Author Joni Lynn Cassidy, President and CEO, Cassidy Cataloguing Services, Inc.
I was hired by my own beloved Children’s Librarian, Mrs. Lenetta Klein, five days after I turned 16 years old. Starting out as a Shelving Page, I moved up to Circulation Clerk and then Technical Services Clerk through college and graduate school. She was my first mentor and proudly kept up with all her “kids” who became librarians.
My second mentor, Carroll Ann Kelly of Huntington, NY, gave me my first full-time job out of graduate library school establishing and running a federally funded Job Information Center for Eastern Long Island. She was the Grants Director for the Suffolk County Cooperative Library System, where I was summering as a reference relief librarian. Even though I was just a kid, she gave me my first big break in the library biz!
Time marched on: Ronald Reagan was elected. Federal funding disappeared. I continued in various departments of other libraries. I got married and moved to The Big City eventually ending up in law librarianship and technical services, the department that makes me the happiest. My new mentors were Barbara Tanzer, Ed O’Connell and Nancy Meyrich of New York County Lawyers Association. They all taught me “Law” to add to my cataloging skills. In addition, Barbara (now at K&L Gates) taught me how to laugh at myself and spot the joy in simple things.
My husband and partner, Michael Cassidy, has been my mentor in too many ways to list. He taught my brain to work in an automated world. He unveiled The Bigger Picture for me so that I could think in broader strokes. He convinced me to have courage, and he repeats those exercises every day.
Lastly, I learn from the amazing crew of Cassidy Cataloguing. There is no other word than “awesome” for their combined knowledge and willingness to share it in the kindest, most professional ways possible. Thank you all.