Staff Profile: Brandon Harrington

Brandon, our new library assistant at Starrett City in Brooklyn

Where were you born?

I was born and raised in central Connecticut.

Where else have you lived?

I moved from CT to Newport, RI for undergrad. Before moving to New York, I lived in Providence, RI for a time.

What languages do you speak?

While my speaking skills outside of English are pitiful, I have reading proficiency in German and can manage reading Spanish, French, and Italian with a dictionary. I have a background in Latin and intend to return to it eventually.

How long have you been at Touro and what’s your position?

I started at the beginning of July as the Library Assistant for Starrett City. Anything library-related at SC is my responsibility! Even though I am fresh at Touro, I am diving right in, wearing many hats, and having a rewarding experience already.

What is the part of your job that you enjoy the most?

Without a doubt, students! The Starrett City students are not only incredibly bright and eager, they have also been overwhelmingly generous with their warm welcomes. I love my site already, and the staff and students make it a fantastic place to work! Whether I am giving library orientation or a research class or working one-on-one with students, it is a pleasure to share how the research process can be enjoyable, not daunting!

What is the most challenging part of your job?

The biggest challenge is also the highest aim for me as a library assistant. That is, providing the best access to information and tools for each and every individual student. There is no “single” access solution that will work universally. I feel challenged to develop new and unique ways to introduce the library’s resources so that individual students feel seen, welcome, supported, and challenged. I want to empower students to take ownership of their education and use it to bring their ideas, talents, and passions out into the world.

Your ideal vacation?

At the moment, I am obsessed with the idea of roughing it around Europe on the Eurail: backpack, sleeping on the train, early mornings, and late nights – that sort of thing. Alternatively, I would love to visit a friend who lives in Tokyo.

Any hobbies?

For about a year, I have been teaching myself hand bookbinding. It is incredibly relaxing and requires an odd mixture of intense concentration and whimsy. Sewing up the signatures to create the text block and hand-sewing book headbands are probably my favorite steps of the process, but nothing beats “casing in.” Casing in is the final step in making a case-bound book (think typical hardback) when the pages (text block) get glued to the cover. Gathering the appropriate presses and hand tools is difficult, but I am slowly building a home workshop. I started this hobby as a grad student because I was sick of having unruly piles of loose-leaf articles lying around.

Favorite food?

Cooking is my other hobby. I love seafood generally and have a penchant for sushi. I also appreciate the classics and have been planning a “Best of NYC Burgers” tour.

When you travel, what do you never leave home without?

My journal. I constantly need an outlet for recording and processing my experiences.

Tell us one thing about yourself that most of us probably don’t know.

Well, my Social Security Number is…just kidding.

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