Michigan State University Librarian Rachel Minkin was recently named Assistant Dean for Faculty Engagement at MSU Libraries. The announcement was made by MSU Dean of Libraries Joseph Salem, who said the new position was created to help the Libraries continue to invest in collaborative relationships across campus; support student, staff, and faculty partners; and explore new opportunities to connect people in various departments and programs with MSU Libraries liaisons.
“I can’t think of a better person to lead our library liaisons and our instruction programs,” Salem said. “With Rachel Minkin, our entire campus community has someone who will ensure our students, faculty, and staff in all academic departments get the course-related instruction, research services, and collections they need. Minkin will help us develop and support creative programmatic goals for both in-person and online instruction. She’s organized, energetic, and approachable, and she’s an expert in the field. She is exactly the right person our university needs to connect library liaisons with MSU instructors, and we are lucky to have her leadership.”
“We proposed this new position before the pandemic,” Salem said. “The organizational design was part of our strategic planning, but our experiences supporting distance teaching and learning only emphasize the importance of this new role in our Libraries. We understand on an even deeper level how important it is that faculty and academic staff know exactly who to contact for help when they need help, and we need a leader who will continue to build strong departmental networks. Minkin has the skills and experience to do this, and she also has a deep understanding of and appreciation for how important these relationships are.”
“I’m delighted to accept this new role and I’m excited to work with colleagues in the Libraries to help strengthen our already strong instruction programs,” Minkin said. “I want everyone in our campus community to know we have a world of expertise available to them. I’m excited about building new partnerships on campus and thinking about how we can expand our support for research centers and institutes; distance education programs; international initiatives; and undergraduate, graduate, and faculty research. I’ll be thinking about programmatic needs and how we can help people in various departments and colleges. I’ll also be representing the Libraries in university discussions about curriculum development. This is a tremendously important conversation, and we need to think strategically about where and how our Libraries support this curriculum.”
Minkin reports to Associate Dean for Teaching, Learning and Research Engagement Terri Miller. She joined MSU Libraries in 2011 as an Information Literacy Librarian and was promoted to Head of Reference Services in 2014. In previous roles, she served as Reference and Instruction Librarian at Lansing Community College (LCC); Acting Head of Public Services at Graduate Theological Union (GTU) in Berkeley, California; Reference Librarian at GTU; Technical Services Intern at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary; and a Reference Para-professional at Duquesne University. She has an MLIS from University of Pittsburgh, a Master of Theological Studies from Vanderbilt Divinity School, and a bachelor’s degree in religious studies from Macalester College. She serves on several professional committees with the American Library Association, the Association of College and Research Libraries, the Big Ten Academic Alliance Heads of Reference, and the Michigan Academic Library Association. She has published widely and presented at many professional conferences.
The MSU Libraries are at the center of academic life at Michigan State University, providing expertise, collections, and infrastructure for discovery and creation. Library liaisons facilitate connections that support research, teaching, and learning in local and global communities. Every college on campus has a Library liaison, and a list of liaisons by subject area is available here: https://lib.msu.edu/contact/subjectlibrarian/. Faculty and staff at the Libraries are committed to providing equal access to Library collections, services, and facilities for all library users, and the core mission of the Libraries is to create an inclusive environment which encourages intellectual discovery.