Retirement Annoucement: Paige Andrew

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“A life’s milestone is getting close for me”

Penn State Libraries internal announcement by supervisor and Paige’s personal announcement letter to the maps community.

Penn State Libraries Internal Annoucement:

Paige Andrew
A portion of an announcement that Paige's immediate supervisor posted to colleagues/coworkers at the Pennsylvania State University Libraries with a couple of minor changes added in [square brackets]. 

“Paige has had a long and productive career as a maps cataloger. After graduating from the University of Washington with an MLS [in June 1986], Paige started his career at the University of Georgia [in November of the same year]. He started at Penn State on February 8, 1995, just as the Cataloging and Metadata Services Department was beginning to organize into teams. He received tenure [and promotion to Associate Librarian] in 2001, and was promoted to Librarian in 2012.

Paige has had an extraordinarily productive career. When he started [at Penn State], only about 20% of the Maps Library was cataloged. When he retires, close to 90% will be cataloged. In both Penn State and in the wider profession, Paige has a reputation as a mentor and an educator. He has taught literally dozens of map cataloging workshops, both nationally and internationally, and continues to serve as a resource for former attendees. He has published several books, including RDA and Cartographic Resources; Maps and Related Cartographic Materials: Cataloging, Classification, and Bibliographic Control; and Cataloging Sheet Maps: The Basics, [the latter of] which remains the only book on cataloging sheet maps. With Mary [Lynette] Larsgaard, he founded the Journal of Map and Geography Libraries, which he also co-edited from 2002 to 2017. He was the recipient of the Nancy B. Olson Award for significant contributions to audiovisual cataloging by the Online Audiovisual Catalogers, Inc., in 2009, [the Margaret Mann Citation from the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS) in 2016, and the MAGIRT Honors Award in 2018]. Paige has held every leadership position in the Map & Geospatial Information Round Table (MAGIRT), [as well as the former Geography and Map Division, Special Libraries Association] and has contributed to developing standards for maps cataloging. In recognition of his contributions to the profession, Paige was named Distinguished Librarian in 2018, making him the third librarian at Penn State to receive this honor.

Paige has touched many of our lives. While I will miss his friendship and mentorship, I am so happy that he will be moving on to spend more time with family and loved ones. Thank you, Paige, for your years of service to the profession and to Penn State! “

Announcement Letter to Maps-L & WAML from Mr. Andrew on 6/16/2023:

Paige Andrew

As you can guess, I have decided to conclude my many years as one of the few full-time map catalogers in the profession. My last day at work will be September 29th [2023] and I will begin the next, hopefully, exciting but less stressful, phase of my life (i.e., retirement) officially on October 2nd [2023]. I am both excited and anxious about this change, not the least of which is going from a structured life and environment to one that is much less so. At the same time, my wife and I became grandparents for the first time the day before Thanksgiving 2022 (Eliana is now 6.5 months old and growing so fast!) and one of those “pulls” in making my decision was this momentous and happy event. There are a couple of other “pulls” involving family as well, but I am thankful to say there are no “pushes”! I have been so blessed to work for a major university library that took a recent, non-experienced MLS graduate and spent time training me to become a real-life cataloger, and doubly blessed to move on to Penn State where my first six years going through the tenure process and succeeding really set me up for a very enriching career with many opportunities to participate and lead in activities and projects locally, regionally, and nationally. 

This moment is bittersweet; I will not miss a gazillion “meetings” or similar, the constant change in technologies and standards we work with (I swore I would retire before BIBFRAME ever became a reality across cataloging and I have kept my word, I am leaving as a long-time MARC person!), and the constant stresses of work writ large, but I will miss many individuals who have been with me along my career path. Some of those I miss the most are sadly no longer with us, I think now of Mary Larsgaard and Nancy Kandoian in particular, but there are others. 

There are so many people I have encountered throughout my career that I cannot thank enough for the encouragement, opportunities, and support on any effort I have been a part of, whether large or small. None of us can be successful without the assistance of others and I am living testimony to that fact. I plan to stay involved at some level as a member of WAML going forward and staying in touch with my closest friends in the profession. 

Finally, there were two pieces of advice given to me at two stages of my life that I hope I have successfully achieved. The first was instilled in me by my parents and my being a Boy Scout, always leave a place better than you found it. The second was sage guidance given to me by my first-ever supervisor, Josephine Davidson, at the Univ. of Georgia in response to my asking her opinion on “what makes a good librarian?” She told me that as I move forward and up through my career to always look back and look around and seek to help the next librarian coming up the ladder. I think I have done a pretty good job in both areas but will leave each of you to be that judge.

I will not say “goodbye” as I do have more than 3 more months of work ahead of me (I will be continuing to work with my teammate, Steve, and other department members we are currently cross-training to cut that 10% of our collection left to be cataloged to a smaller number). However, when October rolls around, I will be “sunsetting” and wishing all of you the very best.


Maps Cataloging Librarian and Distinguished Librarian
Pennsylvania State University Libraries

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