Skip to Main Content

Office of the Dean

Office of the Dean

Hello and Welcome to Seton Hall and your library,

My name is John Buschman and I extend a special welcome to the first-year class of 2023 as well as our new graduate students. At University Libraries, we believe in continuous improvement and each year we enhance access to our collections and services to our users. This past year is no exception:


  • We support Open Access resources through our Institutional Repository (, the resources of which users world-wide have downloaded over 3 million downloads, the content of which are mostly graduate level electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs). Seton Hall University Libraries makes sure your scholarship gets noticed globally.
  • Shaping our physical collections through shifting journals in print to electronic versions, ensuring our holdings support teaching and learning, iterative inventory projects to make sure that the record you retrieve online matches the book on the shelf, and implementing Stackmap software that will show you where the book is on the shelf. We also have a pull-the-book service so you never have to go to the stacks. Click “Place Hold” and our staff will make sure the book is waiting for you at the Circulation desk.
  • Attention has also been given to our web presence and electronic collections: The library website has been reviewed and brought into WCAG 2.0 AA standard; we have purchased more resources in the area of the science, African American history, security studies and genealogy datasets to support your research.
  • We held an instruction workshop series for all teaching library faculty, that incorporated guest speakers from the SHU community and beyond to learn about new conversations in the scholarship and teaching and learning as it applies to library instruction.


Our vision is to “central to the University’s intellectual life where students and faculty needs are the top priority. We lead through the provision of innovative services, programs, and resources within the Seton Hall community and beyond.” (from our current Values Statement). A partial list of the innovations we are working on this 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. While this is going on, we have OOMF power bricks available at circulation that can be used anywhere in the library to provide power.
  • LibKey Nomad: Single click access to library content from publisher websites, PubMed, Wikipedia, Google Scholar and more using this Chrome add-on.   
  • We are rejuvenating the instruction program: we’ve moved to a new, more efficient, instruction scheduling system, updating learning outcomes for the first year library instruction program to meet your needs which includes an online, interactive scavenger hunt that all first year students and many transfer students will complete this September.


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


Dr. John Buschman

Dean of University Libraries

Libraries Administration:


Sebastian Derry is the Assistant Dean for Public Services. Prior to joining SHU, Sebastian served appointments as the Director of the Elizabeth Seton Library at the College of Mount Saint Vincent in New York, Head of Media Services at Temple University Libraries in Philadelphia, and Fine Arts Librarian-Media Resources Coordinator at the University of Montana in Missoula. He earned his MLIS from Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, and a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Prince Edward Island. Sebastian's areas of interest in librarianship include accessibility, leadership, mentoring, and open educational resources.


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.