Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month is celebrated each year in the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan. The Stonewall Uprising began at the Stonewall Inn, a bar located in New York City’s Greenwich Village, when patrons and neighborhood residents fought back against a violent police raid on the gay club in the early morning hours. The crowd’s fierce resistance against law enforcement quickly grew into an uprising that lasted six days and signaled the arrival of a militant and confrontational movement for the liberation of LGBTQ+ people.
The UConn Library has several great resources and activities to help you learn more of the history, challenges, and victories around LGBTQ+ issues in celebration of Pride Month.
Archives & Special Collections
Connecticut has deep roots in the movement, including here at UConn which can be found in several archival collections.
Foster Gunnison, Jr. Papers. In the early 1960s, Foster Gunnison, Jr., who had arrived in Hartford, Connecticut, to pursue a master’s degree at Trinity College, immersed himself in the homophile movement by working with local organizations and founding his own, the Institute for Social Ethics (ISE). A collection of his materials includes correspondences, organizational records, posters, fliers, buttons, newspaper clippings, and photographs relating to LGBTQ+ activism in the 1960s and 1970s. Finding Aid Digitized Materials
The UConn Gay Alliance was founded in 1967 and had their own Stonewall moment in 1971-72 when one of their dances was met by an angry crowd. There are several collections that are available for researchers interested in learning more about the movement here at UConn including:
University of Connecticut, President’s Office Records most notably presidents Homer D. Babbidge (1962–1972) and John A. DiBiaggio (1979-1985). Both contain material relating to LGBTQ+ issues on campus, such as the emergence and activities of the gay liberation movement in the early 1970s.
Alternative Press Collection (APC) includes national and international publications, ephemera, and artifacts documenting activists and organizations from the 1800s to present as well as LGBTQ+ organizing at UConn. Especially notable are materials from the Storrs Gay Coalition and the UConn Gay Alliance. The APC can best be consulted using the card catalog available in the archives, though some digitized materials can be accessed here.
Daniel R. Campbell Papers. Daniel R. Campbell attended UConn in 1967-1968 and was one of the first openly gay students on campus. The collection describes Campbell’s experiences at UConn and elsewhere, and offers insight and perspective on pre-Stonewall LGBTQ+ culture on campus.
UConn Rainbow Center Records. Founded in 1999, the Center is dedicated to supporting the needs of the LGBTQIA+ members of the campus community. The collection documents the center’s history and activities up to the present day.
LBGTQIA Wellness titles includes books, many available electronically, related to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, and Asexual communities’ wellbeing, and identities. The LGBTQIA Community Wellness Guide features selected memoirs, advice, and other books by authors for the LQBTQIA + (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, and Asexual) community which relate to mental health or wellness.
UConn Health Library
With the assistance of a Collection Equity Award from the National Library of Medicine, a new collection of LGBTQIA+ materials is available at the Health Library which was recently highlighted in UConn Today.
Independent Voices. Alternative press publications produced by feminists, dissident GIs, campus radicals and the New Left, Native peoples, antiwar activists, Black Power advocates, Latino/as, LGBT activists, right-wing extremists, and more.
LGBT Thought and Culture. Influential books, periodicals, letters, speeches, interviews, and ephemera covering LGBTQIA political and social movements in the 1900s and 2000s.more.
LGBT Life. Covers gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender issues including civil liberties, culture, employment, family, history, psychology, and religion.
It’s finals time which means it’s time to welcome the doggies! Mark your calendar for your favorite puppers and make it a date! This year we will also be having a little brunch on Friday, May 5 from 10-12 in the Homer Babbidge Lounge on the Plaza Level with snacks and therapy dogs to celebrate YOU and the end of finals week!
Monday, May 1 12:00 – Gracie (Pug) 1:00 – CC (Irish Wolfhound) 2:00 – Grant (Golden Retriever) 3:00 – Benny (Shih-Tzu) 4:00 – Millie (Spaniel Mix)
Focusing on the theme of Black Resistance, we have many ways you can join our celebration of Black History Month. There will be exhibit in multiple locations that include Homer Babbidge Library, our regional campuses, and Archives & Special Collections. We will be hosting a screening of Rosewood (1997), the cinematic retelling of a true-to-life racial pogrom that decimated a predominately African American town in Florida, and a discussion with Lizzie Robinson Jenkins, founder and president of the Real Rosewood Foundation, Inc. We are also co-sponsors of the African American Cultural Center’s Black History Month Closing Ceremony.
