Elizabeth Mellen Appointed Senior Library Specialist, Access Services – Circulation

Elizabeth Mellen

The Library is pleased to announce Elizabeth Mellen as Senior Library Specialist, Access Services – Circulation at the Rockefeller Library. April 25 was her first day at the Library.

Elizabeth joins the Library after spending the past few years at Brown’s School of Public Health, where she was the Program Coordinator for Student Engagement. She will receive a Master of Arts in Social Justice and Community Organizing from Prescott College in May of this year.

Elizabeth enjoys reading, hiking, and finding good coffee around Providence. 

Porscha-Dior Williams Appointed Director of Library Human Resources, Talent, and Organizational Development

Porscha-Dior Williams

The Library is pleased to announce that Porscha-Dior Williams will be the new Director of Library Human Resources, Talent, and Organizational Development in the Office of the University Librarian. Porscha-Dior’s first day at the Library will be May 16.

The Director of Library Human Resources, Talent, and Organizational Development is a member of the Library’s senior leadership team and the University-wide HR Partners Group. Reporting directly to the University Librarian and partnering with Library senior managers, Porscha-Dior will oversee the development and implementation of a staffing and human resource strategy to ensure that the Library is equipped with the positions, skill sets, and competencies required to advance the Library’s central contributions to the University’s mission of academic excellence. University Human Resources, the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity, and other relevant campus entities will be essential partners throughout Porscha-Dior’s work to promote a holistic and cohesive workplace culture at the Library, including a strong focus on advancing the Library’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

Porscha-Dior is a Human Resources professional with nine years of progressive experience in both corporate and private sectors. Her work in higher education began three years ago at the University of Maryland, College Park. In her most recent role there she served as the Talent Acquisition Manager and Diversity Officer for the Division of University Relations.

During her time at UMD, Porscha-Dior strived to change the culture of the division through her diversity and inclusion initiatives. She implemented a multicultural calendar focused on non-traditionally recognized holidays and events which allowed individuals across the division to learn about their peers’ cultures.

Porscha-Dior has a love for learning and reading. She received her bachelor’s degree from North Carolina Central University and her master’s degree from Full Sail University.

She describes herself as a sincere influencer who thrives on difficult challenges and translates ideas, visions, and strategies into actionable, value-added goals. She is excited to bring that fire and passion to her role at Brown.

Dawn Silvia Appointed Executive Assistant in the Office of the University Librarian

Dawn Silvia

The Library is pleased to announce the hire of Dawn Silvia, currently in the Office of the President, as Executive Assistant in the Office of the University Librarian. Dawn’s first day at the Library will be March 21.

Dawn brings to this role extensive experience supporting senior leaders across multiple industries. She joined Brown University 19 years ago, first working at the Warren Alpert Medical School with the Director of the Center for Clinical Trials and Evidence-based Healthcare, then later serving as Executive Assistant to the Deputy Provost. For the past 16 years she has worked as Correspondence Specialist in the Office of the President, a position which required her to work with numerous administrative and academic departments and stay informed about a wide range of University policies and initiatives in order to correspond with faculty, staff, students, parents, and alumni.  

Before joining Brown, Dawn served as an executive assistant to senior executives, presidents and CEO’s of major corporations including Duro Industries, Fram Corporation, Siebe Control Systems, and The Clorox Company. She was also a court stenographer in California and Rhode Island.

Dawn will provide direct support to both Joseph S. Meisel, Joukowsky Family University Librarian, and Nora Dimmock, Deputy University Librarian, and will help coordinate Library executive administration more generally. She writes that she is “a team player who takes proactive measures to anticipate the needs of the department and ensure a smooth office workflow.” Her vast experience and strong administrative, communication, and organizational skills have positioned her well to serve in this critical executive support role.

Kimberly Toney Inaugural Coordinating Curator for Native American and Indigenous Collections

Kimberly Toney

The John Carter Brown Library and the Brown University Library are pleased to announce Kimberly Toney as the inaugural Coordinating Curator for Native American and Indigenous Collections. Kim’s first day will be July 18, 2022.

