Stacey Richardson (Sendry) ’96 was featured in the Record-Courier on July 12, 2011, for her promotion to director of the Kent Free Library. We caught up with her to talk more about her career path and how her Hiram education has influenced her throughout the years.
As a French and Art History major at Hiram College during the nineties, Stacey Richardson ’96, thought she would spend her career working in art research.
“But for whatever reason, life takes you down a different path and it all ends up working out well,” she said.
Richardson, née Sendry, was recently promoted to director of the Kent Free Library, after working there as the children’s department manager since 2007. The promotion is full circle for the Kent native, as she is now leading an important staple of her hometown.
Shortly after graduating from Hiram in 1996, Richardson began working in her line of study, at the Ingalls Library at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Her focus shifted when her colleagues in Cleveland encouraged her to pursue Kent State’s graduate program in library sciences, rather than going to graduate school for art history, as she previously intended.
She took their advice, and after earning her master’s, she worked at the Newton Falls Public Library and the Hudson Library and Historical Society before joining the Kent Free Library.
Richardson said she believes the literature-heavy courses she took at Hiram have helped her as her career has shaped. Her senior year at Hiram, in fact, was the year the college’s new library opened, and she remembers spending a lot of time there.
“The coursework always involved a lot of reading,” she said. “I’m sure it helped. I spent so much time at the library.”
She also sees the value of a liberal arts education when she sees students from other higher education institutions coming in to the library for research, noting that Hiram students are very prepared for learning.
“It really prepared me to be out in the world,” she said, “and to think carefully about situations and how it affects everything going on around us.”
Read the Record-Courier story to learn more about Richardson’s goals as director of the Kent Free Library, as well as challenges facing libraries in the 21st century.