Hello, University of Rochester!

It feels great to now officially be part of not only the University community, but also the Greater Rochester community. In a way, this is a bit of a homecoming for me. My wife, Sharon, and I are originally from northeastern Ohio, so it’s been exciting to be back in the Great Lakes region. In fact, when I was here this past December, Sharon said it felt like we were home again. I had to agree. And in a shameless attempt to score some early Rochester points, I can honestly say we’re already Wegmans devotees and fans of “garbage plates.”

On the professional side, it’s likely unsurprising that my first couple weeks have been a whirlwind. It’s been a non-stop learning tour, and there have been some figurative and literal wrong turns. My first “100 days” will largely be spent getting to know the libraries’ staff, extended community, and culture. The approach I’m taking to getting myself up to speed is to listen, learn, and ask questions (in that order). Overall, it’s been enlightening, often fun, and sometimes challenging. I feel very lucky to have inherited such a welcoming and helpful team, which has me excited and optimistic about what we will accomplish together.

I don’t want to waste your time with shallow observations, so this first message will be short. I’ll close by saying that even though it was a coincidence that my first day was Valentine’s Day, it was not without symbolism. I love libraries, and I love their role in sharing knowledge and preserving history, and I have every intention of converting that passion into progress for the University of Rochester Libraries.

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