Elizabeth J. Oktay ~ Library

For forty years as a librarian, I worked with faculty and devoted my attention to the selection, acquisition, and financial management of printed books and serials, online materials, and works in many different formats for the Vassar College Libraries. I retired at the end of June 2006. Now, from another perspective, I continue to appreciate and use the riches of this exceptional college library. Sometimes I access it is from my home computer and at other times I enter through the front door of the magnificent library building to browse and borrow books.

I continue to be very active in the Matthew Vassar Reading Club. We meet one evening a month during the academic year in the Faculty Parlor, Vassar College Main Building, and discuss a different book at each meeting. The group continues to be a source of stimulation, challenge, and pleasure. Most often, an invited member of the faculty leads the discussion. My responsibility for years, with assistance from others, is to contact and invite members of the faculty for each of the eight meetings each year. Once a year or less, one of our group will volunteer to be the resource person and lead the discussion. I have done so several times over the years before as well as after retirement.

I had hardly retired when I received a phone call inviting me to join the Board of Directors of the Hudson Valley Chamber Music Circle. The Hudson Valley Chamber Music Circle was started in 1950 and became associated with Bard College in 1979. I accepted the invitation.

The Hudson Valley Chamber Music Circle presents three concerts each June with performances by world-recognized professional musicians such as The Pacifica Quartet, the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, the Emerson Quartet and the Daedalus String Quartet. Its Board commissions new works by composers, most recently Ellen Taaffe Zwilich’s Quintet for Piano, Violin, Cello, Viola, and Contrabass (2011), awards two prizes each year to Bard students, one to a performer and one to a composer, and also regularly offers a free family concert.

In the second year, I became Vice-President of the Board. In the sixth year, I was elected president with my term effective on January 6, 2012. The concerts this June, as always, will be exceptional. I recommend the web site, Hudson Valley Chamber Music Circle, for concert series and ticket information.

Posted: January 2012