In each issue of this newsletter, we profile a staff member who works in the library or other related department. This issue features Arabella Holzapfel, who works in the Discovery and Access Services area of the library.
Arabella grew up in Denver, Colorado, and received her undergraduate degree in Physics. She attended graduate school in astronomy in Arizona, but left academia to work as a process engineer for a semiconductor firm. But working with hazardous materials began to give Arabella second thoughts. “I also became more interested in engineering design as opposed to fabrication,” she said, “plus, Arizona had too much sunshine!” She solved both problems by moving to Vermont and returning to graduate school, this time at UVM in the field of biomedical engineering.
Since coming to work at Middlebury in 1992, Arabella has filled a variety of positions, most recently the library’s Electronic Resources Manager & Library Systems Specialist. She describes her primary responsibility as taking care of the library’s subscription and electronic resources. “It’s a complex system, and there are an incredible number of moving parts. Each publisher has different rules and licenses, as do the vendors we purchase our subscriptions from. The job is a good match for my mind.” And now, with a new supervisor in place, Arabella is hoping to help create a systematic method for assessing how we are doing with our library subscription resources.” I would love it if we could do something really innovative and useful, something worth sharing with our colleagues at other institutions via conferences or in papers.”
Arabella also serves as staff constituent on the Board of Trustees’ College Board of Overseers, and encourages all staff, if they have time and inclination, to get involved with College life, whether through Staff Council or some other means. She found that working with members of the administration such as Tim Spears helped put a “human face” on the institution. “And I’ve been very impressed with the care and interest the trustees take in the life of the College. This is part of what makes Middlebury such a special place.”
Outside of work, Arabella loves to create things. “I’ve figured out in the last couple of years that I’m a ‘maker,’ whether knitting or beading or baking. I like to work with shiny things! It’s when I feel most like myself.” And, having now thoroughly escaped the unrelenting sunshine of Arizona, she also enjoys her home in Ferrisburgh. “Our property abuts Otter Creek, and the twenty feet or so in back of the house is basically a wild swamp, with herons and ospreys and beavers and minks. Seeing that wildlife helps me feel more connected to our planet.”