Judy Lee

Librarian, Reference Services, Rivera Library

Judy Lee

Judy Lee

When Judy Lee started her stint as a reference librarian at UCR in 1986, the Rivera Library shared its rooms and equipment with professors and lecturers. Back then, classes were regularly held in the library because new buildings were being built to accommodate the growing population.

“It was hectic,” Lee said. When Rivera Library finally became its own building that was dedicated to library services, there was finally room to breathe, she said.

These days, Lee’s job is still hectic, but it’s a lot  less claustrophobic.

On any given day, Lee might find herself at one of the library’s reference desks, helping students and researchers find the materials they need for projects. Her job also changes constantly because of the implementation  of new technology.

Lee leads webinars that show researchers how to collect data and make it available; she teaches classes and workshops to help students develop better research skills; she researches and writes grant applications; and she purchases materials for the library’s various collections.

A librarian at heart, Lee is devoted to the mission of the library. “The library does many things for people, but above all, it has a responsibility to connect people to knowledge and to get people into using the mechanisms that will connect them to that knowledge,” she said.

In her free time, Lee is also devoted to the preservation of knowledge, culture and history. She enthusiastically volunteers for various local causes, hoping to make Riverside a better place for her children and future generations.

Recently, Lee, who serves as the vice chair of the Save Our Chinatown committee, opposed a proposal that would have allowed a local developer to build over a historic Chinatown site in downtown Riverside.

The committee rallied for the land to become a memorial park. Even though there hasn’t been a definitive agreement about the land, Save Our Chinatown’s actions  blocked the developer from immediately building over the historic site.

In the same vein, when Lee’s children were in grade school, she joined the Riverside Unified School District GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) Advisory Committee to help staff and other parents make decisions regarding curriculum and education.

“My hope is that my being on earth has made a difference,” she said.

Lee describes her activism as “taking information from the past and making it available now and to people in the future.”

“Because,” she added, “someone has to talk about heritage and the future for the sake of posterity.” — Konrad Nagy

Media Contact

Tel: (951) 827-6049
E-mail: konrad.nagy@ucr.edu

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