Dean's Update: Impressions, Diversity & Experiences

Dean's Update: Impressions, Diversity & Experiences
Jenny James Lee
January 15, 2015

[The Dean's Update is a reoccurring column introducing the Libraries' monthly newsletter In Circulation.]

Changing someone’s impressions can take a long time. When faced with the idea of a library, many people imagine buildings, books, quiet spaces where people come to read. But we are well into the 21st century and, “it just ain’t so.“ There is far more richness in what a library offers. To help update impressions, an entrepreneurial colleague advised me, “sell your product.”,

Our products relate to linking ideas expressed in information with people open to inquiry. Our products simplify navigating information resources, accelerate learning, and build communities around inquiry and scholarship. A major resource the Drexel Libraries has to advance these is its intelligence, embedded in its staff. This month, I invite you to learn about the breadth and depth of knowledge available in the Libraries – and to learn a little about our two new successful recruitments.

Diversity is a core value of American libraries—not only in what comes to mind as the mix of demographic characteristics, but also as variety in people’s curiosity, creativity, information seeking, technical skills and process expertise. The Libraries employs professionals motivated to apply their knowledge of information science and values around freedom of information, as well as career employees committed to serve our clients to find and use information resources and strengthen their own skills to be self-sufficient in doing so. Our family of staff include men and women, all generations from Baby Boomers to Millennials, immigrants and American-born citizens, people raised in cities, small towns, and rural environments, products of public schools and graduates of private universities, and introverts as well as extroverts. Diverse experiences include staff who are parents and eldercare providers, volunteers rescuing animals and stimulating playful creativity, musicians and knitters, competitive rowers and volleyball champs, readers and poets, gourmet cooks and foodies.

Two new staff introduced in this issue illustrate the specialized skills that enrich the Libraries human capacity. Both hold masters degree in accredited programs of library and information science. One brings years of experience building productive partnerships with faculty and staff in a liberal arts college to develop curriculum, study exercises and teaching guides to build mastery of information literacy among undergraduates. Another seeks to leverage work as a faculty member introducing and applying specialized information system skills to interpret data and visualize ideas. With an earned PhD, faculty experience, and published research he is quickly establishing common curiosity with campus faculty and students.

The Libraries intelligence fuels and builds upon campus diversity. Students, faculty and staff we encounter in our work will find familiarity among these rich and diverse backgrounds as we communicate and connect.

Danuta A. Nitecki, PhD
Dean of Libraries