2022 Antiracist Education Conference flyer

Warner School Librarian to Retire After 36 Years with the University

Kathy McGowanLibraries have undergone several changes over the years—from the use of the traditional card catalogues, journals, typewriters, and fax machines to the evolution of an online computer library center (OCLC), online chats, digital articles, and research databases in libraries.
Librarian Kathy McGowan has helped guide others through the changing nature of information and the library throughout her career at the University of Rochester. She now prepares for one more change: retirement.
After 36 years working in Rush Rhees Library on River Campus, McGowan will retire in January 2017. She has served as the University’s education and women’s studies librarian, supporting and consulting with scholars from the Warner School, Susan B. Anthony Institute, and other departments across the University.
McGowan came to the University in 1981 from her position as a reference librarian at SUNY Geneseo. She first began working at the University as the head of the education library and later transitioned over to the reference department, where she has spent most of her career as the education and women’s studies librarian.
Throughout the years, McGowan has spent countless hours working with students and faculty—both one on one and in groups—in an effort to support the development and implementation of research, a centerpiece of the Warner School’s mission. She has also presented in classes and taught several sessions that have focused on research, peer review journals, and citation managers, to name a few themes. Reflecting back to the earlier years of her career when digital technology was just beginning to make its way into libraries, McGowan recalls spending night hours in the University’s research library assisting students with “after-dark computer searches” to give them the benefit of online database searches at a much discounted price.
In addition to supporting Warner students and colleagues in a research capacity, McGowan co-taught a two-week intensive summer professional development program, called Teacher as Scholar, for area K-12 teachers to learn about research. Alumna Alicia Van Borssum ‘12W (EdD), the current director of English as a new language (ENL) outreach in the Center for Professional Development and Education Reform, participated in the program years ago as an elementary school teacher when it was offered through the Center for Professional Development and Education Reform. Over the years, Van Borssum has also benefitted from McGowan’s library services as both a doctoral student and in her Warner career.
“Kathy is my hero,” said Van Borssum. “No matter how obscure or outlandish the request is, Kathy has always come through for me with resources, key word suggestions, or that one missing piece of data. Since I have started working as an instructor at Warner, I have sent many students to Kathy for research assistance. They appreciate her as much as I do.”
As influential as McGowan has been as a librarian, she credits both the Warner School faculty and students, many of whom she has continued to stay in touch with over the years, to a successful career at the University. “It’s been such a welcoming place, and I am thankful for people including me in so many aspects of Warner,” said McGowan. “I recognize that it takes a lot for someone to ask for help, advice, and assistance. It has been a privilege to work with everyone.”

McGowan does not have any specific plans for her retirement but is looking forward to having more free time to relax and pursue some of her own interests.
“It will be interesting and exciting to have an unstructured life after working for nearly 40 years in this profession,” added McGowan, who takes pride in being at Warner longer than anyone else. “I have been lucky to be part of a School where I work with graduate students, faculty, and staff and learn something new each day.”

# # #  
Media Contact: Theresa Danylak
585.275.0777; 585.278.6273 (cell)

Tags: librarian, research, retirement