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Molly Keener photo
Molly Keener

Molly Keener, Director of Digital Initiatives & Scholarly Communication

What is a typical day in your work life?

One of the things I enjoy most about my job is that I don’t have “typical” workdays. Depending on what’s happening, I might have project meetings with faculty alongside my DISC colleagues, or I might be consulting with other campus units on publishing support, or I might be answering copyright questions from faculty or students. I always enjoy the days when a particularly thorny copyright question comes in because I’m able to geek out by diving into copyright law, which I realize sounds agonizingly tedious to some but I love it!

What is your favorite book/podcast/movie?

Favorite book? You mean, I have to pick just one?? Let’s see… Life After Life by Kate Atkinson is up there, as is The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway and A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. Oh, and Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott. I don’t listen to podcasts regularly, but I do always enjoy The Lazy Genius Podcast by Kendra Adachi (her books are good too!). Again, picking just one movie is hard. White Christmas and Out of Africa are two classics I love. Pitch Perfect, Crazy Rich Asians, Chocolat, and Under the Tuscan Sun are go-to make me happy movies. And I’m always down for a good space exploration or spy thriller.

How did you start working in libraries?

My sophomore year at UNC I needed a job, so I went to chat with my dad’s college roommate who was the head of circulation at Davis Library. Half an hour later, I had my first library job as a circ student assistant. When I graduated, I knew staying in academe was my future, but I hadn’t decided if it was going to be through a PhD in English or libraries. Thanks to two wonderful faculty mentors who shared the unvarnished truth of faculty life, especially the trials of trying to land a tenure-track position, and from experience working as a bookseller at Barnes & Noble, where I realized I liked connecting people with information, I decided to go into librarianship and here I am 17+ years later.

What is something we can’t know by looking at you?

I’ve traveled to 11 countries across 3 continents and put my feet into 4 oceans/seas. Hoping that my 12th country will come sometime soon!

What is the best piece of advice you have ever gotten?

This may be more an aphorism than advice, but my father-in-law has always said that “you can do anything, but you can’t do everything.” This has stuck with me and has proven useful time and again as I’ve evaluated options and opportunities, be they personal or professional.