Elaine Crepeau has enjoyed a lengthy and diverse career as a librarian, and now she is focusing on giving back to two of the entities that made a profound impact on her life – Florida State University and Up with People.
Crepeau, a two-time Florida State alumna, serves on the College of Communication & Information Leadership Board and was hired by Up with People last spring to work on the organization’s archives in conjunction with the University of Arizona.
In 1968, while she was a student at Manatee J.C. in Bradenton, Fla., Crepeau had her first encounter with Up with People (UWP), a global education and arts organization whose goal is to bridge cultural barriers and create global understanding through service and music. A few months later, the organization asked her to come on board as a high school tutor and travel throughout the world for a year with Cast 68C.
After returning from her travels with Up with People, Crepeau set off to Tallahassee to finish college at Florida State, receiving her bachelor’s degree in 1972 and master’s in library science the following year. As an undergraduate student, she worked on the reference desk at Strozier Library and was a member of the Dean’s Advisory Committee while in graduate school.
It was at FSU where she met faculty members like Martha Jane Zachert, “who made library science come alive,” and Myrtle Carroll, who assigned Crepeau to Strozier’s reference desk as a student.
“I wouldn’t be where I am now without FSU – without the people at FSU – because they believed in me,” Crepeau said.
Following graduation, Crepeau landed a position as head of the cataloging department at the Duke University Law Library and then was recommended by the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. for the position of Shakespeare Collection Librarian at Meisei University Library in Tokyo, Japan.
“It was a fascinating job since Meisei has the second finest Shakespeare Collection in the world,” Crepeau said.
Crepeau then spent 14 years at Sophia University Library in Tokyo, and returned to the U.S. in 1996 and in March 1997 joined the staff at the Belvedere-Tiburon (Calif.) Library until UWP called in 2013.
“I’m thrilled to be part of the Up with People team,” Crepeau said. “It’s very exciting for me to be able to help define the direction that the Archives Project will take and to guide its establishment. In my professional career I have established several different collections from the ground up—I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge and the rewards. I look forward to reaching out and engaging the entire UWP community, especially my fellow alumni, in this new endeavor.”
As the librarian/archivist for UWP, Crepeau has done a lot of education and research, worked with the production team for UWP’s 50-year anniversary show (in 2015) and visited with some of the organization’s 21,000 alumni.
A life member of the Florida State Alumni Association, Crepeau has actively served on CCI’s Leadership Board for several years and promoted the School of Information to many budding librarians.
“It’s a way to give back to both organizations for changing the direction of my life and giving me the confidence to do what others thought I could never achieve.”
Crepeau is also member of Gamma Chapter, Beta Phi Mu as well as the American Library Association and the Society of American Archivists.