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Nichols College

Learn. Lead. Succeed

From Textbooks to Tech

Carrie Grimshaw sees Conant Library as more than just a library. She sees it as a center for technology and innovation on campus.

And Grimshaw is going to bring that to Conant in her new role as Digital Access Instructional Services Librarian at Nichols.

“I love libraries. I love everything they stand for, like learning and democracy,” she said.

This passion has been driving her even from a young age, while reading Jane Eyre and visiting libraries in the Dudley area with her mother.

This passion led her to a Master of Arts in Library Sciences from the University of Rhode Island and then to libraries in Charlton, Webster, West Brookfield and Worcester.

“It was always my career path, it was even my first job,” Grimshaw said.

But Grimshaw knows that the use and function of libraries has changed in recent years and she’s embracing this, bringing fresh ideas to the rows of musky books from a generation before.

“I think the whole world has changed. We have to be flexible and adapt,” she said.

Among the ideas Grimshaw has already executed is creating an Instagram account for the library. Grimshaw has used the Instagram account to promote news about the library, such as that you can rent video games from them (yes, video game). Grimshaw even gave out Bison Bucks and offered a chance for an on-campus job on the library’s account.

Grimshaw would also like to create videos for students to highlight the many services, like databases, that are accessible through the Conant Library and its website.

“All of this is to help remote learners and to put more things on the website that are easier to swallow,” she said.

But Grimshaw doesn’t just want to make the virtual space more convenient and easier-to-use – she also wants to make the library’s physical space more useful.

Grimshaw said she wants to “collaborate with different departments to make the library a hub of the community.”

Part of this would mean making the library more flexible with spaces that can be converted quickly into other uses, including a learning common or a meeting space or even a classroom. Grimshaw suggested making this happen with new furniture that would be both more functional and more comfortable.

Grimshaw and the rest of the staff on campus have also modified the library to help address the risk of COVID-19. Plexiglass barriers have been installed at checkout areas, staff will retrieve requested materials for students, and seating inside has been heavily modified to promote social distancing.

No matter what Grimshaw does though, it is all for one reason – the students.

In college Grimshaw worked in the school’s library, so she naturally has a connection to the students that work in the Conant Library. “The students are my favorite part. I love my student workers. They’re amazing,” she said.