Building a Future for Lovejoy Library

Libraries continually evolve to meet ever-changing needs, and Eric Ruckh and Marlee Graser do their best to keep Southern Illinois College Edwardsville’s Lovejoy Library informed for the long haul.

Ruckh is the acting dean of Library and Info Providers (LIS) at SIUE, while Graser is the acting associate dean.

Ruckh, who took office on Jan. 3, will serve as senior head of LIS until a permanent dean is elected following a nationwide search expected to begin in the 2022 school year- 23.


“I’m not a librarian and I don’t have a degree in library data science,” Ruckh said. “I am a historian of the mind and a person who does research on the history of concepts and I have been at SIUE for 23 years.

“After I went to the library, all kinds of occasions arose that made me see that further basic restructuring was needed regarding the operation and finances of the library.”

Ruckh first served at SIUE in the history division from 1999 to 2013 and has since served as director of the College Honors program. For the past 20 years, he has spearheaded reform of the College’s Basic Education Curriculum (2005-2008) and co-chaired the Continuity Job Pressure Tutorial (2020-2021) guiding the College’s response to the COVID-19. Pandemic.

He believes these assignments helped prepare him for his current position at the Lovejoy Library.

“Each of these experiences, starting with basic education reform, revamping the honors program, and serving the president and president’s pivot during the pandemic, have helped me consider operations and abilities,” Ruckh said. Declared.

“It also gave me a better understanding of managing large numbers of individuals. I am grateful for the management opportunities I have at SIUE, and after more than 23 years of doing so, I am not isolated solely within the History Division. I worked in all of its departments and having all of these connections was also crucial to understanding the library.

Meanwhile, Graser has served as interim associate dean since mid-June. He has worked in the library for 10 years, the last 5 of which as a school librarian.

“I’ve been comfortable helping out and it’s been a fascinating and helpful partnership between Eric and me,” said Graser of Bethalto. “I have a background in data science and library science, and I’m enthusiastic about what I do, but his perspective has been very helpful in running and growing the library and better understanding the needs of the campus and neighborhood.”

Like Ruckh, Graser believes his previous expertise at SIUE has made him well suited to his new job.

“I started my career here in a helping role in the administration office,” Graser said. “I did it because I wanted to work in a library. I was fascinated by organizational management in libraries and dealing with administrative work was fascinating and a very good school for me.

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