Notable Librarians

The Heart of the Campus: A History of the Harper College Library

The Early YearsInformation AgeKnown and UsedAcademic SupportNotable Librarians

Fran Dionisio: Fran was a constant presence in the library for 28 years, and played a significant role in setting up the library at Elk Grove and Forest View High Schools. She started out as head of circulation, and then became an audiovisual cataloging librarian. From 1974 to 1994, she was actively involved in acquisitions - a position she was particularly proud of. "I am proud to have been closely involved with building this collection. All faculty, as subject specialists, need to feel ownership of this collection, and use it in their teaching." It was Fran who helped the library's collections expand to become the second largest of all community colleges in the state. She was also a strong advocate for intellectual freedom, and developed many programs, displays, and handouts to commemorate Banned Books Week.

Michele Ukleja: Michele came to Harpe with only 3 years of experience, but it was her work doing retrospective conversion at Western Illinois University that caught the eyes of library staff. Since the library was in the middle of converting their catalog records for the automation project, Michele's expereince was exactly what they were looking for. After the project ended, Michele was responsible for cataloging audiovisual materials, and enjoyed the detail oriented work. "Even the punctuation in the title is important," she explained. "The punctuation affects the way the computer will pick it up, and this makes it searchable and therefore available to the library user." Her behind the scenes efforts ensured that the library was able to function to its fullest potential. In over 21 years as an audio-visual cataloger, she cataloged over 10,000 VHS tapes, and helped convert VHS accession numbers to Library of Congress call numbers to facilitate searching and shelf browsing.

Mary Singelmann: Mary joined the library as its Collection Development Librarian. She strove to ensure the collections were up to date and comprehensive for teaching purposes. She worked closely with the faculty to guide her purchasing decisions in particular subject areas. As she explained, "[o]ne person cannot be familiar with all of the programs and courses offered at Harper and select all of the necessary print and audiovisual resources." Mary was also involved in setting up the library's archival collections by organizing the materials and soliciting other donations. "In the future, people will want to know what we were thinking about and doing here at Harper. These archives are our history. They are important to preserve."

Tom Goetz: Tom was originally hired as a part-time librarian in 1994. By 1996, he was Coordinator of Circulation Services, and eventually become the library's present day Coordinator of Reference Services. Before his tenure at Harper, Tom worked at the Elmhurst College Library and the law library of McCullough, Campbell, and Lane in Chicago.

Jim Edstrom: Jim was hired as the library's Coordinator of Technical Services - a position he's held ever since. He oversees the library staff responsible for ordering, processing, and cataloging materials ordered by the library. Prior to his tenure at Harper, Jim was Senior Cataloger for the Illinois Newspaper Project at the Illinois State Historical Library. He also worked as that institution's Coordinator of Cataloging and Federal Documents.

Linda Glover: Linda Glover was a librarian at Harper College beginning around 1983, first as a part-time librarian, and then as Interlibrary Loan Coordinator. She was a pioneer, who led the library's efforts to automate its card catalog and designed library instruction classes for students. In her opinion, it was important to "help students choose the best answers by evaluating the information, looking for bias or balanced viewpoints from reliable sources." In order to promote information literacy across the campus, Linda worked closely with Harper faculty to show them the materials available in the library, as well as the technologies available to access that information. She retired from Harper in 2008, and sadly passed away in 2010.

Al Dunikoski: Al began his tenure at Harper in 1970 as a graphic design coordinator. In that time, he earned a doctorate in Educational Administration, and took over as dean of the library in 1986. He oversaw the automation of the library catalog, and was heavily involved in NILRC (Northern Illinois Learning Resource Cooperative) - a cooperative of 43 community colleges and universities intended to save its members money through resource sharing. He even served as the organization's president. He retired in 1992.