Skip to main content


Three Years on 3: A Conversation with Kristin Shelley

By Kayla Harris

Since May 2018, senior teacher education major Kristin Shelley has worked in one of the most mysterious parts of Roesch Library — the third floor.

“When I tell people that I work in the library, most people assume that means I’m at one of the main desks,” she says. “A lot of people are surprised when I tell them I work on the third floor since most students don’t know what’s here.” [Note: The Marian Library moved its archival and rare book collections to the third floor in 2017; to get to the Marian Library Special Collections Suite from the elevators, a visitor has to walk through an imposing pair of windowless steel utility doors into a dim, unfinished space with a 4-foot-wide fenced walkway between rumbling mechanical equipment and cylindrical air ducts the size of jet engine inlets.]

As she finishes her last semester as an employee, I wanted to highlight some of the projects she’s worked on in the archives; how her experience in the Marian Library connected to other aspects of life at UD; and her plans for after she graduates in May.

Marian Library Projects

The first project Shelley worked on was to evaluate the Marian Library postcard collection and remove excessive duplicates from its more than 41,000 postcards. Some of these duplicates were then repurposed as part of a pop-up exhibit, where students were encouraged to use them to write notes home to family. 

Shelley also pitched in for library tasks outside the Marian Library, including decorating for Christmas and guiding new students through Roeschella, an event introducing the library’s collections and services. 

Many of the projects that she has worked on will have long-lasting impacts for the collections and services of the Marian Library. For example, not long before Shelley began, the special collections units of the University Libraries had migrated from an internal system, Archivists Toolkit, to a public-facing system, ArchivesSpace. For the first time, users were able to search finding aids and records for archival collections from the Marian Library, the U.S. Catholic Special Collection, and the University Archives and Special Collections. Shelley’s work in ArchivesSpace ensured that the data presented to users was up-to-date and accurate. 

Connecting to the Classroom

When asked what was the most enjoyable aspect of her work, Shelley replied, “Honestly, the people. Everyone wanted me to work on things that helped the library, but also taking in mind my future career plans.” As a teacher education major with a focus in early childhood, it was easy to make connections between Shelley’s work in the Marian Library and the classroom. In the Spring of 2019, Shelley co-curated an exhibit on Marian stamps featuring Renaissance artwork while she was enrolled in Roger Crum’s course Italian Renaissance Art (VAH 450). She also helped prepare primary sources for use with instruction sessions, and most recently, she created a word search and crossword about the Nativity season for teachers to use with their classes during Advent.

Life after UD

In the spring 2021 semester, Shelley will complete her full-time student teaching in the classroom. Following graduation, professional exams and earning her teaching license for kindergarten through third grade with a fourth- and fifth-grade endorsement, Shelley hopes to teach third grade. “I just really love teaching third grade,” she says. “I love the content. It’s a little more complex but still the basic foundational information.”

In the Marian Library we are so grateful for all of Kristin Shelley’s contributions. We are proud of her achievements, and we know that she will have a profound impact as a future educator.

— Kayla Harris is an assistant professor and librarian/archivist in the Marian Library. Kristin Shelley is a teacher education major and Marian Library student employee with plans to graduate in Spring 2021.

Previous Post

Mary in the News: Dec. 9, 2020

Read recent items about Mary in both Catholic and secular news. Also, see International Marian Research Institute as well as Marian Library news and updates.

Read More
Next Post

The Third Week of Advent: Coloring Activities

Coloring pages and more are in store from the Marian Library.

Read More