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New Library Director Promotes a Love of Learning

mo1Marilyn Ochoa brings a diverse background to her new position as Library director, but all her jobs have had one ingredient in common: an emphasis on learning and research.
“I’m inspired by research,” she said.

She earned a B.A. from La Salle University and worked as an ethics program specialist at the U.S. Department of Commerce in Washington, D.C., identifying violations of ethics and conduct standards by government officials during the Bill Clinton presidency.

“That’s when I developed a deep interest in research, organizing information, and teaching,” she says.

So it was back to school, at the University of Pittsburgh for a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science, before working for the University of Florida Smathers Libraries, where she held numerous librarian positions.

Along with her primary role to help students and faculty become effective researchers and information users, her responsibilities over her 12 years there included teaching honors classes in information literacy and research; developing a collaborative, technology-integrated library environment (InfoCommons); and serving as the lead usability consultant on several federally funded grants to develop digital collections of rare and historic materials held by the libraries.

Among her favorite assignments were engaging with faculty to support teaching and research, working with new English-language learners, and conducting research with her faculty colleagues.

Ms. Ochoa then became the associate director for Penfield Library at the State University of New York at Oswego, where she was in charge of the reference, instruction, and special collections units, as well as the facility.

Some notable projects include leading development of an institutional repository, a searchable online archive for the digitized holdings of the College’s Special Collections unit and the intellectual output of the college community.

She also oversaw development of a Makerspace program, where the library offered opportunities for people with interests in 3D printing, art or sciences to meet, learn, play and create. The goal was for people to collaborate and develop projects using a variety of technologies, tools and materials creatively in a supportive but informal learning environment.

She started as the MCC director in August. “I have wonderful colleagues in the MCC Library,” she said. “It’s a fantastic team.”

Ms. Ochoa said she is learning about the College and the MCC Library before planning its direction, but would like to make sure the community feels welcome. “They are invited to come in and take advantage of all our resources – books, databases and online materials, computer labs, individual and group study rooms, as well as our library staff, who are ready to help,” she said.

Mark McCormick, vice president of academic and student affairs, said he is very pleased Ms. Ochoa has joined the College.
“I am particularly impressed with Marilyn’s experience in engaging and supporting instructors and students with exciting new technologies and approaches to providing library services,” he said. “We also welcome Marilyn’s collaborative spirit in helping to guide our wonderful Library to new levels of excellence.”
Ms. Ochoa is a former board member of the Association of College & Research Libraries and is currently on the executive board of the Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education.

“Throughout my career, I’ve honed my research and technology skills,” she said. “I’ve seen the positive impact a librarian can have on student learning, research, and overall success. It’s an honor to be able to help them, and support and partner with them.”