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Dean’s Update: About to Take a Summer Break   

June 26, 2023

Summer officially arrived last week when the University was wrapping up end-of-year activities ranging from annual commencement celebrations to hearing reports of progress on implementation of strategic planning initiatives and explorations. This issue of In Circulation shares the Libraries’ contributions to three of our own such traditions that heavily engaged us over the past few weeks.

We are pleased to share the 2022 Drexel Libraries Annual Report. I acknowledge that reflecting on a calendar year at the end of the overlapping fiscal year offers us perspectives of hindsight and greater clarity for future strategic directions. We recognize that the many challenges libraries face are less hinderances to returning to a time past but offer incentives for each library to change how to shape a “new normal” for the next few years. With that comes disruptions for many. Reading through the report about the Drexel Libraries specifically, you may be surprised or perhaps appreciative to learn the ways libraries and their staff have grown to adjust to change.  

On top of changes within an organization, some staff experienced added personal disruptions to start a new job. An interview with the Libraries’ Curriculum Support Librarian offers insights into both, as shared from the viewpoint of one of our newest staff members who moved across the country to join the Drexel staff.   

In May we hosted the 11th annual celebration of Drexel authors and enjoyed changing the event’s focus to emphasize what it takes to write a published work. Through more interaction among and with honored authors who came to campus for this in-person celebration, and while facilitating Zoom access by those participating remotely, we did visibly help build community and connections differently than we had in past years.  

Similarly, readers of this issue of In Circulation can experience one of the ‘food for thought’ discussion that the Libraries’ traditional ScholarSip events have arranged for over a decade. The spring ScholarSip session, held June 12, ended the 2022/23 event series that focused on climate change discussed from different interdisciplinary perspectives. Anyone interested in the topic, and particularly on how changes in weather impact patients’ meeting appointments for health care, can watch the recorded program in its entirety or read the synopsis prepared by the Libraries staff.

This past week we exhaled and attended to other tasks put aside by the year-end happenings. Now we are making time to prepare for the fall and the start of a new academic year. But first, having Friday afternoons off during the summer and seeing the region’s removal of most COVID-related restrictions help set a pace to focus on planning changes we can shape for next year’s initiatives.

We will take a break from preparing a summer issue of In Circulation and will return in September with recaps of our staff social event to tour an exhibit on data and summaries of efforts to engage the Libraries’ expertise to help prepare Drexel students better for the workforce and their academic success. A little calm will also rejuvenate our staff for new demands and the always hectic fall term.

It is also time to extend special thanks to Stacy Stanislaw, the Libraries Communications & Events Manager, and the Libraries Communications Team, whose touch and hard work helped make all our events happen to build broad connections with and among our clients.

Enjoy the summer!

Danuta A. Nitecki, PhD
Dean of Libraries