A Library Legacy
Alan Grosenheider did not set out to be a librarian. As a graduate student at the University of Washington, Alan intended to combine his passion for Buddhist, Tibetan and Sanskrit studies and his undergraduate degree in philosophy to pursue advanced degrees in similar fields. A student job at the UW library opened his eyes to library science, and he earned his first master’s degree in that subject, hoping to become an Asian studies librarian.
His new career began with cataloging 10,000 previously untouched Sanskrit volumes in the basement of the university library and subsequently replacing the retiring South Asian librarian at the institution.
In 2005, Alan and his husband, Steve, moved to Hawaii, where Alan joined the staff of the University of Hawaii, Honolulu as the librarian for the South Asian collection. He moved into library administration at the University while obtaining his second master’s degree in organizational development/psychology.
In 2012, Alan learned about the retirement of UC Santa Barbara’s Deputy University Librarian and applied for the job. He and Steve agreed that Santa Barbara was the right place to raise their two boys and they joined the UCSB community that same year.
Alan thoroughly enjoys his role as a library administrator, adding structure to the institution and helping leadership and fundraising develop in order to have a lasting impact. It’s where he feels he’s been able to make the most difference. Quoting Joseph Campbell, Alan remarks that he’s “following his bliss,” and that “fundraising helps others following their bliss.”
He has thoughtfully set an example for planned gift fundraising by naming both the University of Hawaii Library and the UCSB library as beneficiaries in his estate plan and has shared his plan with his fellow staff members to encourage others to do the same. Taking action to support his passion, Alan notes that “even a small bequest can make a difference for a future student.”
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