April 01, 2014
Rebecca Wilson, associate professor and associate director of the Blough-Weis Library, has witnessed dramatic changes at the library since she began working there in 1987. From a 1989 renovation to the demise of the “card catalog” and further development of the University Archives, to the game-changing popularity of the Internet, Wilson has watched as the library’s been transformed for a 21st-century world. Some things, however, have stayed the same-namely Wilson’s commitment to students.
“She’s been a remarkable librarian,” says Provost and Dean of the Faculty Linda McMillin. She praises Wilson for her work with Honors Program students on their sophomore essay projects, particularly in “really helping them in their introduction to research.” The sophomore essay is a project for which honors students conduct research and write a paper on a topic of their choice.
This has been one of the most personally satisfying aspects of the job for Wilson. “I felt I learned as much as the students did, thanks to the amazing topics,” she says.
Wilson also found it rewarding to supervise student workers, many of whom work at the library throughout their entire Susquehanna education. She says it allowed her to see firsthand how much students grow during their four years at the university.
In between teaching and mentoring students, Wilson worked to expand the library’s offerings. “If you’ve accessed one of SU’s 100-plus subscription databases for your research, you should thank Becky Wilson. She is the librarian who negotiated with the vendors, got us the best deals and saved us a lot of money, which allowed us to get even more databases,” says Kathleen Dalton, assistant professor and reference librarian.
Another highlight of Wilson’s career has been getting to know international students. Public Services Librarian and Assistant Professor Cindy Whitmoyer says, “I always admired Becky for welcoming all the international students to her home for the holidays and making a meal for them, knowing most would not have the opportunity to leave campus to go home like the other students.”
It’s not surprising that someone who loves Susquehanna’s “sense of community and shared values” would extend such a warm welcome. Throughout her career, she has contributed to making the university environment as positive for others as it has been for her. “This has been a marvelous place to live, work and grow,” Wilson says.