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Newsletter: Dean's Introduction, May 2021

A Message from the Dean

by Jennifer Nutefall, Dean of Libraries
Photo of Jennifer Nutefall, Dean of Libraries
Jennifer Nutefall, Dean of Libraries

Our spring newsletter comes at a time of hope. The increase in vaccine availability and vaccination rates in the state and country have me thinking of what our new normal will be like. As we move towards a new normal, our Archives & Special Collections has been collecting stories, mementos, and images from our community on the impact and personal experiences of the coronavirus pandemic. While we understand this is a time many of us will want to forget, we also realize the interest from future generations in learning about our experiences and the personal impact of the pandemic. We invite you to contribute to this collection and share how the pandemic has impacted you.

Another area that is giving me hope is the Libraries-focused work on making a UNC education more affordable – specifically through the use of Open Educational Resources (OER). These educational materials are openly licensed and free to use and can include textbooks, videos, and other course related tools. The Libraries have been a leader both on-campus and within Colorado on partnering with faculty to develop and use OER in the curriculum, and are saving students money and helping them graduate. UNC students have already saved $210,000 on course materials, a figure that increases as the courses using OER are taught in subsequent semesters.

Our spring newsletter also features interviews with internationally recognized science fiction writer, and Greeley resident, Connie Willis, on why she donated her collection to UNC and supports the Libraries, and Jakob Coykendall, a senior in the McNair program at UNC, on their research project, having a Libraries mentor, and their future plans.

I hope you enjoy this edition of the newsletter. Do you have an idea for a future story or topic you're interested in learning more about? Please email me at