Exhibition – Disorder in the Night: Narratives of Black Resistance, 1723-2023 February 1-28, 2023 Located in multiple locations including: Homer Babbidge Library Plaza Avery Point Campus Library Hartford Campus Library Waterbury Campus Library Stamford Campus Library
Disorder in the Night explores the Black resistance in its various forms, from the period of enslavement to the present. Organized by three broad themes: everyday subversions – small acts of resistance taken in everyday life or daily activities; cultural revolution – the use of creative expression through media or the arts to create social, political, or cultural change; and collective action – the power of people and the use of cooperative organizing or mass mobilization throughout history. _______________
Event – Film Screening – Rosewood (1997) This blockbuster film is the cinematic retelling of the true-life destruction of an African American community in 1923. It Jim Crow-era violence and the Black radical tradition of resistance. February 21, 6:00-8:30pm Homer Babbidge Library Class of 1947 & Virtual Free! Registration required _______________
Event – Discussion: Rosewood Film & History with Mrs. Lizzie Robinson Jenkins, Founder & President of the Real Rosewood Foundation, Inc. and Rosewood descendant. February 22, 6:00-7:30pm Virtual only Free! Registration required _______________
Event – Black History Month Closing Ceremony We are a proud co-sponsor of African American Cultural Center’s Black History Month Closing Ceremony with a keynote address by Dr. Rik Stevenson, a professor of African American Studies at the University of Florida. Dr. Stevenson’s research examines Black resistance in the Middle Passage. February 27, 6:00pm Student Union Ballroom _______________
Resources to learn more including research guides and featured collections on our website.
In 2005, 60 years after the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp, the United Nations designated January 27 as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. On this annual day of commemoration, the UN urges every member state to honor the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust and millions of other victims of Nazism and to promote Holocaust education to help prevent future genocides and create a safer future. Following is a list of resources available to the UConn community to honor the day through education.
You can also check out the one credit course UConn is running starting March 6 – “Why the Jews? Confronting Antisemitism.”
Kristallnacht: Art installation from the Collection of Irena Urdang deTour
Kristallnacht or the Night of Broken Glass was a pogrom against Jews carried out by the Nazi Party’s Sturmbtelilung (SA) and Schutstaffel (SS) paramilitary forces along with some participation from the Hitler Youth and German civilians throughout Nazi Germany on 9-10 November 1938. Jewish homes, hospitals and schools were ransacked as attackers demolished buildings with sledgehammers. Rioters destroyed 267 synagogues throughout Germany, Austria and the Sudetenland. Historically viewed as a prelude to the Final Solution, the month of November marks the anniversary of this dark period of history and genocide. This art installation has been created by Connecticut resident and Holocaust survivor, Irena Urdang deTour.
Connecticut Soldiers Collection, Carl Viggiani Papers. arl Viggiani, Emeritus Professor of Romance Languages and Literature at Wesleyan University, was a member of a “Spearhead Military Government Team” attached to the 83rd Infantry Division during World War II.As the 83rd moved down toward the Elbe in April 1945, Viggiani’s unit took over a Nazi official’s home in Braunschweig for a night.
On Friday, January 20, one of the oldest structures on the UConn campus suffered extensive damage from a fire. Thankfully the structure was unoccupied and no one was hurt but it is unknown if the fire has damaged the structure beyond repair.
Known as the Whitney House, or the International House, it was built between 1802 and 1807 by John Gilbert, Jr., of Mansfield, Connecticut, one of the original owners of the property. The building and the property passed on to Gilbert’s sons, and then his grandsons, and in 1867 it was then sold to Augustus Storrs.
Storrs had a large family farm nearby and was, at that time, a businessman in New York City, so he rented the house to Mrs. Minerva Whitney, widow of Edwin Whitney, who established and was director of a school for orphans near the house. It is thought that after Mr. Whitney’s death Augustus Storrs offered the home to Mrs. Whitney to purchase.
