Who’s that CFL Staff Member?
Many years ago, before COVID, before I started here, and before the Chester Fritz Library had completed our beautiful renovation, this blog had a semi-regular post called “Getting to Know You”. The intention behind these posts was to introduce the staff that worked at CFL to members of the UND community. Unfortunately, these posts ended when there were several staff changes and COVID happened. It has been decided that it is time to bring these posts back! Once a month, a CFL staff member will be answering questions around topics such as education, previous jobs, favorite books, and more.
It’s Kristen Borysewicz!
This month, we are talking with Kristen Borysewicz, the Research Skills Instruction Coordinator and one of our impressive reference librarians.
Where did you go to school?
All of my schooling occurred on the East Coast. I grew up in New Jersey, attended a large high school, then went to a small private college which was a fantastic environment for me. A few years after getting married and moving to Pittsburgh, PA, I attended library school for a master’s degree (funny note, when I moved from NJ to Pittsburgh I thought I’d moved to the midwest – I had no idea!).
What department or office do you work in at the Chester Fritz Library? Or what does a typical day for you look like at work?
I work in the Reference & Research Services Department which means I have a very “forward facing” job. My subject areas are in the Fine Arts as well as many of the Humanities, but I’m able to field basic questions in a wide variety of subjects. All day I am interacting with students, faculty and staff about their research needs as well as collaborating with my wonderful colleagues at the library on a wide range of projects. Sometimes I attend meetings, other times I evaluate resources for purchase and other times I teach people how to connect with our resources. My days are hectic but fulfilling – I love my job.
What is your favorite spot in (or around) the Chester Fritz Library?
When I give tours of the library, I always say that if I were a student, my favorite spot would be the very sunny 4th floor study area. There are lots of windows to look out onto campus, even some plants, and many different seating areas.
With the recent library remodel, I really enjoy being a part of the Knowledge Commons on the 2nd floor during my reference shifts a couple times a week. I’m around a lot of activity, and get to know our wonderful student employees PLUS our consult room has a beautiful window looking out onto University Ave with its beautiful plantings.
What is the most interesting job you have ever had?
Well, being a parent is the most interesting pursuit I have ever had. As far as a profession, I have worked in a wide variety of libraries – NASA in the D.C. area, Westinghouse Corporation in Pittsburgh, the U.S. Air Force in Grand Forks with regular trips to San Antonio Texas as well as Northland Community College in EGF, the Grand Forks Public and here at UND since 2006. For awhile I was a newspaper reporter which was a great experience because I enjoyed learning about different people, policies and communities, but it was too stressful to constantly be writing under a deadline.
What book do you think everyone should read and why?
A book that I frequently share with people is Peace Is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh. This simple book has had a tremendous impact of my life in learning how to move through the world cultivating a sense of mindfulness and gratitude. I am involved in the local campus Lotus Meditation Center so I have many opportunities to share in these teachings. I truly believe the world is made a better place by those who wish compassion to all living beings. While mindfulness practice is a challenge with the pressures of everyday life, a simple reminder to be aware of your footsteps as you walk can be enough to release tension and worry.
If you could compare yourself to any animal, what would it be and why?
I don’t know if I would compare myself to them, but I have always appreciated birds and someday I would love to learn how to identify them by sight and sound. Sometimes when I’m stressed or busy, I think about the duck pond on my college campus where they would be gliding across the water, yet I knew furiously paddling underneath. I also would chuckle at the cacophony and think to myself, what are you complaining about, you have it easy! Looking to the sky and seeing the migrating geese is an important passage of Spring and Fall – their fortitude and endurance never ceases to amaze me! Lastly, when I have the good fortune to visit tropical areas, the variety and beauty of those birds takes my breath away.