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EU’s Unsung Hereos: Librarians

This place is a place of respite,” Joy Dlugosz, the Librarian for Public Services at Warner Library, says with a small smile. “Students come here for refuge, they come here for peace, they come here to study.” If you’ve walked into EU’s library, Joy’s sentiments ring true – aside from a gentle murmur near the reference desks on the first floor, the library is a place of quiet communion. It is a place where student and resources, whether books, computer databases, or various media, coalesce. Yet without the help of a few key figures, Warner’s state of refuge may not exist as it does today.

James Sauer, Director of the University Libraries, heads a team of four other librarians, four staff members, and a large group of student workers at Warner Memorial Library. The librarians are Jonathan Beasley, Technical Services Librarian; Joy Dlugosz, Librarian for Public Services; Andrea Reed, Media and Digital Services Librarian; and Marvin Smith, General Services Librarian. And the four staff members are Dr. Fred Boehlke, Jeron Ashford, Ellen Mergner, and Ted Merriman.

Right now, the library is going through a major shift, moving about 22,000 to 23,000 volumes from Palmer’s Austen K. deBlois Library to Warner Library. Much of the staff’s day-to-day work is consumed by projects associated with the library merger — a busy task largely unnoticed by students, faculty, and other staff members. James notes the busyness at Warner, “My day is aflutter with emails, collection work, and meeting with my staff about going back and forth to Palmer Seminary as we move the collection and staff to Warner Library.”

Apart from the merger, what do the librarians do for Warner? Jonathan, who has been a librarian at Warner for thirty-one years, oversees the library’s cataloging, the library’s modules, and classroom instruction. Joy oversees the day-to-day operations of opening the library, supervising student workers, classroom instruction, and working with archival/special collections. Andrea handles Warner’s audio-visual collection, database access, online subject guides, and Warner’s social media accounts. Finally, Marvin, who recently moved from Palmer to Warner Library, is working to reallocate and redistrubute the volumes collected from the library merger. And every librarian takes a turn at the reference desk, helping students with research, locating a volume, databases, etc.

Ultimately, the reference desk is where the library’s staff shines, for, as Marvin quips, “Anybody who’s a librarian is very service oriented…Everybody you see [at Warner] will go the extra mile.” Andrea agrees, “When I can help students, whether they make a one-on-one appointment with me or I have a chance encounter with them at the reference desk, those are the best days.” And that’s exactly the librarians’ mission at Warner: to help students recognize the number of resources that a library as small as Eastern’s has access to.

Where would they like to see Warner Library move in the next few years? Jonathan would love to see the library more involved with Eastern’s academic programs, an opportunity that would allow every student to become more information literate. Or even, as Joy hopes, for students to never be afraid to come to the librarians for help. Andrea agrees with Joy, adding with a laugh, “Don’t beat yourself over the head, just come to the library.” Where you will find respite, knowledge, and a community of librarians always willing to help.

For more information regarding the library’s services, visit eastern.edu/library.

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