In 1881 Augustus Storrs and his brother Charles offered to the State of Connecticut the property and funding for what was then used to establish the Storrs Agricultural School, later known as the University of Connecticut.
At the time of Edwin Whitney’s death Mrs. Whitney was pregnant with their daughter, whom she named Edwina. In 1900 Edwina Whitney became the Connecticut Agricultural College’s Librarian, a position she held until 1934. She was also an instructor of German. You can read more about Edwina Whitney here.
In the late 1800s Minerva Whitney used the house as the local post office. She sold the house to the college in 1918 and it was used to house faculty members. In 1964 it was refurbished and made available as a center for foreign students, thereby known as the International House.
UConn Library has been shifting over the past ten years from just-in-case collection development practices to a budget sustainable just-in-time approach for providing access to scholarly information. Journals have always required a significant source of funding, and as journal costs rose exponentially over the last two and a half decades, libraries paid for “Big Deal” journal subscription bundles with flat or reduced library budgets. This meant cutting the other materials and services that libraries provide. “Big Deal” packages were once a way for libraries to pay for access to large amounts of content at reduced rates, but the increases in costs for packages have far outpaced both inflation and library budgets. Additionally, many of the bundled journals are used very little. “Big Deals” have put pressure on the entire library budget and forced academic libraries to eliminate staff, programming, and support services. This is unsustainable.
Every research library regularly cancels journals or ends publisher contracts, including schools such as MIT, Purdue, and UNC Chapel Hill, to stay within their budgets. In the Fall of 2020, Dean Langley and Provost Lejuez convened the Future of Journals Committee, including administrators, faculty, and staff to assess journal subscriptions at UConn with an eye on strategies that would yield a viable long-term solution. The committee-approved pilot project was successful and we began the first phase of Future of Journals in 2021. We are in year three of a six-year implementation schedule. Each year different publisher contracts are not renewed, and we purchase articles on demand, quickly and conveniently, with access paths only slightly different than before. Because publishers limit how we provide articles, you may have to alter how you search and request materials. We have created a guide to help you learn the most efficient methods.
Consistent with the Future of Journal timeline, we did not renew our bundled contract with Elsevier, which expired at the end of 2022. What does this mean for your access to journal articles found in Elsevier and other subscriptions that have not been renewed? Using past use data and forecasting tools we predict that 85% of articles most frequently requested will be available immediately. If an article is not, it can be requested by any member of the UConn community via Interlibrary Loan. Faculty and graduate students have expedited access to articles from a subset of publishers. Depending on where the article comes from, most items will be delivered within five minutes (or less) to an hour. The Library will annually review article usage statistics and other criteria to assess the most cost effective models for access.
We can now manage the Library budget without the burden of the unsustainable increasing costs of journal subscriptions and we’ve been fielding questions and giving presentations to other academic libraries interested in our implementation of this expedited process. It continues to be a top priority for UConn Library to support the research mission of the University. The Future of Journals approach has given UConn the flexibility to be nimble in how we provide access to the library materials you need as the publishing landscape continues to change.
Get your study on AND a little love from some of our favorite four-legged friends (well, maybe besides Jonathan, Tildy, & Carson.) These doggos and their humans will be camped out on the first floor of Homer Babbidge, Monday – Friday, December 12-16 from 12-5pm to help relieve a little of the end of semester stress. Stop by, hang out, and get (and give) a little love.
UConn Library has acquired permanent online access to hundreds of scholarly journal archives, 2,000 scholarly books, 1,200 documentary films, and hundreds of thousands of pages of primary sources across a wide range of subjects. Unlimited access is available to all UConn faculty, students, and staff at all campuses and remote locations.
If you have questions about any of these resources, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or your subject specialist.
The Library continues to build a streaming video collection, purchasing collections (when possible) that support the curriculum. Faculty can also request course assigned individual streams, see Requesting Library Electronic Resources – Streaming Videos. The following collections are part of the Library’s permanent collection.
