Thursday, October 16, 2008

Featured Staff: Rhonda Stewart

This is a new feature here on the blog. Periodically, we will be highlighting a staff member to help you get to know the familiar faces of the Butler Center.

Rhonda Stewart has the pleasure of being our first featured staff member. In addition to being a well-known face in the research room, Rhonda was honored as Employee of the Year for CALS in 2007.

What is your job title?
Genealogy and Local History Specialist

Describe your typical day.

Gathering newspapers, magazines and mail on the way upstairs. Compile statistics (of visitors, resources used, etc.). Check equipment and unlock doors. Check change drawer for copies and make deposits. Check phone messages and return calls. Check schedule for research desk coverage. Pull arkinfo questions (those emailed to the Butler Center) and forward to correct personnel. Work reference desk for two-six hours as primary or secondary staff. Greet and direct visitors. Research two or three patron questions. Give guided tour. Guide someone to information not related to the Butler Center collections. Meet with other departments like Youth Services. Clip newspapers for vertical files. Scan and shelve books and files. Check reference desk supplies. Write letters responding to questions.

What do you enjoy most about your job?
Helping people learn about Arkansas

Share with our readers an interesting story about something that happened in the Butler Center.
The U.S. Public Records Index reunited a father and son who’d been disconnected for twelve years. The reunion took place in Little Rock. I’d like to imagine that Little Rock will become the bond that binds them.

What is your favorite resource? What do you believe is our most underused resource?
My favorite resource is the city directory. Little Rock’s date to 1871. It reveals a blueprint to recreate a specific time in our city’s history as it preserved the reality of the average citizen. It’s also the underused resource. The information contained in a city directory can be used to create a three dimensional model of a time lost to modern humans.

What is your favorite kind of cookie?*
Chocolate chip.

Rhonda Stewart with David Stricklin after being recognized as Employee of the Year, December 2007.

*Yes, this is a very important question.

Contributed by Stephanie Bayless, Manuscripts Department.


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