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Office of the Dean

Office of the Dean

Hello and Welcome to Seton Hall and your library,

I am John Buschman and I extend a special welcome to our newest entering class of 2022 and our newest graduate students here at Seton Hall.  For those of you returning again to the Hall, you will note the extensive work we’ve done in the Library to improve the findability of our materials.  The numbers are truly staggering:  we have inventoried and organized the entire collection to make sure that the record you retrieve matches the book on the shelf; we have fixed, repaired, added or deleted approximately a quarter million records in the process – a project that has taken five years and netted us 2000+ square feet turned over to students.  And for our graduate students, it is notable that our Institutional Repository ( reached a milestone this year:  2 million downloads (  Why is this important to Seton Hall graduate students?  Because your electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs) drive the vast majority of that usage.  Your scholarship gets noticed at Seton Hall.

We will look to make even more improvements this academic year.  We will make progress in distributing a new form of electrical power to students using the building – so that the carrels on the third and fourth floors are more user friendly, and quiet space is more accessible, and we will deploy a find-the-book app. to much more easily locate your materials in the stacks (we also have a pull-the-book service so that the item is waiting for you at the Circulation desk – “Place Hold”).  These initiatives promote “excellence in academics at Seton Hall University [and] the primacy of academics in all endeavors” within your library (from the current University Strategic Plan – “From Strength to Strength”). Specifically, “students’ needs are the library's top priority, faculty find the resources essential for their teaching and research” and we “support excellence in academic and individual work, enable inquiry, foster intellectual and ethical integrity and respect for diverse points of view through user-focused services and robust collections as the intellectual and cultural heart of the University” (from the current Mission, Vision and Values Statement of the University Libraries).  

If you would like to know a little more about me, you can click here. I am looking forward to our work here in the Seton Hall community, and adapting our motto, “despite hazards, the Library will move forward.”

Dr. John Buschman

Dean of University Libraries

Dr. John Buschman, Dean of University Libraries

Libraries Administration:


Sebastian Derry is the Assistant Dean for Public Services. Prior to joining SHU, Sebastian served as the Director of the Elizabeth Seton Library at the College of Mount Saint Vincent in New York, and was the Head of Media Services at Temple University. He earned his MLIS from Dalhousie University (Nova Scotia) and a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Prince Edward Island.


Christopher Duffy is the Associate Dean of the Interprofessional Health Sciences Library at the IHS campus in Nutley, NJ. Prior to joining SHU, he was the Director of Library Services and Continuing Education at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in Somerville, NJ. He holds his MLIS degree from Rutgers University. Chris has served in numerous roles on the board of the Health Sciences Library Association of New Jersey, and was elected Chair (2018-2019) of the New York-New Jersey Chapter of the Medical Library Association. He has published in the Journal of Hospital Librarianship, Creative Nursing, and Journal of Nursing Education and Practice. In 2017 he was awarded “Librarian of the Year” by the Health Sciences Library Association of New Jersey.


Elizabeth Leonard is the Assistant Dean of Information Technologies and Collection Services. She holds a MLIS from Rutgers University, a Masters in Urban Planning from Wagner School of Public Service (NYU), and doctoral work in Clinical Psychology with an APA approved program. Elizabeth's background spans over 20 years working in the fields of information technology and libraries, including stints with NYU, Coach Leatherware, and the Department of Defense. She specializes in project management, systems development, digital librarianship, and library administration. Her book, Virtually Embedded: The Librarian in an Online Environment, (with co-editor Erin McCaffrey) was published by ACRL in 2014. She is the past President of ACRL-NJ, and has published and presented on the subject of online libraries, virtual embedded librarianship, marketing of online library services, and the value of academic libraries.


Sarah Ponichtera is the Assistant Dean of Special Collections and the Gallery.  She holds a PhD in Germanic Languages from Columbia University, and an MA in Comparative Literature from University of Texas at Austin, as well as being an archivist certified by the SAA.  In her previous role she served as Project Manager for the YIVO Vilna Collections Project, a co-operative endeavor between the YIVO Institute in New York and the National Library of Lithuania to digitally reunite YIVO’s pre-war archive.  She has published several Yiddish translations, as well as articles about Yiddish literature, translation, and teaching archival skills. 


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