Introducing Kimi Taira, Postgraduate Preventative Conservator

Kimi Taira recently joined UCLA Library’s Preservation & Conservation department as Postgraduate Preventative Conservator. We asked Kimi a few questions about herself and her aspirations for this position.Kimi Taira in black shirt standing in front of brick building Powell

What goals/hopes do you have for this year as our new Postgraduate Preventative Conservator?
My goals are to learn from folks across UCLA and to support initiatives that reinforce access with stewardship of our Library. Collections care is a community responsibility, especially since UCLA has such vast and diverse holdings across campus! It's helpful to connect with as many folks as I can who are already part of this effort and work with others who can help. Also, while I'm here to advocate for practices to prevent accidents or damage from happening, I am working on our emergency response program as related to the Library's collection care needs.
 
How has your prior experience prepared you for this role at the UCLA Library?
I was a paper conservator at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco where I treated, prepared, and installed individual artworks, primarily for public exhibition. I also managed the environmental monitoring program for the conservation center, which included tracking temperature and relative humidity in the exhibition cases, providing reports for loans, and acting as a liaison on long-term projects with the chief engineer. Coming to UCLA, I bring experience working with interdepartmental teams that balance visitor access with the protection of cultural heritage. I also have a growing interest in data science based on what I learned with these projects.

What projects will you be tackling first?
I’m beginning a series of site surveys as my introduction to campus, but in preparation for winter, I'll be updating our emergency response kits and resources. Also, stay tuned for Preservation Week in the spring!

What are you currently reading? And what do you like to do outside of work?
Currently, I’m reading Human Acts by Han Kang. I currently serve on the board for the Asian American Women Artists Association, where I have been a volunteer for their archives and oral hxstory project. On my leisure time, I have been teaching myself how to make mizuhiki (a Japanese knotting technique); otherwise, I enjoy travelling, cooking, and learning about cars with my partner.
 
What is your preferred name and what are your pronouns? 
Kimi (she/her)

We are delighted to welcome Kimi to UCLA Library! You can contact her at ktaira@library.ucla.edu.