I’ll be celebrating my one-year anniversary with the University of Rochester in February. But as we near the end of 2022, I’m looking back at the last 10 months, realizing I am already extremely thankful to so many people. I know last month is traditionally the time for giving thanks, but I would like to close the year with gratitude.

First and foremost, the staff is the primary reason I have enjoyed this first year as much as I have. I can’t adequately convey how lucky I feel to have found a home with a culture that sees librarianship as a passion rather than a job. We have a staff filled with people who care deeply about what they do, and more importantly, they care about how they do it and how it affects the community. I continue to draw inspiration from them as I see them partnering with others at the University, within the local community, and across the region and beyond.

I’m also profoundly appreciative of the counsel I receive, and this has come from three distinct groups. The first is the University’s Library National Council, a body that provides strategic advice through the lens of Rochester alumni and the broader community.  This group has helped me understand the University and alumni community in a way that otherwise would have taken me years on my own to learn. Second is the University’s senior leadership, specifically President Sarah Mangelsdorf, Provost David Figlio, and Interim Provost Sarah Peyre. Each of these individuals played a significant role in making me feel welcome and part of the leadership team—I do not take that for granted. Finally, I must acknowledge the thoughtful and insightful conversations I’ve had with students. Being grounded in their experience and needs is monumentally important to me and ensures I am not blind to important issues.

I’ll close on a personal note. My family and I genuinely feel Rochester is home. In past moves, finding our people and feeling like part of the community seemed to take a year or two. Here, it took a matter of weeks. So, I take it as a sign I’m meant to be here, doing this job.

Thank you for your interest in and support of the libraries. Have a happy holiday season.

Kevin Garewal
Vice Provost and Andrew H. and Janet Dayton Neilly Dean
University of Rochester Libraries