Announcement | Kenvi C. Phillips Named Director of Library Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The Library is pleased to announce the appointment of Kenvi C. Phillips, PhD as the inaugural Director of Library Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Kenvi’s first day at Brown will be August 23, 2021. Consistent with Pathways to Diversity and Inclusion: An Action Plan for Brown University and the Library’s own strategic goals in this critical area, hiring an executive officer whose portfolio focuses exclusively on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion is part of an intentional move toward becoming a more just, inclusive, equitable academic library. 

As the Director of Library Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Kenvi will direct critical organizational and programmatic initiatives, expand the Library’s outreach, and contribute her expert knowledge and skills to advance the Library’s and the University’s core values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Kenvi’s work at the Library will include oversight for Library initiatives connected to Brown’s Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP) Phase II and the Anti-Black Racism Task Force. She will oversee the Library’s Racial Justice Project, and play a key role in the Library’s expanding partnerships with campus programs including the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America, the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice, and the Native American and Indigenous Studies Initiative. Working closely with the Library’s own representative DIAP committee, Kenvi will provide expertise for strengthening Library staff competency related to diversity, equity, and inclusion and promoting and advising on strategies for Library physical, digital, and educational accessibility.

Kenvi currently serves as the Johanna-Marie Fraenkel Curator for Race and Ethnicity at Harvard Radcliffe’s Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America. While there, she has led the library’s efforts to diversify the collections to be more inclusive of racial and ethnic populations across the country. Since her arrival at Schlesinger in the fall of 2016, she has identified gaps in the collections and worked to develop relationships with financial and collection donors while leading the effort to engage community members in the greater Boston region in order to expand collections and programs. She consults with scholars within the Harvard community and other universities to advise the library as it expands its collecting scope and rewrites its collections development plan. She has worked with archivists and curators, both within Harvard Library and other repositories, to develop partnerships to increase access to collections about marginalized people, particularly women. 

Before joining the Schlesinger Library, Kenvi served as Assistant Curator of Manuscripts at Howard University’s Moorland-Spingarn Research Center. There she led an initiative to revise and increase access to the collections by merging the reference services of the library and manuscript divisions. By combining the two departments, staff was able to increase both research access to collections and manuscript processing. In addition to her work with the Harvard Library and the Howard University Library System, Kenvi has worked with the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, a non-profit bi-county agency established more than eighty years ago in the Washington, DC area.  

An historian, Kenvi holds a master’s in public history and a doctorate in US history from Howard University.

Demonstrating a serious and impactful commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and associated issues of racial justice is a major guiding principle at Brown. These commitments are also integral to the Library’s mission on campus as well as its growth and development as an organization. As Brown’s focus on these issues has increased, the Library’s specialized skills, resources, and services are being called upon in new ways. At the same time, the Library is also identifying new opportunities through its own work to make important contributions to the University’s goals in this area. Every member of the Library’s administration and staff is responsible for contributing to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the Library. We look forward to bringing the Library’s commitment and contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion to the next level with Kenvi’s expertise, leadership, and guidance.

Announcement | Multiple Career Opportunities, Brown University Library

In conjunction with an ambitious strategic plan, Brown University Library is in a period of staff growth and renewal, seeking a diverse candidate pool for multiple positions:

  • Medical Education and Clinical Engagement Librarian
  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Librarian
  • Director of Library Exploration and Research
  • Head of Metadata Services

See below for brief descriptions of each open position listed above, including links to the full job descriptions and application tool. All applicants must apply through the Careers at Brown application interface, through which you should submit your résumé/CV, cover letter, and contact information for three references in order to be considered.

You can also view a complete list of all Library job openings.

This is an exciting time to join the Brown University Library for professionals seeking an opportunity to advance scholarship at a top tier research institution while working to strengthen community ties within the Library, the University, and beyond, and to actively participate in a highly intentional, organization-wide effort to transform the Library into a site of racial justice. Applicants who span a wide range of viewpoints, life experiences, and intellectual pursuits are encouraged to apply.

Medical Education and Clinical Engagement Librarian

Brown University Library seeks an entrepreneurial and innovative Medical Education and Clinical Engagement Librarian with primary responsibility for supporting the students and teaching faculty of the Alpert Medical School, and for providing library services for research, education, and learning in support of the health and biomedical sciences at Brown. This new position reports to the Director of Health and Biomedical Library Services. The Alpert Medical School (part of Brown’s Division of Biology and Medicine) is in a period of dynamic growth and innovation, including investments in physician-scientists, new research initiatives, expanded medical education programs, and the formation of an integrated academic health system with affiliated teaching hospitals. Diversity, equity, inclusion, and a dedication to anti-racism are critically important to the Library, the Alpert Medical School, and the University; the successful candidate is committed to incorporating these values in all aspects of instruction, engagement, and professional practice. Experience and/or familiarity with research and/or concepts related to antiracism, anti-Black racism, intersectionality, health disparities, transgender health, LGBT health, critical race theory (and other overlapping themes) is especially favored. 

