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Transylvania’s new librarian to revitalize reference, instruction programs

Lisa NicholsLEXINGTON, Ky.–It goes without saying that Lisa Nichols, Transylvania University’s new public services librarian, loves books. But, contrary to what most might think, that’s not the reason she entered her field.

Instead, Nichols became a librarian to help others.

“People always think you become a librarian because you love books, and while I do love them, it’s helping people find what they need to be successful that is the real heart of my job,” she said. “I just never know from day to day what questions I’ll be asked, and that’s exciting.”

Nichols’ long-held desire to help others also led her from Morehead State University to the smaller, more intimate setting at Transylvania’s 1,100-student campus.

“Because the campus is so small, I’m really looking forward to getting to know people – students, faculty and staff – on a more personal level,” she said. “Building those personal connections is very appealing to me.”

As public services librarian, Nichols will be in charge of the reference and instruction programs, said Susan Brown, director of the school’s J. Douglas Gay Jr/Frances Carrick Thomas Library.

“We are really excited to have her and look forward to all the exciting new ideas she will bring and new ways that she will be able to help our students,” Brown said.

“I’m hoping to bring new vision to public services, especially in terms of instructional support,” Nichols added. “I’ll spend the semester getting to know what we’re doing and then look to see if there are things I can improve upon. It’s an ongoing process.”

In addition to her stint at Morehead State University, the self-described “reformed public school teacher” was also reference assistant librarian in the Education and Social Science Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Prior to that, the Illinois native was an English as a second language teacher for the Korea Maritime University Summer in Illinois Program at the Intensive English Institute, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Transylvania’s J. Douglas Gay Jr/Frances Carrick Thomas Library, located in the heart of the downtown Lexington campus, has a core book collection of more than 130,000 volumes and subscriptions to 500 periodicals. Numerous electronic resources offer access to both current and archival material.

1/14/2010

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