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Notable News from University Libraries Part 2

Sarah Dennis staff photo

Ohio University Libraries is thrilled to welcome Sarah Dennis as its new electronic resources access librarian, and Sean Redefer as its head of Collections and Content Strategies.

Sarah Dennis earned her masters’ degree from Indiana University, Indianapolis in Library and Information Sciences with a specialization in technical services. While working in the public library field for about 10 years, Dennis held a position at Indiana Institute of Technology in collection development before going to Texas A&M University to work as their electronic resources librarian. She thoroughly enjoys working in libraries and technical service.

“I appreciated public library service and supporting freedom of information in that environment,” Dennis said. “But I felt like technical services worked better with my skills. Especially for detail orientation and organization of knowledge.”

Dennis decided to leave the South and come up North to OHIO because of its location, community aspect and quality of its libraries.

“OU [Ohio University] is smaller, super student-focused, and they put a lot of resources into their Libraries,” Dennis said. “This is a great library system. Everyone I met during my interview process said so many good things not only about the Libraries and University, but also the community. I think that that’s something I was really interested in because I want to be part of a good community. There’s a good library community, and there’s a good Athens community.”

Seth Sisler, head of Acquisitions & Collections Services, wrote in a Libraries’ staff email about the welcoming of Dennis and shared some of her personal skills.

“Sarah has been the electronic resources librarian at Texas A&M since May 2020, where she gained experience in e-resource subscription management, access troubleshooting, and license negotiation,” Sisler said. “Sarah’s interest in e-resource accessibility, active engagement in the field, and interest in collaboration are among the reasons we’re excited to have her join the Libraries.”

Sean Redefer Staff Photo

Sean Redefer is an OHIO alumnus from the class of 2005 and has been with University Libraries for several years. After a national search, Redefer will be in a new position as head of Collections and Content Strategies, as previously he was in the role of metadata librarian with University Libraries.

Redefer was attracted to the position as head of Collections and Content Strategies because of how much the word “data” came up in the description. 

“I really enjoy pulling data about anything… wherever I can get it, cleaning it up, using it to tell a story, or to learn something about something else,” Redefer said. “So, when I saw this job, in addition to the responsibilities of dealing with the physical footprint of all the materials here at the Libraries, the other part of it was organizing and reading data to sort of illustrate what our holdings and collections are. That really appealed [to me].”

One aspect of the job that Redefer finds unique is his ability to help with the increase of representation in the Libraries’ collections. Because his job has to do with gathering and showing data for those collections, he has the opportunity to use his skills to evaluate how library collections are being presented, what’s going well and what can be improved upon.

“In the Libraries, we talk a lot about uncovering underrepresented voices,” Redefer said. “It’s all about representation, and it’s about seeing yourself in the collection and seeing voices that aren't often represented in academia and in a collection.”

Janet Hulm, the assistant dean for Collections & Digitalized Strategies, praised Redefer and gave him her congratulations in a Libraries’ staff email announcement.

“I am pleased to announce that Sean Redefer has accepted the position of head of Collections & Content Strategies,” Hulm wrote. “Sean brings with him a detailed understanding of bibliographic data, experience normalizing and problem-solving data issues, automating processes and familiarity with a large swath of our collections.”

Congratulations to Sarah Dennis and Sean Redefer on their new positions, Ohio University Libraries are very pleased to have them both!

Photos by Ben Siegel/Ohio University