Engineering and Physical Sciences Librarian

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Librarian joins a vibrant and collaborative team committed to academic excellence and that is actively engaged with the research and teaching needs of Brown’s diverse community. Brown’s strategic plan has led to dynamic growth in engineering, physical sciences, mathematics, and the University’s interdisciplinary approach to innovation. The interplay between these areas and collaboration with centers of entrepreneurship, technology, biological sciences, social and humanistic exploration, and sustainability are strengths of the University, as is advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the sciences. Reporting to the Director of Academic Engagement, this position joins the dynamic team of colleagues in the Academic Engagement unit and other Library departments, including the transformative, newly announced Center for Library Exploration and Research, to provide coordinated and programmatically aligned services to Brown University and the extended community. 

Director of Library Exploration and Research

The Director of Library Exploration and Research will provide overall leadership for the University Library’s new Center for Library Exploration and Research (CLEAR), with a mission to build and nurture an academic community for students, faculty, and library staff. Working collaboratively with library and University leadership, the Director of Library Exploration and Research will develop and lead a program that brings greater focus, coordination, and accessibility to library activities that advance students’ research capabilities in three domains: core tools and methods, data, and primary sources. CLEAR is an unprecedented new venture at the Library, and the inaugural director will contribute to refining the vision as well as implementing it. The director will report to the Deputy University Librarian and also work closely with the University Librarian and Associate University Librarian for Special Collections on CLEAR’s strategic development. 

Head of Metadata Services

Brown University Library seeks a creative and forward-thinking library professional to lead the metadata services unit in the next phase of the evolution of object description for inclusive discovery. The Head of Metadata Services is responsible for the day-to-day supervision and professional development of the Library’s paraprofessional cataloging and metadata staff. This team produces the technical and descriptive metadata needed to provide intellectual and physical access to our information resources and collections in support of the University’s goals for academic excellence, integrative scholarship, and educational leadership. A collaborative leader, the Head of Metadata Services works with library staff in Scholarly Resources and other units across the Library to develop a roadmap for prioritizing the work of the unit’s many responsibilities, including metadata production, remediation, enhancement, and management — with the goal of inclusive discovery. Working closely with the Head of Technical Services, the Head of Metadata Services assesses, develops, and documents internal policies and procedures and initiates projects related to improving the discoverability of resources for a wide range of campus users, with focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

About the Brown University Library

All members of the Brown University Library team are vital contributors to our mission to advance instruction, learning, and research at Brown University in an environment of creativity and inclusivity. A community of academic, professional, and organizational learning, the Library embraces people who span a wide range of viewpoints, life experiences, and intellectual pursuits. Together, we preserve the past and innovate for the future. The Library’s strategic objectives are responsive to and strengthened by Library-wide goals that act upon the University’s commitment to diversity and inclusion as reflected in the backgrounds and experiences of our people as well as our approaches to the materials, methods, and accessibility of scholarship. Similarly, we want to find new ways for scholarship and practice at the Library to have a positive impact on the wider community in Providence and beyond. As reflected in our strategic objectives, the Library should not only be responding to the legacies of historic inequity and injustice, but also taking action through its work and expertise to overcome them. We invite candidates with initiative, unique perspectives, inventive thinking, and a passion for collaboration to join the University’s global mission of leadership and academic excellence.

Announcement | New Health and Biomedical Library Services Unit at Brown

The Library will establish a new department — Health and Biomedical Library Services — to provide more direct and focused support for Brown’s programs in medicine, public health, and biomedical sciences.

The growth of these programs in size, scientific reputation, and societal impact is transformative for Brown and requires enhanced library support for research, teaching, and learning. Establishing Health and Biomedical Library Services (HBLS) as a distinct department will increase the Library’s contributions to advancing the mission of the Division of Biology and Medicine and the School of Public Health — as well as their statewide partners in research, education, practice, and community engagement. 

