February 17, 2018

Evelyn Minick | Movers & Shakers 2003

Making It Easy

Evelyn Minick is good at getting people to do what she wants. One reason is that she makes it easy for them, even pleasurable.

Distressed that only 23 academic librarians went to Washington for the American Library Association’s Legislative Day 2000, as compared with 600 public librarians, Minick called every academic library director in her region and asked them to send representatives. Then she rented a bus and coordinated the meetings with legislators.

When her university introduced an intimidating new administrative system, Minick chaired the team that explained its benefits to frustrated and resistant staff members – in return for a high-speed asynchronous transfer mode line for the library. When her campus signed on for a portal service that provided a pathetic set of “research resources,” she volunteered to chair the committee that implemented the portal, which allowed her some say in the design and content of the site and ensuring that students would be direc
ted to the library’s databases.

Minick provides thorough documentation of improvements in services, collection, and circulation, making it easy for her to justify the funding she gets. Respected for her knowledge of performance measures, she has given presentations on the subject and is frequently asked to evaluate academic libraries for accreditation.

Steven Bell, director of Philadelphia University’s library and an LJ 2002 Mover & Shaker, says, “No academic librarian has worked harder in trying to get the government of Pennsylvania to create an information network that is comparable to OhioLink. To date this effort has not been successful, but this has not stopped Evelyn from trying.”

Minick, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002, has not been noticeably slowed by her battle with the disease. “As much as I wanted to crawl in a corner and hide for eight months, I had to keep my life as normal as possible,” she says. By letting staff in on her prognosis and
treatment, she has, as usual, made it easy for people to do what she wants: demonstrate their competence and, incidentally, return the caring she has given them.


Current Position: University Librarian, St. Joseph’s University, Philadelphia

Degree: MS in Library Science, Case Western Reserve University, 1973

Award: Pennsylvania Library Association Certificate of Merit for service to the profession, 1999