Mr. Kates Interview


Nicholas Parafiniuk '22, Editor

Last week, I had the opportunity to interview Mr. Kates, Priory’s new librarian. Mr. Kates has a wealth of knowledge he is ready to share with Priory students and faculty whether helping with Senior Thesis research or just finding a nice book to read. 


  1. What did you do before coming to Priory?

I was a librarian at two independent schools in Los Angeles: one progressive (everyone is on a first name basis) and one Jewish (interdenominational). I worked at MICDS middle and upper school the past two years.


  1. What hobbies do you have (alone or with your family)?

I love to listen to music (especially with my 3-year-old Owen). I love to hike and bike (I chaperoned the Growth Outdoors club bike ride/fishing outing last Sunday). And I love to travel, though I haven’t been traveling much because of the pandemic. Some favorite places are South Africa, Costa Rica, and Europe. 


  1. What book would you recommend to Priory students and why?

Recommending books is challenging because everyone has different tastes and interests. I majored in American Studies, Sociology, and journalism before becoming a librarian, so I tend toward social justice, environmental nonfiction, and fiction. I like Born a Crime by Trevor Noah and Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson because they have young adult versions. Noah’s book reminded me of my time in South Africa. Stevenson’s book is a good primer for the fall play Dead Man Walking. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas also is very thought provoking about violence and activism.


  1. Why did you choose to come to Priory?

I had heard about Priory’s academic prowess from multiple sources. I met the previous librarian Mrs. Kress at a library conference. I could tell that the library’s collection is impressive and prized by the school. I love being a librarian because I’m always learning about the “canon” and other useful skills.


  1. How have you liked Priory thus far?

Priory is a very welcoming community. I have been impressed by the values of faculty and students.


  1. What are your goals for the Priory library?

The Library is a wonderful space, but I think that it could be even better. I hope to create more and enhanced seating spaces and make digital and physical collections more accessible for everyone here. I would like the Library to be a place where students and teachers engage with literature, music, film, games, and each other.


  1. Is there anything else you would like the Priory community to know about you or the library?

Check out the Library’s monthly displays, which are currently Spooky/Horror books for Halloween (complete the What Scares You? survey at scan the QR code), books in honor of Veteran’s Day, and Refugee stories (particularly war refugees).