In June 2016 Dr. Richard Stern retired from SHU Libraries after more than 30 years of exemplary service. He is greatly missed, not only in Walsh Library but across the SHU community. I could write copiously about Richard’s professional and academic accomplishments, but I prefer to write of him as I remember him best – as a valued friend, colleague and mentor. When I arrived at SHU in 2008 as a newly minted science librarian, Richard took me under his wing, introducing me to a variety of people, places and protocols. His lively interest in almost any topic and his deep concern for others led to many engaging conversations, often during our frequent “walks and talks” around campus. Saying “good morning” to Richard, whose office was next to mine, was an integral part of my work day.
As a deeply moral person whose judgements were well-considered and scrupulously fair, Richard was the ethical compass of the library. The course he held us to prioritized the interest of students, but he was quick to detect and deplore bias against or exploitation of any group or individual. Richard’s wisdom and kindness benefitted many people, including some who probably never met him in person.
I picture Richard in his well-deserved retirement with his wife Rita, happily visiting family, talking long walks, and deeply engaged with interests old and new. I wish him the very best and hope that we will meet often at our mutual gym or around the neighborhood. But I miss my friend and colleague every day – the library is a lesser place without him.
Message from the Dean
As you read this Inaugural Issue of the Seton Hall University Libraries’ Newsletter I hope you’ll be struck by the sheer breadth and vitality of what is going on here: from award-winning research by library faculty, new tools and resources to help faculty and students stay aware of the latest in the journal literature in their field to the thoughtful innovations of Walsh Art Gallery. Two profiles bookend each other and offer a glimpse into this environment: a tribute to Dr. Richard Stern who finished a distinguished career at Seton Hall University Libraries over 33 years May, serving as Acting Dean for 18 months during that time and a profile of Mawuena Sedodo, a Communication and Media Studies who served the Libraries (well!) as a student Lab Technician in our Information Commons for four academic years and is now working in New York as a copywriter. Mawuena made a wonderful impression on us as a student and co-worker. Finally, though not featured in these pages, the Libraries have completed – and are currently implementing – a technology strategic plan (http://library.shu.edu/library/DigCollTechPln) that is essential to our ongoing work in digitization and preservation of born-digital university artifacts, among other developments. Truly from the accomplishments of our people to our services to our technology, the Libraries are helping to lead Seton Hall Rising (http://www7.shu.edu/seton-hall-rising.cfm).
ACRL/NJLA Research Award Winners Beth Bloom and Marta Deyrup
Beth Bloom, coordinator of library instruction, and Marta Deyrup, head of technical services at Seton Hall University Libraries, have won the New Jersey Library Association, Association of College and Research Libraries 2016 Research Award for their article, “The SHU Research Logs: Student Online Search Behaviors Trans-scripted” in The Journal of Academic Librarianship 41 (2015) 593-601.
Bloom and Deyrup have been collaborating on Information Literacy for more than a decade, having published articles, book chapters, and creating tutorials on this very critical issue. In 2011 they received a $15,000 Google grant to study how students perform on-line academic research. Their research strategy was unique in that they used a tracking product that allowed students to record and comment on their research in venues of their own choosing, without supervision. The research provided results that not only supported recent theory about students’ on-line behaviors, but that also provide stimulus for a reevaluation of how teachers approach and assign research projects. This award-winning article is a product of that study.
Second Round of Funding for Chinese Corner Walsh Library received the 2nd round funding for Chinese Corner, among the 10 libraries around the World from China Hanban, a National Office of Teaching Chinese Language, in July 2016. It means that the library can continue to recruit graduate students of Asian Studies on the Chinese language teaching track as project assistants to reach out to Chinese language classes on campus in future semesters. Library Chinese Corner was established in 2014. It received 300 donated books, CDs and DVDs from China Hanban plus funding to promote the collection. The library hired four graduate students during Spring and Fall semesters between 2014 and 2016. They visited Chinese language classes and reached out to American students learning Chinese at basic, intermediate, and advanced levels. They also provided one-on-one tutoring at the convenience of the students each week. For more information, please visit http://pirate.shu.edu/~baoxuemi/Chinese_Corner/.
