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Staff Spotlight - Elizabeth Kerr

photo of Elizabeth Kerr

Where are you originally from? What’s your educational background?

I was born in Dayton at Wright-Patterson but I only lived in Ohio until I was three years old. I grew up in Florida but spent most of my adult life in Arizona. In addition to many years in Arizona, after college I lived in Shanghai, China and San Diego, California. My undergrad degree is in Elementary Education. My masters is in Education Policy, Organization & Leadership with an emphasis in Global Studies in Education at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

What’s your title? How would you describe your position at the Miami Libraries?

My title is Coordinator of Strategy, Assessment, and DEI. The libraries are doing so many amazing things, I think this position is here to connect it all together. I feel lucky that I get to connect with all the departments and help tell their stories.

What drew you to work in a library environment? Why did you choose the Miami Libraries?

I was drawn to the position. I knew I wanted to work at a university and the title of this position intrigued me.

It’s cool how dynamic libraries are. Everyday I come home to tell my family about another neat service the Libraries offer. It’s very apparent that the Libraries are working hard to break old stereotypes of what is and is not a library. I see all the work that’s being done to keep up with the times. It’s pleasantly surprising to find all these treasures at the Libraries.

What are you most excited about tackling in your new role?

I’m excited at the ability to choose-your-own-path within this role. There is quite a lot of work to be done. There are so many avenues to explore. I can tell listening will be important. The job is flexible and I look forward to exploring what can be done. If I had to choose one thing I’m excited about it’s that this strategic plan is different, action oriented, and each year you can see the difference.

What’s your favorite book? What book character would you most like to be?

Skellig by David Almond - It’s a children’s book that I read during my bachelor’s that always stuck with me. I read it to a few of my classes and plan to read it to my girls when they get older. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume was hands down my favorite book growing up. My mom loved this book and we would bond over it when I was younger. Feeling Good by David Burns - at the risk of being vulnerable, this book has helped me quite a bit in my adult life and always provides helpful tools when I need a perspective shift

Any hobbies?

I like to travel. We do a lot of road trips as a family. We’ve hiked the Grand Canyon and visited White Sands in New Mexico. I’m the kind of person who likes to look up obscure destinations, especially the roadside attractions.

What’s something people don’t know about you that might surprise them?

My personal life and home life are very different. I like to think of myself as structured and decisive at work but at home, I have no control! I’m sure a lot of families can empathize. My two girls are always truly the ones in control at home.