Welcome Katherine Kapsidelis, Research and Instruction Librarian

Last week we welcomed Katherine Kapsidelis to the UCLA Library as a research and instruction librarian, based in Powell Library. In order to introduce you to our newest team member, we asked Katherine a few questions about coming to UCLA.

What goals/hopes do you have for this year as our new research and instruction librarian?
I am thrilled to be joining Powell Library, and in particular to be working with students, instructors, and Inquiry Specialists as the new Cluster Program coordinator. I’m looking forward to getting to know the university community this year, and I can’t wait to begin collaborating with my colleagues here in the Library to support teaching, learning, and research on campus. I hope to find opportunities to demystify the Library and to make our resources, services, and spaces as accessible and inclusive as possible.

How has your prior experience prepared you for this role at the UCLA Library?
Before joining UCLA, I worked in the libraries of the University of Southern California and the University of California, Irvine, in positions that allowed me to support student learning and research. Most recently, at USC, I was part of the Special Collections department, where I taught classes that emphasized primary source literacy through a hands-on approach to rare books and archival materials. Whether I am helping students examine 16th-century books, 20th-century photographs, or recently published peer-reviewed articles, I always seek to incorporate critical information literacy into my pedagogical practice. I believe my prior experience working with students and instructors will be helpful as I settle into my new position at Powell Library.

What things will you be tackling first?
I plan to get started by getting to know the Library and the campus, and I’ll be seeking out ways to get involved and to collaborate. There is a lot to learn, but it’s exciting to be joining a library with such rich collections and a broad array of services and programming!

What are you currently reading/watching/listening to? What do you like to do outside of work?
I just finished reading Midnight in Chernobyl by Adam Higginbotham—a horrifying, humanizing, and gripping account of the nuclear disaster that I could barely put down. During my short vacation before beginning my position, I also read The Catalogue of Shipwrecked Books by Edward Wilson-Lee. The book is an interesting biography of the (illegitimate) son of Christopher Columbus, who was obsessed with book collecting, the organization of knowledge, and preserving the prestige of his family name. It also contains fascinating and disturbing examples of Christopher Columbus’s megalomania.

Outside of work, I enjoy traveling and hiking. Recently, I hiked Mt. Whitney (the tallest mountain in the continental U.S.!) and also made the trek down to the bottom of the Grand Canyon.

We are delighted to have Katherine working in the UCLA Library. You can contact her at Kapsidelis@library.ucla.edu.