In this edition of the News for the Friends of the UMass Amherst Libraries, you will notice an unusually large number of new staff and staff promotions. Over the past year, the Libraries have had an accelerated rate of retirements. This is both a challenge and an opportunity for the organization. It is always challenging to lose staff that have been with us for many years. Their institutional memory and connection to the campus community is priceless and something that cannot easily be replaced.
UMass Amherst Libraries and all research libraries (as I have mentioned so many times before) are undergoing a tremendous transformation as we move from a print environment to a digital one. Each staff opening is an opportunity to re-examine workflows and re-think priorities in today’s ever-changing library world. Human resources are the Libraries most valuable and expensive asset and we make every effort to be certain that each hire is strategic in moving our organization to the next level of excellence.
Student workers have always been a vital part the Library workforce. We hope you enjoyed reading about Kashe Wansor, one of more than 200 students the Libraries employ each year. Former student workers are helping build our future; like Kelvin Cross, who met his wife while working in the Morrill Science Library, and Marda Buchholz who fondly remembers her years working in Goodell Library.
As one of the most senior (in several meanings of the word) members of the staff, I find it energizing and revitalizing to bring so many new faces into the Libraries. It is an opportunity for us to mentor them into our culture of service-based excellence for which we are known and respected on campus and in the library world. At the same time, it is an opportunity for the organization to move forward with a broad array of new skills and new ways of thinking about libraries in the 21st century.