xuemao wang
Volume 17,  Volume 17, Issue 1

A Note from the Dean: Reflecting on UC’s History and Staff Impact

Xuemao Wang
Dean and University Librarian Xuemao Wang UC/Joseph Fuqua II

This fall, the University of Cincinnati will kick off its Bicentennial during the annual Homecoming, paving the way for a year’s worth of events and celebrations in 2019. The University of Cincinnati Press will play a key role in the festivities as publisher of a suite of books related to the Bicentennial that explore the history of UC and its role in the city of Cincinnati.

With 200 years of history to meditate on, a hopeful present and the promise of an even brighter future, this is an exciting time at the University of Cincinnati. Like the university, UC Libraries has a long history as we celebrated our 125th anniversary in 2017. Milestones this significant have inspired me to reflect on our accomplishments and to feel a deep appreciation for the contributions of my colleagues past and present who have made UC Libraries into the organization it is today.

In that vein, I would like to take this time to celebrate four of those colleagues who will be retiring from the Libraries in the coming months. Combined, they have over 150 years of service to UC. That kind of experience and institutional knowledge is irreplaceable and their contributions to the Libraries have been numerous. My sincere gratitude to:

sharon downing
Sharon Downing

Sharon Downing, cataloguing assistant for the Albino Gorno Memorial (CCM) Library. Sharon has enjoyed a wide variety of responsibilities, including hiring and training the student assistants, record and binding maintenance for periodicals, and cataloging and supervision of the binding process for music scores. Sharon was recently recognized by UC President Neville Pinto for her 50 years of outstanding service to the university.

cheryl ghosh
Cheryl Ghosh, top middle, participating in New Student Orientation.

Cheryl Ghosh, head librarian for the College of Education, Criminal Justice and Human Services (CECH) Library. Cheryl began her 33-year career with UC Libraries as a library media technical assistant in the Reserves Department before eventually moving to the CECH Library (then the Curriculum Resources Center) in 2001 and becoming its head in 2007. One of her most memorable projects was helping with CECH Library’s move from Blegen Library to its current location in the Teachers/Dyer Complex.

Linda Newman
Linda Newman, middle, talks to colleagues at an information fair.

Linda Newman, head of digital collections and repositories. Prior to leading the establishment of the university’s digital repository, Scholar@UC, Linda served in a variety of roles, beginning her time as an automation and conversion librarian in 1983 and including her work on the University of Cincinnati Digital Press where she helped develop UC Libraries first digital collections.

Leslie Schick, senior associate dean of UC Libraries and director of the Donald C. Harrison Health Sciences Library. Her portfolio extends across campus to include the Science and Engineering Library operations. Since my first day at UC, Leslie has been a key member of my leadership team. As senior associate dean, she has provided inspirational leadership across UC Libraries, leading transformational change and providing oversight for the day-to-day operations within the Libraries.

Leslie Schick, second from left, talks to attendees at the Native Voices Exhibit opening lecture.

When I started, everything was print. We had card catalogs – none of the local, regional or international online library catalogs we do now. When people would come looking for a particular book, if we didn’t have it in our card catalog, meaning we didn’t own it at the Health Sciences Library, as a reference librarian I would pick up the phone and call other libraries. If it was a nursing book, for example, I would call Raymond Walters (former name of UC Blue Ash) to see if they might have it because they had a nursing program. You would have to think about who at the university might have this book and then you would call that library. It was our own version of OhioLINK or Interlibrary Loan. Looking back 35 years ago, you think how the whole world has changed. One thing hasn’t changed, though, is the Libraries commitment to providing the very best research resources. The tools to access those resources have just changed.” – Leslie