March 17, 2018

Jenica P. Rogers-Urbanek | Movers & Shakers 2009 – Community Builders

Jenica P. Rogers-Urbanek, College Libraries, SUNY-PotsdamTeam Leader

During her first five years at the College Libraries at SUNY-Potsdam, “My director and I talked wistfully about how we’d love to see someone jump-start SUNY’s efforts toward cooperative collection development,” says Jenica P. Rogers-Urbanek, who is collection development coordinator and technical services team leader there.

Though the idea seemed like a pipe dream, it leapt toward reality last February, when “a dozen committed directors dragged their collections librarians to a meeting,” she says. In an atmosphere of shared excitement, “We thought, do this.” With Rogers-Urbanek as the unofficial leader, the group presented the SUNY Cooperative Collection Development plan to their directors, outlining the tools and support they needed. The goals: reduce duplication in orders; leverage the power of SUNY’s multiple libraries with vendors to negotiate acquisitions discounts and cross-campus site licenses; and obtain a group subscription to WorldCat Collection Analysis to assess areas of “strength, uniqueness, depth, and weakness.” Currently, participating libraries are a “coalition of the willing,” but Rogers-Urbanek hopes more will join. Now, with budgets tougher than ever, that seems likely; directors are anxious to move the project forward.

What helps Rogers-Urbanek spearhead this formidable task? She says her background in literature “made it easier for me to think critically about our collections and our collecting policy.”

“Transparency was Jenica’s model of leadership even before it became a management buzzword,” says nominator Jennifer Smathers, head of technical services at the College at Brockport Library, who worked on the project, too. “She’s the answer to tomorrow’s library leadership dilemma.”


College Libraries, SUNY-Potsdam

POSITION Collection Development Coordinator and Technical Services Team Leader; Senior Assistant Librarian

DEGREE MLIS, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2001

BLOG “Attempting Elegance”