Kelsey: When and where were you born and raised?
I was born in
Seoul, Korea. And you
1940 November 17.
Kelsey: How long did you stay in
Korea when I was
twenty-three years old.
Kelsey: And why did you leave?
I came here to continue my studies, as my parents had
Kelsey: “Here” being the
Kelsey: So you came here to go to college.
Kelsey: Where did you go?
I went to
Mankato State. Now
it’s a university, but then it was
Mankato State College.
Kelsey: And what did you study there?
I was just finishing up my
undergraduate major, which was art. And then I
minored in library science and French.
Kelsey: And what degree did you earn?
Oh, what do you call that?
Kelsey: In art?
In art, yes.
Kelsey: And then did you go to
library school after?
Yes, I went to the
University of Oklahoma,
where I earned my
Kelsey: And what year was that?
Kelsey: And when did you get your B.A.?
1967, same year. In June I graduated, and I started in
Kelsey: How did you find out about
County College of Morris?
Well, I was working in
Florida, which to me,
it always felt like the end of the world. I wanted to
New York City. So I
came up here, looking for a job in
New York City, and I
learned about this college, so I applied.
Kelsey: Did you see an ad?
Kelsey: What was the hiring process?
I applied. I don’t remember when exactly. Then I was
called probably May in 1969, and I was told to come for
an interview. And I came here, the college, there
wasn’t any building—actually, only one,
Henderson Hall. The
director interviewed me, that was it. Later I learned
later librarians were interviewed by many more people,
like deans, but I was interviewed by one person, the
Kelsey: And who was that?
Kelsey: And when did you find out that you had
That was probably not until August. I don’t remember.
Probably very close to school start—probably August.
Kelsey: And so then you started in September?
Kelsey: Describe your job.
Well, I was a cataloger.
Should I tell you what the
catalogers job means?
It’s not for librarians only, so I’d better. At that
time, unlike my last years, when we didn’t have many
books to catalog, at that time there were—each day
somebody would bring me a truckload of books for me to
catalog, and that was my job, basically.
Kelsey: And where were you actually working?
At that time, the first time I came here, we were housed
in Henderson Hall—cafeteria, I believe. And there we
worked. And to my great surprise, I thought when I’d
get here, that first day, I was shown around, kind of
orientation, and I didn’t expect to work right away.
But to my great surprise, Mr. Davis,
who was head of what is now the media department, he
just rolled out big book trucks full of books, and I sat
down right there and began to work.
Kelsey: How many librarians were working here when
There were already, Mr. Davis, who was head of the
media. And there was Mr. Tuttle,
who was kind of like a supervisor of the circulation
department. And then I was hired as the first
cataloger. And that same
day—September 3, I believe, right after Labor Day—Mr. Wessels,
who was the first reference librarian. So we started it
together, and there were two other librarians already
there, and the director.
Kelsey: Were there also support staff?
There was Mr. Bunnell’s
secretary, who seemed to be doing everything. Later she
became acquisitions clerk, but at that time exactly what
she did, I don’t know. But she did invoices, checking
in books, that kind of thing, acquisition work. There
was another person, Mrs. Holl, who
was to work at the cataloging department. We arrived on
the same day.
Kelsey: Were you all working out of one room?
One room in Henderson Hall.
That was September through November. Should I go on?
And then we moved, November, into the library building,
which wasn’t completed at all. It was the middle of
November, no windows put in yet, no carpet. And we sat
in what is now Regina’s office [LRC 136], all day long,
wearing gloves, filing all day. Unlike now, those days,
if you still remember, we used to file cards.
Kelsey: So you were in one small office behind the
Kelsey: All of you filing
Seven hours a day.
Kelsey: In the catalog.
Right. Actually, just before I got there, it was
filed. After we moved in November, I discovered it
wasn’t filed properly at all, and we started all over.
Kelsey: Oh, my. Describe the rest of what the
campuswas like at that time—like
the parking lots, and where you ate.
I don’t remember now. It’s almost forty years ago, and
I wasn’t really looking around. I was so absorbed in my
own work, being new, so I really don’t remember much.
Parking doesn’t seem to be a problem at all, because I
never remember having a problem. Eating, I don’t
remember whether there was a student center or not. I
don’t even remember that.
Kelsey: Do you remember what the rules were like
regarding smoking on campus?
It wasn’t that much of an issue then. Probably they
were not allowed to smoke in the classroom, but it’s not
like the whole campus is off smoking. It wasn’t like
that. Nationwide, it wasn’t until recently, right?
