Ann Kelsey (left), Librarian for USAHAC in Vietnam
October 21, 2021

UC Riverside class of 1968 alumna Ann Kelsey recently pledged a $489,000 planned gift to the UCR Library to fund an endowment that supports initiatives in technology advancement.

Born on June 20, 1946 in Kokomo, Indiana, Ann Kelsey’s father served in the Navy, having enlisted after Pearl Harbor was bombed in 1941. At age five, her father’s career brought the family to a Southern California facility.

Very early in life, Kelsey knew that she wanted to become a librarian. She spent much of her adolescent years reading and working in libraries; starting at sixteen, she worked for the Riverside city-county library.

Both of Kelsey’s parents encouraged her to attend college because neither of them nor most of her extended family members had gone to university. By her senior year of high school, she knew that UC Riverside was the natural choice.

At UCR, Kelsey double majored in English and Anthropology; from her anthropology classes, she developed an interest in Asian cultures and Southeast Asia.

After graduating from UCR, Kelsey attended library school at UCLA, where she met Army Special Services recruiters. Kelsey served as a librarian during the Vietnam War, traveling to Vietnam to establish and oversee recreational libraries for soldiers.

Kelsey’s career as a librarian placed her at the helm of introducing new technologies within library spaces to better support the changing needs of the communities they serve.

Her $489,000 planned gift to the UCR Library will provide unrestricted support, allowing the library to strengthen and sustain its programs and services in emerging technology, which directly aligns with Kelsey’s own life and career.

University Librarian Steven Mandeville-Gamble said, “The UCR Library is honored by the generosity and confidence shown by Ann Kelsey in her establishment of this bequest. Ms. Kelsey’s career has spanned the advent of library automation to the evolution of digital scholarship and emerging digital literacies. This gift will allow the UCR Library to continue to evolve to meet the increasingly sophisticated technology needs of our faculty and students for many decades to come.”