As a student, Melanie L. Freese attended Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, where she earned a Bachelor of Education in elementary education in 1967 and went on to earn a Master of Education in elementary education in 1969. She became a certified teacher from nursery to sixth grade in the State of New York, and worked as an elementary school teacher in Roosevelt and Massapequa, New York, until 1971. She started working for the Swirbul Library at Adelphi University in Garden City, New York, serving in various capacities, including assistant to social work librarian, assistant to acquisitions librarian and biographical searcher, and circulation assistant before her departure in 1983.
In 1977, Ms. Freese earned a Master of Library Science in informational science from Long Island University (LIU) Post. Upon leaving the Swirbul Library at Adelphi University, she became a senior catalog librarian at Hofstra University in 1984, where she worked until 1999. From 1999 to 2001, she served as assistant dean and chairwoman of technical services for the Joan and Donald E. Axinn Library at Hofstra. Ms. Freese is a certified public librarian, and a member of the International Honor Society in Education and the American Library Association.
Ms. Freese has presented numerous training workshops on various aspects of cataloging and classification to faculty and staff in both technical and public services. She also reviews materials for “Libraries Alive,” a publication of the National Church Library Association. She authored a chapter titled, “Smart Barcodes and Inventory Analysis,” which appeared in the ninth volume of Library and Archival Security in 1989 and in the 66th volume of PNLA Quarterly.
Over the course of her career, Ms. Freese has served in a variety of civic positions in addition to her professional pursuits. In 1984, she began serving as a member of the Nassau County Library Association, where she remained until 2005, and was additionally a member of the Professional Women of Nassau County from 1984 to 2008. In 1985, she took on a role with the board of advisers for Business and Professional Women of Nassau County Inc., and served as president for 20 years from 1990 to 2010.
Ms. Freese has been recognized for her excellence with myriad awards, including being named Woman of the Year by Business and Professional Women of Nassau County Inc., in 1994. She received a 20th Century Award for Achievement from the International Biographical Centre and a Distinguished Service Award from St. Peter’s Lutheran Church. Ms. Freese has also authored multiple published works, including “Missing Links: Smart Barcodes and Inventory Analysis at Hofstra University’s Axinn Library” and “Charles Leonard Woolley, 1880-1960” in 1989, as well as “Fostering Communication and Understanding at Hofstra University’s Axinn Library” in 2002. Her experience, expertise and success as a librarian solidify her status as a top professional in the fields of librarianship and higher education.
Ms. Freese sees herself as an educator, as well as an information specialist. She shares her knowledge gained over a 40 year career with others in her field and the students she interacts with. Currently, she is mentoring a younger colleague, who is learning to catalog materials for the Music Library at Hofstra University. Mentoring is a vital part of any profession. Library schools teach the theoretical principles of librarianship, but she can give the pragmatic and practical applications beyond the theoretical that are so necessary for the librarian in the field.