Student Spotlight: Mawuena Sedodo
Like many departments on campus, Seton Hall University Libraries relies on student workers to help keep our operations running smoothly. We’d like you to meet one of these exemplary students: Mawuena Sedodo.
Mawuena graduated this past Spring with a degree in Communication. Starting as a freshman and for the past 4 years Mawuena has worked as a Lab Consultant in the library’s busy Information Commons. She’s the smiling, friendly face students turn to when they need help troubleshooting their countless computer and technology-related glitches.
Where are you from?
I’m from Country Club Hills, Illinois. It’s the south suburbs of Chicago.
Why did you Choose Seton Hall University?
My mom is one of 14, and a lot of her siblings live in New Jersey. We would come visit a lot so New Jersey wasn’t uncharted territory for me. When I was applying to colleges, people said “Look into Seton Hall”. I also have a cousin who is at Seton Hall Law School.
I looked at my program at Stillman School of Business, it was ranked really high. I had a good financial aid package, I came and visited twice and really loved it. I love how the classrooms are small, the campus is close-knit—those were the factors that drew me to Seton Hall.
Have you always been interested in computers?
Very much so. My uncle is very computer savvy. He would come over and show me how to put together computers. And also my dad, he’s like the kind of person I want to be like when I get older—when new technology comes out, he tries to master it, so that he’s not left behind.
I remember getting Windows 98 on our desktop computer and working within that. My school had a computer class where we learned how to make games. I’ve always been pretty tech savvy with the help of my uncle, learning how to troubleshoot things and how to fix things—mostly by trial and error.
What’s your experience been like working in the library?
I love the library—I could lock myself in here and get so much work done!
The library helps you focus; and if you’re around people studying, that’s going to make you want to study. It’s also a great place to meet with people and get work done. If you have a group project it’s just so convenient to meet in the library.
It’s cool having Lab Consultants here in the library, and is so convenient for students. If someone does have a laptop malfunction at 10pm they can just walk over to my station, instead of having to go to another building.
Mawuena is moving on to a full-time position right after graduation at Kuehne + Nagel International AG, a global transportation and logistics company.
Notable Acquisitions: Browzine, Pivot, Books & e-Books, Journals, Databases Browzineis a reader-friendly interface used by faculty to browse, read and follow thousands of the library's scholarly journals. Pivotis a database of over $44 billion in funding opportunities that is easily searchable by all Seton Hall faculty, students and administrators. The comprehensive database, which includes federal, on-federal, foundation, and private opportunities from around the globe, is open to researchers in any discipline.
Archives Currently in the Msgr. William Noé Field Archives and Special Collections Center, we are featuring an exhibit through September 20th on Trina Padilla de Sanz, Puerto Rican poet and activist, following which we will be installing an exhibit on The Order Sons of Italy in America, a recent acquisition. The Sons of Italy exhibit will coincide with the celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the Valente Library and Italian collections in the Library and Archives. We have received materials from Msgr. Radano, a priest of the Archdiocese and Seminary Faculty, regarding the Ecumenical Movement after Vatican II. This collection could support a project in which we digitize Catholic social justice materials in the Archdiocese of Newark collections. Other digitization projects include the Archdiocesan paper The Catholic Advocate (with help from the Catholic Research Resources Alliance), Seton Hall University’s yearbooks, http://scholarship.shu.edu/yearbooks/, and the University’s student newspaper The Setonian.
For the gallery's first fall exhibition, we welcome Nyugen Smith with his show entitled “Of Matter and Memory.” The exhibition conflates the artist’s original artwork with objects from the University’s Department of Archives and Special Collections to recontextualize interpretations of these artifacts. Drawing heavily on his West Indian heritage, Nyugen is committed to raising the consciousness of past and present political struggles through his practice which consists of sculpture, installation, video and performance. He is influenced by African cultural traditions and the residue of European colonial rule in the West Indies. Responding to the legacy of this particular environment, Nyugen’s work considers imperialist practices of oppression, violence and ideological misnomers. While exposing audiences to concealed narratives that distort reality, he destabilizes constructed frameworks from which this conversation is often held.
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