Kelly Julian Sexton loves her job handling local history as a librarian for the Plattsburgh Public Library.
PLATTSBURGH — It took Kelly Julian Sexton a while to find her way to the library.
But now that she’s been there a bit, the Plattsburgh Public Library librarian loves her job.
Sadly, Sexton’s position was eliminated in a round of cuts to deal with a $150,000 deficit, and she is slated to lose her position by the end of the month.
“I don’t know what I am going to do at this point,” said the 38-year-old single mother of two children.
Sexton graduated with a double major in psychology and anthropology and a minor in archaeology.
“I just took classes I was interested in.”
Then, one day she got on the Civil Service list for a library clerk and landed a job at the Plattsburgh Public Library, though by the end of the interview for that job people were pointing her in the direction of librarian. She returned to school and earned her master’s degree in library science.
“I think I was born a librarian,” Sexton said. “It was just a matter of getting a degree and realizing it.”
Today she takes care of local history at the Plattsburgh Public Library where she recently organized a collection that was more than 120-years-old, with some documents that were even older. The collection includes letters from Alexander Macomb and Thomas Macdonough about troop movements.
Macomb was the field commander at the Battle of Plattsburgh and commanding general of the United States Army from May 29, 1828 to June 25, 1841. During the war of 1812, Macdonough commanded the naval forces that defeated the British navy.
“I got the best job in the building,” she said. “It is fun to get into the old stuff. You open a box and you are not sure what you are going to find.”
She also spends much of her time at the reference desk, answering patrons’ questions.
“You never know what you are going to be asked.”
She’s been asked if people can sneeze underwater, and the answer is yes.
“But you inhale when you sneeze, so you have to be careful not to drown yourself.”
She has also been asked the real names for professional wrestlers and why men wear wigs in court in England.
Some people simply need to find the forms required to sell their homes without the assistance of a realtor. Then there are some who need help with genealogy.
“Sometimes I don’t have the answers, but I can tell them where to go,” Sexton said. “Not everything is available online. There is so much cool stuff in here.”
She’s been at the library about 12 years now, nearly two years as a librarian, and was blindsided when she learned her position was being eliminated.
“I wonder what I am going to do,” Sexton said. “I am putting my resume out there and keeping my ear to the ground. But I don’t really have a plan at this point.
“If I could find something that dealt with the history of this area, that would be great.”