Nestled on the first floor of the Boyden Library, adjacent to the side staircase, is a space not often frequented by most Deerfield students, but certainly important. It is the office of the man who runs it all: Director of the Library Marshall Carroll.
“[My favorite part of my job is] working with students,” he says. “That’s why I’m involved with schools and education; it’s because I enjoy working with them and that’s why I’m in the classroom teaching as much as I can.” As Director of the Library, Mr. Carroll is in charge of eight staff members who work together to coordinate the logistics of managing the space. Mr. Carroll likens it to running a small business, where the product is the library’s prolific resources. The team works to deliver information, literacy instruction, textbook resources, and spaces where people can study. Mr. Carroll came to Deerfield two years ago, after spending ten years at Mercersburg Academy in Pennsylvania working with students. Remarking on what drew him to Deerfield, he said, “I really enjoy the people in the community and that’s been what’s really important to me.” In the time that he has spent so far at Deerfield, he has appreciated the welcoming community and how easy it has been for him to find students and colleagues willing to engage and collaborate with him in his work. Since he assumed the position of Director of the Library, Mr. Carroll has been in charge of several new library initiatives. Some of the major initiatives so far have been the acquisition of a new online library catalog and the reevaluation and reorganization of current library resources; eventually, Mr. Carroll hopes to reorganize the current layout of the collection to match patron use. Another initiative orchestrated by Mr. Carroll, in conjunction with other committees and offices, was a new opportunity for sophomores with demonstrated academic capability to spend their study hall time in the library. Under the leadership of Mr. Carroll, the library also held its first annual ‘Poetry Madness’ contest last April, which occurred during National Poetry Month. The contest, set in the style of a March Madness bracket, prompted members of the community to vote for their favorite poems and to predict the overall bracket in the hope of winning prizes for guessing correctly. This year, the library is running another new contest, which challenges students to design original bookmarks. In addition to directing the library, Mr. Carroll coaches the Deerfield wrestling and crew teams. Mr. Carroll rowed in college at Rutgers University and has coached wrestling for the past fifteen years. This winter, he has challenged the wrestling team to become physically stronger. The number currently on the door to his office, 115, is a running tally and mark of progress towards this goal. “Those are the number of pushups that [the team has] done in the library this term,” he explains. He poses this as motivation for the team and mentions that many team members will stop by to do push-ups with him, which he sees as a fun way to boost morale. As the season goes on, he hopes to see the number grow. Outside of coaching, Mr. Carroll considers himself both an avid sports fan and a patron of the arts. He will often join other faculty members for a game of pickup basketball in the gym or play rugby. He also loves theater, once even flying from Baltimore to Boston to see a production of one of his favorite books A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole, which he loves for its humorous and engaging qualities. Mr. Carroll lives just off of campus and enjoys the valley for little things like the river and the enriching cultural scene of the surrounding area. When he is not enjoying the scenery or reading a good book, he enjoys grilling and smoking meats. Most of all, however, he loves spending time with his family— his expectant wife Sara and his fifteen-month-old daughter Lillian. When asked about what he wants people to know about him, Mr. Carroll responded, “My door is always open and I want people to say ‘hi.’ I want to get to know as many people in the community as I can.”