February 17, 2018

Robin Kear | Movers & Shakers 2008

Global Thinker

Robin Kear loves both librarianship and travel and puts both loves to good use. During an internship at the UN HABITAT Agency in Nairobi, Kenya, Kear taught library staff to use electronic databases, helped produce a CD-ROM publication on water and sanitation issues for the 2003 World Water Forum, and learned the difficulties of librarianship in countries lacking adequate communication infrastructures.

A reference/instruction librarian at the University of Pittsburgh, Kear focuses her scholarship on international librarianship. As part of an international project on “Library Leadership in a World Community,” Kear worked with South African librarians and Penn State, Abington, librarian Paula Smith to create a forum whereby students from Gatang Comprehensive School in Pretoria could “exchange ideas, thoughts, and information about their lives and communities” with U.S. students at Parkway Northwest High School for Peace and Social Justice in Philadelphia. How better to cross borders and narrow the gap between nations than by engaging its youth.

She facilitates “better collaboration and interaction with librarians in other countries” through the American Library Association’s International Relations Round Table and Council for International Relations Committee and her Emerging Leaders project: a clearinghouse of free online professional development tools for her international colleagues.

Kear has discovered that being a global thinker is professionally rewarding—and lots of fun.


CURRENT POSITION Reference/Instruction Librarian, University of Pittsburgh

DEGREE San José State University, 2002

HONOR American Library Association Emerging Leader, 2008

WEB SITE robinkear.com

INTO THE WILD Visited Uganda’s mountain gorillas