Research librarian hired


Opal Savoy

The windows of the Willey Library building near the Bentley parking lot

Circulation Coordinator Jeff Angione and Interlibrary Loan Supervisor Alice Godin have been the backbone of the NVU Johnson library thus far this semester, working closely with work study students to ensure the library is available to assist any and all students and faculty when able, despite the absence of a reference librarian.

“Summer of 2021, we hired Avery Olearczyk as the reference and instruction librarian,” says James Allen, Director of Libraries for the Vermont State College System. “She worked with Jeff and Alice at the Johnson Library for the past year. She ended up applying at CCV for a reference and instruction librarian position…That left us without a third person, without a reference librarian for NVU.”

Due to the staffing shortage, the library’s hours were temporarily reduced at the start of the semester and were recently extended after more direct hire funds were allocated to work study students.

“Very shortly after, I had contacted Nolan Atkins and Roy Brock about the possibility of getting a temporary evening library supervisor,” continues Allen. “But I was turned down and we were encouraged to go forward with the search. The search is completed and it came to a great fruition.

“The search was started sometime in August,” continues Allen. “One of the issues, to be perfectly frank, was that the HR person at NVU was gone for the entire month of August. People had taken on his roles temporarily to help him out, and so there was a little bit of a stall to get [the job posting] advertised, but honestly these kinds of searches, they take a long time.”

Jean-Paul Orgeron was hired at the end of October. According to Allen, he worked in the SUNY system as the head of reference and instruction. After a brief time in Utah with his wife, they decided to come back to the Northeast. He is starting on Nov. 28 at the Johnson Library.

“These positions are going to be called liaison librarians,” says Allen. “These liaisons are going to be working with faculty and students, creating learning objects in Canvas for students and faculty to use, and they’re going to be doing reference chat instruction. We’re going to need a pretty good number of them, so we decided to make this a permanent position.”

Despite the initial temporary designation of the research librarian position, Orgeron applied for the job, one of several solid candidates according to Tyrone Shaw, chair of the Department of Writing and Literature and a member of the search committee. “It turned out beautifully all the way around,” says Shaw.  “We couldn’t have asked for a better solution to filling this vacancy.  Jean-Paul brings a lot of strengths along with him, aside from deep knowledge of all things connected to the library.  He’s a great fit, and we expect him to work well with students, faculty, and his colleagues.”

Olearczyk was also hired into a temporary position, which Allen believes may have factored into her decision to leave. The new university does not yet have a final staffing organization plan, so it is unsure how many positions will be available and for what.

“So we changed [the job posting],” says Allen. “Part of this is the whole backdrop of the transformation. Right now, Alejandra and I are working with Nolan Atkins, who is the Provost of VTSU, and Debbie Stewart, because she’s the academic dean at CCV. We’re going to be providing library services not only for the future VTSU but for CCV as well. Part of this is negotiating how many reference instruction librarians we need. We think it’s going to be necessary and important next year to have liaisons attached to each of the different locations. I was talking to Alejandra about probably needing this liaison position to be full time and permanent.”

Allen explained that the possibility of extending library hours is there but will be determined once Orgeron is settled into his position.

“The thing to keep in mind,” he says, “is that we’re going to be merged and so everyone’s going to have more colleagues than they have now. And so it’s going to be a lot better.” For Orgeron’s first two weeks, however, he will be in a “training” period during the current library hours.