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Introducing our new Special Collections Librarian, Stephanie Noell

September 4, 2019

Greetings, Top Shelfers! I am delighted to join UTSA Special Collections as the new Special Collections Librarian and continue the work of my predecessor, Agnes Czeblakow. My responsibilities include promoting Special Collections through collaborations with faculty on integrating Special Collections materials in their classes and through outreach and fundraising activities. In addition to promoting Special Collections, I will be acquiring, maintaining, and preserving rare books for the Rare Books Collection. My previous professional positions and academic programs have prepared me well for my duties here.

Before moving to San Antonio, I lived in Savannah, GA and worked as a Research and Instruction Librarian at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). This position required me to work closely with students and faculty on research instruction and learn a little about a lot of very different creative fields. I also worked closely with the Archives and Special Collections Librarian to promote Special Collections materials like fashion periodicals, animation archives, and artists’ books. My experience at SCAD strengthened my instruction skills and opened up the world of artists’ books to me, so I am excited to combine both of these interests in the growing artists’ books holdings of Special Collections as well as the expanding Special Collections instruction program here at UTSA.

Prior to working at SCAD, I was a Librarian at Mountain View College (MVC) in the Oak Cliff neighborhood of Dallas where I worked with many first generation, nontraditional, and other underserved student populations. My liaison responsibilities with humanities, social sciences, and technical skills departments at MVC required me to collect materials in support of our programs and of interest to our students. Since many of our programs focused on Texas, Mexican-American, and African-American history and culture, I collected titles for the library to further student knowledge in these areas. My experience with underserved student populations will help me bridge gaps for some of UTSA’s first generation students who may not be familiar with archival collections. And collecting materials for more specific subject areas will aid me in identifying rare books that would be a good fit for UTSA’s Rare Books Collection. I am especially excited to continue growing the Mexican Cookbook Collection!

While I am new to San Antonio, UTSA is not the first UT campus I have worked at, nor is it my first Special Collections Librarian position. Prior to MVC, I was the Special Collections Librarian over the Texas Labor Archives and Texas Political History Collection at UT Arlington. In my role at UTA, I loved making connections with researchers, activists, and political leaders through Special Collections visits, exhibit openings, and community events, so I am looking forward to doing outreach to promote UTSA’s amazing Special Collections materials.

The impetus for my original (2007) move to Texas was graduate school. I received my MS in Library and Information Science as well as a MA in Environmental Philosophy from UNT in 2011. My philosophy program focused heavily on Latin American environmental philosophy, so I did a lot of background research in Latin American history and culture as a result. This focus formed a thread that has woven its way throughout my career thus far and I am looking forward to continuing this professional tapestry at UTSA. So watch this space, Top Shelfers, for future highlights of the gems of UTSA’s Rare Books Collection!

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