Dr. Dina Mein, the new Kettering University Librarian, wants to help students and faculty learn to find the best information they can to achieve success in their classes and careers.
Kettering University’s STEM focus and commitment to community vitality drew her to Flint.
“Being the University librarian gives me the opportunity to shape the kind of collection and service the library offers,” she said. “I love to work in science and technology.”
Mein, who started at Kettering on October 1, previously worked at The Henry Ford Museum as the Archives and Research Manager and at Wayne State University Library as Director of New Media and Information Technology. At The Henry Ford, in addition to managing the library Mein led a team that digitized artifacts, archival materials, and books to the museum’s Digital Collections. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Social Science degree at Michigan State University, her Master of Science in Library Science and her Ph.D. in Instructional Technology from Wayne State University.
Before her interview, Mein drove around the city and saw the work Kettering is doing on the University Avenue Corridor.
“This is a good place for me to be,” she said. “The visit put me over the top.”
With Mein at the helm, the library staff will work with faculty and departments to integrate knowledge-based resources in their instruction. Information fluency allows students, faculty, and staff to find the best information, not one of the first 10,000 items that come up on a Google search.
Co-ops are fast paced, Mein said. Students who are fluent with information are a step ahead of everyone else. She also believes in a high level of service such as extending loan periods for faculty and pushing more information out in digital formats.
“I think that information and knowledge are important tools to improve outcomes when you’re in the workplace,” she said. “That’s one of the things I can bring. Not just information resources, but I can help people improve information literacy, and digital literacy.”
The future Learning Commons is a facility Mein is looking forward to working in. Kettering’s Learning Commons will create new technology-infused spaces on campus that allow for cross-disciplinary collaboration, mirroring what students will encounter in industry settings. The facility, which is in the planning stage, will serve as a multi-use academic and student life building with open spaces, food service, and a new, modern library. It will have open spaces, natural light, and have space for academic classrooms, public art, and collaborative spaces.
“I’m very excited to assist students and faculty as they work there and create new knowledge. Students are doing all these amazing projects. It also offers the opportunity to try new teaching techniques as faculty want to try new things,” Mein said.
While Kettering has a heavy STEM and Business educational focus, there’s been a recent effort to add art to the science, technology, engineering, and math studies to round out the education and provide relaxation and stress relief. The Kettering University library will support that through offering books, music, and more.
“We can rest our science brain by reading great literature. We can also rest it by playing music and writing poetry,” Mein said. “If you just do one or the other, it’s not as productive as when you combine humanities with the science curriculum.”