Kelsey: Yes. What was the atmosphere like on
campus during that time? What were the
I’m afraid, Ann, I am not going to be much help to your
project, because I don’t remember. As I said, I was so
absorbed in my work I wasn’t really involved.
Kelsey: What do you remember about what things
were like in the
United States in that
’68, ’69, ’70 time frame?
I don’t remember. Now that you ask and I’m thinking, I
felt like I must have lived in some kind of vacuum. My
whole life was here, the library, and working with
Kelsey: But you were in college in 1967, is that
’66 through ’67, yes. Actually, ’64 through ’67.
Kelsey: And then you worked in
Florida, in what kind
It was a college library, Catholic college, two years.
Kelsey: So did you see any political
demonstrations at that time?
I don’t think so. Even now, I’m not really on too much
of political issues at all.
Kelsey: Do you remember
Martin Luther King.
That was after
Kelsey: No, right before.
Before, yeah. I remember the
Martin Luther King, I
guess so. Everybody knew about it. I must have known.
But I remember watching
Robert Kennedy’s body
being carried on a train, but I don’t remember
Martin Luther King’s.
Kelsey: Do you remember what your reaction was to
Robert Kennedy being
My own personal reaction?
I cannot tell you. You know, my own father was also
assassinated for political reasons, so it’s always hard.
Kelsey: What was the social
life like at the college? Did the staff socialize
together, did you go out to eat?
You mean outside of work?
None. We didn’t really socialize. We just came here to
work, sometimes share lunch, and we had rather elaborate
Kelsey: Oh, describe the Christmas parties.
Just like now, you still continue I hope. Everybody
brings our own dishes, and it was pot luck—always
Kelsey: Was this in the library?
Yes. And Mr. Bunnell, the
director, normally contributed eggnog, and with a little
bit of spirit. In those days, I think it was a little
more lax than now. I don’t think Dr. Cohn would do that
Kelsey: And where did you all eat lunch?
Ooo, that’s something I cannot remember.
Kelsey: Did you eat in the library?
I don’t think so. I must have eaten in some cafeteria,
yeah. I didn’t used to bring lunch to work until much,
much later, when I was conscious of diet.
Kelsey: So if you ate in the cafeteria, the
students were eating there?
Kelsey: How did you dress when
you went to work?
Rather formally, I hoped. We didn’t wear jeans or
anything like that. I wouldn’t say dressed up, but I
dressed much more formally than I normally go around the
Kelsey: Did you wear pants?
Kelsey: And did the other staff in the library or
on the campus dress in a similar
Yes. If they wore pants, it’s more like a pantsuit
type, rather formal.
Kelsey: And what about the
students, what did the students wear?
I don’t remember. But they were still casual, I
suppose—very casual, yeah.
Kelsey: How did you get to work?
What do you mean?
Kelsey: How did you get here, by what means of
Is there any other way but car?
Kelsey: What kind of a car did you drive?
Oh, I had a
Kelsey: What color was it?
Blue. And I used to have the same
Volkswagen, same color,
so one day my director said, “I thought you had a new
car.” I said, “Yes.” “Well, it’s still the same
“Yes.” So nobody noticed whether I had a new car or
Kelsey: Where did you live when you first started
Hopatcong. Oh, when I
first got here, I lived in
Hopatcong- for one
year. Then I moved into
apartment, where I lived until ’76. So that’s about
Kelsey: How does the drive from that area today,
what you see along the side of the road as you drive,
how does that differ from what you saw when you were
driving in the late sixties?
Nowadays, it’s much more developed.
For instance, where 46 and Route 10 meet, there was a
big circle you had to go around. And in the middle of
that circle was a huge, beautiful tree. And many years
ago that tree was cut down, and now it’s a regular
multi-intersection. And at that corner there was a kind
of junk/antique shop. Now, actually only recently, I
noticed that there is a
Walgreen’s now, and Old
Roxbury Shopping Center was not there. So I would say
it’s very much developed—very much.
Kelsey: So the shopping centers that are in
Roxbury now were not
No, I don’t think so.
Kelsey: What was there?
I don’t remember.
Kelsey: Was it fields, farms?
I don’t remember.
Kelsey: Describe a typical
day for you on campus, from
the time you arrived in the morning, until you went home
I’m afraid it’s the same thing every day. I arrive,
8:30, and my assistant, Mrs. Holl,
would have instructed a student aide—we had a lot those
days—and the student would bring me a truckload of books
every morning for me to catalog. And I cataloged all
day. And sometimes about one hour or two hours a week I
served at the reference desk.
And even then, I used to catalog while I’m sitting at
the ref desk, because it’s not that busy in the morning.
