On March 29, 2010, we welcomed our new director, Gretel Stock-Kupperman.
Q: Congratulations on your new role as library director here at Viterbo University. Please tell us about your past experience in libraries.
A: I’ve been fortunate to have experience in multiple types of libraries. I started out as a corporate researcher finding information on everything from fuel cells to real estate executives. Following that, I was the Assistant Director for Public Services at Benedictine University, where I managed reference, instruction, access services, and service to off-campus programs. This job was a big challenge due to the numerous areas under me, but I enjoyed the diversity and opportunities for service that it provided. Most recently, I was the Director of Member Services for Metropolitan Library System, a regional association of Academic, Public, Special and School libraries in the metro-Chicago area. In this job, I was the “librarian’s librarian,” helping the membership with issues of library management, best practices, personnel issues, and more. I also had the opportunity to write several grants to provide additional services to the membership.
Q: What led you to Viterbo University?
A: Of all the work I’ve done in libraries, I feel that academic librarianship is my calling. I love working with students and faculty to support their learning and scholarship, as well as being part of a community of learners. Viterbo is the perfect size, where you can still see the impact of your work, but enjoy a broad range of programs and points of view. In addition to the size and academic setting, the values base at Viterbo University also drew me here. I’ve never witnessed such a warm community that lives its values. I’ve been looking for that in my working life and am honored to be part of that tradition at Viterbo. On a personal note, my family and I are from Wisconsin, and it’s great to be back in state.
Q: What do you like best about working in libraries?
A: My favorite part of libraries is the constant opportunity for learning and change. You have the perfect balance of a history of resources and amazing technology to take advantage of. I think those two traditions enhance each other and make for a rich experience on the part of the library user. To be a part of that in any type of library is wonderful, and in academia you can experiment even further.
Additionally, libraries are a perfect locus for collaboration. Here is a space, whether physical or virtual, that is set aside for learning, working together, and solving challenges. This collaborative spirit of ‘doing it together’ is at the core of libraries, and does nothing but strengthen the institution.
Q: We’ve been talking about libraries, so why not tell us a little bit about yourself?
A: I’m one of those people who likes to do a little bit of everything. I have been a violinist for over 25 years and love all kinds of music. I like arts and crafting as well, and while I’ve done everything from stone lithography to set building to needlepoint, my favorites are quilting and knitting. My husband Jeffrey is a professor in comparative religion, and we have a very fiery three year old girl. We enjoy the outdoors, biking, hiking, and camping.
Q: What else should we know about Gretel Stock-Kupperman?
A: I’m a firm believer in the power of laughter and the capacity for humans to do great work in collaboration. Those two principles guide a lot of my personality.
If you would like to contact Gretel, please call her at ext. 3272 or e-mail her at email@example.com.