This week we say goodbye to one of our own. Katherine Gerwig, known around here as Kat, is moving on to bigger and better things. She is leaving us for a position at Walter Library in the Physical Sciences and Engineering Department at the University of Minnesota. Before saying our final goodbyes we thought we’d reminisce a bit. This post is dedicated to Kat.
Kat kicked off her career at Metro State as a student. She found herself a good fit in the library as a student worker. She learned the important things right away (if you are looking for a good restaurant in the neighborhood you should definitely ask her) but she also took on research and cataloging projects. She made her presence known by grabbing a few internships within the library during that time as well.
Eventually she worked her way up to being a Information Commons Specialist. Aside from helping patrons with computers each day, she worked with multiple committees and the public library to create community outreach events. She managed to join and eventually chair several committees and teams including events and social media. She also became one of the student worker wranglers and helped design a training program for those in a position she knew quite well.
A few notes about Kat…
“She motivated, encouraged, and supported me in all my wacky ways. Team Shenanacorn forever!” Nancy Kerr Circulation Technician
“Kat has done so much for the library that it feels as though she fit 5 years of “Kat” work and accomplishments into each year she was at Metro. Given a task of any size, she’d get it done in half the expected time and do it exceptionally well. Under her leadership, the library events grew in number and size, which led to some pretty epic parties. Not just anyone can manage events with live reptiles and piñatas and wand-making, but Kat has a real talent and energy for it. As a state university, the paperwork required alone would land most people into the care of Madam Pomfrey, but Kat knew how to navigate the system and to avoid the dreaded 16A form (which not even a mandrake restorative draught can cure you of).
It has been a privilege to watch Kat grow from student worker to library school grad. To have seen her rapidly gain experience and chops as a public speaker and writer. I’m looking forward to seeing her grow at her next job, and am sure to be impressed with all of her new accomplishments there. ” – Jen DeJonghe Librarian
“Kat personally taught me all about social media from a institutional perspective. I never would have had the confidence to write a blog post before working with her. I will definitely miss being able to bounce ideas off of her from across the mega-cube.” – Mallory Kroschel Information Commons Specialist
“Kat has been a fantastic person to work with. I personally appreciate her willingness to go “above and beyond” the expectations of her position. She has taken her library degree and applied it so well to both her job and to the various activities in the library. I wish her all the best for her new adventure at the U of M. Go Gophers! (And don’t forget to tell Julie D. she cannot steal any more of my library colleagues!)” – Chris Schafer Dean of Library and Information Services
“…I swear every time I hear Kat talk, all I hear is MoMo. You shall be missed dearly…” – Sujit Maskey Student Worker
And from the woman herself,
“Metro State Library is where I came into my professional self. Academia truly is a gated community and can be incredibly intimidating. My colleagues in the library guided and supported me through the graduate school application process and later the professional job hunt process. In the past 5 years I have watched the as the faculty and staff of Metro State Library work tirelessly and passionately to support the growth and learning of so many people like myself, who need guidance as they attend a university, change careers, or work their first job in a professional environment. I am extremely grateful to the Library faculty and staff for taking me in and providing the support, freedom, and challenging learning experiences that have been integral to my personal and professional growth.
It has been a pleasure and a privilege to work here at Metro State. I wish all of my colleagues the best as they continue to make higher education accessible to everyone.” – Katherine Gerwig Former Information Commons Specialist
Kat will be missed but, she reminds us that libraries are the places that create…
Happy trails Kat!
This post was written and edited by Mallory Kroschel with quotes from other library staff.