Kindness is a Strategic Value, and moving to the University of Connecticut Libraries

I am thrilled to share that I will soon be the Associate University Librarian for Collections & Discovery at the University of Connecticut!

While this is bittersweet news because I have loved the people, communities, and work at the University of Florida and in the city of Gainesville, I share this with a joyous heart for the wonderful new opportunities as my career and life move north.

At the University of Connecticut, I am joining an amazing team! I will be responsible for Acquisitions & Discovery, Archives and Special Collections, Digital Imaging and Conservation, and Collections Strategies. I am excited to learn and grow in so many ways, including learning what can happen when kindness is an explicitly stated value.

Kindness has been operational for so many wonderful people and programs over the years. I have seen where kindness is core to successful outcomes, thriving communities, meaningful work, and joy overall. I think everyone who hears anyone share about the Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC) knows this. I’ve experienced kindness as a value with compassionate computing and Practicing Kindness, and the same is true with the Florida Digital Newspaper Library, UF Digital Collections, LibraryPress@UF, Florida Digital Humanities Consortium, and community organization groups in Gainesville, and so many other groups and things that aren’t easily named in a couple of words. With all of this, kindness has been unwritten, even while being something known, valued, and cultivated.

At UConn, kindness is written in the UConn Library Values Statement:

The UConn Library serves the University and beyond through providing access to and stewardship of the world of information. Rooted in our professional and institutional values, the UConn Library values drive how we make decisions, work together, collaborate with our users, and plan for the future. These are:
Curiosity and Inquiry
Equity and Inclusion
Kindness and Trust
Having Fun!

These are my values! While I’ve collaborated with great folks across many organizations to enact these values, I have not had these explicitly stated and baked-in to the operations of the organization. I can’t wait to get started at UConn and at life in Connecticut. While I wasn’t born in Florida (or the Caribbean), my roots are here. I am excited to learn the ways of the north, to grow community, and grow roots in New England.

North-er friends current and new, I will look to you for help and kindness! I have only blank pages to be filled for living in the north. Things I don’t have experience with include snow, seasons outside of rainy/dry, using a word other than beach for where the land meets the ocean (people say the shore, which I think is novel), apple orchards, having trains as an option; this is all new!