Jean Dickson, University at Buffalo Librarian Extraordinaire, began her Title F leave in early July as a prelude to her January, 2012 retirement. We will plan an event honoring and celebrating Jean sometime in the fall. Jean will be in her office in Lockwood on occasion, and will spend the next six months working on special projects related to the Polish Collection and her ongoing research in music. Jean has been a force in the Libraries for so long that it is difficult to summarize it all here, but I will try to highlight some of the many outstanding contributions she’s made.
Jean’s degrees and studies show the true nature of her lifelong learning and the wide range of her interests. She holds a B.A. from Cornell and an M.A. in Library Science from the University of Chicago. She has taken coursework in Spanish, Polish, and Russian at Middlebury College, University at Buffalo (UB), and Jaggelonian University (Krakow, Poland). As an undergraduate, Jean pursued an Exchange fellowship in Gottingen, Germany. All of these experiences and studies prepared her well for her future responsibilities in the UB Libraries, where she is the “go to” person for many world languages and literatures.
Jean began her career as a librarian at Northwestern University, where she was a Monograph Cataloger. She arrived at UB in 1986 as a Monograph Cataloger in CTS. In 1988, the Libraries were fortunate to have her join Lockwood Library, where she is the liaison to the Romance Languages and Literatures and Linguistics departments and the Caribbean Cultural Studies Program and the Curator of the Polish Collection. Jean excels in her liaison role, and has developed strong relationships with a variety of faculty and students with whom she has consulted on collections, research and library resources. Jean is also an incredible reference librarian – she works well with everyone who asks for help, and she does not rest until she finds the answers. As Curator of the Polish Collection, Jean has overseen the expansion of the collection, initiated interesting digitization efforts and increased outreach to the community. Jean also works well with students in the classroom, where she teaches a range of students from first-year students to Ph.D. candidates. In recent years, Jean began presenting orientation sessions for international students, a group which greatly values her involvement, accessibility and expertise. Jean is also a prolific author and researcher. She has written articles and book chapters and made presentations at national and international conferences about musicians, online catalogs, authority control, Polish authors and mandolins. Jean has also served on numerous library, university and UUP committees over the years.
Jean’s private life shows almost as many interests as her professional life. She is an accomplished musician who can be found playing in a variety of local venues. Her garden is legendary and she is always quick to share gardening tips as well as her incredibly good homegrown fruits and vegetables with colleagues. She is an avid traveler. Those of us fortunate to work with Jean on a daily basis will miss her sense of humor, the raspberries from her garden, her intellectual vigor, her wide range of interests and knowledge and her political musings. I am confident that Jean’s retirement will be full and very busy, and I wish her many happy times with family and friends. Jean’s granddaughter will be the special recipient of more of Jean’s time, and I know they will enjoy all of it.
Best of luck, Jean, and thanks for all you’ve done for the Libraries. We look forward to celebrating with you in the fall!
Margaret R. Wells
University at Buffalo
[This was re-posted from the UB Libraries Distribution List with the author's permission.]