Connecting Communities Digital Initiative – An Interview with Lori Kearse

We are happy to introduce Lori Kearse, an Event Specialist in the Events Office, who recently completed a staff detail with the Connecting Communities Digital Initiative (CCDI). Lori’s skills in event planning were crucial to helping us prepare for our inaugural CCDI Summer Fuse event this past Summer.

In this interview post, Lori shares her favorite Library materials, interests, and her experience working on the CCDI team.

What is your job at the Library?

A photo of Lori Kearse, who was on detail with the CCDI team.

Lori Kearse was on detail with the CCDI Team. [Photo by Lori Kearse]

As an Events Specialist in the Events Office, I work with units across the Library to help them plan and execute successful events. I work on more than a dozen events at a time. This past year, I worked on over 100 events. I help them to determine the perfect location for their event, provide advice on how to tailor their event to desired audiences and make sure that they have the technology they need for their event in order to ensure success.

What interested you about working with CCDI?

I was interested in working with CCDI because it would allow me the opportunity to utilize my many years of event planning, outreach and coordination experience. With CCDI, I would be able to plan an event from the program side. As an Events Specialist with the Events Office, I am more of an executor.  For CCDI, I was able to assist with the full planning of the event. I was also excited about being able to focus on a single event with a small team that was passionate about their program. And the laser-focused goal of helping to plan and execute an inaugural event intrigued me.

Tennis talk Althea Gibson, U.S. and Wimbledon tennis champion, gives some pointers on the game which has brought her international fame. Some 500 students attended the tennis clinic yesterday at Midwood HS, directed by Murray Eisenstadt, varsity coach / / World Telegram & Sun photo by Ed. Ford.

Ford, Ed, photographer. Tennis talk Althea Gibson, U.S. and Wimbledon tennis champion, gives some pointers on the game which has brought her international fame. Some 500 students attended the tennis clinic yesterday at Midwood HS, directed by Murray Eisenstadt, varsity coach / / World Telegram & Sun photo by Ed. Ford. New York, 1957. December. Photograph. www.loc.gov/item/2013650115/.

What were some of your tasks as part of the CCDI team?

I joined CCDI in early June and was tasked with producing an event in six weeks! This included securing rooms, selecting a caterer, organizing travel accommodations for attendees and board members. I was also the point person with the multimedia group, the unit at the Library that handles event recordings and livestreams. Since this was a hybrid event with speakers who were in-person and virtual, and attendees who were in-person and virtual, it required not only coordination of people but also making sure we had the right technology so that in-person attendees and virtual attendees had a wonderful, seamless experience. Since the bulk of my detail occurred after the event, I helped them jump start the next event by selecting a date, and securing the event spaces. I also helped them to create a timeline so that they know when to complete all tasks up to the day of the event. We also brainstormed about how to expand the event to make it even more spectacular next year and beyond.

What has been the most interesting resource or information you’ve come across during your detail?

Susie King Taylor, known as the first African American Army nurse.

Susie King Taylor, known as the first African American Army nurse. United States, None. [Boston: published by the author, 1902 from a photograph taken between 1862 and 1866] Photograph. www.loc.gov/item/2018663038/.

The most interesting digital collection I’ve found thus far is the Library’s Free to Use Collections because of its diversity of photos. There are photographs of athleticism, family, results of natural disasters. veterans, holiday history, and much more. There are photos in the collection that haven’t necessarily been widely publicized, such as Althea Gibson speaking to other young women about tennis and Susie King-Taylor, the first African American Army nurse. I am also excited about a photograph of Harriet Tubman that the Library co-acquired with the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture in 2017.

What is something your coworkers might not know about you?

I enjoy reading and watching murder mysteries, thrillers and spending time making great memories with family and friends.

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