Kelsey: Where was the reference desk?
Well, over the years, it got moved around. At first,
when we moved into the new building, what is now the B.I.
room was the reference. Then it was moved to—I’m not
talking in chronological order, because I don’t
remember. It was at one time under the staircase, and
at one time in front of the—how should I say?—just
outside of the gallery. Those are the three locations I
remember, and then we moved up.
Kelsey: Up to the second floor?
Kelsey: But originally, when you first moved into
Kelsey: It was in the room that’s now used as the
bibliographic instruction classroom.
Kelsey: On the ground floor, just next to the
Kelsey: And how many hours a week did you spend on
Not many, about two hours at the maximum. I mean, one
slot, that’s two hours.
Kelsey: And what kind of questions did the
At that time we were not really heavily involved in
teaching how to find the materials. We would simply
answer the questions and give out the answer. Basically
ready reference. And if it involved some research, we
did the research, instead of specifically telling them
how to do, as we tend to do now.
Kelsey: And what kinds of questions did they ask?
What subjects were they looking for information on?
Oh, that was all different subjects. I would say
Information Please Almanac
would be the best source for most source, that kind of
Kelsey: And what did you think about the
students that you were working
with? What were they like, how old were they?
Well, there were two kinds—as there are now, I
presume—regular students from eighteen on, fresh from
high school; and then evening classes,
mature people, men and women. And those people I
sometimes…. We worked one night a week, regularly, so I
got to know those evening class students, mostly women
coming back to school. And I found that even now, about
a couple of years until I retire, those people seem to
be a lot more eager to learn, highly motivated.
Kelsey: What would you say was the distribution in
terms of numbers? Were there more eighteen-year-olds,
were there more older students?
I may be wrong, Ann, but I tend to remember somehow
there were more evening students than day students. As
I said, I could be wrong.
Kelsey: So there were more older studentsthen, you
Right. And evening, part-time students, yes.
Kelsey: And were some of those part-time
students also younger, like
Mostly older. I remember a few people I particularly
got to know. I never met any
Armenians before, and
there was a woman who introduced herself as
Armenian. Never heard
of it, so I kind of researched it.
Kelsey: Did you notice any other different
No. There were not that many different ethnic
students here at that time, I think. As I said, I
mostly worked in the back—I wasn’t really heavily
involved with the students, but that was my impression.
Kelsey: And the student aides. You mentioned that
A lot more than now.
Kelsey: A lot more student aides. Did you get to
know any of those students?
Yes, I tended to get very friendly with the students.
Kelsey: Did they talk to you about why they came
Kelsey: Or what they were studying?
Yes, that kind of thing we talked, but I didn’t
particularly ask them why they came. It was kind of
Kelsey: And what was the understanding?
Well, the understanding was it’s easier to come to
college from home, until they are ready to go to
Kelsey: What kinds of subjects were they studying?
One student aide in my room, Kevin
Van Pelt, was studying art. There was one student,
John Freeman, who used to come
Verona, and I never
Verona was, until
recently I went there. It’s quite a distance, and he
came from there. And there was my first student aide,
who filed cards for us—Anita—a very
quiet young woman, from high school. And I think she
was business or something.
Kelsey: So were most of these
students straight out of high school, you think?
Kelsey: They weren’t older?
No, they were just eighteen. Kevin Van Pelt, he was
seventeen in September, although he turned eighteen in
December. That much we knew each other quite well.
Kelsey: How many hours a week did they work?
They seemed to be there all the time, a lot. As I said,
we had a lot more student aides those days, and they
worked a lot more hours.
Kelsey: So they were allowed to work more hours
then, than in later years.
Yeah. If you didn’t ask me, I was going to volunteer
this information, but you may have a plan to ask anyway—money.
It was the early days, I would say the golden years.
Money wasn’t any object, so we could buy a lot of
books. I still see a lot of books I cataloged in those
days, and student aides were there, probably a lot of
them getting State money. So money was no object. We
never heard of cutting this and that.
Kelsey: So they were being paid by grants?
I think so.
Kelsey: Or student aid [i.e., financial aid/work
Kelsey: And it was plentiful enough that they
Right. They seemed to have worked a long time, and we
had a lot of students.
Kelsey: Were most of these students carrying a
full load of credits, as well as working?
Yes. I think that may have been the requirement,
Kelsey: Fifteen credits?
Kelsey: Did the students then tend to go straight
through for two years and graduate, or did they take
The studentsI knew who worked in my room, they tended to
graduate in two years. So I remember those three
particularly well, because they were my first student
aides. As we got more and more students later, even the
names are vague now.
