Saluki Pride: Aaron Lisec helping researchers gain historical insight

Aaron Lisec of Morris Library’s Special Collections Research Center helps researchers from throughout the world with their projects. He also uses the library’s Facebook page to connect the community and Saluki alumni with frequent posts featuring historic photos from the center.

Get to know Aaron Lisec

Name: Aaron Lisec

Department and job title: Morris Library Special Collections Research Center, research specialist.

Years at SIU Carbondale: 31; 26 years on staff, five years graduate school.

Give us the elevator pitch for your job:

I work with researchers from around the world, helping them navigate our collections, answering questions and providing digital scans of letters, manuscripts and photographs. I also promote our collections on social media, highlighting our many treasures, from Civil War letters and letters by famous writers like Hemingway and Joyce to the thousands of photographs documenting SIU’s history.

What is the favorite part of your job?

Helping researchers, in person and online, find the documents that make a difference in their dissertation, book, film or other projects. And always learning along the way, which makes me better able to help the next patron.

Why did you choose SIU?

I liked the fact that it was still in Illinois and yet so different from Chicago. I’m very grateful for the opportunities I’ve had here. I have now spent half my life in each place. I live in rural Union County and I frequently visit my family in Chicago so I feel like I have a foot planted firmly at both ends of the state and that gives me a unique perspective and a rich experience. I certainly know every inch of I-57 by now.

At the top of my “bucket list’ is to … and why

Spend more time hiking in the West. I usually manage a week every year. When I retire I hope to do longer trips and linger more in each spot. Hiking is great for the body and the soul. You never know what might be around the next bend.

What was your first car, and would you like to have it once again if you could?  Why or why not?

My first car was a VW Beetle. I am happy with my Subaru, thank you. I live at the end of a long gravel driveway and the Beetle wouldn’t stand a chance.

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