Some things are just meant to be. For Kristin Antelman, a life in libraries, it seems, was one of those things.
During high school, Antelman spent hours meandering the library at the University of Chicago. Then it was off to college at the University of Michigan, where again the library was a place of retreat — and also a student job. Ditto for her graduate years at Columbia, and still more graduate years back in Chicago.
“I spent a lot of time in libraries as a student and I always appreciated the vast store of knowledge,” said Antelman. “Just seeing what’s out there, visualizing the great span of history, going back in time, to discover things you had no idea about — I’m one of those people with roaming-the-stacks nostalgia.”
Fortunately, she can assuage that sentimental twinge anytime she likes: Antelman today is the new university librarian at UC Santa Barbara. She arrived in April, having previously led the libraries at Caltech for four years and, as associate director, at North Carolina State University for a dozen years before that.
Along with her ardent belief in the promise libraries offer of knowledge and opportunity, Antelman brings to her new campus a passion for technology and innovation. And she intends to leverage it all to help advance the UCSB Library by helping students and faculty to advance scholarship.
“A public university is such a dynamic place for libraries as they evolve, rapidly,” said Antelman. “I see the UC system as a place where innovation is really happening on all sides — research and students, teaching and learning. It’s a great time to be in the UC, and UCSB as an institution has been growing by leaps and bounds, from the quality of students it’s attracting, to its research profile and faculty."