February 17, 2018

Linda Golian-Lui & George Oberle | Movers & Shakers 2005

Master Mentors


Many movers and shakers inspire admiration and even awe, but those who inspire love are the mentors who have changed lives. That’s why many grateful librarians nominated Linda Golian-Lui and George Oberle.

Both of them were accidental librarians, work-study students whose supervisors encouraged them to become paraprofessionals, and then librarians. Golian-Lui says, “I realize in hindsight that this was the first time people were mentoring me.”

While the two of them have never met, they share some remarkable similarities. Both of them believe in paying that debt forward by mentoring recruits to the profession. Golian-Lui calls it a “cycle of love.” Oberle says, “I was encouraged by a small number of librarians [at George Mason University] to consider becoming a librarian. These people took lots of time to work with me, and I believe I owe a debt to these folks.” The testament to their effectiveness: in total, over 16 librarians nominated Golian-Lui and Oberle.

Suzy Westenkirchner, now library director at Edison College, Naples, FL, says Golian “tapped into talents and leadership traits” she hadn’t known she possessed. Kitti Canepi, head of information resource management at Southern Illinois University, says, “Linda encouraged staff at Gulf Coast University to pursue the MLS degree (three people during the time I was there).” According to Michael Galbraith, professor of leadership studies at Marshall University, WV, “The result of her efforts has been a plethora of individuals in the profession who are now mentors themselves.”

Sharon Hybki Kerr, electronic resources manager at George Mason University (GMU), says that as supervisor of student assistants, Oberle gave them a “broad understanding of their role in the organization, a greater knowledge of libraries, and a supervisor who truly cared about them as individuals.” Julie Hyde, a GMU reference library assistant who just finished her first year of library school, says, “[Oberle] gave me opportunities to observe and participate in library instruction and collection development.” Former student assistant Steven Moreland, now an MLS student at the University of Maryland, “jumped at the chance to write about how influential Oberle has been,” to GMU and to him.

Everyone who recommended these two spoke of their passion for the profession. Golian-Lui tells students at career fairs that librarians “know on a daily basis that they do make a difference.”

These two certainly do. Your next hire may be the proof of that.


Linda Golian-Lui


Current Position University Librarian, University of Hawaii-Hilo; Adjunct Instructor, Florida Gulf Coast University, Ft. Myers; Adjunct Professor, University of South Florida, Tampa

Degree Ph.D. in Education, Florida Atlantic University, 1998; MLIS, Florida State University, 1988

Spare Time Collects autographed copies of Chinese children’s literature

George Oberle

Current Position Multimedia and Liaison Librarian to the History Department, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA

Degree MLS, University of Maryland, 2003; M.A. in History, George Mason University, 1999

Four Passions Wife, son, reading, and baseball