People make the Organization …

{And we have some great people working at the library — Photo by Lisa Daly}

Our People


We are a member-supported organization, maintaining our incredible and unique space in the service of our historic mission to provide “mutual assistance in the attainment of useful knowledge” for our members and the New Haven community at large, through literature, civil discourse, and the arts.

As a member, you join our vast network of friends who care about the Institute Library. The support of your annual dues helps to offset our operational costs and keep our programming and our collections alive. Members of the Institute Library come from all ages, interests, and backgrounds and join the Institute Library because they express a shared interest in our space, activities, and history.

To apply for membership, and to learn more about the benefits of becoming a member, visit our membership page.


We have a phenomenal volunteer group who help with front-desk staffing, events, community outreach, and many other personalized tasks that support our preservation and cataloging efforts, while interacting face to face with Library visitors. By spending as little as an hour or two a week, or as much time as you would like, volunteering at the Institute Library is a great way to meet your fellow members and local community, have fun, and make a major difference at one New Haven’s great treasures. Help out with tasks of interest to you, or contact us if you are interested in our general volunteer categories of front desk staffing, special events, building renovation, development, grant writing and research, outreach and publicity, web development, and/or joining our Program Committee or Book Committee by emailing

More volunteer staffing means extended (and weekend) hours, so please reach out to us!

Our internship program is expanding! We are currently looking for college and high school student help, and we want to learn more about your ideas.


Valerie Garlick
Executive Director

Valerie joins the Institute Library with a fine arts background and a strong passion for community organizing. She has worked with various nonprofits throughout Connecticut, including the Carriage Barn Arts Center in New Canaan, Real Art Ways in Hartford, and the Windham Area Arts Collaborative in downtown Willimantic. Born and raised in Connecticut, Valerie has also spent time in New York City, working for art galleries and participating in studio art programs. She currently resides in New Haven and teaches Digital Imaging at Gateway Community College.

Karen Hogg
Operations Manager

Karen joined the Institute Library in 2016 after graduating from Western Kentucky University with a master’s in Folk Studies/Folklore.  A multi-instrumentalist, she is the author of two instructional books for guitar: Women in Rock and Guitar Made Easy. Additionally, she has written numerous articles for magazines like Fretboard Journal and Acoustic Guitar Magazine. Karen directs the operations of the Library including memberships, communications, and the music listening room.

Vicki Pacileo
Library Administrator

A lifelong resident of the greater New Haven area, Vicki has been with the Library for 13 years. She is responsible for maintaining the Library’s ongoing hard-copy archive, including its card catalogue and related documentation, membership rolls, and membership cards. She accessions books into the collection and can assist you with finding a book to check out.

Martha Lewis
Curator in Residence

Martha Lewis, an artist, curator, and educator, joined the Institute Library in 2015. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and explores aspects of the history of science and human knowledge, often invoking books and archives, through the means of drawing and installation. Martha teaches experimental drawing at the Art Students League in New York and also hosts a radio show through WPKN FM, called Live Culture, which centers on discussions about contemporary arts and culture.


Gregory J. Pepe, President
Michael Spicer, Treasurer
Eva Geertz, Secretary

Daisy Abreu
Joseph Banks
Roland Coffey
Elena Dixon
Tadhg Dooley
Andrew Drabkin
Bennett Graff
Joshua Mamis
Maryann Ott
Gary Ottenbreit


Our Professional Council is a group of accomplished individuals working in the fields of librarianship, museum studies, preservation, and archives, who serve as resources for and ambassadors of the Institute Library.

Will Baker

  • Southern Connecticut State University, Master of Information and Library Science
  • New York University, Master of Arts, Museum Studies
  • Former Executive Director, The Institute Library
  • Bookseller, WC Baker Rare Books & Ephemera

Megan Black

  • University of Wisconsin-Madison, Master of Library Science
  • Research and Education Librarian, Providence College

Dr. Mary Brown

  • Drexel University, Ph.D., Master of Library Science
  • Southern Connecticut State University, Chair Emeritus, School of Library and Information Science

Werner Haun

  • University at Albany, Master of Library Science
  • Yale University, Assistant Chief Conservator for Collections Conservation & Housings

Karen Jensen

Sharon Milikowsky

  • University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, Master of Library Science
  • Norwalk Public Library, Reference Librarian

Charles Murphy

  • Columbia University, Master of Library Science
  • Retired Librarian, Fuss & O’Neill

Dr. Margaret Powell

  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Master of Library & Information Science, Rare Books and Manuscripts, and M.A., Ph.D., English Literature (Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries)
  • Retired Librarian and Executive Director of the Lewis-Walpole Library, Yale University

Sue Roberts

  • Ph.D., Master of Library Science
  • Retired Librarian for European and Commonwealth History at Sterling Memorial Library

Ashley Sklar

  • Drexel University, MS, Library and Information Science | Archival Studies
  • University of Connecticut, Master of Arts History
  • Community Engagement and Communications, New Haven Free Public Library

Chelsea Stone

Sarah Woodford

Are you interested in becoming a part of the Institute Library?
Find more information on this page.