DocuSeek Complete Collection The Library added approximately 600 new releases from DocuSeek through 2023. These new titles enhance the current 2400+ documentary film collection from leading film producers and distributors, including Bullfrog Films, Icarus Films, Good Docs, Women Make Movies, National Film Board of Canada, and independent filmmakers globally, such as the complete filmography of India’s foremost documentarian, Anand Patwardhan. Find titles that cover environmental studies, sociology, anthropology, global studies, area studies, women’s studies, history, political science, health, psychology, and the arts.
Film Platform Collection This collection includes 2020-2022 releases of Oscar nominated and film festival winning documentaries from international film makers and film distributors. Topics cover environmental science, media studies, women’s studies, and sociology, and include popular titles such as RBG, The Hunting Ground,Dolores, and John Lewis: Good Trouble.
The Library added 300 scholarly ebooks to our permanent ebook collection by the following publishers*:
Harvard University Press 2022
Iberoamericana Vervuert 2021-2022(in Spanish)
University of Chicago Press 2022
Yale University Press 2022
The Library also provides temporary access to hundreds ebooks from the following major academic publishers/vendors*. The library will secure permanent access to highly used and faculty requested ebooks from these collections.
JSTOR (all publication dates)
Elsevier frontlist (2018-2021)
Oxford University Press (2015-2023)
ProQuest ebooks (scoped collection)
*Some publishers hold back certain titles for library purchase, such as textbooks.
Serial archives and primary sources
The Library regularly adds online journal, magazine and primary source archives to the permanent collection based on curricular need, usage, and available funds.
American Medical Association Journal Backfiles Permanent online access to the full text of 11 AMA-published ejournal backfiles from their first volume and issue through 1997, which includes the complete backfiles of JAMA.
The pandemic has reshaped the work environment in unprecedented ways, forcing organizations to adapt to a new way of working. The UConn Library is no different. Since March of 2020 we have shifted access to collections, increased online outreach, created new programming, and found new ways of working with each other and our communities. We have also seen an incredible shift in staffing. We have been fortunate enough to welcome several new staff members, said good luck to others moving to other institutions, wished many a happy retirement, and said goodbye to a dear colleague. In the final post of this three part series, we will look at the shifts in staffing and service to our areas of work and hope you will join us celebrating the people, past and present, of the UConn Library. If you missed the first two posts in the series, they were regarding our Library Administration and Collections & Discovery areas.
The Academic Engagement area is one of the most externally facing areas in the Library, and responsible for a number of our programs and services aimed at advancing research, teaching, and learning on campus. It is also the area that has seen the most changes due to staffing over the last few years.
We often call our Access Services unit the “face of the library” because of their role in serving our patrons through circulation & reserve related services, including staffing the iDesk in the Homer Babbidge Library. In the spring of 2020, we were fortunate enough to welcome two new staff members to help coordinate the work of the iDesk. John Cropp came by way of the University of Georgia Libraries, where he had similar job responsibilities including supervising the Circulation Desk and managing student employees. John got his MLIS from Valdosta State University and his Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Studies from the University of Georgia. In addition to his responsibilities for the evening and weekend shifts in Homer Babbidge, he is also the advisor to our favorite student organization, the Homies Student Advisory Board. We also welcomed Michelle Greene to Access Service and our circulation desk. Michelle previously worked as a Library Specialist at the University of Maine at Presque Isle. Michelle is currently in the Master of Science in Library Science program at Clarion University of Pennsylvania. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Library Science from the University of Maine at Augusta. They both jumped into an Access Services department as it was being upended during the COVID-19 pandemic. Services that were primarily based in-person, shifted online, and we had to create new protocols like sanitizing and bagging materials, scheduling pickups, and much more. Michelle and John learned the ropes from their colleagues, one of which, Steve Grigoreas will retire from the position of Access Services Associate this month. Steve began his career at UConn Library in 1992 and held various positions for the Library in his 30 years of service. Steve was also an active member of the UConn Professional Employees Association (UCPEA) union.
The Access Services unit was led through the pandemic by Barbara Mitchell who had ushered us through many changes in the over 42 years she worked for the Library. Sadly, Barbara passed away unexpectedly in April and the loss to our institution runs deep. On June 17, we honored Barbara by inviting her family, colleagues, and former colleagues to come together and share memories around a small garden planted with a hybrid daylily called the Barbara Mitchell Daylily outside the east entrance of Homer Babbidge Library. John Cropp will be serving as Interim Head of Access Services until a formal search is launched.
