Hi, I’m Michelle

Michelle M. Nolan, Ph.D.
any/all pronouns

Chemical Sciences Librarian
Assistant University Librarian
Marston Science Library
University of Florida

Professional History

My formal educational is in the field of chemistry: I received my B.S. in Chemistry in 2013 and my Ph.D. in Chemistry in 2018 from the University of Florida. As a doctoral student, I studied tungsten compounds with applications in electronic devices under the supervision of Dr. Lisa McElwee-White. My scientific research involved elements of synthetic chemistry, materials science, and chemical engineering. Doing work in all three of these departments made me uniquely prepared to become a chemical information expert and instructor.

I became a librarian in 2018 at the Marston Science Library at the University of Florida. My professional responsibilities include serving as a liaison to the Departments of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, and Materials Science & Engineering; providing reference assistance in these areas; teaching information literacy; and selecting collection items for my subjects. I also develop outreach to undergraduate students and I am involved in internal policy development, especially related to social justice topics. In 2022, I was recognized by my peers with the George A. Smathers Libraries Excellence Award for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Values & Positionality

I am acutely aware that my academic institution is a land-grab university with an entrenched history of racial segregation and persecution of queer people, all of which still influence existence at this university in insidious ways. I have a large debt to the activists who came before me, which motivates me as an advocate for current students, faculty, and staff. I approach my place in the academy through a critical lens, I make my politics known, and I strive to always bring anti-oppressive practices into my work. I am a proud leader in my faculty union, United Faculty of Florida.

My scholarly perspective is informed by my background. I am a queer and genderqueer person. I was raised in a working class town in the US South and I was a first-generation college student. I am white and have US citizenship due to my birthplace, both of which afford me a large amount of privilege. These identity labels have evolved years of introspection, just as my own understanding of power has matured since I left my small, politically conservative, predominately white hometown.

Here are some of the values that guide me:

  • Libraries are not neutral and do not exist in a vacuum.
  • Academics have a responsibility to disrupt racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, classism, and all other oppressive power dynamics in our institutions.
  • Learning materials must be designed with accessibility in mind from their inception.
  • Protection of digital privacy and fighting surveillance are essential missions of our profession.
  • We have collective power through solidarity and organizing. Change comes from grassroots, and the most important change comes from elevating the most marginalized voices.