Staff ID - Meet Chris Ryan

Learn more about the Interlibrary Loan supervisor and former political activist.

Chris Ryan, Interlibrary Loan Supervisor
(413) 585-2962,


Chris is Interlibrary Loan Supervisor. Together with Susan Daily and several work study students they request and process books and articles that come from all over the world for our Smith patrons. We also loan Smith's resources from all campus libraries to other institutions, both private and public, throughout  the world. We use various forms of mail service: electronic scanning, pdf attachments,library mail, UPS, FedEx and international mail.

Chris has been with the Smith College Libraries for 23 years. Before that she worked as a paralegal on a trial called The Sedition Trial (Ray Luc Levasseur vs. United States) that was tried in Springfield, MA Federal Court for almost all of 1989. Prior to the beginning of the trial, she worked with the defense on jury selection and with seized materials, etc. Previous to that she worked at the UMass/Amherst library for 16 years as a German searcher. She was born in South Bend, Indiana.

We asked Chris to tell us more about her job and what she likes to do when she is not at work.

What is the best part of your job?

Obtaining the requested resource material especially the challenging requests -- challenging because of faulty citations or obscure or difficult to obtain items.

Which library resource do you most like to tell people about?

The fact that I can search in catalogs all over the world and request so many of these items for Smith patrons, and this of course is reciprocal. Smith sends overseas many items via email or through the postal service.

What is your favorite getaway, near or far?

On the dock or in the water at my family pond in Dummerston, Vermont.

What do you like to do the most when you are not at work?

I like to be in motion: walking, ice skating, dancing or spending time in music venues, particularly where jazz is played. If I'm not in motion I like to be sketching or playing around with my watercolours.

Is there something about you that others would be surprised to learn?

I was a political activist in the 1980s-1990s. The University of Massachusetts Special Collections & University Archives has the Christina Ryan Collection, ca 1978-1995 (15 boxes) of radical literature, Sedition trial, prison issues, anti-imperialist movements, etc.

I also owned and operated a fabrics store called Fabrics of Life, Inc. in the 1980s where I sold natural textiles Bernina sewing machines & yarn. Also I did custom sewing.

Stop by and say "hello" to Chris. She can be found in Neilson Library in the Discovery &Access area (Level 1 South) Monday-Friday 8:30-5:00.