Meet Archives Librarian Anne Ryckbost

Posted Friday, July 07, 2017

SERVICE ROOTED IN JUSTICE AND LOVE invites us to invest our lives into the well-being of our neighbors, particularly those who suffer injustice.

SOLIDARITY and KINSHIP invites us to walk alongside and learn from our companions, both local and afar, as we journey through life.

When Anne Ryckbost, University Library’s new Archives Librarian, travels to a new place, she doesn’t just observe it or even visit it – she explores it. Which is why Ryckbost has a passion for hiking and backpacking.

“I’ve hiked in the Alps, Greece and New Zealand,” Ryckbost said.

Though her international destinations have been the farthest places she has traveled to hike, her favorite hike was Highline Trail in Glacier National Park in Montana. “Mostly because we had a black bear cub follow us the whole trip,” Ryckbost said.

Her sense of adventure isn’t limited to travel destinations. After earning a BA in History and Classics, Ryckbost relocated to Cincinnati. Her spirit of exploration expanded from the forest trails to the neighborhood streets. Shortly after her move, Ryckbost joined the AmeriCorps program Public Allies Cincinnati.

“I wanted to get to know my community better because I was relatively new to the area. I wanted exposure to a diversity of nonprofit organizations and I wanted leadership training – particularly its power and privilege elements,” Ryckbost said. “A lot of the [Public Allies] leadership training focused on how society grapples with issues of privilege. What are the structural forces at work that might put some people at a disadvantage in terms of jobs and education?”

Ryckbost’s apprenticeship with Public Allies Cincinnati was serving as Education Coordinator for The Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education. Public Allies also allowed her the opportunity to volunteer with other community organizations like Lighthouse Youth and Family Services. Ryckbost even ventured out on her own and volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Cincinnati. The community exposure offered her profound educational experiences.

“I learned to be more empathetic,” Ryckbost said. “I became more aware of biases – my own and others.”

Public Allies not only offered Ryckbost an education in service but also helped steer her towards her occupational goals.

“[At The Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education] is where I really got to get first-hand experience, long term first-hand experience, working in a setting that had an archive,” Ryckbost said.

She left Public Allies to complete graduate work in public history at Wright State University.

“I fell in love with connecting people with stories from the past using historical evidence,” Ryckbost said. “How can we use the objects, artifacts, documents, records that we’re preserving to understand our present situation? What’s that relationship like?”

After completing her graduate work at Wright State, her MS in Library Science at the University of Kentucky, and working as a manuscript processor at Northern Kentucky University’s Steely Library, Anne Ryckbost is ready to immerse herself into X culture.

“I want to make sure we continue our efforts to document the decisions, actions, and events of the university, its faculty, administration, and students,” Ryckbost said. “I want to actively engage students, faculty, and other members of the Xavier community and help them do archival research in a way that will enhance their understanding of our current environment and help plan for the future.”

“I came to Xavier University because of its emphasis on community engagement; it’s encouragement of scholarship even as employees. I feel like we are given opportunities to engage as learners ourselves and that’s important to me,” Ryckbost said. “And Father Kennealy. I met Father Kennealy and I had to come work with him.”

Now that Ryckbost is intimately familiar with her Cincinnati surroundings, she’s prepared for new adventures.

“I want to hike Torres del Paine National Park, [in Chile’s Patagonia region],” Ryckbost said. “That’s on my list.”

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