The Coordinating Curator for Native American and Indigenous Collections will support the libraries in their focus on Native American and Indigenous collections of signal importance as well as programming, including outreach and engagement with Native American and Indigenous communities.

Kim is a member of the Hassanamisco Band of Nipmuc and is currently Head of Readers’ Services and Director of Indigenous Initiatives at the American Antiquarian Society. During her time at the American Antiquarian Society she has streamlined reference workflows, implemented and managed the Aeon collection management software, coordinated the Society’s undergraduate seminar in American Studies, developed the Indigenous Engagement Initiative, and co-curated several digital exhibitions; the most recent is Reclaiming Heritage, Digitizing Early Nipmuc Histories from Colonial Documents, which launched in November, 2021. Kim has a master’s degree in Urban Affairs & Public Policy with a concentration on Historic Preservation from the University of Delaware and a bachelor’s in Art History from the University of Rhode Island.

Brown University is committed to advancing research, teaching and engagement with the social, cultural, artistic, ancestral and heritage, legal and political aspects of Native American and Indigenous peoples in both the historical and contemporary periods. Amanda Strauss, Associate University Librarian for Special Collections, notes that Kim’s appointment heralds an important collaboration between two world-class institutions: “Establishing a permanent, joint position that focuses on Native American & Indigenous collections at both the John Carter Brown Library and the John Hay Library furthers our shared commitment to ensuring that our libraries are sites of ethical, engaged, and culturally-centered collecting and scholarship.” Dr. Rae Gould, Executive Director of Brown’s Native American & Indigenous Studies Initiative, was instrumental in helping shape this new position in support of the University’s commitment and the libraries’ collaboration. Speaking on behalf of the John Carter Brown Library’s staff and Board, Karin Wulf, Director and Librarian for the John Carter Brown Library, states: “We are delighted to welcome Kim, an outstanding professional who has innovated important programming in Native American and Indigenous Studies, to the JCB. And we’re equally delighted to be partnering with Brown University Library, reflecting our joint commitment to this essential focus.”

Colleen Major Appointed Associate University Librarian for Scholarly Resources

Colleen Major, Columbia University Libraries Staff Photos – July 25, 2016 – New York City.

The Library is pleased to announce the hire of Colleen Major as the Associate University Librarian for Scholarly Resources, a member of the Library’s senior leadership team. Colleen’s first day will be March 1. 

This key position at the Library has broad responsibility for ensuring that Brown’s educational mission, research priorities, and diverse campus community are supported at the highest level with academic materials. Colleen will assume responsibility for the Library’s overall collection strategy including creation and implementation of system-wide policies and procedures and management of the Library’s $13 million collection budget. As head of the Library’s Scholarly Resources department, Colleen will oversee the staff teams responsible for cataloging and metadata, electronic resources, and acquisitions, and provide direction for the ongoing implementation of BruKnow, the Library’s new catalog system.

Colleen will report to Nora Dimmock, the Deputy University Librarian, and will work directly with University Librarian Joseph Meisel on academic and budget strategy. As part of the Library’s senior leadership team, Colleen will contribute to the Library’s strategic planning, implementation, and assessment; the continued foregrounding of the principles of diversity, equity, inclusion, and community-building; and promoting efficient and collaborative workflows across departments, systems, and projects with a focus on meeting the challenges of the 21st century academic library at a leading research university. 

Colleen comes to Brown from Columbia University, where she served as the Libraries’ Head of Electronic Resources Management: Operations & Analysis, supporting numerous system libraries in the centralized management of the full life-cycle of electronic resources. Previously in her role at The University of Montana, she served as a subject specialist and liaison librarian for the Departments of Anthropology, Native American Studies, Linguistics, African-American Studies, Asian Studies, and Women’s Studies.

