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New Wendt library director hails from MIT

Deborah Hellman

Deborah Hellman (large image)

Deborah L. Helman was named Wendt's director November 1. Since 1996, she has been associated with the Barker Engineering Library, Engineering and Science Libraries (ESL), at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has been the library's associate head for engineering since 2000. Among her duties there are leading user services and technology planning for the Barker Engineering Library and its branch, the Aeronautics and Astronautics Library. As a member of the ESL management team, she has helped to plan for a proposed new, combined Engineering and Science Library program and building for MIT.

She worked to significantly expand the digital collections in all areas of engineering, including IEEE Xplore, Knovel, O'Reilly online books, SPIE Digital Library, Compendex backfile and other key resources. She advocated with vendors to improve interfaces and create new pricing models for electronic resources.

Also at MIT, she has served as reference coordinator and librarian for electrical engineering and computer science. She has also participated in efforts to assess MIT's digital reference service and Centralized Help Service. She has lead initiatives in customer service, staff training, and space renovation and reconfiguration.

In addition to MIT, she has held positions at Boston University Science and Engineering Library and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Engineering Library.

Kurt F. Wendt Library

Kurt F. Wendt Library (large image)

Helman says she is excited about coming to UW-Madison. She looks forward to learning more about the information needs of the faculty, students and staff, and working with the Wendt staff to find ways to make using information resources more productive and pleasant. She also hopes to build on Wendt's initiatives to improve library space, building a sense of community and an environment in which students' and researchers' information needs are met.

She received a BS in electrical engineering in 1990 and an MS in library and information science in 1993, both from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She begins her new job in January. Helman replaces Tom Murray, who retired in August.

Kurt F. Wendt library serves the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Science, the Department of Computer Sciences and the Department of Statistics, as well as the College of Engineering. For more information, see the library's website at