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Mary Lou Leocadio Retires after 35 years of service to RWU

One of the University Library’s longest serving staff members, Mary Lou Leocadio, Borrowing Services Coordinator, will be retiring June 2nd after 35 years of service to the University.  We celebrated Mary Lou’s new beginning by giving her a farewell reception on Wednesday, May 10th in the library’s Mary Tefft White Cultural Center.

Mary Lou Leocadio and Betsy Peck Learned, Dean of University Libraries


Mary Lou Leocadio



Mary Lou Leocadio celebrates with her family

Mary Lou Leocadio and Betsy Peck Learned, Dean of University Libraries

Finding The Calm After The Perfect Storm

By Betsy Learned, Dean of University Libraries

Credit: Megan Lessard/University Library/Roger Williams University, Bristol, RI

Credit: Megan Lessard/University Library/Roger Williams University, Bristol, RI


Former Dean of Libraries, Peter Deekle, referred to the 2015-16 academic year, the year he turned over the leadership of the library to me, as a “perfect storm.”  At Peter’s retirement, the library was in the midst of the University’s 10-year NEASC accreditation; had just begun the first book deselection project; lost three member libraries in the HELIN Consortium, leaving the remaining HELIN members with a giant construction loan and almost one third less income; and the task of finding a new library system to reduce our costs.   The library staff came together to right the ship over the past year and deserve my utmost appreciation for their hard work and perseverance.

Achievements of this academic year include John Fobert’s application of his sabbatical research to identify a new library system, World Management Services (WMS) and his leadership on both the HELIN team that selected the system, and the library’s implementation team.  Christine Fagan has fearlessly led the deselection project with help from technical services staff Liz Hanes, Jackie Katz and Phil Williams (and other staff as needed) while at the same time bringing up the new acquisitions system as part of WMS.  The Web and Digital Services team—Barbara Kenney, Heidi Benedict, Chris Truszkowski, and Megan Lessard are nearing completion of the library’s first digital project, Ferrycliffe: From Farm to University, featuring archival materials from the Fulton/Howe collection about the land on which we work, formerly Ferrycliffe Farm.

All of our staff have contributed to these projects and have participated in countless meetings, demos, and difficult discussions, in an effort to provide the highest level of service to our university community.  They have bolstered me in my new position as Dean in more ways than I can describe.  Many thanks to Cindy Jones and Adam Braver for keeping me sane, and to all in the library for keeping us afloat, approaching ever calmer waters.

RWU Library After Dark

By:  Anne Alix, Library Staff

photo: Russell Beauchemin (rbeauchemin@rwu.edu)


The University Library is a hub of activity throughout the day, always open regardless of any campus closings.  Activity starts around 7:30 AM and goes on until 2:00 AM, Sunday through Thursday (6PM on Friday, 8PM on Saturday).  During the daylight hours, when you step into the Library there is a buzz of activity and chatter… lots of people stopping in between classes, printing, meeting up with classmates to compare homework just before a class, ideas being born out of group collaborations on projects.  It is a hub of social activity… but stick around as the sun starts to set and the transformation begins.


So, what really goes on “after hours” in the Library?   One could compare this to the movie “Night at the Museum.”


After the dinner hour a new place begins to evolve as a more determined crowd starts to slowly file in.  Backpacks are full, coffee cups replenished, uniforms of pajama pants and sweatshirts are worn, lots of snacks are on hand, study rooms come alive, books find their way off the shelves and projects are born.  This crowd is serious–this crowd is here for the long haul.


Starting on the first floor, you will see many groups working together with intensity.  It is no longer the social hub seen earlier in the day as students hunker down with white boards and markers mapping out project plans.  As you make your way around the first floor, you will see students filing into seats to use computers, arduously working their way through homework and research.  The printers light up with activity as papers are completed and a look of relief washes over the faces of students as they gather their final projects.  The Mary Tefft White Center fills with students working together on group projects or occasionally with interesting guest speakers and audiences.