Of great importance to the Library is ensuring students are successful at UConn, and the team dedicated to it is our Reference & Student Success Services unit. The unit works to support academic success and enhance the holistic student experience by connecting students to information literacy initiatives and library resources. Understanding the need on campus, we created two new student success librarian positions in July of 2021 and hired Kelsey Brown and Zach Claybaugh in those roles. This duo have been working across campus developing innovative programs and services with students in mind. Kelsey Brown’s focus is on advancing the Library’s information literacy program. Kelsey left sunny California, where she worked at the University of California, Irvine as a Library Assistant. She received a Master of Library and Information Science from San Jose State University and a Bachelor of Arts in Women’s Gender, and Sexuality Studies from California State University, Long Beach.
Zach Claybaugh’s special focus is on advancing the awareness and adoption of Open Educational Resources at UConn. Zach received his Master of Science in Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois, a Master of Arts in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies at the University of Illinois, and a Bachelor of Arts in History at West Texas A&M University. He has most recently served as the OER & Digital Learning Librarian at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT, where he played a leading role in the University’s OER efforts, worked to integrate the library in the First Year Seminar Program.
Kelsey and Zach had the opportunity to work with and learn from two veteran employees in the Reference & Student Success Services unit who retired in June. Kathy Banas-Marti was hired in 1981 as a Bibliographic Assistant in what was known as the Technical Processing Unit. She earned her MLS in 1987 and began working more in our Reference Department where she found her love of providing reference and engaging in outreach activities like mentoring students, talking with nervous parents, and being the public face of the library at events and programs across campus. An example of that gift was for 22 years she served as a UConn Connects facilitator, mentoring students on academic probation, receiving the UConn Connects Mentor Award in 2017. She continued to provide support for the technical side of things, including updating our acquisitions process from a paper environment to an automated one through the implementation of NOTIS, one of the very first integrated library systems. Later, the Library’s reorganization in 1996 brought Kathy’s skills and talents to reference once again, where she became a Reference Librarian and in 2000, the Liaison to the Department of Human Development and Family Sciences. Kathy is looking forward to traveling once again in retirement.
Also retiring from the Reference & Student Success Services unit is 37-year veteran Sheila Lafferty. Sheila had an interesting and varied career, working at most of our locations including the UConn Health Center Library, Law Library, Waterbury Library, served as director for both the Torrington Library and Avery Point campus, and most recently leading our work with information literacy and programs for First Year and new students when she moved to the Storrs campus in 2016. She has served on numerous committees and internal teams that have helped shape our organizational strategies and profession – including the Executive Board of the Connecticut Library Association, the Information Literacy Subcommittee of GEOC, the Student Welfare Committee, and the Scholarly Communications Committee. Sheila plans to visit with family and become more involved with historical genealogical societies in retirement.
Sheila’s work throughout our library locations highlights an important part of the UConn Library, and that is our presence in each regional campus community. This June we bid a retirement farewell to the UConn Waterbury Library Director Shelley Goldstein. Shelley began as a Reference and Instruction Librarian at the Jeremy Richard Library at UConn Stamford before serving as the Director of the UConn Waterbury Library beginning in 2008. She also served as Interim Director of the UConn Avery Point Library. Shelley was a skilled administrator, but her focus on the needs and success of all students, with a special focus on first generation and first year students is what defined much of her work. Shelley was a brilliant teacher who taught instruction sessions across disciplines too numerous to note, an expert on academic integrity, presenting on the topic at regional and national conferences throughout her career, and helped create the learning commons in the Stamford Library, She regularly participated in First Year Experience courses, and in 2021 was the inaugural winner of the One UConn FYE Teaching Award for her dedication to student success.
