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Don La Barre succeeds Marlo Broad as head of Special Collections at Alpena County Library

Don La Barre

Don La Barre succeeds Marlo Broad as the head of Special Collections at the Alpena County George N. Fletcher Public Library. He started Jan. 6.

“I am looking forward to handing the reins over to Don,” Broad said. “He is going to be a very nice fit for Special Collections with his maritime background and his genuine interest in local history.”

La Barre spent time in Alpena over the last five years, moving here full-time in 2018. Having earned his BA in Anthropology with a concentration in archaeology from Saint Mary’s College of California, he completed his master’s degree at Flinders University of South Australia in 2015, then returned to the U.S.

La Barre previously worked as a researcher and student intern for the San Francisco Maritime Museum, as a researcher for the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and the DNR, and as a historic consultant for Archaeological/Historical Consultants as a field archaeologist and archival researcher.

“I am honored to help such an outstanding department that is both nationally and internationally recognized,” shared La Barre. “I hope to bring my skills to help the library and department grow in its mission to engage the community with our resources through a variety of digital and physical programming.”

Broad has been the head of Special Collections for almost 20 years. She spearheaded the digitization of the C. Patrick Labadie Collection of 19th Century Great Lakes vessels. Broad will not be leaving the library, but will be working on a new maritime digitization project.

“I have loved my 18 years as head of Special Collections,” Broad said. “I have learned an amazing amount of local and maritime history and on doing genealogy. The patrons, though, are by far the best part of the job. I’ve truly enjoyed helping them with their research. And I always look forward to seeing the ‘regulars’ that come in to use the collections. I’ve made many friends of people that have walked through our doors.”