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Reflections on a Library Career: Q & A With Peggy Dominy, Liaison Librarian for Science & Math

It’s not often that I find myself walking past the office of Peggy Dominy, liaison librarian for science and math, but when I do it is usually full – of students, of quilts, of resources and books, and maybe a few turtle trinkets as well. Peggy is a passionate teacher, a talented quilter, a knowledgeable and innovative librarian and a dedicated parent.

In December, Peggy will retire from the Libraries after 18 years of service. I had the chance to sit down and ask her a few questions before her departure. I think I speak for many of our students, staff and faculty when I say that Peggy will be very much missed.

Q: What is your role at the Libraries? When did you join the staff?
I am the liaison librarian for math and science. I joined the libraries in September 1995, at the same time as President Papadakis. It has been a wild ride with plenty of ups and downs.

Q: What were some of the largest changes you witnessed during your time at the Libraries?
I’ve witnessed many changes in the 18 years I have been at Drexel; the acquisition of the medical school and merging of the libraries, the institution of a law school and the recent partnership with the Academy of Natural Sciences. With that, I’ve witnessed a phenomenal growth of student enrollment driving a whirlwind of building. Specific to the Libraries, one of the largest changes I’ve witnessed was the high speed development to databases and electronic journals.

Q: What is your favorite part of your job?
This is a tough question to answer: I love teaching students and faculty about our resources, services and people that will walk with them through their learning and research experiences at Drexel. I also enjoy analyzing our resources to make the best match for our student and faculty needs, answering questions ad working with faculty to explore essentials to a curriculum and research projects.

Q: What made you want to become a librarian?
Oddly, while a teenager the idea of librarianship was very appealing, as I liked books and organizing [although after one look at my house one might question that last bit]. However, in the midst of the 1960’s and the feminist movement, I was dissuaded from this ‘traditional female’ role and encouraged to direct my energies to science, which I did. After gaining degrees in physics and astronomy, I ended up at the University of Texas, the spouse of a graduate student in the Astronomy Department. The department was looking for someone to take care of their tiny departmental library. After one year, I knew I was where I should be. After my son was born, I started library school and the rest is history.

Q: What will you miss most about Drexel?
In no particular order, I’ll miss my colleagues, students, faculty, and maybe the color printer.

Q: What is your favorite resource?
I have had the most fun and intellectual stimulus with the Web of Science, which led to a wonderful collaboration with Dr. Allen Smith, of the chemistry department, on the analysis of the literature of thermal conductivity and calorimetry. We both presented papers on the investigation, he at chemistry conferences and I at a library conference.

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