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From left, Janet Lexow and Young-In Kim are the newest members of the Freel Library staff.

New library staff enjoy helping students


The Freel Library welcomed two new faces this academic year as Janet Lexow, a part-time reference librarian, and Access Services Associate Young-In Kim joined the campus community.

Kim knew immediately that the position was a perfect fit for her. In addition to having a background in academic libraries, “My bachelor’s degrees come from two state colleges, so I’m completely on board with public education, and I knew that the mission at MCLA fell in line with my personal interests,” she said.

“I have a passion for small schools because you can get to know the students,” Lexow said. “They are more than just a number, so they feel comfortable coming up and talking to us. You know who they are. You know a little bit about their interests. You know what their career interests may be, what they’re studying and what research papers they’re writing.

"So, I just find it very appealing – the small, quaint atmosphere that you get at a small liberal arts school,” Lexow said.

Kim will begin her master’s degree in library information this summer at Syracuse University as she moves closer to her goal of becoming a professional librarian. She holds two bachelor’s degrees, one in art history and another in English literature.

Lexow came to the College from Mercyhurst North East in Pennsylvania, where she served as the library director. She holds two master’s degrees – one in higher education and college student personnel, and another in library science.

Lexow enjoys helping students learn more about how to find the materials they need for their research and other studies.

“I love doing information literacy instruction because I feel that students are very tech savvy today, but they don’t necessarily know how to find the quality information that they need to know. So, teaching them how to find authoritative, quality information through data bases, instead of going to Google, is a very big interest of mine,” Lexow said.

She hopes students realize that the library is not just a place to find books and information. It’s also a fun place to go, she said, “where they can grow their minds in more ways than just looking at books and data bases.”

“My goal is that these students – whether or not they’ve used public libraries as children – become lifelong library users as young adults so that, when they leave here, they see the value of what they have at MCLA and that value can continue at a public library or other college or university library,” Lexow said.

Lexow and Kim were behind MCLA’s recent “Stress-Free Zone” during final exams, when the library offered students snacks and some activities proven to alleviate stress.

Kim said, “While we are first and foremost an academic resource, Janet and I would like to expand upon some of the services that the library offers for our students so that we can approach the services we provide more holistically.”

She hopes the students learn that the library is there for them in many different ways – and not just for academic reasons.

“We’re interested in their happiness overall,” Kim said. “We want them to succeed academically and we realize that how they’re doing in terms of their mental and emotional well-being is important as well. So, we hope that they will see the library as an open and cool place to hang out.”