Our Avery Point Library has also seen notable change in the last year. In December 2020 we welcomed Chalynne “Chay” Reed as the new Access Services Coordinator for the Avery Point Library. Prior to UConn, Chay had over 10 years of experience in public libraries including in Cromwell and Rocky Hill, and at academic libraries including Adelphi University and Trinity College. Chay worked alongside Beth Rumery until her retirement this June. Described as the “rock” of the Avery Point Library, Beth started and ended her career in Avery Point, embodying how a librarian at a regional campus library could engage with the community. Beth started her career for UConn in 2005 and in her 17 years of service she had several roles over the years, including Library Director for the Avery Point campus, Research and Instruction Librarian, Undergraduate Education Librarian, and Undergraduate Services Librarian. Some of Beth’s proudest achievements were serving as the Alliance – GSA advisor, being a student supervisor, winning the national “I Love My Librarian” Award in 2015 from the American Library Association, receiving the Avery Point Campus “Excellence in Student Engagement and Support” Award 2018, and watching many students becoming librarians.
After years of interim support, our UConn Hartford Library will welcome a director starting in July 2022. Karen Tatarka has a rich background and wide-ranging experience and expertise in both public and academic libraries that will be a great benefit to our partnership with the Hartford Public Library. She has most recently served as the Weston Public Library Director in Weston, Connecticut and prior to that was the English and Foreign Languages and Literatures Librarian at Auburn University. But what we love the most is that she launched her career in librarianship in our very own Jeremy Richard Library in UConn Stamford. Karen holds a MLS from Southern Connecticut State University and a Master of Arts in English from Fordham University.
Also from our Hartford Campus Library, Steve Batt resigned from his position as Reference and Instruction Librarian in April. Steve’s career at the Library began in 1997 and in his time with us he served in a wide variety of capacities and roles, including as Data Visualization Librarian, Coordinator for the Federal Depository Library Program, and Reference and Instruction Librarian. Drawing on deep expertise in a variety of disciplines as well as in data access, organization, and visualization, Steve most recently served as the liaison to English and Public Policy for the Hartford campus, and as liaison to Geography, Journalism, and Political Science on the Storrs campus, as well as to Geosciences in a general information role. Steve was also involved with the operation of the Connecticut State Data Center and the Map and Geographic Information Center (MAGIC).
Following the retirement of Sharon Giovenale in October of 2019 after 30 years of service, we were fortunate to hire Roslyn Grandy to fill the shoes of Pharmacy Librarian. Roslyn was our first all-online search during the pandemic, and started in August of 2020. Roslyn holds a Masters of Library and Information Science from Rutgers University, a Master of Science in Communication Management and Media from The College of New Rochelle, and Bachelor of Arts from Brigham Young University. Before joining UConn, she was the Reference and Publications Librarian at the Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), where she managed the BNL institutional repository, conducted literature searches and compiled bibliometric data for researchers in the fields of physics, chemistry, biology, engineering, and computer science, and managed circulation services for the BNL print collection.
In addition to her role in supporting the School of Pharmacy, Roslyn is also a member of our Research Services unit, which has seen significant changes. The Research Services librarians couple disciplinary knowledge with information expertise to advance the research, teaching, and learning of UConn students, faculty, and staff. Their subject expertise is sought after by students, faculty, and the community alike. In the coming and going of staff, we have filled some of the subject roles that were vacated, and used the openings as an opportunity to add new subject specialties needed at UConn.
Part of the changes to the unit start at the top, with new leadership under Samuel Boss. Sam joined the UConn Library as Head of Research Services in October 2020. Sam holds a Master’s degree in Library and Information Studies from the University of Wisconsin Madison, a Master’s degree in History from SUNY Brockport, and bachelors’ degrees in History and English from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Sam has extensive professional experience including his most recent position as Director of the Northern Vermont University Libraries, Director at Lyndon State College, Public Services Librarian at Lyndon State College, and Outreach & Public Services Librarian at the Guangzhou Library in Guangzhou, China.
Most recently, two valued members of the Research Services unit retired. In March 2022 Carolyn Mills, Open Access, Authors Rights & Sciences Librarian, retired after 26 years of service. Carolyn began her career as Biology Librarian and added several subject areas along the way, including Agriculture, Pathobiology, Natural Resources, Environmental Science, and Agriculture and Resource Economics. Furthermore, in her time at UConn Carolyn provided excellent leadership in a variety of roles including, serving as head of the sciences liaison team (2008-2015), serving as the UConn lead for an Ithaka S+R study of research needs of agriculture faculty (2016), and as a grant co-principal investigator on a National Library of Medicine grant with a colleague from Boston College for sponsoring community Software Carpentry and Software Data workshops. Carolyn also played an important leadership role in the area of Scholarly Communications on behalf of the UConn Library.