Colleen recently completed a Master of Science in Nonprofit Management from Columbia University and received a Master of Library Science from The State University of New York at Buffalo. She is excited by the opportunity to grow in this vital leadership role and to strengthen the Library’s essential support for education and research at Brown.

Melissa Skinnell Appointed Director of Digital Technology

Melissa Skinnell

The Library is pleased to announce the hire of Melissa Skinnell as the Director of Digital Technology. Melissa’s first day at the Library was January 4.

The Director of Digital Technology is a member of the Library’s executive team, providing energetic, creative, and forward-looking leadership for the Library’s digital infrastructure and applications. Melissa coordinates and collaborates with partners within and outside the Library — including the Office of Information Technology, where Melissa worked previously as the Associate Director of Project Management — ensuring that the Library’s digital services are aligned with Brown’s teaching and research mission.

The functionality, usability, and accessibility of the Library website is a prominent function of Melissa’s role, as is meeting accepted and emerging security and access protocols while remaining responsive to the needs of students, faculty, and staff. Melissa and her team infuse their work with the principles of diversity, equity, access, and inclusion. They contribute to outstanding digital scholarship at the Library, support resource acquisition and discovery, and promote Library programs, services, and expertise though a state-of-the-art, user-centered suite of digital tools and platforms.

Melissa will complete a Master of Library and Information Studies (MLIS) degree from the University of Rhode Island in April. She received her bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill in 1995. After college she spent five years in Fairfax, Virginia working for American Management Systems (now CGI, Inc.), implementing enterprise-wide financial management systems for federal civilian agencies like the IRS, Customs, and the District Court in Phoenix, Arizona. She moved back to Rhode Island to be near her family and in early 2000 took a job with Brown running the student financial systems in the Bursar’s office. Several years later her position was integrated into central IT, and she worked on system assessments and implementations across the University, including the multi-year Banner student system. Recently, she contributed to the Temporary Resource Management system, created to address student quarantine and support needs during the pandemic. Melissa developed the project and portfolio management practice in Computing and Information Services (now the Office of Information Technology) and managed a team of Senior Project Managers. 

Melissa is thrilled to combine her IT management experience with her interest in library science. Her favorite part of working at Brown is building relationships across campus and helping people improve business processes through the effective use of technology. Melissa lives in East Greenwich with her two daughters, husband and golden retriever. She serves on the Board of Governors at Warwick Figure Skaters and manages the synchronized skating program there. She enjoys yoga and is passionate about social justice and representation in children’s and young adult literature, as well as the critical importance of information and media literacy education.

Niamh McGuigan Appointed Director of Library Exploration and Research

Niamh McGuigan

The Library is pleased to announce the appointment of Niamh McGuigan as the inaugural Director of the University Library’s new Center for Library Exploration and Research (CLEAR). Niamh’s first day at Brown was January 10, 2022. She reports to the Deputy University Librarian and will work closely with the University Librarian and Associate University Librarian for Special Collections on CLEAR’s strategic development. 

As CLEAR’s inaugural director, Niamh will have the opportunity to refine CLEAR’s vision and implement its programming. An unprecedented new venture at the Library, CLEAR’s mission is to build and nurture academic community through collaboration with stakeholders and organizations within Brown and the Library and through partnership with community organizations, including Providence Public Schools and other local academic and cultural entities. Funded through generous donor support, CLEAR will position the Library as a key partner in teaching and learning, and bring greater focus, coordination, and accessibility to library activities that advance student and instructor research capabilities in three domains: core tools and methods, data, and primary sources.

Niamh comes to Brown from the University Libraries at Loyola University Chicago where she served as the Head of Research and Learning Services and as the subject specialist for English. During her time at Loyola, Niamh established an information literacy program that provides instruction in library and research skills, in collaboration with the writing program. For over a decade, the instruction program has ensured that all undergraduate students in the University participate in multiple course-integrated library instruction classes in their first year. Niamh coordinated the team of subject specialist librarians at Loyola, and had been actively engaged in re-envisioning the University Libraries’ approach to collection development and management, as well as developing and integrating library discovery tools in alignment with the needs of students and researchers.  

