Name: Marla Whitney Chesler
Title: Head of Acquisitions
Organization: U.S. Department of State Ralph J. Bunche Library
Address: A/GIS/IPS/LIB, HST Room 2442 U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC 20520-2442
Born and lived: Born in California, but we moved to Hawai’i when I was three. I stayed in Hawai’i for high school and college — I received both my undergraduate and MLIS degrees from the University of Hawai’i. I moved to Denver, CO in 1993 and then to Boston, MA in 2002. My husband Adam and I currently live in Alexandria, VA.
Early life: Spent too much time getting sunburned and collecting cats with emotional issues.
Professional career and activities: My first librarian position was at the University of Hawai’i Hamilton Library as a Systems Librarian. From there I moved to Denver to work for CARL (now TLC CARL), then Faxon, then CARL again, then back to Faxon. I worked briefly for OCLC but left when I moved to Boston to marry Adam Chesler. I worked at Northeastern University as the Collection Development Librarian for three years. When we moved to Alexandria I first worked at the Library of Congress/FEDLINK; I joined the Department of State Bunche Library as the Head of Acquisitions in 2010.
Family: Married to Adam Chesler. We have two cats, who are both brilliant and charming cats — pay no attention to anyone who says otherwise.
In my spare time, I like to: Watch baseball and hockey with Adam, read, talk to strangers in downtown Washington, DC.
Favorite books/author: I don’t have a favorite author or book. I’m just finished The Last Stand: Custer, Sitting Bull, and the Battle of the Little Bighorn by Nathaniel Philbrick and now I’m working on Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War by the same author.
Pet peeves: When the bell peppers and the apples end up in the same bin in the refrigerator and then the apples get a bell pepper flavor. Ugh!
Philosophy: Since my husband’s philosophy is “Happy Wife, Happy Life” my philosophy is to make sure he is successful in fulfilling his philosophy.
Most memorable career achievement : Being the first person at the Bunche Library to get the new “Thumbs Up Button” award.
Goal I hope to achieve five years from now How/where do I see the industry in five years: In five years, I hope to still be at the Bunche Library. I’ve moved around a lot in my career and it would be nice to stay in one job for over five years since it’s something I’ve never done. I agree that tablets will grow in popularity as will our end users expectation that we can provide access to content in that format.
See also: Marla’s interview with ATG
Leah was appointed Executive Director of the Charleston Conference in 2017, and has served in various roles with the Charleston Information Group, LLC, since 2004. Prior to working for the conference, she was Assistant Director of Graduate Admissions for the College of Charleston for four years. She lives in a small town near Columbia, SC, with her husband and two kids where they raise a menagerie of farm animals.