Long-Time Member Profile -- Patricia Turpening -- AALL Technical Services Special Interest Section (TS-SIS)

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TS-SIS Long-Time Member Profile:
Patricia Turpening

Place And Date Of Birth

3-1-52 Columbus, Ohio.

Educational Background

  • Findlay College, B.S. (Elementary Education), 1974
  • University of Kentucky, M.S.L.S., 1978


Travel, Photography, Reading, Fitness walking.

Inspiration For Becoming A Law Librarian

It was serendipity. I happened to get the job at the Ohio Supreme Court Law Library almost by chance. I learned of the job through an employment agency and I was the person on their roles with the best qualifications for the position. When I later applied to libraries during library school, my only interview was here, another law library, since I had previous experience at one law library. My other applications all went to public libraries. Although I became a law librarian by serendipity, I can’t imagine working in any other type of library.

Jan Merrill-Oldham, Malloy-Rabinowitz Preservation Librarian, Harvard University and Harvard College Library, has been an inspiration for me since I became involved in preservation issues, over 20 years ago. She has been active in library preservation in ALA as a presenter and author and within her institutions, the University of Connecticut previously and now at Harvard.

Current Position Challenges

It would have to be the balancing of my professional responsibilities with those of my position. In addition to my activities in preservation in AALL, I am also involved in the local chapter of the AAUP, and I am currently the secretary of the Library Faculty on campus. All of these take time and I have to balance those needs with those of my job duties.

Prior Positions/Employment

  • Preservation Administration Intern, Sterling Memorial Library, Yale University, 1986
  • Rendigs, Fry, Kiely & Dennis, part-time librarian, 1979-1986
  • Supreme Court of Ohio Law Library, 1974-1976

'Crazy' Non-Professional Activity

Since I’m having so much trouble thinking of an answer, I must not have done anything very crazy.

Life's Passion

Planning and taking vacations abroad with my husband.

Earliest Childhood Memory

Playing in our backyard with my brother.

Where In Five Years?

I retire next year. I plan to be a consultant in library preservation, to be active in AALL, attend ALA meetings on preservation, and make presentations and write about preservation. I want to be a student and a teacher of preservation for many more years.


  • AALL
    • Technical Services SIS
    • Legal History & Rare Books SIS
  • American Association of University Professors (AAUP)
  • American Library Association
    • Association of Library Collections and Technical Services
    • Association of College and Research Libraries
  • Ohio Preservation Council
  • Ohio Regional Association of Law Libraries (ORALL)
  • Society of American Archivists
  • Society of Ohio Archivists


  • Recipient, Renee D. Chapman Memorial Award for Outstanding Services in Technical Services, 2004