We are so excited to introduce you to Claire Lutz, the BRIC's newest librarian! Claire started in July. Be sure to say hello when you see her in the Business Resource and Innovation Center (BRIC) at Parkway Central Library. Read on to learn more about Claire!
Bragging rights: Tell us a little about your career before becoming a librarian.
Before becoming a librarian, I worked in the nonprofit sector for about ten years. After earning my BA in Modern Dance at Bard College, I moved to Philadelphia. I started out as a Grants Apprentice at the Walnut Street Theatre here in Philadelphia, and then worked in fundraising and data management for secondary and higher education. Most recently, I was Associate Director of Prospect Research at Drexel University, where I also earned my MLIS as a part-time graduate student. I was feeling ready for a career change and had the opportunity to pursue a library science degree, which had been a dream of mine for a long time. As a long-time patron of the Free Library, I am excited to join as a new librarian!
What’s your favorite thing about being a business librarian and what makes the position unique in Philly’s business community?
My favorite thing about being a business librarian is connecting people to all of the high-quality resources that the Free Library has to offer. The library might not be the first place that you think of when you’re starting a business, but librarians are great at evaluating resources and connecting people to useful programs throughout the city. We also have plenty of our own programs and services for entrepreneurs, nonprofits, and job seekers in the BRIC! Patrons can trust that our resources are well-sourced, straightforward, and most important - free! For anything beyond our reach, like legal or financial help, we have partnerships with other trusted organizations in Philadelphia.
What is your favorite resource or event?
So far, I’ve really enjoyed the free headshots events that we host on the first and third Thursdays of each month. People are really enthusiastic about this program! It provides a great service, and it gets people into our beautiful space at the Parkway Central library. I’m also a big fan of our demographics database, Simply Analytics. It’s an incredible resource with thousands of demographic datasets. I really like that the Free Library can offer these advanced research tools to the public, plus, they’re available for remote access as long as you have a Free Library library card.
Any fond library memories?
Some of my earliest memories are trips to the Children’s section of the Elizabethtown Public Library in Elizabethtown, PA and the Lancaster Public Library in downtown Lancaster. As a Philly resident, I love to stop by the Walnut Street West Library or the Parkway Central Library to check out the newest fiction releases.
... and finally, what are you currently reading?
Currently reading Milkman by Anna Burns.