Meet Susan McLernon, an undergraduate and Co-Leader of the Student Friends of Princeton University Library

The Student Friends of the Princeton University Library (SFPUL) is a student-run group that sponsors events and activities related to libraries, books, collecting, and other bibliographic endeavors, with a dedicated emphasis on Princeton University Library’s (PUL) collections.

​​What year are you and what are you studying at Princeton?  What interests you about the subject?

I am a first-year transfer student at Princeton. Princeton is unique in that it allows you to revert to first year standing no matter how many credits you come in with. I happily jumped at the opportunity! 

I came in wanting to study history. It is the meeting point of many of my interests - Ancient history, literature, art, politics, and human connections. I quote Uta Hagen a lot to say that I have an "Insatiable curiosity for the human condition."

Susan McLernon

How did you get involved with SFPUL? 

I signed up for the mailing list when I first came to campus. I love libraries and PUL is one of the best. I went with the SFPUL to the Groiler club last semester and I was hooked. 

What has been your favorite SFPUL event and why? 

Recently we did a tour of the Digital Imaging Studio in the Library. I didn't realize there was such amazing technology in the Library! We have a camera setup there that is so advanced there are only three of them in the entire world. Getting the opportunity to see how digital conservation works was an absolute treat.

What have you learned since joining the Friends? 

The Library is a big friend/family group. Once you join and attend an event, you're welcomed in. You make a ton of connections with people who know so many amazing things who are all eager to help you learn — or to show you really cool things in the collections. 

How have you used the Library in your time at Princeton? Are there any notable resources or materials you've used? 

I now work in Numismatics. I didn't know anything about coins before starting, but Dr. Stahl and his team were happy to teach me. Most of the time I'm in Special Collections — Did you know that we have Mary Shelley's copy of Paradise Lost? It was given to her by Percy Shelley, her husband. He even wrote a dedication to her inside of it. I think it's one of the most romantic (and interesting!) items I've seen. 

Why should someone join the SFPUL? 

If you're interested in anything Library oriented — books, ephemera, comics, coins, digital conservation, and more — join up! You'll find the most fascinating parts of the library, and become part of a lovely welcoming family.

Published on May 16, 2024

Interview by Brandon Johnson, Communications Strategist

Media Contact: Stephanie Oster, Publicity Manager