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Acquisition librarian retires from UCM

Karla Massia opens a retirement gift. Massia was an acquisition librarian at the James C. Kirkpatrick Library since 2012 and worked full-time at the library since 2003. (Photo by Katie Younts)

Faculty at the James C. Kirkpatrick Library said goodbye to acquisition librarian Karla Massia as she starts a new life in retirement after nearly two decades in the library.

Massia started at the University of Central Missouri in fall 2001 as a graduate assistant at the reference desk. She came to the university to pursue a master’s degree in music composition theory after previously teaching vocal music.

“I really enjoyed working here and when a staff position opened in January of 2003, I applied and was hired to be full time on staff,” Massia said.

She continued with reference work, performed statistical analyses and set up displays, among other duties in the library. She became the technical services librarian in 2008 after finishing her master’s degree in music composition and completing a master’s in library science at the University of Missouri. In 2012, she became the acquisition librarian.

Gail Staines, university librarian, said Massia had a unique and important role in the library.

“It is a very complex system to make sure that we’re getting the information students and faculty need, and it’s going to be a challenge to fill her shoes,” Staines said.

Cindy Skahan, library assistant at James C. Kirkpatrick Library, said Massia is warm, welcoming, and could speak to anyone about anything.

“She has a gift,” Skahan said. “She has done very different things throughout her life and does them well every time.”

She said she is going to miss Massia and she and Massia have been very fortunate to have had a good professional relationship and a friendship.

“She and I were a good team and we all know she is going to be very hard to replace.”

Massia said her most memorable moment was when she met who became her husband in the library. She hit it off with Tom Massia and the couple got married after a couple years. She and Tom eloped in the courthouse and didn’t tell anyone. The staff found out about the marriage in the Daily Star Journal and planned a surprise wedding reception for the two when they returned to work.

“We thought nobody knew about it, but the surprise was such a wonderful thing,” Massia said.

She said one thing she is looking forward to in retirement is the opportunity to work on projects around the house, spend time with her dogs and visit with her family.

Massia sings in the chorus of the Kansas City Symphony and also hopes to utilize her master’s degree and write music.

“It’s a wonderful thing to be able to participate in,” she said. “I love doing it. I love choral music and I would love to be able to write choral music.”

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