New Dean Wants Library To Be a Model 21st-Century Learning Center

Pat Kreitz, the new dean of library and academic resources, has a vision for the library at Saint Mary's. "I want to help create a 21st-century learning and discovery space," she says.

Kreitz, who took office in July, says it's important to remember that students come to the library with a diverse set of needs. An Integral major may want a space in which to think quietly and deeply, while a business major may need a place that makes it easy to collaborate with partners in India - and everything in between. "That's an exciting challenge," she says.

Her top priority is fundraising for the Saint Mary's Library and Learning Commons. She is also committed to "democratizing access to information worldwide." Kreitz came to Saint Mary's from a position as director of technical information services and outreach manager for the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory at Stanford, which developed an international database in high-energy physics. Previously, she had worked in library and information sciences at UC Berkeley and UC Davis.

A first-generation college graduate, she received an A.B. in history and an M.A. in medieval history from UC Davis and a master's in library science from UC Berkeley. And she is currently completing a doctorate in managerial leadership in the information professions (MLIP) from Simmons College in Boston. Her scholarly work includes publications on leadership, international collaboration and organizational diversity.

She is married and has "two children and three cats." Her husband, Douglas Kreitz, earned an executive MBA from Saint Mary's in 1988. In her spare time, she loves to cook and read "seriously lowbrow books" like murder mysteries.

Kreitz says she wants to design space in the library that encourages creativity and to upgrade the library's technological capacity. Saint Mary's library already partners with faculty to teach information literacy skills through workshops, like the popular "Ask a Librarian" series, that reached more than 2,000 students last year.

Her dream is to collaborate on the next generation of discovery and delivery, in particular what she calls "the holy grail of library delivery" - a one-click search for absolutely everything available on a subject, as simple as Google but reaching across all collections worldwide.

"Our students are born digital at this point," she notes. "The internet has democratized access to information, but the challenge for libraries is to help people be even more productive in finding the right information."