Meet Sierra Laddusaw, Map Librarian

By Marketing and Communications | 02-08-2017

Sierra is a Map Librarian and has worked for the Libraries for eight years.

Favorite Aggie tradition:

While I can’t point to a single tradition that I would call my “favorite,” I do have an appreciation for the fervor Aggies have for their history and tradition. From the friendly “Howdy” that makes it so easy to start a class, to seeing Reveille around campus. I will never forget the football game I attended, having no idea how any of the yells worked. Thankfully the people sitting next to me were willing to teach me!

How long have you worked for the Libraries?

Since 2008, my first position was checking out books and stuffing mail envelopes (back when faculty still got their overdue notices as letters).

What all do you do for Texas A&M Libraries?

I am responsible for the map collection, this includes purchasing new material, cataloging material, and basic preservation of the collection. I also provide instruction to classes on how to utilize the collection, give tours to visiting groups, and assist outside researchers with access to the collection.

I am co-curator of the Maps of Imaginary Places Collection, a shared collection between Maps & GIS and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Research Collection in Cushing Memorial Library & Archives. This is one of my favorite collections in maps, the items in the collection are all of locations found in literature, movies, television, and games. I am also starting to collect “idea maps” – maps that show an idea or thought instead of a place – as part of this collection. 

What are you most looking forward to with the ReImagine Library Renovations?

In the upcoming library renovations the maps space is being completely redone. After many meetings, visiting other collections, and pouring over architectural drawings, I’m excited to say that we’ve created a space that will provide more area for students to use, make the collection more visible, and have a place for us to provide instruction. I am waiting, a little impatiently, for our stage of construction to begin and am looking forward to moving into the new space once it is completed.

What do you wish more at Texas A&M knew about the Libraries?

That we have an amazing collection of maps at the library! The collection has a number of interesting and unique items in it including maps showing the history and growth of Texas A&M, WWII captured maps, the Historical Maps of Cuba collection, and the Maps of Imaginary Places Collection. Not only do we have them, but we are more than happy to pull materials for people to view.

What do you most enjoy helping students, or faculty, or staff with?

Connecting the researcher to the materials that meet their needs. Locating a map isn’t as easy as a book, most people don’t walk into the library knowing the title of the map they need. It’s more of an abstract approach, they are looking for a specific place and topic. A normal request at our desk goes something like:

“I’m looking for maps of La Salle County, Texas that show oil wells, land ownership, and roads for the years 1940-2010. “

And then the scavenger hunt begins!

What do you do in your spare time? And/or what are your hobbies?

As most librarians would probably reply, I read, a lot. I also game, mostly PC but I do have several different consoles at home too. I like turn-based strategy games and RPGs. I also enjoy tabletop games. Anything from a casual game, like Bananagrams, to more complex games, like Twilight Imperium.