University of Houston Libraries welcomes Natalia Kapacinskas as the new instruction librarian. She joins UH from Fort Bend County Libraries.
Please describe your role at UH Libraries and talk about some of your professional goals.
As a member of the instruction team, I will be supporting student learning by working to develop and sustain meaningful collaborations with my colleagues in the Libraries and with teaching faculty across the University. This includes teaching class sessions, particularly for key foundational classes in the undergraduate curriculum, as well as creating digital instructional materials covering important research skills like evaluating the production, access, use, and collection of information through a critical lens. There are so many exciting conversations happening on these topics in the world of library instruction, and it’s my goal to learn from and contribute to these conversations as our team continues to tailor our instruction to the UH community.
Please share a bit about your background and interests. How do these inspire and shape your approach as a librarian?
I have a passion for supporting students, especially those early in their university careers, as they research existing information and produce information of their own. This passion comes both from my own transformative experience doing research as an undergraduate and from my more recent role as a library instructor, which gave me another perspective on the undergraduate experience. To better support students in developing their own identities as scholars, I am always asking how I can make my instruction more collaborative, inclusive, and empathetic.
What is your first impression of the University?
I’ve been so impressed by the kindness and welcoming spirit of my colleagues in the Libraries! Given the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, my onboarding experience has been far from typical, but my colleagues have gone above and beyond to make me feel welcome. I’m very excited to be working with colleagues who will apply this same spirit of care to our work in the Libraries.
What is your favorite hobby/cuisine/book/movie/TV show?
Cooking and baking are my biggest hobbies, and I like experimenting with different flavors and new recipes. One day when it’s possible to share food with colleagues again, I look forward to bringing a batch of lemon cream cheese cookies to work! Though it’s not a movie, book, or TV show, I’d like to spotlight the podcast Home Cooking with Samin Nosrat and Hrishikesh Hirway as a favorite piece of media and a huge source of joy in the past year.