Little boys don't grow up wanting to be librarians. I wanted to be a third baseman. A career in librarianship usually occurs to people later in life, when you realize how important books are and you decide you want to be around them all the time.
Books are very beautiful and they are forever teaching you things. Books help you live a healthy life—so who wouldn't want to be around them all the time!
My job at the Folger is a privilege. I get to be around some of the greatest books ever printed, many of which are five hundred years old. My primary responsibility is to preserve these beautiful books and make them available for others to enjoy, for purposes of study and research, and for exhibition. (Visit the Folger's exhibition hall and you will see many rare treasures from the collection ... for free!)
The Folger collection includes thousands of manuscripts and works of art too, not just books, and our job is to care for these too, so generations from now people will be able to learn from them, and enjoy them. It's important.
Above is one of Richard's favorite images from a book in the Folger collection. The image illustrates January in a calendar from Shakespeare's time.
How can you tell that the man in the drawing above is a shepherd?
Richard Kuhta is Eric J. Weinmann Librarian of the Folger Shakespeare Library. He graduated from Swarthmore College and completed his graduate studies at the Shakespeare Institute in England and Trinity College Dublin. He earned a M.L.S. from Columbia and began a library career that included eight years as University Librarian at St. Lawrence University, before coming to the Folger in 1994.