Further enhancing the Library’s identity as the go-to place for expert partners in education and research services, this new unit will bring enhanced focus to the specific academic and scholarly goals of the Division of Biology and Medicine (including The Warren Alpert Medical School and the Program in Biology) and the School of Public Health. HBLS will build upon existing services such as literature review support, data management, and publishing, impact, and compliance to enhance our support for the research lifecycle. In cooperation with leadership at The Warren Alpert Medical School and our clinical partners, HBLS will develop targeted outreach and education to clinical faculty and residency programs.

Planning for the new department involved close consultation with Allan Tunkel, Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education, and Kimberly Galligan, Executive Dean for Administration for the Division of Biology and Medicine at Brown. Increased communication between the Library and the Division of Biology and Medicine and the School of Public Health will amplify the Library’s ability to nimbly adapt and respond to the rapid changes in Rhode Island’s healthcare landscape.

Erika Sevetson, who has been serving as Director of Academic Engagement for Health, Biomedical, and Physical Sciences and Medical Librarian for The Warren Alpert Medical School, will now serve as the Director of the new HBLS department. In her new role, Erika will serve on key Division of Biology and Medicine committees and leadership teams, including the Extended Leadership Group that supports Jack A. Elias, MD, Senior Vice President for Health Affairs and Dean of Medicine and Biological Sciences. She will also collaborate with the Office of Biomedical Advancement to identify opportunities for fundraising in support of information resource needs for health and biomedical sciences. The HBLS team includes Andrew Creamer (who will also continue to support programs outside HBLS), Chelsea Misquith, and Kelsey Sawyer.

Announcement | Frank Donnelly, GIS and Data Librarian

The Library welcomes Frank Donnelly as the new GIS (Geographic Information System) and Data Librarian. Frank joins us from Baruch College CUNY where he served for thirteen years as the Geospatial Data Librarian at the William and Anita Newman Library. His work at Baruch included providing research support for courses and faculty projects along with managing a GIS lab that incorporates data creation and processing, workshops, and free and open web resources using analytical tools like Python, SQL, and GIS. While at Baruch, Frank was an affiliate of the CUNY Institute for Demographic Research.

He is the author of Exploring the U.S. Census: Your Guide to America’s Data (SAGE Publications, 2020), which serves as a researcher’s guide to understanding and accessing this vast array of demographic and socio-economic data. You can read more about Frank’s professional work on his blog, At These Coordinates.

At Brown, Frank will support growing campus needs to support data tools and methods, and will work with Library staff, campus stakeholders, faculty, and students to develop a geospatial information and data service program and infrastructure for use of data and GIS in research and teaching. 

Learn more about Frank, including how to get in touch.

Announcement | Chelsea Misquith, Public Health and Research Support Librarian

The Library is pleased to announce Chelsea Misquith as the new Public Health and Research Support Librarian. Chelsea (pronounced Chel-SEE-uh) comes to us from the Ruth Lilly Medical Library at Indiana University School of Medicine, where she worked as the Emerging Technologies Librarian. At IU, she served on Indiana’s COVID-19 Evidence-Based Rapid Response Team (a collaboration between the medical library and the state and local Departments of Health). She was a member of IU’s team-based systematic review service, which consults on search methodology and guidelines and standards, as well as providing library- and course-based instruction. She also brings experience with virtual reality and 3D printing services in the health sciences. 

At Brown, Chelsea will provide research support and develop undergraduate and graduate education/instruction for the School of Public Health community. In addition, she will collaborate with the other health sciences librarians to develop and manage the Library’s literature review service and to support clinical faculty and residents at the affiliated hospitals of Alpert Medical School.

Learn more about Chelsea, including how to get in touch.

Announcement | Cathy Weng, Head of Technical Services

The Library is pleased to announce Cathy Weng as the new Head of Technical Services. Cathy comes to Brown from City University of New York (CUNY) where she served as Head, Resource Description and Metadata Services in the Office of Library Services. In that position, Cathy oversaw central cataloging operations and led the future development of metadata services for the twenty one institutions in the CUNY community. Cathy also managed CUNY’s migration to the Ex Libris Alma library system, which positions her well to contribute to the Brown Library’s migration to Alma in 2021.

Prior to joining CUNY, Cathy worked at The College of New Jersey as Head of Cataloging and at Temple University, initially as Head of Serials Cataloging and later as Acting Head of the Bibliographic Services Department.

Outside of work, Cathy enjoys reading, hiking, and traveling.

Announcement | New Publication on Chinese Rare Books in the Brown University Library

An Illustrated Catalogue of Ancient Chinese Books in the Brown University Library by Li Wang

Prestigious Chinese publisher, China Book Company, has published An Illustrated Catalogue of Ancient Chinese Books in the Brown University Library by Dr. Li Wang, the Library’s Curator of the East Asian Collection. The volume contains detailed bibliographic and research information on all Chinese rare books found in the Library published before the end of the Qing dynasty (1912). Most of the 256 books in the Catalogue are part of the Gardner Collection at the Rockefeller Library, though several of the books are held at the John Hay Library. 

