The Seattle Opera library was once a disorganized mess of artifacts from the institution’s five decades of productions. Emily Bolton Cabaniss, a 2014 graduate of the iSchool’s Master of Library and Information Science program, is working to change that.
As the opera’s first librarian, Cabaniss is organizing and cataloging a trove of books, DVDs, musical scores, videotapes and even instruments, bringing a sense of order to the opera’s collections to help safeguard its history.
The Seattle Times spent some time on the job with Cabaniss in the opera’s library, among the thousands of items she has been charged with organizing and maintaining since 2014.
“The stuff has always been there,” Cabaniss told the Times in a story for its Sept. 3 print edition. “There’s just never been anyone here to take care of it.”
The job combines Cabaniss’s passions for the arts and for access to information.
“I think working for Seattle Opera ties into kind of my interest in keeping the gate open, preserving access. Because I think that it’s really an essential part of our local history,” she said. “It’s also, I mean, this collection feels to me like an essential part of my personal history because I grew up with Seattle Opera.”