HFC welcomes Library Circulation Manager Korinna Kasara
When she was 16 and worked as a page for the Kent District Library in Comstock Park, Korinna Kasara decided she wanted to make her career as a librarian.
“It felt like home to me. Libraries are open to everyone, offering everything you could learn about and everything you’re curious about. It's all there,” said Kasara, the new HFC Library Circulation Manager.
College, then AmeriCorps
Born in Kansas City, MO, Kasara, the eldest of three, moved to Grand Rapids when she was 5. After graduating from Rockford High School near Grand Rapids, she enrolled at Elmhurst University in Illinois because she wanted to attend a small liberal arts school.
After earning her bachelor’s degree in English literature from Elmhurst, Kasara earned her master’s degree in library science from Wayne State University. She lives in Ann Arbor with Tendo, her husband of 20 years, and their two children.
Before becoming a librarian, Kasara worked for AmeriCorps for two years, coordinating literacy-based programs for Atlanta schools.
“I knew I wanted to be a librarian, and I knew that required grad school. So I rushed through my undergrad program and finished it in three years. That was a good accomplishment. But I was burned out and wasn’t ready for grad school, so I decided to work for AmeriCorps,” she explained.
Bringing 21 years of experience to HFC
For 11 years, Kasara was the head of circulation for what is now Western Michigan University Cooley Law School Law Library. For five years, she was the reference librarian for the Milan Public Library. Then she was the reference librarian for the Canton Public Library.
In late 2022, Kasara came to HFC. Her office is in the Eshleman Library on the main campus. She is the first person to hold this position in 10 years. She reports to HFC Director of Library and Academic Support Services Dr. Kate Harger.
“Being in a role that’s been vacant for so long has its share of challenges. Knowing where to start is one of them,” said Kasara.
Libraries as welcoming places
She’s up for the challenge. Her duties include:
- Supervising circulation staff, including up to 10 student employees
- Ensuring the library’s circulation operations are running smoothly and everything is organized efficiently
- Meeting the needs of patrons checking out materials
“When people enter the library, the staff at the circulation desk are the first people they see. I want to ensure that our student employees are open, welcoming, and helpful,” said Kasara. “I also want to ensure our student employees will have a good experience working at the library and take with them for the rest of their lives that libraries are a welcoming place.”
The purpose of the library is offering knowledge to people who seek it, and a welcoming environment, says Kasara. If student employees can’t help patrons with a question, they will find someone who can.
“That’s the reason we’re here,” she said.
A huge asset
Kasara spoke about what attracted her to HFC.
“I wanted to return to an academic library. A community college allows me to have the best of both worlds that I had at Cooley and at a public library. At Cooley, I worked with law students. At the two public libraries in Canton and Milan, I encountered all types of people,” she said. “Here at the College, I like working with my colleagues and students – whether they’re student employees or they’re students coming in with a question, whether they’re HFC or Henry Ford Early College students. I enjoy the variety of people we have here; they come from all walks of life and have different belief systems and cultural backgrounds, which is something unique to HFC and the Dearborn community.”
Harger is looking forward to working with Kasara.
“We’re pleased to welcome Kori to HFC,” said Harger. “Kori’s library circulation expertise and exceptional customer service skills are a huge asset to our Eshleman Library team. Under Kori’s leadership, we plan to explore the feasibility of some wonderful new circulation-related initiatives in the coming year, including becoming a fine-free library and implementing a system for electronic course reserves. All of these things will help move the library forward and allow us to better serve students.”