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Take Note: Jennifer Allison, Emily Novak Gustainis, Amber Moore, Lisa Pearson, Anna Rakityanskaya, Janet Steins, Kara Young

Take Note shares professional news about Harvard Library staff members. Have something to share? Please send it to the Harvard Library communications team at


Jennifer Allison has written the chapter “Law Librarianship as a Subject Specialty” for the recently published book Mastering Subject Specialties: Practical Advice from the FieldDuring the week of March 14-20, she attended the German national library conference (Bibliothekskongress) and book fair (Buchmesse) in Leipzig, Germany. She was one of six US librarians to receive a travel grant to attend the conference from the Center for Research Libraries’ German North-American Resources Partnership (GNARP), of which Harvard is an institutional member. At the conference, she attended programs discussing information literacy, preserving and curating cultural artifacts in library collections, the history of German legal book publishing, and the impact of German law on libraries.

Jennifer is a librarian for foreign, comparative, and international law at the Harvard Law School Library. In addition to her work as a reference librarian, she also participates in collection development, focusing primarily on selecting German-language materials for the collection. She earned her undergraduate degree in German and English from Pacific Lutheran University; her JD from the Pepperdine University School of Law, where she also worked as a reference librarian prior to coming to Harvard; and her MLIS from San Jose State University.


Emily R. Novak Gustainis has been named as the deputy director of the Center for the History of Medicine, Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine. As deputy director, Emily will serve as senior manager of the Center and assume responsibility for the care and management of the Center’s collections of rare books, manuscripts, archives, the Warren Anatomical Museum, and special collections. 

Emily joined the Center for the History of Medicine as collections services archivist in 2009. In 2013, she received a Harvard Heroes award for her efforts and became the Head of Collections Services for the Center. She has been instrumental in obtaining and successfully implementing a series of grants from the Council on Library and Information Resources and has helped transform the Center’s processing and descriptive practices over the past seven years. Previously, she worked as a librarian/archivist at Historic New England. Her article "The Practice of Privacy," co-authored with Phoebe Evans Letocha, recently received the 2015-2016 Archivists and Librarians in the History of the Health Sciences (ALHHS) Publication Award in the article category. Emily received her MLS with a concentration in archives and records management and a BA in English literature and teacher education from the State University of New York at Albany.


Amber L. Moore recently joined the Schlesinger Library as a processing archivist. In her previous role at Emory University’s Rose Library (formally known as the Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library), she managed a NHPRC grant project to process the papers of nine African-American women intellectuals. She has also worked on the William Safire papers at Syracuse University, at the Amistad Research Center at Tulane University in New Orleans, and at Boston’s Museum of African American History. Amber holds a BA from Spelman College and an MLIS from Simmons College.




Lisa Pearson, head of the Arnold Arboretum Horticultural Library and Archives, has recently authored a new volume, Arnold Arboretum, in the local history series Images of America by Arcadia Publishers. She curates an Arboretum collection of thousands of historical images of the landscape, activities, and plant collections from the late 19th century to the present from which she drew material for her book. At the Arboretum she has worked as an image cataloger, serials and acquisitions manager, and reference librarian. Prior to this, she was a librarian in both the property/casualty and life/health insurance industries in Connecticut. She holds an MSLIS from Simmons College and a BMEd from the University of Hartford.




Anna Rakityanskaya, Slavic librarian and interim coordinator for the Slavic Division of Widener Library, presented her paper “The Harvard University Library’s Russian Ephemera Collection, Late 1980s-1990s” at a roundtable discussion “A guide to research work with documents of political parties and movements”, organized by the State Public Historical Library in collaboration with the Department of History of Social movements and political parties of the History Department of the Lomonosov Moscow State University. The round table took place on March 28 at the Center for the Social and Political History in Moscow. In addition to this, she presented a paper entitled “The Russian Collection of the Harvard University in the Digital Age: Creating an Open Electronic Archive of the Unique Collections” at the 6th All-Russian scientific and practical conference “Library collections in the digital era: traditional and electronic resources, acquisition and use”, which took place on March 28 – April 2, 2016 at the National Library of Russia in St. Petersburg.

Anna joined Harvard Library’s Slavic Division as a Slavic librarian in 2004 and is a bibliographer for the Russian/Former Soviet Union collection. Prior to coming to Harvard, she worked as a Russian collection specialist at the Library of the University of Texas at Austin and an editor of Polish-language dictionaries at the Russkii Iazyk Publishers in Moscow. She holds an MA in Slavic linguistics from the Moscow State University in Russia and an MLIS from the University of South Carolina.


Janet Steins, associate librarian for collections and research librarian at Tozzer Library, was invited to participate in a panel discussion entitled Increasing Discoverability and Sales Through Metadata: Enhancing Reach of Scholarly Books, sponsored by the Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division of the Association of American Publishers. Representing academic subject librarians, she was joined on the panel by representatives from Bowker, the LC-CIP office, ProQuest, and EBSCO, who spoke to an audience of 40 publishers’ representatives in the APA Offices in Manhattan and participating via Webinar. Janet recently joined the editorial staff of the newly revived History of Anthropology Newsletter (now an Open Access publication) as a bibliographer column contributor, and her essay on classic anthropological ethnographies was published in the "Collecting to the Core" column in the April 2015 issue of Against the Grain. She has served as collections librarian in Tozzer Library since 1999. Her BA and MA in anthropology are from Queens College (CUNY) and NYU respectively; her MS in library science is from Columbia. 


Kara Young has joined Library Technology Services as a systems librarian with a focus on access services systems and services. Previously, she was the digital services and emerging technologies librarian at Pritzker Legal Research Center, Northwestern Law. She gained experience with SFX, Primo/Alma, LibGuides, and Canvas in this role, while also providing support for digital service initiatives, including establishing a Law School digital repository. Prior to joining Northwestern, Kara was head of library systems/assistant professor at Mason Library, Keene State College, supporting core infrastructure, teaching, and providing a wide breadth of services for the library community. She holds a BA in economics from Binghamton University and MSIS and MPA degrees from the University at Albany.