Carlyle Campbell Library would like to introduce its newest staff member: Jeff Waller, Head of Research and Instruction Services.
Waller comes to Meredith from St. Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, where he spent the last eight years providing leadership in Research and Instructional Services at Geisel Library. Originally from Wichita, Kansas, Jeff majored in economics and mathematics at the University of Kansas (and continues to root for Jayhawk basketball!) before pursuing a graduate degree in economics with the goal of becoming a college professor. Economics instead took him in a different direction, and Waller worked as an economic consultant to the gas and utility industry until deciding it was time for a career change. Career counselors and personality and strengths tests guided him to librarianship, and from the beginning of his graduate work in library science, he knew he found his calling.
“I find it so rewarding to work with students at the reference desk, and help them move from anxiety over their research topics to confidence that they can find good information,” Waller says. Students’ use of real-world search experience and the transition from Google to scholarly resources is a particular research interest of his, as is critical thinking and information overload.
Waller explains that “information literacy isn’t just about finding good sources for papers, but also teaching students how to meet their own real-world information needs after graduation, from choosing political candidates to investing money wisely and taking care of their health…. I’m thrilled to work for a college where the faculty and administration recognize the value of information literacy and give it a prominent place in the curriculum.” He is happy to consult with any faculty who are interested in rethinking assignments to teach information literacy skills or exploring different approaches to assess existing research assignments.
Waller’s time outside the library is spent with his wife, Stefanie, and his two-year-old daughter, Lydia—who already loves the Triangle’s parks and playgrounds. While he still remains faithful to the Boston Red Sox, he is excited to have found a new favorite baseball team in the Durham Bulls. In addition to watching baseball, he also enjoys playing tennis, hiking in the mountains and woods, and playing the saxophone.
—Submitted by Jennifer Hanft, Reference Librarian