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When Fashion and Reading Collide





As the librarian of the June F. Mohler Fashion Library, Kent State’s Fashion School library, Edith Serkownek shares with Her Campus the tricks of the trade. Edith works as the main librarian as well as the special collections and archives librarian. She is responsible for the day-to-day operations as well as for processing special collections material. Her favorite part of the job? “I love the students and faculty,” Edith gushes. Helping others to retrieve resources and showing them new arrivals brings satisfaction to her work. Networking and connecting people with resources, according to Edith, is the Fashion School library’s best attribute.


Edith has been working at the library since 2005. Prior to Kent, she was a museum director and educator in Ohio and Pennsylvania. She got the job at the library from working there as a grad student. “It actually worked out to my favor because of my love of vintage clothing,” Edith says. “I collected and was always interested in vintage clothes. Working within the Fashion Library, I was able to explore more in that area.”


Over nine years, Edith has developed some helpful tips and tricks for students. Her number one recommendation for students, no matter their major, is to use the online databases. To access these handy resources, simply log into your Kent account, scroll down the home page, and select “Library” from the “Campus Resources” box on the left.


Edith’s next tip is to simply explore the shelves. “Students can find so much inspiration just from browsing, even if they don’t know what they’re looking for,” she says. You don’t have to be a fashion student to find the library useful. Books are generally geared toward fashion and design, but there are numerous books and magazines about the arts and even specialty reads about tattoo designs.

Feel free to stop in and use other resources, such as computers, printers, scanners and the Archive Section. The Archive Section contains unique books that aren’t available for checkout, and it’s definitely worth your while to take a look. There, students can browse through old copies of fashion magazines (including an 1869 issue of Harper’s Bazaar), peek through trend books and discover future trends (for 2015!), and read up on some of the world’s most iconic fashion designers.  


Before I let Edith get back to her silent sanctuary, I had to ask her three questions to which I was dying to know the answers:


Q: What is the most asked question you get from students?

A: How to use the scanner.


Q: What is your favorite book within the Fashion Library?

A: If she had to choose, it would be a series from the AVA on Fashion Design. She likes this series because it is current and has good examples. It’s also very simple and easy to understand.


Q: Your favorite thing about Kent? 

A: The people. And the black squirrel, of course.


If you’re interested in the Fashion Library and what more it has to offer, you can go to its website, call 330-672-9500, or simply take the Esplanade to Rockwell Hall! The Library is located on the first floor — you can’t miss it.

Junior Fashion Merchandising student at Kent State University. Lover of Pilates, Sex and the City, Decorating, Entertaining, Marie Claire, Thai food, the Olsen twins, Christmas, and Traveling.
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