The Big 10 Academic Alliance Geoportal resides at the University of Minnesota Libraries but its use of and involvement with the GeoBlacklight platform gives it a national presence through the work of Karen Majewicz, Geospatial Project Manager & Metadata Coordinator.
From her “amazing approach” to providing interlibrary loan services during the pandemic, to her work with her colleagues in the Big Ten Academic Alliance, to presenting at international conferences, Melissa Eighmy Brown has made a mark in her field. For these accomplishments, she recently received the Virginia Boucher Distinguished ILL Librarian Award sponsored by OCLC, a global library cooperative.
University of Minnesota Extension professionals, located in each of Minnesota’s 87 counties, make an impact by translating research into real world applications for residents of the state. One of the pillars they can lean on is Outreach and Instruction Librarian Kristin Mastel.
Children’s literature connects with readers, and Lisa Von Drasek has never lost her love for it. The Curator of the Kerlan and Children's Literature collections remembers fondly from her childhood “Little Plum” by Rumer Godden. “I loved that book so much because the children in that book were bad — they behaved badly, they had bad thoughts,” Von Drasek says. “They were not the Bobbsey Twins.”
In trying times, we all want someone to lean on — someone reliable, professional, and caring. Someone like Mary Blissenbach, Student Supervisor for Archives and Special Collections. “[Mary] is our front line as we open up Archives and Special Collections to researchers. She has done a fantastic job in coordinating a difficult changing world for them.”
“The thing that really motivates me is being able to have an impact on how easily or how comprehensively or ... how well a library user can get to the resources that they need,” says Stacie Traill, Metadata and Discovery Analyst for the University of Minnesota Libraries. She belongs to the team that strives to improve the technical side of the Libraries on behalf of users. What drives her?
She’s portrayed Paul Bunyan, Yoda, and one of the Blues Brothers, to name just a few characters. She’s sung riffs on Broadway show tunes to retiring colleagues. And she’s been quick with a quip. Yet Betsy Friesen, Director of Data Management & Access, has followed a serious career trajectory in the Libraries.
Kris Fowler joined the U of M Libraries in 1997 as the Mathematics Librarian. She founded the Science Quiz Bowl more than 15 years ago as a CSE Week intramural tournament. "It takes lots of work from a whole host of Libraries folks but the event day — with 32 teams of smart students dashing from game to game all over Walter Library — is really fun."
Bernadette Corley Troge started in the photocopy service of Magrath Library on Nov. 24, 1980. Now she prepares to retire from the position of Director of Libraries Facilities & Operations Management, with a staff of nine. Her path upward has been punctuated by major projects and events, always marked by her dedication as a hard worker. “One boss called me tenacious — that no matter what, I was not going to let it go until I got it done.”
Fariha Grieme started in the Libraries in 1982 as a student worker in Technical Services. It was her first job in the United States a year after immigrating to the U.S. from Afghanistan. Her duties were journals check-in, claiming, and project work in the Serials Records unit, before starting full-time as an Office Specialist (Library Assistant 1) in the same unit.
Mary Gibney started as a student working in Central Technical Services, typing multi-part RMA forms for book orders, while taking art classes. She's retiring and will spend time on her art, traveling, riding her bike, and watching baseball.
Judy Novak began her career at the Libraries in 1968 — before Wilson Library was open and before computers. She prides her office on high standards and will miss her co-workers. She plans to relax and enjoy family, as well as travel, hike, ski, and bird watch.
After beginning her career as an editor for a scientific publisher, Janice Jaguszewski had the opportunity to see the corporate librarian do online searching — in the 1980s, before the worldwide web, when every minute was costly. “What an interesting job,” she thought to herself. “You’d constantly be learning.” She ended up pursuing an academic path and has continued learning in a 30-year career with the U of M Libraries. Now Associate University Librarian and Director of the Health Sciences Libraries, she will step down Jan. 4, 2021, to become a full-time consultant and coach.
My start in the Libraries was the result of Wendy Lougee’s concern that the Libraries needed a significant focus on grants. I had applied for a different job (which I didn’t get) but they kept my resume on file and called me in for a meeting. The rest is history.
Carol worked as a student employee at Minitex beginning in 1977. "I loved the work and had a lot of fun with my co-workers. I left after graduating but returned to Minitex after living a few years in Washington, D.C., and working in the St. Paul campus interlibrary loan office."
Many things on campus were then as they are now, but significant aspects have changed, says George Swan, who began at the U in 1985. "In 1990, you never saw anyone walking down the mall with their head glued to their cell phone!"