Niamh is also the Associate Director of Modernist Networks, an online federation of digital projects on modernist literature and culture, and served on the advisory board and the graduate committee for the Center for Textual Studies and Digital Humanities at Loyola University Chicago.   

Prior to joining Loyola in 2007, Niamh was a Reference Librarian at Meredith College, where she coordinated a curriculum integrated information literacy program. Niamh earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Earlham College, and her Masters in Library Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She also holds a Master of Arts in Digital Humanities from Loyola University Chicago. 

Lauren Fletcher New Medical Education and Clinical Engagement Librarian

Lauren Fletcher

The Library is pleased to announce the hire of Lauren Fletcher as the inaugural Medical Education and Clinical Engagement Librarian within the department of Health and Biomedical Library Services. Lauren’s first day at the Library was December 8, 2021.

The Medical Education and Clinical Engagement Librarian holds primary responsibility for supporting the students and teaching faculty of the Alpert Medical School.

Lauren reports to Erika Sevetson, Director of Health and Biomedical Library Services (HBLS). As a member of the HBLS team, Lauren provides library services for research, education, and learning in support of the health and biomedical sciences at Brown.

Prior to working at the Library, Lauren was a Research & Instruction Librarian at Rowland Medical Library, University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi working with the Schools of Health Related Professions, Population Health, and Pharmacy.  She was a part of the Rowland Library Systematic Review team, Library EndNote specialist, and a founding member of the campus-wide Health Sciences Education Community. 

Lauren received her Master’s in Library Science from the University of Pittsburgh and holds a master’s degree in History from Clemson University and a bachelor’s degree in History from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Jasmine Sykes-Kunk Appointed Head of Research Services for the John Hay Library

Jasmine Sykes-Kunk

The Library is pleased to announce that starting on March 7, Jasmine Sykes-Kunk will be the Head of Research Services for the John Hay Library. In this role, Jasmine will lead a researcher-focused operation that fosters positive, informative, affirming, and welcoming interactions for the global community of students, scholars, and the public that visit the Hay. 

Jasmine is currently the Special Collections Reference Associate at New York University where she developed all reading room, reproduction, and reference staffing modules and workflows, reading room policies, and staff training manuals for a newly merged Special Collections department. Her work at NYU Libraries includes finding actionable ways to make the collections and profession more inclusive and equitable. She contributed to the creation of a community agreement statement and a harmful language statement for NYU Special Collections. 

Prior to her current role, she was the ARL/SAA Mosaic Fellow at New York University Libraries where she received a solid grounding in all aspects of archival and special collections work. She has a master’s degree in Library and Information Science with a concentration in Local and Archival Studies from Clarion University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s degree in Communication from the University of Pennsylvania.  

Jasmine’s hire will be deeply transformative for the public-facing operations of the Hay.

Maureen McDevitt New Digitization Specialist for Access Services and Resource Sharing

Maureen McDevitt

The Library is pleased to announce the hire of Maureen McDevitt as the inaugural Senior Library Specialist, Access Services and Resources Sharing – Digitization Specialist. Maureen reports to Bill Wood, Manager of Sciences Circulation. Her first day at the Library was January 4. 

Maureen is the first member of a new unit created to manage the large volume of digital scanning required at the Library. The demand for scanned materials skyrocketed during the pandemic, when the University shifted to an online model. That demand has remained high through the return to on-site operations — from August 15 – December 31, 2021, 120, 688 pages were scanned by the Library! Materials are scanned for course reserves at faculty request and for patrons who cannot or prefer not to visit the Library in-person, as well as for those patrons who prefer the digital version of an item.

Maureen comes to Brown from UMass Dartmouth where she was the night supervisor at the circulation desk. Maureen attended Rhode Island College and has a bachelor’s degree in special education.