Erin Carney, Arts Librarian

June 3, 2024
Erin Carney is the arts librarian at the Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library. Her subject specialties are drama, theater, and performance studies. As the subject liaison for the library, she is the point person for students who are interested in studying or majoring in any of those three disciplines. She also provides research assistance about theater history to students and faculty in Yale’s well-known graduate-level theater conservatory.
Since she arrived at Yale Library a little more than a year ago, Erin has been involved in several committees promoting professional development and accessibility. She works with various Yale staff affinity groups that host events at the library.  “I enjoy organizing events that create a sense of community across Yale and New Haven,” she said.
Erin is the rising co-chair of the LGBTQ Affinity Group at Yale. “Our group hosts a lot of different social events, arranges tours of art museums exhibiting queer artists, and organizes a lot of charity events for local trans teens.” 
Erin is also on the executive steering committee of the Disability Alliance at Yale (DAY). Erin produces the alliance newsletter, which publishes different events and stories of interest to the disability community in New Haven and across Connecticut. Adjacent to that work is her work assessing the accessibility features of the library: “naming them, understanding what we have, what we are offering now, and identifying the glaring gaps, to then start building a more inclusive, accessible community.”
In May, DAY collaborated with the Yale African American Affinity Group and the LGBTQ Affinity Group to host the second Disability Alliance at Yale Day Community Storytelling event at Sterling Memorial Library. This storytelling event is for staff members whose disability affects their lives in some way. Three individuals worked with a professional storyteller who helped them tell their stories and share their experiences. “I have been helping to organize different events that bring light and community to these staff members.”
Erin sees her support of staff diversity, equity, inclusivity, and accessibility as essential to her role at the library. “I think that work is at the core of being in a library. There’s so much of a social initiative—in public libraries and academic libraries—to provide free access to information, community events, community belonging.  As librarians, we are constantly asking ourselves, how can we make things accessible to more of the people who need to be getting our services, and how can we make that easier and more inclusive for them?”
Erin is especially excited to see how the results of the recent Staff Climate Survey will help shape the future of Yale Library. “I am really looking forward to all the amazing things that we can do as a library to expand and make more visible all the staff needs that we want to fulfill.”