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University Libraries

Librarian Reflects on a Roesch Effect

By Zachary Lewis

It’s a bold statement, but it’s true: Roesch Library has made me better — a better listener, a better educator, a better learner, and a better person. Roesch’s vision is to open doors, activate scholarship, and inspire creativity. In my short time as a member of the University of Dayton community, it’s done just that. Here’s how.

Opening Doors

Roesch Library’s commitment to opening doors is evident from the moment you enter the building. However you’re feeling, Roesch has an environment to match. Thanks to Roesch Refresh, the second floor has tons of space for collaboration and teamwork. The quiet floors are perfect for relaxation or concentration. The digital and physical resources offered by the library minimize barriers to most of the work that I do. I can reserve a huddle room to meet with a co-worker, access millions of articles from UDiscover for research, or decompress in a quiet study room on a stressful day. Regardless of my mood or intentions for the day, Roesch provides me with a space to achieve my goals on my own terms — and be myself while doing it.

Activating Scholarship

Libraries are often associated with scholarship in the traditional sense. Roesch is a great resource for conducting research or learning more about a topic for class, but it’s also perfect for learning about each other. As a member of the University Libraries Diversity and Inclusion Team, I’ve had the opportunity to speak with others about issues of race, class, and culture. I’ve learned about intersectionality and how our identities can impact our thoughts and opinions — sometimes without us even being aware of it. These conversations have made me more thoughtful with my words and actions and have helped me to be more understanding of others. With the opening of the Dialogue Zone on the first floor in August, these conversations will increase in frequency and in scope. Roesch allows me to have uncomfortable conversations in a safe and empathetic environment.

Inspiring Creativity

Walking into Roesch, it’s hard not to be inspired. Seeing workshops in the Collab, librarians helping with research, students drawing diagrams on whiteboards, and patrons moving the furniture for just the right amount of comfort offers a great boost of motivation. No two days are the same at Roesch, which can make exploring the space a fun daily exercise. My favorite creative inspiration is the library’s Leisure Reading collection. Our collection development team does a fantastic job of cultivating a collection of fiction and nonfiction books for readers of all kinds. I check the collection daily and always find books that offer new or different perspectives.

What makes Roesch so special is that it is the embodiment of its vision. It is an institution committed to education — of its faculty, staff, and students — through Marianist values. The library’s dedication to transformation in the service of others is something I’ve found myself striving for. Because of that, Roesch has made me better.

— Zachary Lewis is an assistant professor and student success librarian in the University Libraries.

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