Ellen T. McCabe Retires from SUNY Cortland

Ellen T. McCabe Retires from SUNY Cortland


Ellen T. McCabe, who served SUNY Cortland for more than 15 years, retired on Aug. 31. She was designated associate librarian emerita.

McCabe, the recipient of a 2008 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Librarianship, joined the College in 1995 as an adjunct assistant librarian. She was promoted to senior assistant librarian in 2001 and to associate librarian earlier this year.

A native of New York City, she attended Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, N.Y., on Regents and college scholarships, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in English. She earned a Masters in Library Science from University at Albany and, in her personal pursuit of knowledge, earned a Masters of Arts in English in 2000 from SUNY Cortland while working full-time.

She began her career at Cortland as a reference librarian, part time, and moved on to become the bibliographer for the Teaching Materials Center and Education Department. Subsequently, she became the College’s humanities bibliographer. In both of these positions, she acted as a library liaison and provided instructional services, research assistance and materials selection assistance to undergraduate and graduate level programs. McCabe offered dozens of instructional sessions for these programs on using the library effectively, using online databases, finding primary source documents online and using digital images in research. McCabe worked closely with the art historians in the Art and Art History Department to assist in the transition from slides to digital images, a significant change in pedagogy as well as in technology. Her technology-planning document served as a model for both for the library and for Classroom Media Services.

She taught a Computer Applications course on computer information retrieval, numerous workshops, and participated in the library’s Composition Library Instruction Program.

McCabe also cataloged numerous videos, theses, and other materials for Memorial Library's collection.

She served on the Faculty Senate as the secretary for two years and as a library senator. McCabe chaired the Faculty Affairs Committee, Faculty Senate Educational Policy Committee and Academic Faculty Affairs Committee. She also served on the senate’s Review of Governance Committee, the Student Affairs Committee and the Committee on Committees. McCabe has served on numerous other committees on campus including the Cultural and Intellectual Climate Committee, the Faculty Development Committee and the University Police Advisory Board. She participated in several key search committees.

 In the library community, McCabe served for two years on the Eastern New York Association of College and Research Libraries Joyce Newkirk Scholarship Committee. Chosen as president of SUNY Librarians’ Association (SUNYLA, McCabe also contributed her time and talent to the many SUNYLA committees, chairing the SUNYLA Publications Committee for many years.

Two times she obtained an American Library Association “Let’s Talk About It” grant, which she used to organize and conduct Jewish literature programs involving several book discussions facilitated by a recognized Jewish scholar in 2006 and 2008. The discussions were well-received by the campus and community.

Most recently, in Fall 2011, she arranged for the College to host “In a Nutshell: The Worlds of Maurice Sendak,” a traveling exhibit of the renowned late illustrator’s work. Last spring, the College honored McCabe for her successful grant work in bringing “In a Nutshell” to campus with an Excellence in Research, Scholarship and Outreach Award.

McCabe has written numerous book and software reviews for Science Books & Films, the authoritative guide to resources on the sciences for all ages published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She is the author of a review for Wagadu, A Journal of Transnational Women's and Gender Studies. Her chapter, “Thomas Campion,” appears in The Age of Milton, edited by Alan Hager. She has been an active presenter at statewide conferences.

McCabe previously served as a reference bibliographer at Binghamton University; as a school library media specialist in Cincinnatus, N.Y., and Conklin, N.Y.; as a librarian for the Raymond Corporation, Greene, N.Y.; and as an assistant librarian at the Moore Memorial Library in Greene, N.Y.

McCabe is married with four grown children and six grandchildren.