Kelsey: How many student aides, by count, did you
Over the years?
Kelsey: No, just that first semester.
Probably Anita, who was a filer—I
can still see her in my mind’s eye, quietly sitting
seven hours, filing. Kevin Van Pelt who
made our labels. And John Freeman may have come a year
later. But anyway, those are the names I remember.
Kelsey: And these students all
worked with you when you had moved into the library
Kelsey: Did you have student aides when you were
in the one room in Henderson
Yes. There were two I remember: somebody named
Neumann, and Sharon
White. Those are the first two,
actually, I should have said—first two. And they
graduated right away.
Kelsey: So they were part of the first class.
Years later, it seems to me recently I met somebody who
worked at the library as a part-timer. He said
something about Sharon White, my first student aide.
She’s his wife, or something like that.
Kelsey: Do you still keep in touch with people you
worked with during that time period?
Kelsey: Not just the students, but other people?
No. They were like waves—they came and went—came into
my life, went out of my life, that’s it.
Kelsey: The student aides?
Students, and also people I worked with. I really don’t
keep in touch as a friend.
Kelsey: But you have some contact with some of
them, because you contacted….
Joan Holl. Yes, I meet her once in
a while. And she’s the only one who lives around here.
And the first staff member, Mrs. Dottie
Reifsnyder who was a secretary
to the director. She went out to
And that acquisitions person, Jo
DeFelice, who used to live in
Netcong, she died in
1975. About five years ago, this man, Mr. Len
Davis, who was the first media
person, he came by from
West Virginia where he
is retired to. He stopped by and we chatted. That’s
Kelsey: So you have run into some people …
Kelsey: … here and there.
Literally ran into—I didn’t really meet.
Kelsey: What do you remember most about your first
Nothing really stands out in my mind now. As I said,
it’s almost forty years ago.
Kelsey: Not even working in a building with no
windows in November?
Obviously that I remember, I just told you. But as I
said, my life was so absorbed in my work, that’s all I
seem to remember. And, there were times in the middle
of the night when I’d awake, I couldn’t wait to get back
to work. In those days, I read a lot, because we were
cataloging a lot of books. Whenever I encountered
interesting books, I’d take it home and read. So I read
a lot more than now when I’m retired, when I’m supposed
to have all this free time!
Kelsey: How would you say that
CCM has changed from
when you first started to work here, until now?
Well, first of all, campus-wide,
it got much bigger, a lot more buildings—not to mention
all this electronic technological equipment, even in the
library. Those days, we were heavily focused on
book collection. Now book
collection is on the back burner, and everything is
electronic, technological. And I didn’t think I would
ever say this, but now I truly believe that
book collection is
becoming obsolete. Even I myself, I bought at the
And that was my dream. And people used to say, “Why do
you buy an encyclopedia? You are working in the
library.” What if I have a question in the middle of
the night?! But finally, even I dragged all those
twenty-four volumes, and it sat in my garage for a
year. I didn’t have the heart to throw them out.
Finally, out to the curb. And I use a lot of computer
myself. That’s how it got changed.
Kelsey: What changes have you noticed, like the
classes that are offered, or the
students, between when it first
started, and now?
I really don’t know, Ann, but I have a feeling that now
we tend to offer a lot more kind of practical kind of
classes. Also, very specialized classes, rather than
general history of western civilization, which was a
requirement—as opposed to very specific women’s history
of dates, or history of Jewish people. That’s a very
specialized area. Those subjects are offered now,
whereas in the past, more general classes, like German
I, II, history, that kind of thing.
Kelsey: Looking back over when you first started
working, and your career here, what stands out for you
in terms of working at
CCM and being part of
pretty much the original group of people who started the
That significance of the so-called original group became
a lot more talked about later. When I was actually one
of that original group, I didn’t think much of it.
Looking back, it was a good time, I’m grateful that I
had a career here. I read a lot of books then, because
I was a cataloger, and I took
quite a few courses here, free. That was nice. It
enriched my life.
Kelsey: Okay. Is there anything else you’d like
Yeah. I already mentioned in those days, golden years,
we didn’t have any so-called budget
problems, Ann. Sometimes I hear my last years, you are
kind of worried about budget. In those days, whatever
we thought we should have, we bought—mostly art
collection. Now everything’s gone, but a great deal of
record collection, music, that kind of thing we bought,
we built a collection.
Kelsey: From scratch.
Yes. And the first reference librarian, Mr.
Wessels, was a jazz expert. So
it was a good time.