New NMSU library dean wants to pursue technology and digitization

After much deliberation, on January 14, 2022, Kevin James Kamerford was named the new dean of the NMGU Library.

As dean of the library, Comerford will take on a variety of responsibilities related to the structure, operation, funding and management of the library.

“In academia, to say that you are responsible for something means that you are in charge of the overall team and that you are in control of a larger set of authorities,” Comerford said. “In [library] The Dean is part of a larger team of professional librarians and librarians who make sure that the library is a valuable resource for students and faculty. ”

Comerford is currently completing his position at the University of California, Riverside (UCR), where he works as an assistant university librarian. There he manages research services and digital services for the library. This includes digitizing rare paper collections, promoting the availability of digital resources for researchers, and developing services that help enhance research literacy.

“For example, mapping in geography (geographical indications), managing research data, an innovative space in the library that gives students access to 3D printing and scanning and virtual reality.” said Comerford.

Prior to working at UCR, Comerford worked at the University of New Mexico and was responsible for digital initiatives such as the New Mexico Digital Collections, which is used to digitize special collections of historical New Mexican artifacts. Kamerford also spent several years at Microsoft.

According to Comerford, “Much of my career experience has been managing libraries that provide as essential essential services [like] access to books, etc., but also providing access to high technology ”.

These high technologies and digitization are what Comerford hopes to continue to do at the NMGU library. One specific aspect of this digitization includes the Rio Grande Historical Collection.

“The library has a lot of unique material about Southern New Mexico and the frontiers that helps researchers interested in these specific areas of research, and they are actively involved in digitizing the collection,” Kamerford said.

It is important for Comerford that the library provides each student and faculty with needs appropriate to their position. According to him, it is much more than a place to look at books. The library is a place equipped for teaching information and research literacy, storing research information, holding technology seminars and assisting teachers in obtaining government grants.

“The library is a multifaceted resource, so it means different things to people throughout their academic careers as a student, and then it means different things to teachers and so on,” Kamerford said.

Comerford is pleased to begin its work here on the NMDU campus beginning March 15, 2022.

“What excites me about the libraries of the future and the power of academic libraries is that we are a resource available to everyone at the university, no matter what major you are studying – a student or a graduate or a faculty member.” Said Comerford. “I’m excited to develop new services and new resources for the collection that meet everyone’s needs on campus, and I think the library has done a great job.”

Leave a Comment