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In the Limelight: Our New Director – Knott a Stereotypical Librarian

August 15, 2012 Leave a comment

When you hear that the Professional Center Library has a new Director who is an avid gardener, specializing in roses and orchids, do you imagine a person who looks like this? If so, you are in for a surprise.  The PCL’s new director, officially the Associate Dean for Information Services and Technology, is Professor Christopher Knott.   Aside from the fact that it would not be a flattering look, his hair is too short for a bun and he looks more like someone who would tackle a quarterback than “shush” a patron.  Professor Knott comes to Wake Forest from the University of Maine where he has been since 2006, most recently in the position of Vice Dean and Professor of Law.  Prior to his time in Maine, Professor Knott has worked The Columbia University Law School and the Georgetown University Law Center.   Before his career in academia, Knott practiced law and specialized in corporate transactions and commercial ligation.  Currently his interests are more in the area of legal research and legal information, and he is the co-author of the text Where the Law Is: an Introduction to Advanced Legal Research, soon to appear in its 4th edition.

Professor Knott’s interest in gardening could be said to be an inheritance from his father.   As a boy in Iowa, Knott and his brother returned home from school one day to discover their backyard, which had always doubled as the neighborhood playing field, transformed into a giant rose garden.  Admittedly shocked at the time, Knott’s positive outlook eventually won out and he is now a dedicated gardener himself, with a particular interest in orchids and roses.  Knott is also dedicated to his wife Maggi, with whom he is raising (but hopefully not pruning) an energetic first grade son and an teenage daughter who is an aspiring actor.

Those wishing to stop by to talk roses, research, or to just say “hi,” can find his office behind the Reference Desk, room 2201C.

This is not Knott

This IS Knott

Sail on!

January 5, 2012 Leave a comment

“To reach a port we must sail, sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it.  But we must not drift or lie at anchor.”  This is a quote from Oliver Wendell Holmes.  When I read this recently, it suddenly hit me that this sentiment not only applies to our individual lives, but also to the Professional Center Library.

Here in the PCL, we have recently been ‘soul searching’ as to what we are, and what we need to become for the future.  Often to drift or lie at anchor is much easier and more comfortable.  However, seeing the future as a ‘digital’ world, we have decided to point our ship in that direction.  But to reach our destination, we must first put up our sails and begin our journey.  As such, we are making strides to create for our patrons a library to meet future needs.  Sometimes determining what the future needs are for a digital library can be a bit tumultuous, as we are battered to and fro by the winds of change, opinion and budget.    Change is difficult in any organization, but can often be even more difficult in a staid subject such as law, which is rooted in books, hard copy and papers. But still we sail on toward our goal.  Opinion can vary from person to person, which puts a different spin on every idea, but the biggest battle to fight is usually budget.   We have all been hit by the slow economy, but a library’s budget is always a challenge, even in a stable economy.  But still we sail on toward acquiring more digital resources for our patrons, creating opportunities and spaces for digital research, and teaching our patrons how best to use these new resources.

So, sail on we must, lest we drift and become lost in a future digital world!