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Office of the Dean

Office of the Dean

Hello, I’m Dr. John Buschman, Dean of University Libraries.  I extend a special welcome to the first-year class of 2025 as well as our new graduate students.  To those of you who had your Seton Hall careers interrupted by the pandemic, welcome back.  We have worked hard to make up for lost time, and believe me when I say Walsh Library wasn’t the same without you.

During the months the faculty and staff of University Libraries adjusted to online services and then pivoted to support the campus community by providing teaching space during Hyflex, our core belief was strengthened: continuously improve by listening and responding to your requests and needs. Below are some of the ways we are doing just that.

We support our vibrant and varied SHU community by promoting Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Our dedicated DEI team is comprised of faculty and staff, all of whom embody our commitment to create a welcoming and inclusive experience for all who use University Libraries. Multicultural book displays and educational events are ongoing throughout the year. Throughout the semester we offer opportunities for the SHU community to participate in classes and discussions to foster ally education and improve communication and understanding. Some of our initiatives include providing pedagogical Anti-racism content as well as collaborations to support Juneteenth, Latin American Heritage Month, Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. We continuously update our anti-racism resources.

We strive to improve the usability of our resources by ensuring they are ADA compliant. We continue to make great progress in providing electronic resources that are accessible to all, as well as accommodate the space and resource needs of our students. Most recently we partnered with Disability Services to provide a private room on the 4th floor where students who are feeling overwhelmed can enjoy a calming space to refocus. Please contact the office of the Dean for more information.

We listened when you asked for improvements to study spaces.  The 24-hour study room (located next to Dunkin’ Donuts on the 2nd floor) is a haven for those students in need of a quiet, well-lit space to study, day or night. During Library hours, we continue to offer a Silent Study Room, located on the busy 2nd floor but sheltered from the noise, as well as the popular Group Study Rooms. After carefully observing the study carrel usage of students over the years, we added more electrical outlets to accommodate your devices where it is convenient for you. The updating of technology and space is an ongoing project, We are excited about more new developments coming in the near future.

Seton Hall has faced similar financial challenges as those encountered by other institutions during and as a result of the pandemic. Nevertheless, due to the efforts of the faculty and staff of Walsh Library and especially of our Special Collections team, over $64,000 in grant awards have provided funding to preserve and share the many treasures of which Seton Hall is a proud steward. The Archives and Special Collections, which includes Walsh Gallery, are housed on the first floor of Walsh Library. The Special Collections staff catalogue, preserve and make available many of the art works and artefacts for viewing and for scholarship. It is part of University Libraries’ mission to preserve the history of Seton Hall’s past so it will be available to the community in the future. Learn more about our efforts and how to access collections.

University Libraries’ most valuable resource is its team of Librarians and Circulation staff. Liaison Librarians for every subject are available to answer questions on Chat and to meet in person or via Microsoft Teams for individual consultations. Whether you are writing your first research paper or ready to submit your thesis, our Librarians are here to assist you.  The knowledgeable staff at the Circulation desk is always ready to help you with locating and reserving materials (both in our collections and through our Interlibrary Loan program) and with navigating the use of our electronic finding aids such as Stackmap.

If you would like to know more about University Libraries, you can read more about us. 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 to adapting our motto with even more confidence than in years past, “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 LibrarianshipCreative 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.

 

Tiffany Burns-O’Neill has been the Assistant to the Dean of University Libraries since 2016. An administrative professional since 1994, her most recent position prior to Seton Hall was with Pacific Gas and Electric Company in San Francisco.  Tiffany worked as a freelance writer and was a contributor to the Chicken Soup for the Soul series of books. She is a catechist with the Archdiocese of Newark and is currently enrolled in the Immaculate Conception School of Theology where she is pursuing a degree in Catholic Theology and a minor in Archaeology. She is a member of the International Society of Administrative Professionals and Theta Alpha Kappa, the national honor society for religious studies and theology.