Staff Spotlight- Bob Nawrocki, Chief Librarian

Staff Spotlight- Bob Nawrocki, Chief Librarian 2

Background: My interest in working in history began in earnest in college. I took as many history classes as I could at Buffalo State and spent 4 semesters working for the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society. I spent 3 semesters working in the library and 1 semester working in the manuscript department. My first job was working for the York (Pa) County Historical Society. After that job I worked in records and information management for several state archives and law firms.

Education: I received my Bachelor’s degree with a concentration in history from Buffalo State College in Buffalo, New York. In 1997 I received a Master’s in Library and Information Studies from The Catholic University in Washington, D. C.

How did you get started at SAHS?: When I was laid off from the job that brought me to Florida, I spent some time volunteering in the Research Library. When the position of Chief Librarian for the Research Library became available, I applied for it and got the job. I have been with the library for 12 years. I feel I have come full circle with my first and last jobs being in a historical society library.

What projects are you working on?: I’ve been working on next year’s budget, planning future projects, reviewing the book collection, identifying building improvements, interacting with patrons and thinking about how to make the library more accessible and well known in St. Augustine. I often joke that we are the best kept secret in St. Augustine and yet everyone who uses the library is impressed with the depth and breadth of the collection.

What projects are you looking forward to?: If we get a grant the library will be able to implement a project for the Urban Archive which uses an online map to show what used to be a site, establish walking tours on various topics and tell stories on various topics. This technology will allow the material in the library to be made available to a wider audience on their mobile devices.  Planning for the North Florida Veterans Oral History project is underway and this will be an exciting program. I am also looking forward to digitizing our photo album collections and making those great photos more accessible. Eventually I hope we can get a grant to organize and scan the St. Augustine Record negative collection which runs from the early 1950s to around 2000.

What do you like about working at the SAHS?: We have a small staff that is allowed to do remarkably creative projects. Magen Wilson, our Executive Director, is supportive and allows me the freedom to do what needs to be done. The staff works together to support the SAHS and our patrons. We are allowed to work on special projects, write articles and make presentations. It sounds like a cliché but in many ways, we are a family, we may argue at times but in the end we all respect and support each other.