Two months later in June, Valori Banfi, Grant Funding & Sciences Librarian (Nursing & Allied Health), retired. Val has supported the School of Nursing as a subject specialist since 2007. Her prior experience as a librarian for both Internal Medicine at Hartford Hospital and Houston Academy of Medicine – The Texas Medical Center Library meant very little time was needed to earn the trust and respect of the School of Nursing. Val was an active member of both the UConn Nursing and Library communities, and her tenure is marked by numerous collaborations on both grant-related and health informatics workshops. She also served in temporary roles as liaison to Psychology and Allied Health, and served as our Citation Management Specialist.
While we feel the loss of Carolyn and Val as part of our research services team, we have had the fortune to hire several new librarians in areas of need across UConn.
Edward Lim joined the UConn Library as Business and Entrepreneurship Librarian in March 2020. Due to the pandemic, it took him some time to move from Singapore to Connecticut, but it was worth the wait. Edward came to UConn after serving as the Reference and Research Services Librarian for Business at New York University Shanghai and, prior to that, as Business Librarian at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (2011-2017). Edward holds a Master of Science in Information Studies from Nanyang Technological University and is a published scholar on Chinese data sets, web usability, and professional development. His role at UConn is to support the UConn School of Business, Department of Economics in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the Peter J. Werth Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
Hilary Krausjoined us in August 2020 as a Research Services Librarian primarily supporting the departments of Kinesiology and Psychological Sciences. She has also taken on the role of Citation Management Specialists from Valori Banfi. Hilary holds a Master of Science in Information from the University of Michigan and a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University. She has most recently served as Librarian for Nursing and Health at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Hilary’s extensive professional experience also includes service in a range of professional capacities at Johnson & Wales University, Bryant University, DePaul University, and Loyola University. She is an active member of the profession, publishing and presenting on professional development, health sciences librarianship, instruction, and other areas.
Fyiane Nsilo-Swai was hired in January 2022 as a Research Services Librarian to support the various disciplines in the social sciences. Fyiane received a Master of Library & Information Science from the University of Rhode Island in 2000, she completed a graduate practicum at the Dinand Science Library at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts that same year, and holds a Bachelor of Science with a major in Agricultural Resource Economics at UConn. In her most recent position as Reference & Instruction Librarian at Quinebaug Valley Community College in Danielson, Connecticut, she served as coordinator of the information literacy program, collaborating with library and faculty colleagues on designing research assignments. One such collaborative activity culminated in the publication of the book chapter, “Undergraduate Research and the Academic Librarian: Case Studies and Best Practices” published by the Association of College and Research Libraries in 2017.
Stephanie Birch was also hired in January 2022 as a Research Services Librarian to serve as liaison to Africana Studies. Stephanie received a Master of Library Science and a Master of Arts in African Studies from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 2016. Additionally, she received a Master of Arts in History from the University of Illinois, Springfield in 2012 and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art History from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 2010. In her most recent position at the University of Florida, Stephanie served as African American Studies Librarian, Samuel Proctor Oral History Program subject liaison, and affiliate faculty with the Center for Gender, Sexualities & Women’s Studies Research where she was a collaborative partner on timely and important projects such as the Intersections on Mass Incarceration grant project.
Jennifer Schaeferjoined us in March 2022 as a Research Services Librarian to serve as the liaison to Latina/o, Caribbean, Latin American, and Spanish Studies. This role was previously held by Marisol Ramos, who left UConn in May 2020 to join the staff at the University of California Santa Barbara as their Latin American and Iberian Studies Librarian. Jennifer received a Ph.D. in History from Emory University in 2015, a Master of Arts in Latin American Studies from the University of Chicago in 2008, and Bachelor of Arts degrees from Brown University in History (Honors) and Comparative Literature in English and Spanish in 2007. Jennifer comes to the UConn Library with a laudable record of publication and professional engagement and has significant experience in both producing and supporting digital scholarship.
