Library Leadership Personnel News

We are extremely fortunate to have dedicated and talented leadership at our library and now it is official!

Please join us in congratulating Joan Overfield as University Librarian and Director of Library Services.  The "University Librarian" part of her title is new this past academic year.

Additional exciting changes have occurred, reflecting the excellent work of Reference Department Head Christina McGowan.  Christina  has been appointed Assistant University Librarian for Reference and Circulation. As such, Christina will second Joan’s leadership and oversee library operations in Joan’s absence. Christina will continue to lead and manage all aspects of the Reference Department, and she will also oversee the Circulation Department through the Circulation Supervisor.


Joan Overfield, ALA, ACRL, CLA, CCALD, AJCU and Affinity Library Deans & Directors, holds a BA in English from SUNY New Paltz and an MLS from Queens College, CUNY, in Library and Information Science. She pursued post-graduate work at the Pratt Institute, earned an MA in American Studies here at Fairfield and completed the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) Leadership Institute at Harvard University.

Joan received the Fairfield University Choice Award in 2008, the same year she was inducted as an Honorary member of Alpha Sigma Nu. She has served as a Mentor in the Cura Personalis program and the Ignatian Residential College, an Arrupe volunteer co-leader, Quito, Ecuador and to Tijuana, Mexico. She has served as an external reviewer for St. Joseph’s University Library, for the University of Connecticut’s Librarian promotions, and for the FUA Library in Florence, Italy.

Perhaps her greatest accomplishment since coming to Fairfield University was her work on the expansion and renovation of the library building ten years ago. Throughout the project, Joan worked closely with the architects and the construction and project managers.  It should be noted that she also worked extensively with staff to continue providing a high level of service while working in a building under construction for over 18 months. The College Student Survey (CSS) results in the library facilities category says it all—27% satisfaction in 2000 and over 95% in 2009. The renovated library provides wonderful opportunities for an ever-expanding range of services supporting teaching, learning, and research and is a much appreciated resource for the local community.

Christina S. McGowan, ALA, ACRL, RUSA, Beta Phi Mu, holds an A.B. in History, (Psychology minor) from Mount Holyoke College and an M.S. in Library and Information Science from Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science.

Author of numerous book reviews and dictionary entries, Christina is also quite active in several national associations, including the Dartmouth Medal Committee, RUSA (Reference & User Services’ Assoc.), the Membership Committee, ACRL/Instruction Section, and the Conference Program Planning Committee, ACRL/Instruction Section. She was selected for & attended NELLS (New England Library Leadership Symposium as well as ACRL’s inaugural Institute for Information Literacy Immersion Program.

Please join us in congratulating both Joan and Christina and thanking them for their continued leadership of the DiMenna-Nyselius Library.

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2 replies to “Library Leadership Personnel News”

  1. Sandy Beyerly says:

    Congratulations, Joan & Christina!

    We are sending our best from the Fairfield Prep library. It is such a blessing to have you both on our campus - thank you for everything you do every day to make the University Library the special, knowledgeable, beautiful place it is (in person and online)!

    Sandy Beyerly
    Fairfield Prep Librarian

  2. Joan Finlay says:

    Congratulation Joan and Christina. We are all fortunate to have you both making our library a wonderful place of knowledge and information. Best wishes for continued success.

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