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Harvard University Library Notes / July 2006 / No. 1332
HCL's Leahy Takes Schlesinger Library Position
Lynda Leahy, associate librarian of Harvard College for research and instruction, has accepted a position at the Radcliffe Institute's Schlesinger Library, where she will once again be directly involved in helping users work with research collections. Leahy began her library career in government documents and science reference at the Boston Public Library, advanced through positions at Brandeis and Northeastern, and, increasingly, focused on managing public services. Her experience with a broad range of user services and her interest in developing outreach to students became key elements in approaching the newly formed position of associate librarian of Harvard College for reference and instruction to which she was appointed in 1999.
Now, after a long career in management and administration, Leahy is returning to the front line of reference work in one of the nation's most prestigious research libraries documenting the history of women. "My tenure at HCL has been full and rewarding, and now I am looking forward to another chapter in my career, one that allows me the opportunity to focus on the element of librarianship that I value most, working directly with users and collections. The Schlesinger has such rich holdings. I am excited about the prospect of learning the collection and assisting scholars from around the world to mine its treasures," said Leahy.
During Leahy's time with HCL, she has overseen changes in reference and research services in response to Harvard's integration of several large online catalogs and ever-expanding sets of online databases, e-journals, and other digital content. She has undertaken initiatives to create online finding aids and to develop web content that facilitates the use of library collections, and she has overseen growth and change in the Library's instructional programs, including the recent developments to integrate elements of library instruction into the College's Expository Writing courses. In addition to her broad, HCL-wide responsibilities for library instruction and reference and research services, Leahy has worked closely with the Social Sciences Program, Harvard- Yenching Library, Hilles and Lamont Libraries, Fine Arts Library, Widener Library's Research Services unit, and HCL Communications. Leahy has also chaired Harvard's University-wide Public Services Committee and served on the University Library Council.
Nancy M. Cline, Roy E. Larsen Librarian of Harvard College, said, "I will miss Lynda's contributions to the planning efforts surrounding the many challenging issues that arise in HCL. She has been steadfast in her commitment to providing high-quality public services for students and faculty. She has built important relationships with faculty and staff across FAS and also with other libraries and programs at the University. As hard as it will be to say farewell, I know that Lynda's expertise and her warm collegial style will be highly valued in the Schlesinger Library."
Leahy will begin at Radcliffe's Schlesinger Library in early August.