This published work is a result of many years’ dedicated efforts in special collection management and providing Library patrons with an effective reference and research tool in Chinese and East Asian studies. In the Preface, the author expresses his sincere gratitude to many people who have helped and supported the long journey of research, especially Prof. Gardner and his family, former East Asian Collections curators and staff, other library colleagues, East Asian Studies faculty at Brown, students and scholars, and other friends, both domestic and international. 

The publication is a milestone in the development of the East Asian Library at Brown. 2020 marks the the 120th anniversary of the birth of Charles S. Gardner (Jan.1, 1900 – Nov. 30, 1966). This new book is not only a scholarly summary of Gardner’s legacy, but also a way to pay homage to this devoted and pioneering scholar in East Asian studies and cross-cultural exchange.

Announcement | Hay Fellow in Early Modern Studies 2020-21

photo of Kenneth Molloy
Kenneth Molloy

Kenneth Molloy, a PhD candidate in the Department of Theatre Arts & Performance Studies, has been awarded the 2020 – 2021 John Hay Library/Center for the Study of the Early Modern World Fellowship. 

This fellowship, a partnership between the University Library and the Brown Center for the Study of the Early Modern World, provides support to PhD candidates completing their dissertations in any field involving study of the Early Modern World, defined as the period between 1500 and 1800, and that involves an innovative project to be completed using resources available at the John Hay Library.

Kenneth’s dissertation project comprises “a critical historiography of Islamic theories of theatricality and performance in the post-Mongol to early modern period” that highlights cosmological readings of shadow and puppet theatre in Arabic and Persian materials.

His fellowship project at the Hay will involve organizing an interdisciplinary symposium “on theatricalities and the global early modern world” with the aim to “showcase innovative performance-based inquiry into the early modern world.”

Brown University Library: Next Steps in Response to Racial Injustice

The leadership and staff of the Brown University Library join the national outpouring of anguish at the recent killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Tony McDade, and numerous others that continue the centuries of violence against Black people in our country.  Black Lives Matter to the Brown University Library.  We also deplore the devastating impacts of systemic racism that are also found in the pandemic of COVID-19, which has resulted in disproportionate death and suffering in communities of color.

The Library stands firmly in opposition to racism and racial violence, and laments the nation’s long history of murderous and systematic oppression of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.   This opposition comes with recognition that persistent structures of racism in the U.S. have benefitted and shaped privileged institutions like ours.  We want to be in the vanguard of change.

We also recognize that statements ring hollow if they are not grounded in substantive actions. We commit to becoming actively anti-racist through an intensive interrogation of our work, practices, policies, and collections.  We will engage in programmatic and resource planning to ensure that we are continually uncovering and dismantling our participation in systems of structural racism. Through our partnerships with the University’s departments, centers, and institutes, we will also contribute to advancing education and scholarship to confront racism and racial violence in our society.  We will provide more information about specific actions in the coming weeks.

We hold ourselves accountable to this work. The Brown community should hold us accountable as well.

Announcement | Brown Library Staff Recognized for Service Milestones on BEAR Day

On Tuesday, February 18, 2020, Brown University staff gathered for the annual Brown Employee Appreciation and Recognition (BEAR) Day, at which staff are recognized for milestone years of continuous service. With so many employees with impressive longevity, the Library is always well represented at BEAR Day.

Here are the Library staff members who were recognized this year:

5 Years of Service

  • Andrew Creamer
  • Kimberly Silva

15 Years of Service

  • Kathryn Gearon
  • Erica Saladino

20 Years of Service

  • Diane Cazzarro
  • Bart Hollingsworth

25 Years of Service

  • Joseph Mancino

30 Years of Service

  • Deneen Eugenio

30+ Years of Service

  • Karen Bouchard
  • John Boylan
  • Raymond Butti
  • James Chapin
  • Stephen Conlon
  • Paul Cormier
  • Ann Dodge
  • Patricia Dumin
  • Peter Harrington
  • Joanna Katsune
  • Paula Kojian
  • Andrew Pereira
  • Linda Peterson
  • Patricia Putney
  • Robert Rosa
  • Joanne Tandy
  • Virginia Twomey
  • William Wood

40+ Years

  • Charles Flynn
  • Linda Gesualdi
  • Sheila Hogg