March 18, 2018

Nicole Engard | Movers & Shakers 2007

Making It Work


Picture this: your library’s web manager actually asks librarians what they need to do and creates a system that helps them do it. That’s why Nicole Engard gets rave reviews from her librarian colleagues at Philadelphia’s Jenkins Law Library. ‘We needed to communicate efficiently, and email and voicemail just weren’t good enough,’ says Jenny Hohenstein, reference/electronic services librarian. ‘Nicole turned the intranet into the tool we knew we needed but hadn’t been able to imagine.’

Once Engard, who comes from the web design/computer programming world, understood the librarians’ tasks, workflow, and collaboration patterns, she turned many intranet pages into wikis, so her users, the librarians, could easily add content and revisions. She added blogs and RSS feeds so people would automatically receive news and information. Librarians who once laboriously hand-compiled information for budget reports and board meetings now can call up current data and run reports at will.

Ever since she enabled internal communication and collaboration with these tools, Engard notes, ‘Staff who used to email or walk across the library to chat now do so on the intranet, providing an archive of ideas discussed for everyone to see.’

For those who lack an Engard for their library, she’s made it easy to imitate her work; she’s documented it in journal articles, through conference presentations, and on her blog, What I Learned Today.

And once she understood the librarians’ work, she enrolled in Drexel’s LIS program so she could do it, too. Which could just make Engard not just Jenkins’s treasure but ours.




CURRENT POSITION Web Manager, Jenkins Law Library, Philadelphia

DEGREES BA, Juniata College, 2001; MLIS program, Drexel University, 2006-?

BLOG What I Learned Today:

PET-A-BYTE Her first blog was about her puppy, Coda