Margaret Ericson, Arts Librarian    Staff Spotlight: Margaret Ericson

I enjoy engaging with the arts-related departments and programs at Colby, allowing me to better develop relevant and varied art, music, museum study, and performance collections for the Colby College Libraries. I teach classes in information fluency for the Art, Music, and Theater and Dance departments and provide students with the individualized research assistance they need to excel in their assignments and research. I have a breadth of knowledge in Fair Use and Copyright which contributes to my role as Copyright Liaison for the Colby College Libraries.   

1. Describe yourself in 3 words.

Bold, Direct, Purposeful.

2. What do you value most about your work?  

Colby provides the resources and opportunities to develop the collections and instructional services that support the unique research and information needs of our vibrant artistic and creative community at Colby College. One of Colby’s distinctions is its outstanding arts library — Bixler Art and Music Library – which enables students and faculty and library staff to interact in positive ways to promote serious intellectual inquiry in the arts.

3. When not at work, what three activities do you enjoy the most?

I play and sing traditional Irish and American music and enjoy performing with my band, Ladies of the Lake, at various venues throughout the state. I love travelling to Ireland, and have made many friends in the process of doing music research and making music in Dublin. Contradancing, yoga, hiking and cooking world foods are other things I enjoy.

4. What are your reading/watching/listening to?

I look to the old ballad books, such as British Ballads from Maine, and their unique imagery and poetry, and also to Irish tune books for new repertoire to perform.. many of these are now online thanks to digital collection initiatives. I read the New York Times online to keep abreast of important art exhibitions and happenings in the performing arts world. Growing up, music was always heard in my home, so I love to listen to jazz, blues, crooners of the standards, folk music, early music, opera, world music and Americana. It’s all connected, don’t ya see?

5. In your own words…

As both a performer and a librarian, I try to promote the connections between performance and research. Performance is made truer and more authentic by the ability to communicate the essential thing about what you are performing…this often takes hours of research and digging into history and context before you ever bring something to the stage. All this prep work allows you to internalize, and through practice, make the deep connection that translates to audiences.