Information Update - Fall 2012

An Interview with Jean Lenville, New Assistant Dean of the Library

Kevin Norris, Editor of the Information Update, interviewed Jean Lenville, the new assistant dean of the Library. Jean joined The University of Scranton in January, 2012.Jean Lenville
The letter q: Welcome to The University of Scranton! Could you tell us something about your background and the work you do here at the Library?
The letter a: I grew up the eldest of three children in Cinnaminson, N.J., which is in the garden part of the Garden State, and just over the bridge from Philadelphia. I went to Emerson College in Boston, and studied theatre and music. The library bug bit me the summer between junior and senior year, when I got a work study job working at the Athenaeum in Philadelphia, where I still visit old colleagues, and where my first boss is now the director!
Here at the University four departments report to me: Circulation, Interlibrary Loan, Media, and Technical Services.
The letter q: Where did you work before coming to The University of Scranton?
The letter a: After I graduated from Emerson the Athenaeum offered me a "real job," so my library career got a jump start pretty quickly. I worked there for eight years, and then moved to Los Angeles. I worked at the Loyola Marymount Law School Library for three years before returning to Boston, where I worked days at the Boston College Law School Library while attending Simmons College at night. In 1991 I got my first professional job at George Mason University in Northern Virginia, and then after two years moved a little further south to the University of Richmond. After another eight years, I moved back to Boston to take a position in Widener Library at Harvard, and now 10 years later here I am in Scranton! I like to say "be a librarian and see the world"! And for those of you who are counting, I am due to return to Boston in 2021: I go back every 10 years!
The letter q: So, you're head of four departments in our Library. What special projects did your departments work on this summer?
The letter a: Well almost everyone worked on our two big summer projects: the switch to Sierra, the next generation integrated library system for acquisitions, cataloging and circulation; and the collections shifts. Staff in multiple departments have been planning and performing prep work for both projects since I arrived in January. I really love projects, and it is even more exciting when so many of the staff can participate. I think the students will be amazed by the changes in space when they return in the fall - the second floor group study rooms are sure to be popular. And staff will benefit from having one journal alphabet in the basement, and hopefully from the new Sierra staff interface too.
The letter q: Are there any other interesting projects coming up after this?
The letter a: Right now I am working with "Circa," the new inventory program we purchased. We now have handheld devices that work with the library catalog over the wireless network and allow you to scan barcodes in the stacks. Then the system compares what you scanned to what should be on the shelf, and the device tells you if anything is missing, out of place, etc. It is a great way to clean up the database, and I am writing up a workflow procedure that can be used in the future by any library department wanting to move in this direction.  We purchased three devices: one for Media, one for cataloging, and one for Circulation. This should allow us to work on multiple projects at the same time, or to have multiple people all working on the same big project. It is fun trying to figure out the different problems we will run into, and how to resolve everything we might discover. I've already fixed several records which didn't indicate the piece was oversized, even though the piece was marked as such. I've also discovered records for books which are missing from the shelves, and also "found" a few books which had been marked missing. It would probably take us years to inventory the entire collection, but we can certainly start by targeting high use or problem areas. I'm working with the oversize collection right now, and in the fall I'd like to start a project to inventory the Reference Collection. With all the changes being made in Reference this summer it will be great to verify that the catalog agrees with the shelves.
The letter q: What other professional activities are you engaged in?
The letter a: I was recently chosen to be one of three professional staff members to serve on the University Committee on the Status of Women, and was also recently accepted into Leadership Lackawanna, a program sponsored by the Scranton Chamber of Commerce. Both of these new commitments will start up in the fall.
The letter q: What are some of the things you do outside of work?
The letter a: Not surprisingly, I love to read! I also love to attend concerts, movies, plays, and especially musicals. I'm still trying to block out a regular time for yoga classes, which really keep me centered. And I've been enjoying learning more about this region by going to museums, and walking around a lot. But it seems like house hunting has sucked up all of my free time since I've arrived here.  I'm hoping to find the perfect house soon. I'm also hoping that I will soon be placed as a Big Sister.
The letter q: Well, once again, welcome to the University!
The letter a: Thank you! I'm really happy to be here, and am looking forward to making some new friends, learning some new things, and working on even more interesting projects!
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