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From The CIA To The Circulation Desk

From The CIA To The Circulation DeskThecareer path of Fletcher School graduate Elizabeth Moran has woundits way from the top-secret innards of the CIA to the forefrontof innovation at a Maine library.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [06.24.05] Elizabeth Moran is retiring this year as director ofthe Camden (Maine) PublicLibrary, where she oversaw its growth during the technologicalboom of the 1990s. What many patrons don’t know is thatthe Fletcher School graduatewas also part of the espionage boom of the 1960s, serving a stintin the CIA, where she spiedon the United Nations, prepared presidential intelligence briefingsand learned how to rig a toilet with explosives.

"HereI am, a little librarian, but I know how to get rid of someonewhile they go to the bathroom," Moran recalled to the BangorDaily News.

The librarianis taking her quest for technological advancement to her new roleas head of the Camden History Center, which will seek to digitizethe collections of local historical organizations for online archival.

But in themid-1960s, her role was as a CIA intelligence officer, analyzingdata gathered about the United Nations and working on the nuclearnon-proliferation treaty between the United States and formerSoviet Republic. She also met her husband, Andrew, while workingfor the agency.

In 1988, herfamily moved back to Camden and she took a job at the library.In 1990 – on the threshold of the Internet age – shewas named its director.

"I grewup here, and the library was my favorite place," she toldthe Daily News.

From convertingthe card catalog system to a computer database to spearheadingthe town's Internet access, Moran oversaw sweeping changes inthe way the library did business.

"It wasgreat to be on the forefront of that," Moran said to theDaily News of the library's initiative with the Internet."We were the very first library to have wireless," sheadded, in the late 1990s.

Other projectsincluded a renovation of the library's reading room and a restorationof the historic landscape surrounding the building.

Moran, whosejobs have in one way or another always focused on the collectionof information, believes that libraries will continue to playa key role in communities in the future.

"Theformat of how we get our information may change, but not the place,"she told the Daily News.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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