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Library & Information Science Success Stories

Caro Pinto '09LS

Title: Estelle Jussim Award Winner


Caroline "Caro" Pinto was the 2009 recipient of The Estelle Jussim Award, which is given each year to a graduating GSLIS student who has demonstrated great promise in the visual arts. It honors Dr. Estelle Jussim, a GSLIS faculty member who was a distinguished photographic historian and scholar, and who exhibited such professional accomplishments in the visual arts and high academic achievement.

Caro is a dynamic and innovative library and archives professional with complementary background in teaching and research. With a second masters in American History and an undergraduate degree in History from Smith College, she has gained experience in Archives and Special Collections at Harvard University, Amherst College, Northeastern University, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst where much of her work involved creating better access to audio-visual material. Since 2006, Caro has been a graduate advisor and teaching assistant at the University of Massachusetts where she is widely recognized by colleagues and students as an excellent instructor who successfully engages students in the learning process.

What were you doing before library school?

Before starting Simmons, I completed a master's degree in history where I had the opportunity to work closely with undergraduate students and explore my burgeoning interest in archives at the University's special collections department.

Why did you choose library school?

I elected to pursue librarianship for a number of reasons. While working on my MA in history, I worked closely with undergraduates in history courses and in academic success courses where I first began developing information literacy initiatives for use in undergraduate classrooms. While I loved teaching and mentoring students, I was not sure that completing a PhD was really the best fit for me. My graduate work focused on the intersections between sexuality and eugenics during the early twentieth century and my research took me to a variety of archives in Massachusetts, where I became really fascinated with the politics of what repositories collect; why and how certain people, organizations, and events ultimately enter into history; and why others do not. Between my growing passion for information literacy, my intense interest in the debates about the politics of history, and the guidance of some wonderful mentors, I started Simmons just weeks after finishing my history degree.

What did you do while you were at GSLIS (particular projects)?

At GSLIS, I took a range of courses at both the Boston and Mount Holyoke campuses and had the opportunity to work at a few different libraries like the Schlesinger Library and the Frost Library at Amherst College. I also took advantage of the excellent workshops offered by the GLSIS Tech Lab to bolster my technology skills. When time allowed, I also worked as a volunteer at a local Boston arts organization.

What was your favorite class and/or the most valuable experience you had?

I really loved taking both Visual Communication and Archiving and Preserving Digital Media with Martha Mahard. It was exciting to consider how to tackle the challenges of producing, sharing, and preserving scholarship in the digital age. I was also fortunate to work at Amherst College on a project basis to process the Henry Steele Commager papers with a number of other Simmons alumni, which was a remarkable experience.

What are you doing now?

I am in the process of interviewing for professional positions, networking, and volunteering at the Boston Center for the Arts.