New Faculty Q&A: Mr. Kelley


Evelyn Kennedy

Mr. Kelley is a new librarian in the Jesuit CLARC. He is excited to be working with high school students for the first time!

Dan Kelley joins the Jesuit community this year as the new Head of Library Services. An academic librarian of 25 years, Mr. Kelley has done previous work at Reed College, Lewis and Clark College, the Oregon College of Art and Craft, and the International School of Portland.

Mr. Kelley is excited to help students think critically about the sources they use, research intelligently, and prepare for college. He will also work closely with teachers, helping them provide additional research resources to their students.

Mr. Kelley is passionate about international education and has lived in Germany and led study abroad programs in Tanzania, Ecuador, and Australia. Most of all, he loves being a librarian.

Coming out of Covid, Mr. Kelley is excited to be a part of Jesuit’s thriving community. He is amazed by the students’ curiosity, brightness, and motivation. Mr. Kelley is looking forward to learning alongside the Jesuit students and facilitating a fun, lively environment in The CLARC.

Last, Mr. Kelley’s favorite piece of advice is “Think before you speak, read before you think,” a quote by Fran Lebowitz. To him this means to slow down and listen before coming to any hasty conclusions.

Full interview transcript (edited for length and content)

How long have you been in your field?

I’ve been [a librarian] for a little over 25 years actually. Most of that I was an academic librarian.

Where did you work prior to Jesuit?

I worked at Reed College and Lewis and Clark College, and then the Oregon College of Art and Craft. And then I worked for the last three years at the International School of Portland, which is a language immersion school for younger kids. This is my first time working with high school students.

What are your main responsibilities at Jesuit?

My main responsibility is to help students do research. Help them think critically about the sources that they’re using, and help them think critically about how they’re using those sources. I’m gonna work with teachers, and find places where research matters in their courses and then plug in there. My other big responsibility is to build the collections, print collections and electronic collections, databases, and make sure that it aligns with the curriculum.

What excites you about your work at Jesuit?

I’m super excited to work with Jesuit students because I know they’re bright and curious, and I know that they’re motivated. One thing that’s really exciting about doing research is you guys get to choose what you’re researching for the most part, and I think feeding that curiosity is really fun. And the nice thing is, I get to learn alongside you guys.

It’s interesting coming in here and feeling such a strong sense of community. I know everybody’s really hungry for that right now. I think it’s a great time to be a new person here at Jesuit too, with all the new teachers and just kind of the restart from COVID.

It’s always nice as a new person when you come in and you have all these new ideas, to have a receptive place where there’s a bunch of people and a bunch of changes happening.

What is something the community should know about you?

They should know that I’m really excited to work with students and teachers. I love being a librarian. I love having people in here. Doing work and playing chess, playing board games. I love that kind of stuff.

I’m very passionate about international education. I’ve led study abroad programs to Tanzania, and Ecuador and Australia and I lived in Germany for a year before I went to college. I spent a month in Morocco. I spent a month in Turkey, learning and traveling. So I’m a big proponent and passionate about international education.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Best piece of advice I ever got was this: It’s a quote by Fran Lebowitz, “Think before you speak, read before you think.” And for me as a librarian it really fits, but also we could take out that word read and say listen before you think and it would still mean just as much to me. Sometimes I’m impulsive, and I’m opinionated. And I have lots of stuff. You know, just thoughts right off the top of my head, but it’s a good reminder to just slow down and listen and read and learn before I come to big strong conclusions.