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About Kristen Kern

Professor Kern’s service to Portland State University began in 1972 when she was hired as a part-time Arabic cataloging assistant. She held this position for 22 years, before becoming preservation/cataloging librarian and subject specialist for Middle Eastern Studies in 1998.

She has cataloged Arabic, Persian, Hebrew and Ottoman Turkish research materials, she has written grants to enhance the collection; and she works closely with the Middle East Studies and Foreign Languages and Literatures faculty. She also taught English as a Second Language at PSU from 1974 to 1981. Recently, she became the Fine and Performing Arts librarian and continues as subject specialist to Middle Eastern Studies.

As preservation librarian, Professor Kern prepared the disaster prevention and recovery plan for PSU’s Library for use in the event of fire, flood or earthquake. She has been responsible for minimizing the chemical and physical deterioration of the Library’s collections, prolonging their use for scholars. She is the regional expert on disaster planning and disaster management, teaching workshops and graduate library school classes, leading interest groups and consulting with libraries facing recovery issues. She has authored articles on the topic and has co-authored a chapter for the 2009 edition of the Encyclopedia of Library and Information Sciences.

Professor Kern is active in faculty governance, the Oregon Library Association, Middle East Librarians Association, and the American Library Association. She is also engaged in the community. She served on the board of the YMCA and William Temple House, on the board of directors of the Middle East Librarians Association; as a member of the Junior League of Portland, and she currently serves on the Artists Repertory Theatre board of directors.


Present Professor, Portland State University University Library
Present Fine and Performing Arts Librarian, Portland State University University Library

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