Contributed by Donna E. Kelly
Karen Lisbeth “KaeLi” Schurr is retiring effective April 1, 2017 after 16 years as curator and site manager of the Outer Banks History Center (OBHC) in Manteo. She is moving to the mountains with her husband Dennis to enjoy a much deserved retirement. She plans to immerse herself in fiber arts and take up nature photography.
KaeLi received a B.A. in anthropology and an M.A. in history, with a concentration in archives and museum administration, from Wright State University. She held various library, archival, and information specialist positions in Ohio and the Washington, D.C. area before moving to North Carolina to work as a records management analyst in Greenville. She was promoted to supervise the OBHC in 2001.
I asked her to share some highlights from her tenure at the OBHC. They included enjoying a special relationship with David Stick, founder of the OBHC; overseeing programming around the twentieth and twenty-fifth anniversaries of the center in 2009 and 2014; collaborating for the First Flight Centennial; leading an initiative to digitize OBHC maps for the online resource North Carolina Maps (http://web.lib.unc.edu/nc-maps); assisting with the Civil War Sesquicentennial observance on the coast; and presenting numerous exhibits, most recently to commemorate the centennial of the National Park Service and state parks.
In professional activities, KaeLi obtained the Academy of Certified Archivists (ACA) certification in 2001, recertifying in 2009 and 2014. She served in various statewide archival and library organizations in both Ohio and North Carolina. She served as president of the Central Ohio Chapter of the Special Libraries Association, SNCA program chair for two years, ACA petition reviewer for four years, and ended a ten-year tenure as board member of the North Carolina Preservation Consortium with three years as president. She also graduated from the Leadership Development Program of the Department of Cultural Resources.
We at the State Archives wish KaeLi well as she enters this new phase of her life. Whoever replaces her will have some mighty big shoes to fill!