Bringing A New Perspective To The Reference Desk At The Lane Library

By Liz Premo

Atlantic News

Thursday, September 13, 2001

[The following article is courtesy of the Atlantic News]

HAMPTON —- Lane Memorial Library patrons who seek assistance from the library’s reference desk will now be greeted by a friendly new face whenever they visit that particular department.

Fresh from a three-year staff position at People Magazine’s writers’ reference library in New York City, Stanley Olson has stepped into the role of Lane Library’s new head of reference. The position had been left open with the departure of long-time Lane librarian Joanne Straight, who made a career move south when she relocated to North Carolina in July of this year.

“I’m excited to be on staff, bringing library services to people here [in Hampton],” says the 53-year-old Olson, who calls his new team of co-workers at the Lane Library “very dedicated and energetic. They seem like a great bunch.”

“We’re glad we got him to take over for Joanne,” says Adult Services Librarian Jeanne Gamage. “We’re really pleased to have him here.” Gamage adds that with his People Magazine background, Olson “will bring a new perspective to our work here.”

Much of Olson’s responsibilities at People included “answering all kinds of questions” about different celebrities, news articles and human interest stories. He also assisted the magazine’s writers with background research at their stories’ beginnings, and with fact-checking once their articles were completed. Indeed, Olson acknowledges that he expects his new position in Hampton to be just as “fast paced and busy” as it was in New York, albeit “on a more manageable scale.”

Olson holds two Masters degrees, one in library science from Pratt Institute in New York, and one in cinema from New York University School of Film Studies. He was employed for many years at the Foundation Center, and has also worked for another well-known publication, Entertainment Weekly.

It isn’t by accident that Olson finds himself with a permanent position at a public library in the Seacoast area. “I’ve wanted for some time to relocate to New England,” says the Groton, Massachusetts native, who discovered the local vacancy through Simmons College’s New England library job ~Web site. Currently commuting daily from his mother’s home in Wells, Maine, Olson says he is seeking to possibly settle down in the Seacoast area.

In the meantime, Olson, who started in his new position at the Lane Memorial Library on Monday of this week, can be found faithfully assisting library patrons, with the help of fellow staff member Alice Alford. “I welcome anyone to come in and say "hello", says Olson, who invites the public to “come tome for [your] information and researchneeds.”

Hours at the LaneMemorial Library in Hampton are Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information about the library services which are available to the public, call 926-3368.