The University libraries recognized the individuals who most embodied the phrase 'above and beyond.'
Author: Matthew Cook
University seal

On September 30, the first floor of the Carlson Science and Engineering Library at the University of Rochester was livelier than usual. It was Meliora Weekend, but it was also the grand opening of the Mary Ann Mavrinac Studio X. In his remarks to dedicate the space formally, Kevin Garewal, vice provost and Andrew H. and Janet Dayton Neilly Dean of the University of Rochester Libraries, talked about the modern library.

For centuries, libraries were primarily seen as repositories,” Garewal said. “That is no longer the case. Studio X embodies an evolution in which libraries are now critical partners in creating knowledge.”

Today’s libraries provide environments that facilitate thought and cultivate ideas. Yet, their most essential resources are people.

Library staff members ensure patrons get the most out of the spaces, technology, and collections—some do this at an especially noteworthy level. Each year, the libraries recognize staff members whose work exemplifies the spirit of Meliora, “ever better.”

“Our staff are the core of our library,” Garewal says. “I am always amazed by their level of service, and this year, we recognized three individuals who truly embody a patron-first attitude. They are a small but powerful example of how we support Rochester’s community and mission.”

Here are the awardees.

Diana Golemb
Diana Golemb | River Campus Libraries

Golemb may be the 2022 staff award recipient, but she could have easily been the recipient in several previous years.

As the project management and physical spaces assistant, Golemb is the first point of contact for needs, requests, or issues in all River Campus Libraries (RCL) spaces. For example, replacing a light or working with vendors doing extensive cosmetic work in a space. She also manages room reservations and oversees access to rooms via keys and card-swipe systems.

The past year brought major RCL challenges, including a mold outbreak, asbestos abatement, and new flooring and painting—Golemb was critical to the successful completion of each project.

“Diana is an invaluable member of the River Campus Libraries,” Jenny Arbelo, director of Building and Technology Services at the RCL. “Throughout every project, large or small, she is consistently thoughtful, results-oriented, and patient. Every day, she’s doing something to make our spaces better for the staff and University community. And frankly, she’s just a supremely pleasant person to be around.”

Golemb is eager to clarify needs and brainstorm solutions. And by seamlessly navigating the worlds of the RCL and University Facilities, Golemb has helped create positive relationships with the individuals who maintain the libraries’ spaces.

“This came as a very nice surprise to me,” says Golemb, who recently lost her mother to cancer. “I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of kind words from everyone, especially on the heels of such a difficult season in my life. I love my job here and truly enjoy working with all my colleagues in Rush Rhees Library.”

Meredith Gozo
Meredith Gozo | Edward G. Miner Libraries

Gozo is this year’s recipient of Miner Library’s Julia F. Sollenberger Award. The award honors someone who has made significant contributions to establishing or sustaining a collaborative, caring culture at Miner Library and the affiliated medical center libraries.

As curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts for the History of Medicine section, Gozo is both a steward and advocate for the use of the use of Miner’s faculty papers, manuscript collections, and its 50,000 rare volumes published between 1481 and 1960.

Gozo is known for her expertise, impressive work ethic, and friendly demeanor among colleagues and patrons.

“I am thrilled to recognize Meredith,” says Jennifer Raynor, associate dean of Miner Libraries. “She continually strives to exceed the expectations of colleagues and patrons, going out of her way—often on very short notice—to make her space, materials, and expertise available to all at the medical center and the broader Rochester community.

Gozo has helped Miner make significant strides related to diversity, equity, and inclusion by continuing to expand archival collections in a way that better reflects the current needs of the faculty and students. She has also played a crucial leadership role (as co-chair) on the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Life-Long Learning Committee of the Institute of Innovative Education.

Overall, Gozo’s work perpetually enhances curiosity, enriches research, and helps engender invaluable goodwill for the library.

“I am very honored to receive this award,” says Gozo, “partially because of what it means to be associated with the extraordinary legacy of Julia Sollenberger, but also because I am fully aware of the caliber of my counterparts at Miner Library. Our staff work hard and bring their best to the table every day. It’s the kind of environment that encourages excellence, support, and collegiality, and I’m really proud to be a part of our team.”

Sadia Hussain
Sadia Hussain | Sibley Music Library

Hussain has been a tremendous asset to the Eastman School of Music community since the first day she arrived in 2019.

As Sibley Library’s technology analyst and software engineer, Hussain’s work involves identifying needs and opportunities for technology-based information resources, as well as the design, development, and installation of those resources with consideration for scope, requirements, and specifications. Her technical portfolio—supporting acquisitions and serials, cataloging, conservation, public services, and special collections—vastly improves and expands the library’s services.

On any given day, Hussain might work on web design, troubleshoot Outlook calendar issues, analyze web traffic data, and assemble library usage statistics.

“The breadth of tasks Sadia undertakes is truly incredible,” says Jonathan Sauceda, associate dean and head librarian of Sibley Library. “But most impressively, she does it all with tireless dedication and grace. There's no way we could accomplish so many of our goals without her.”

Hussain’s users-above-all mentality informs the way she evaluates, develops, and implements a wide variety of applications for the benefit of Sibley staff and patrons while also supporting initiatives and collaborating with colleagues at the River Campus Libraries and Edward G. Miner Libraries. And her perfectionist tendencies often lead to her going above and beyond what is expected.

“It feels great to receive this award,” Hussain says. “I feel honored and grateful that my work is acknowledged, but I must admit that I certainly could not have finished any of the tasks without the help of my colleagues. I greatly appreciate all the support, and I look forward to working on more interesting projects for Sibley and the other Rochester libraries in the future.” ∎

For more information on the River Campus Libraries, contact Randall Cook, assistant dean of organizational performance. For more on Sibley Library, contact Jonathan Sauceda. And for more on the Miner Library, contact Jennifer Raynor.

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