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Library Director

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Meet a Library Director

Gail Kern Paster

One part of my job as director of the Folger Shakespeare Library is to speak for the library on public occasions—like welcoming visitors at public events.


I also spend time trying to raise money so that the Folger can continue to buy rare books, and have festivals where kids can perform scenes from Shakespeare, and give scholars funds so they can take time off from teaching for research.


Once I raise the money, then it is part of my job to thank donors for their help and support. Raising money is hard work, but the Folger has an important job to do and I love the challenge.


Above is a photograph of actor Paul Robeson that hangs in Gail Paster's office. In this image, Robeson is playing the role of Othello in Shakespeare's play of the same name.


Robeson was a famous actor as well as a scholar, athlete, human right's activist, and singer. He first played Othello in a London production of the play in 1930.


Learn more about Paul Robeson



"Raising money is hard work, but the Folger has an important job to do and I love the challenge."



Scholar Gail Kern Paster is the Director of the Folger Shakespeare Library. She also edits Shakespeare Quarterly , the leading scholarly journal about Shakespeare. Before coming to the Folger, she was a Professor of English at The George Washington University. She earned a B.A., magna cum laude , at Smith College, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and a Ph.D. at Yale University.

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