In this final post in the three part series, UConn Library Comings & Goings we hope you got a glimpse of the changes to our staffing since March of 2020. If you missed the other two posts, they highlighted the changes in Library Administration and Collections & Discovery.
The pandemic has reshaped the work environment in unprecedented ways, forcing organizations to adapt to a new way of working. The UConn Library is no different. Since March of 2020 we have shifted access to collections, increased online outreach, created new programming, and found new ways of working with each other and our communities. We have also seen an incredible shift in staffing. We have been fortunate enough to welcome several new staff members, said good luck to others moving to other institutions, wished many a happy retirement, and said goodbye to a dear colleague. In the second of this three part series, we will look at the shifts in staffing and service to our areas of work and hope you will join us celebrating the people, past and present, of the UConn Library. If you missed the first post, it was regarding our Library Administration area.
Collections & Discovery
Connecting you to the world of resources is at the heart of what our Collections & Discovery area does. The units within the area focus on digital imaging, conservation, collections acquisitions and discovery, and building our archives and special collections.
In September 2020 we were fortunate enough to hire Roxanne Peck to lead the area as Associate University Librarian for Collections & Discovery. Roxanne has over 25 years of experience in academic libraries and came to us from the University of California San Diego where she was the program director for the Content Acquisition and Resource Sharing (CARS) Department. Roxanne’s talents served the Library well for the year and a half she worked for the Library, including helping us lead the forward progress on the Future of Journals Project and the significant challenge of finding and implementing a more sustainable model for providing access to resources. Roxanne will be leaving in July to become the Assistant Director of the Hoover Institution Library and Archives.
Other staff changes in the area include the retirement of Fred Rick in July 2020. Fred began at the UConn Library in 1985 after coming to UConn as a graduate student in Political Science. In the 34 years Fred worked for the Library, he worked at the same desk (lovingly dubbed Old Sturbridge Village by Fred himself), ensuring our physical materials were properly cared for, labeled, and bound. So if you ever found a book on the shelves, you can thank Rick.
The maintenance of our physical collections did not stay static long. This past January 2022, we were fortunate to add Ellen Pikora to our team. Ellen has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Cultural Anthropology from the University of Pittsburgh, and was both a library assistant at the Cromwell Belden Library and the Manchester Public Library when she was hired.
The building of our collections, both physical and digital, is an important piece of this area’s goals, and at the heart of Michael Rodriguez’s work. Michal began his career at the UConn Library as Electronic Resources Librarian in February 2016. Michael led transformative initiatives at UConn and was equally active in local, regional, and national levels. The Library promoted Michael in 2019 to a newly created position, Collections Strategist. In that role he led efforts to make our scholarly resources more responsive to changing budgets and user needs, elevate the impact and diversity of our collections, and deepen our partnership with regional and national initiatives. Michael was also recently highlighted in UConn Today for his work on writing scores of Wikipedia articles, bringing long overdue attention to women, African Americans, and other historical figures in UConn and Connecticut history. Michael left the UConn Library in May 2022 to become Content and Scholarly Communication Strategist at LYRASIS.
And a conversation about our collections is never complete without talking about our nationally recognized Archives & Special Collections. Our archives team documents the human experience through manuscripts, letters, photographs, maps, and so much more to help students, scholars, and the public learn from the past and understand the present. The archives team has been led by Rebecca Parmer since 2018 and in those four years she became an indispensable member of the UConn Library community through her leadership, vision and accomplishments. She was a strong advocate for ASC’s instructional program, guiding efforts to develop and implement modular educational frameworks that brought excitement and enthusiasm for integrating primary source collections into the classroom. She was also deeply involved with Library initiatives including being a member of the UConn Library’s Strategic Framework Steering Committee and then as a member and co-chair of the inaugural Implementation Team. She also co-chaired the IDEA in Collections Working Group, along with Michael Rodriguez and Rhonda Kauffman, to develop definitions, guiding principles, and recommended pathways for building inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA) into all aspects of library collections management and development. Rebecca left the Library in May 2022 to join theWinterthur Museum, Garden and Library as the director of their research library.