STAFF SPOTLIGHT: Meet Megan Donnelly, Student Success & Outreach Librarian at the Gutman Library

The Gutman Library is thrilled to welcome Megan Donnelly to the team of librarians. Megan is our Student Success & Outreach Librarian, a new position at the library.

We sat down with Megan to learn a bit about what drew her to the world of libraries and what she’s excited about in this new role. Keep reading to find out what Gutman resources Megan can’t stop raving about and how she can support you.

What’s your title, and when did you start working at Thomas Jefferson University’s Gutman Library?
My title is Student Success and Outreach Librarian, and I started working here on January 3rd, 2022.

What brings you to Jefferson? 
I was seeking employment in this area to be closer to my family.

At what point did you want to become a librarian, and why?
I knew I wanted to become a librarian during my senior year of undergrad. A librarian came to one of my classes to teach information literacy instruction. I went up to her after class and said, “Do librarians really get to teach?” The following semester, I interned at my school’s library and the rest is history. I wouldn’t be here if not for my mentors, for which I am very grateful.

Can you describe the role of a Student Success and Outreach Librarian? What does that mean to you, and what does a Student Success and Outreach Librarian do?
As the Student Success and Outreach Librarian, I am responsible for supporting student success by teaching information literacy instruction in many different venues and modalities, providing research assistance, developing the library’s collections, and building relationships between the library and the university community with strategic outreach.

I am an advocate for student success and consciously bring this perspective to the conversation whether I am advocating for accessibility, cutting edge pedagogy, low-cost course materials, or antiracism and diversity. I recognize that what students experience outside of the classroom impacts their success inside of the classroom. My goal is to alleviate barriers to success that students experience from my unique positioning as a librarian.

What are some of your goals and/or plans to support the East Falls community?
Coming up first, I plan to establish an information literacy instruction program for the East Falls Campus. I also plan to build relationships with non-academic groups and organizations across campus to develop outreach programming. I want to open up the dialogue between the university community and the library so we can be receptive to students’ needs.

What is something you’d like the East Falls students and faculty in the College Humanities and Sciences to know about you and your role?
I specialize in teaching inclusive information literacy instruction through many modalities, including in-person, Zoom, Canvas, and learning objects such as live worksheets, tutorials, videos, and more. If you’re a faculty member in CHS, please feel free to contact me to learn about how I can support you and your students. If you’re a student looking for help with your research, please do not hesitate to reach out!

What do you think is the most important part of libraries, and why do we need libraries and librarians?
To me, the most important part of libraries is teaching information literacy. Information literacy is a critical skill in today’s society. We use it every time we navigate the world of information; whether we are completing a research assignment, scanning social media, or making sense of what’s going on in the world through the news.

We need libraries and librarians to provide access to and organize the world of information, as well as to assist us in learning how to navigate it.  

What’s something you like about the library or East Falls campus so far? 
I really like the architecture on this campus. The buildings are so unique!

We know that you’re probably just starting to explore all that Gutman has to offer, but have you come across a resource or collection that you’ve found interesting? 
A resource I have found in our collection that I can’t stop raving about is the ProQuest Research Companion (PRC). PRC is made up of online learning modules that cover core information literacy concepts. Learning modules include videos, quizzes, and other elements.

It’s an incredible asset to faculty that may be pressed for time and would still like to cover information literacy. It’s also useful for students that would like to sharpen their research skills independently. You can get to ProQuest Research Companion by navigating our Databases A-Z list.  

Is there anything you’d like to mention that we didn’t ask?
If you are ever trying to get in contact with me via email, please note that there is a 2 at the end of my name. Apparently, there is another person with my name at Jefferson! Anyways – please feel free to reach out. My email is megan.donnelly2@jefferson.edu.