Q&A Valerie Nye, Library Director

SFCC’s new library director, Valerie Nye, has worked in academic libraries for more than 15 years, most recently as library director at the Institute of American Indian Arts. The New Mexico native serves on the executive committee of the national Freedom to Read Foundation board and co-edited True Stories of Censorship Battles in America’s Libraries . She is working on a forthcoming book – a collection of library censorship stories to be published by the American Library Association in 2020. She enjoys New Mexico’s cuisine and co-wrote and edited two books about breakfast: Breakfast Santa Fe Style  and Breakfast New Mexico Style , both available through Santa Fe-based Sunstone Press.

Q: What are you most passionate about?

A: Intellectual freedom in libraries. We need to protect libraries from censorship. Libraries are for all points of view – even if they are controversial. There should be a wide spectrum of books available to all users.

Q: What role does the library play in the SFCC community?

A: We want students to be successful in conducting research or in finding books to read. We also teach students that libraries are there for them for lifelong learning, not just to finish a research paper.

We want students to be comfortable with coming in and talking with a librarian. We want them to know that their privacy is maintained. Students will sometimes seek out information about alcoholism, drugs or domestic abuse. We want them to be comfortable when seeking information. When you visit with a librarian, it becomes a conversation rather than a Google search.

Q: What is your main priority?

A: Our priority is service. I recognize we’re serving diverse needs and we’re here for everyone. We want to assure everyone that they belong in the library. We provide a huge spectrum of service: Some students just need a little guidance and others might need more. We meet them where their skills are and move them to the next level. The library is here to help with coursework or help you start a new business.

Q: What is the library’s greatest resource?

A: The people who work there! The depth and breadth of knowledge of the staff is amazing. We’re here to help students, faculty and staff.

Q: What is your favorite book?

A: To Kill a Mockingbird. I was in middle school and I read it when I was starting to read books on my own. I can’t believe that it’s a book that’s been banned. It’s a book I was able to connect with and have read it again and again. I still really enjoy it.

The SFCC Library is open to the public for research; however, check-out privileges are reserved for students, faculty and staff. The SFCC Library hosts a variety of readings open to the public.

Upcoming readings

Weds., Nov. 7, 6 p.m.

Terry Wilson and her Exploring Creative Writing Class

Mon., Nov. 12, 2:30 p.m.

Emily Stern and her Memoir Class

Thurs., Nov. 29, 5 p.m.

Faculty and Staff Annual Holiday Reading