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Deanna DiCarlo, MA ’96, former e-librarian for Albany Public Library, helped organize last year’s “Albany History Race” — a mashup of traditional scavenger hunt, social media and reality show The Amazing Race — in which teams competed to decipher and then visit as many historic sites as possible in one afternoon.
The Albany History Race clues were in print, taken from historic photographs, maps and books. “We used social tools like #AlbanyHistoryRace to connect with participants. There were additional prizes for the first person to tweet a particular answer at the clue’s location,” she says. “The most fun for me was getting to see, in person, so many patrons with whom I usually interact on Twitter. Putting an event like this together in a city where historians from the local university are likely to show up is, itself, a huge challenge, and Jim Davies, local history librarian, met it beautifully.”
DiCarlo, who has since become manager of adult and outreach services at Upper Hudson Library System, says Binghamton played an important role in her career. While earning a master’s in English, she was a tutor in the Binghamton Enrichment Program, under the direction of Stephen Duarte. The program is an intensive, pre-freshman living/learning community; many of the students are the first in their families to attend college. “It was influential in how I grew to understand the complex interconnections between pedagogy, economics and politics, and it remains one of the best educational experiences of my adult life,” she says. “I carry it with me as I traverse the world of public libraries, because libraries are educational organizations that address economic divides in their communities in a very tangible way.”