Karen Rondestvedt retires from SUL

Slavic and East European Curator Karen Rondestvedt will be retiring from Stanford University Libraries at the end of the calendar year. Karen has held this position since she arrived at Stanford in 2001. Stanford has one of the finest Slavic collections in the US, and Karen was well-prepared to take on these extensive collecting responsibilities following positions in Slavic librarianship at the University of Chicago, where she did her MA in Library Science and her MA and PhD in Slavic Linguistics, and the University of Pittsburgh where she held the post of Slavic bibliographer for 15 years.

With her broad linguistic knowledge of the languages in her region of expertise, including not only Russian, Polish, and Ukrainian, but also reading knowledge of Hungarian, Serbian/Croatian/Bosnian, Bulgarian, Czech, Belorussian, Old Church Slavonic, and others, Karen is able to fulfill the collecting and research needs of a diverse group of scholars using these materials at Stanford, many of them affiliated with Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies (CREEES). She is closely integrated into CREEES, serving on their steering committee for many years, and maintains close working relationships with faculty and graduate students in the Slavic Languages, History, and Political Sciences departments, and elsewhere around Stanford. She is appreciated by her colleagues for her conscientious work, thoughtful insights and suggestions, and deep understanding of both Slavic studies and librarianship as a whole. Upon her arrival at Stanford, Karen served on the steering committee guiding the Hoover/SUL alignment, and more recently has had an important role in the development of SUL’s growing focus on the Baltic states, helping to hire and mentor the Assistant Curator for Baltic studies, Liisi Esse. She has also skillfully supervised and supported the professional development of curatorial assistants, first Barbara Krupa and more recently Elga Zalite, whose work advances collections processing and the Slavic exchange program. Upon Karen’s retirement, she will continue to provide some help to Barbara Krupa, who will manage Slavic and East European collecting on an interim basis.

Karen’s expertise in her field extends far beyond Stanford. She is a leader in the field of Slavic librarianship, having held leadership positions in the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES, formerly AAASS), the Pacific Coast Slavic & East European Library Consortium. She has published on notable acquisitions, copyright issues, approval plans, and has organized panels and presented on these and other topics at professional conferences throughout her career. In 2000, she founded, and still edits the journal Slavic & East European Information Resources, now published by Routledge.

Please stop and say goodbye to Karen – her presence will be missed throughout SUL!

By Sarah Sussman