Canal and around South America to end in Rio. This was our longest and 6th cruise. We are planning a 3-week cruise in May of 2012, from Tokyo to Vancouver, CA via the Aleutian Islands and the inside passage of Alaska.

Thank you, Wendy, for giving us some insight into the life of a librarian, far more interesting than one might imagine. Enjoy your latest cruise!

Red Hibiscus along Keeaumoku

1 comment:

  1. I have a special place in my heart for librarians. They open up worlds to children and adults alike. Amazing that Wendy is doing what she does at Makiki for the sheer love of it. I hope we as a community can find ways to support her work.


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