920 CLA is a regular column in Catholic Library World, introducing a CLA member in each issue. Sandra Collins is the subject of the March 2017 column.

Q&A with Sandra Collins

Director of Information Services and Professor of Sacred Scripture
Byzantine Catholic Seminary
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Describe your career as a librarian and where you work.

I have worked in theological libraries or with theology collections for more than twenty years. I am currently Director of Information Services and Professor of Sacred Scripture at the Byzantine Catholic Seminary in Pittsburgh, an Eastern-rite Catholic seminary.

Share something about yourself not related to librarianship.

I am a fanatical Pittsburgh sports fan (my husband would say insufferable). I faithfully followed all the games leading up to the Pittsburgh Penguins’s Stanley Cup win in June 2016 while at a month-long language program in Presov, Slovakia. Spotty wi-fi as well as a six-hour time difference made it much more exciting than it should have been.

How does your faith inspire or fit in with your work?

As the Apostle Paul says, each of us has been given gifts which, when we cooperate with God, allow for the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good (1 Cor. 12:7). Working with an affirming and supportive community here at the Byzantine Catholic Seminary has provided me with many opportunities for creativity and growth in light of my own gifts. Furthermore, working here has also given me the privilege of seeing the blossoming of vocations in men called to serve the Church.

When and why did you get involved in the CLA?

I had been working for a few years for the Byzantine Catholic Seminary and realized that CLA’s programs and publications spoke more to my professional interests than other theologically-related library associations.

How has being involved with the CLA been important to your professional development?

I have attended several conferences as well as delivered and published papers relating to Catholic libraries. All of these have afforded me fantastic networking opportunities as well as valuable and insightful feedback and conversations.

What has been your most rewarding experience with the CLA?

Meeting other librarians who are doing such dynamic and interesting things with their collections as well as their students and faculty has been my most rewarding experience. All of this challenges me to go back to my library and do the same.

What do you hope for the future of the CLA?

This is an exciting time to be in librarianship. Catholic libraries have the potential to make really vibrant contributions to continuing scholarship around not only social issues like ecumenism and social justice, but also issues of access, digital responsibility, and spiritual development in light of greater and greater reliance on social media. We can really be at the forefront of these discussions and be leaders with respect to Catholic consciousness and emerging technologies.