With a career at UIC spanning almost three decades, Jay Lambrecht has witnessed and contributed to many changes at the library. After 28 years of service at the University, Jay will retire on May 30, 2014.
When Jay began working at UIC in 1986, he served as head of the Catalog Department, a position he held until 2002. Among his many accomplishments in the position, Jay successfully eliminated card catalogs and significantly reduced backlogs of books. Jay remembers that when he started working at UIC, there was a backlog of about 40,000 books waiting to be cataloged. Under his leadership, this number was significantly reduced or eliminated at any given time.
In 1998, Jay gained more responsibility in the library when he took on the role of coordinator of technical services while continuing to serve as Catalog Librarian. As coordinator of technical services, one of Jay’s achievements was working with the supervisors and staff of the Daley Library and Library of the Health Sciences to merge their operations.
As the Associate University Librarian for the past 12 years (the Associate Dean title was added in 2013), Jay has merged the Catalog and Acquisitions departments and the Reference and Collections Development departments; assisted in space and facilities planning activities that culminated in the IDEA Commons; and chaired search committees that recruited leaders to the UIC Library faculty.
Jay recalls the significant structural changes to the library over his career, explaining, “While some [changes] are visible and exciting like the IDEA Commons, some are much more subtle such as cataloging materials and sending them to the shelves more quickly.” When he began working at UIC, there were separate libraries for architecture and art, math and science before they all merged to become part of the Daley Library. The catalog, acquisitions and serial departments were also separate for the Daley Library and the Library of the Health Sciences before the departments merged in 1999. Another notable structural shift over his career is the addition of an escalator to the Daley library.
With no immediate plans for the future, Jay says, “I’m looking forward to determining how to use my time, not just on weekends and holidays. Everyday will be like a weekend.” Jay plans to spend his time reading, listening to music, working around the house and traveling. There are few places Jay hasn’t traveled to (including only three of the 50 states). He’s spent time visiting his son who lived in Japan for seven years and traveled in Europe on vacation. While Jay has explored much of the world, he aims to visit both new and familiar places in the future.
Jay is optimistic about the future of the UIC library, noting, “I’ve been here a long time, but there’s always the next generation to move things forward and I’m looking forward to seeing what they will accomplish.”
Jay’s last day will be May 30. Join colleagues to celebrate his career at UIC and wish him well on his retirement. Current and retired co-workers are invited to this event on Friday, May 23, from 3 – 5 p.m., on the 4th floor of the Daley Library.
To RSVP (acceptances only) or for more information, please contact Mary Ozanich at email@example.com or 312 996 2716.