Media Tech stands on guard to “save the night” and calm the panic when a late night laptop dies or a deleted paper needs to be retrieved… and then there is the Information Desk where dedicated staff stand by ready to assist with finding a book, an article, research material or to simply offer an encouraging word to break up the intensity of the night.


While traveling slowly up the center stairs the still of the night is noticeable as you make your way to the second floor.  There you will see folks tucked away in cubicles writing, reading, and studying.  Tutorial Support Services is a buzz of activity as peers assist with final reviews and editing of papers or tutoring in Math and Science. This will start to quiet down as they prepare to close their office at 8 PM (3 PM on Fridays).


As you climb the final steps to the third floor, there is a sense of calm as you feel the silence of that floor.  When walking down the aisles between the bookshelves, overhead lights methodically turn on with each step.  There is a stillness among the bookshelves as students peppered around in cubicles and all along the outer walls, focus and concentrate.  When you stop to take notice, you can hear a pin drop.  Everyone around you is intent on their task.  You become unconsciously motivated by the concentration around you and it is easy to get “into the zone”.


As 2 AM nears, there is a slow exiting of students from the library, some often expressing that they wish they had just a little more time to finish their work.  But it is time to close up shop and let everyone get some rest.  It is time for the library to be locked up and to wait once again for the morning crowd to stroll on in.



Did You Know…???

The library has 3 group study rooms located on the third floor.  See the Library Information Desk to book a room, or reserve a room online.  The rooms accommodate 4 people comfortably and are equipped with Smart Board technology.

Did You Know…???


Can’t find a book or journal article in our database for your research?  Submit an Interlibrary Loan (ILL) request online.

Talking In The Library: Manjula Padmanabhan on Tuesday, March 28, 2017 5:00 p.m.

Manjula Padmanabhan is a playwright, journalist, comic strip artist and children’s book author.
She won the 1997 Onassis Award for Theatre, for her play HARVEST. In addition to writing novels and short stories,
Manjula created Suki, an Indian comic character, which was serialized as a strip in the Sunday Observer. She lives in the US .

Please join us:

Tuesday, March 28, 2017
5:00 p.m.
University Library
Mary Tefft White Cultural Center

For more information on Manjula Padmanabhan visit our Libguide

Did You Know…???

The Bristol Phoenix Newspaper Digitization Project has digitized historic issues of the town’s newspaper dating as far back as 1837 and as recent as 2015.  Now you can view and search past copies of the town’s newspaper online in a PDF format.

Announcing the 17th Annual Birss Memorial Program

New Library System is Live!

By  Betsy Learned, Dean of University Libraries

The University Library has completed its migration to a new library system, Worldshare Management Services (WMS). WMS Discovery is our library catalog and discovery service.  The tips below should help you learn to navigate your way through the changes. Since you will now be searching and have access to libraries across the country, as opposed to only the HELIN Consortium libraries, you may need help searching specific titles or topics. If so, please contact the Information Desk at x3375 or your library liaison for assistance.

1.   Please search WMS from the library homepage at http://library.rwu.edu or go directly to the Discovery search screen at https://rwulibrary.on.worldcat.org/.  (The former HELIN catalog link will no longer work.) Advanced searching options are available.

2.   In a single search, you can find items at the RWU Library, the HELIN libraries, and libraries beyond – and request those items be sent to RWU for your use. Be sure to use the facets on the left side of the results screen to focus your search. Because you are searching so many libraries, you will need to limit the search through the facets.

3.   Authentication from off-campus is your RWU single sign on—your username plus your domain (i.e. jsmith123@academics.rwu) and your default password.  This is the same login you use for the RWU Portal.

4.   Please let a library staff member know if something doesn’t seem to be working correctly or if you need help using the new system. Contact Us

Save The Dates for the Spring Semester of Mary Tefft White Cultural Center Lecture Series

Save the Dates for The Mary Tefft White Cultural Center Lecture Series – featuring Tom Shea, Manjula Padmanabhan and Rick Moody.


Download the pdf here Talkinginthelibrary2016_Spring