Wardman Library welcomes new Associate Library Director

Katie Jenkins-Moses's picture

Katie Jenkins-Moses, Linda Park, News - By Katie Jenkins-Moses on Sunday, September 26, 2010 - 02:19

As another year dawns, many around campus have noticed new faces; most being the large freshmen class and the additional professors needed for the increase. However, not all of these new faces are here to tackle the new students. Unknown to many around campus, Whittier welcomed Laurel Crump as the new Associate Library Director for Bonnie Bell Wardman Library over the summer.

Crump, previously the Director of Public Services at the University of North Florida, is energized to be here. Although missing aspects of her old job-the people, birds and baby alligator-Crump is glad to be at a smaller college where it is more about the students and less about the administration.
Her new position as Associate Director allows Crump more inter- action with the students. "The size and the scope of the job is wider, which gives more options for me to learn new activities in the library and have less layers of bureaucracy," Crump said. Crump arrived in June when there were only a few stu- dents on campus. "Although it has only been recently when all of the students have arrived I have really been impressed by how friendly and polite they are," Crump said. "I can't
know how things will continue but I assume that during the busier times, like finals, they will be camping out in their tents."
The library staff is excited for what Crump will bring to the table. "It didn't take Laurel long to identify the unique information needs of the Whittier College community and to begin to implement sensible changes that are going to benefit all of the Library's users," Cataloging Librar- ian Mike Garabedian said.

"We have already made excellent progress in a short time, and there are develop- ments on the horizon that are go- ing to make the library even more relevant and efficient."
Although Crump has no plans to institute major change in the library, she does have ideas to make time in the building both more interactive and easier. The library plans to create a new section in the library for newly arrived books so that they are not just whisked away into the stacks.

In addition to the already existing iPads currently in the library, Crump also plans to continue to bring new technology in. There are also hopes to work closer with both Informa- tion Technology Services and the faculty on campus. Crump wants to encourage professors to bring in their classes to become better acquainted with the building and its procedures. This includes not only simple tours but also instruction.
Crump hopes that not only Fresh- men Writing Classes take advantage of this but also upper division class- es. However, she does acknowledge that professors only have a limited time for each class slot.
In addition to the staff, students are also excited by Crump's arrival. "She is trying to do what she can to make a difference," junior Julie Duran, a seasoned student employee, said. "It is great to work with her. She is open to new ideas and sug- gestions from both the staff and the students."

Although Whittier's history is long, Crump is joining a short list of past directors of the Library. Whittier has only had six previous directors since 1905. While some only stayed for a short period, 1905 Alumna Anna Thomlinson stayed for 23 years, Benjamin Whitten stayed 30 and 1958 Alum Philip O'Brien was director for 36 years.
Despite the long history of past directors, Crump is excited for the future. "It's pretty daunting, however, my philosophy is always to respect the past and move on to the future," Crump said.
Although this is only Crump's fourth month at Whittier College the campus is already witnessing beneficial changes. As more time passes Whittier can only wait to see what else Crump has in store for the library.

Picture by Linda Park