Director of Library Services McKillop Library, Salve Regina University, Newport RI. 2016-present

  • Supervise and support a staff of twelve colleagues, with seven direct reports.
    Monitor library budget, make library budget request through an evidence-based planning process.
  • Using university’s strategic planning process and results of the library’s annual survey, create library annual goals.
  • Create and leverage library publications, such as the McKillop Newsbrief, annual report, annual budget request, and McKillop Library by the Numbers to highlight the value of library services and collections and advocate for incorporation of the library in university initiatives.
  • Advocate for library participation in curriculum planning at a university, department, and course level.
  • Collaboratively develop information literacy plans for academic departments.
  • Support or lead the creation of new models of library/faculty collaboration to integrate information literacy into the curriculum, such as embedding digital initiatives and information literacy into course planning.
  • Meet regularly with university staff and faculty to ensure that library services support university curriculum, mission, and strategic endeavors.
  • With staff, faculty, and student input, develop a student-centered library space plan.
  • Continue to serve as liaison, instructor, and reference librarian.


Assistant Director of Research and Instruction McKillop Library, Salve Regina University, Newport RI. 2015-2016

  • Collaboratively write and edit portions of the library’s strategic plan with colleagues and the acting director.
  • Facilitate meetings with the library team to act on such initiatives as writing an information literacy mission for the library and developing an information literacy plan.
  • Communicate formally and informally with staff, faculty, and administration across campus to develop a better understanding of other units’ missions, receive feedback on library initiatives, and brainstorm improvements to student service.
  • Leverage data to improve and advocate for library services.
  • Continue to develop existing relationships while serving as research and instruction librarian and liaison to the Department of Political Science, Department of Modern and Classical Languages, Pell Honors Program, Humanities Ph.D. Program, International Relations Program, Academic Center for Excellence, and the Student Government Association.
  • Create publications that keep the university community informed about library activities.
  • Provide leadership and support to 3 librarian colleagues.

Research and Instruction Librarian McKillop Library, Salve Regina University, Newport RI. 2011-2015

  • As Personal Librarian to the Class of 2018, worked with the Dean of the Class of 2018 and other departments to develop ideas combining information literacy education and fun events. Examples are Banned Books Week 2014 which included a panel discussion, a banned books photo booth, and banned books freshman orientation activity. Also worked with the Office of Community Service to research and design a display on local hunger to coincide with a food drive.
  • Communicated every semester with distance-learning faculty and students, provided on demand services such as Jing videos or online research guides tailored to their class’ specific questions. Also offered synchronous instruction via the university’s WebEx video conferencing software, Skype, or Google Hangout.
  • As co-chair or facilitator of the RI Library Association Conference Committee, brought the annual two-day conference to Salve Regina for three years in a row, showcasing the university and our library.
  • Worked closely with faculty members to develop information literacy instruction sessions targeted to their students’ needs, including develop online research guides, print handouts, and workshops to engage students and impart information literacy goals.
  • Developed close relationships with distance-learning Ph.D. cohorts to assist them through their coursework and dissertation process.
  • Acted as liaison and materials selector for the Department of Political Science, Department of Modern and Classical Languages, Pell Honors Program, Humanities Ph.D. Program, International Relations Program, and the Student Government Association.
  • Answered reference inquiries in person and via IM/chat, phone, email on diverse topics from students, faculty, staff, and community members.

Information Commons Specialist McKillop Library, Salve Regina University, Newport RI. 2009-2011

  • Trained and supervised four work study students.
  • Answered reference inquiries in person and via IM/chat, phone, email on diverse topics from students, faculty, staff, and community members.
  • Taught classes on technology and new research applications to staff.
  • As library sustainability coordinator:
    • Developed a community of faculty and staff members interested in sustainability issues.
    • Wrote the environmental sustainability portion of the library’s strategic plan.
    • Convened and lead sustainability committee meetings.
    • Gathered benchmarking data to chart library’s sustainability progress.
  • As liaison to the Student Government Association:
    • Developed productive relationships with the executive board and senators.
    • Presented library updates at SGA meetings.
    • Solicited and acted on student concerns.
    • Developed reports to deliver results to SGA and library staff.


Circulation Specialist McKillop Library, Salve Regina University, Newport RI. 2003-2009

  • Trained and supervised 13 work-study students.
  • Digitized and optimized media and documents in various formats to provide convenient, quick access to electronic reserves.
  • Using the library’s integrated library system lists and reports function, developed a system to give faculty members detailed reports on reserve checkouts and e-reserve page views each semester.
  • Created the library’s first wiki to improve access and organization of the circulation department’s documents, policies and procedures.
  • Presented updates and overviews on new technologies and e-reserve capabilities to faculty and staff.

Associate Producer Sudden Industries, New York, NY. 2000-2001

  • Coded and designed web pages using HTML, JavaScript, and some PHP and CSS.
  • Created Flash animations for clients.
  • Performed technical troubleshooting.

Governmental Affairs Manager Montalbano Initiatives, New York, NY. 1998-2000

  • Represented clients at local and government meetings.
  • Developed strategies to advance clients’ policy initiatives.
  • Analyzed and reported on pertinent legislation.


Master’s of Science in Library and Information Science Graduate School of Library and Information ScienceUniversity of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL; August 2010.

Bachelor’s of Art in Political Science Barnard College, Columbia University, New York, NY; February 1997.


Magna Cum Laude, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; Cum Laude, Barnard College.

Barnard College Centennial Scholar: awarded a grant to devise, film and edit a documentary about a city planning activist in Newport, RI.


Professional Continuing Education:

2015: Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians, Harvard University Graduate School of Education.



Chapter co-authored with Jameson Chace, Ph.D. “Library Showcase: Modeling Sustainability Across Campus” in Focus on Education for Sustainability: Toolkit for Academic Libraries, edited by Maria Jankowska, Library Juice Press, 2014.

Chapter co-authored with Laura Kohl “Finding Credibility in the Information Jungle: Blogs, Microblogs, and the CRAAP Test” in Online Credibility and Digital Ethos: Approaches for Evaluating and Incorporating Networked Information in the Digital Age, edited by Shawn P. Apostel and Moe Folk, IGI Global, 2013.

“Using the Embedded Librarian Model at Salve Regina.” Presentation with Kiyomi Donnelly at the ACAT Faculty Workshop Series, Salve Regina University, May 2013.

“Reel them in, set them up, and let them soar: how faculty/librarian collaboration on a project-based library course guide led to academic success.” Presentation with Dr. Marian Desrosiers at the ACAT Faculty Workshop Series, Salve Regina University, May 2012.

“Using blogs in sociology research and identifying bias online.” Guest lecture at Bryant University for Dr. Judith McDonnell’s classes, Sociology of Race and Ethnicity and Sociology of Sport — March 2012.

“Putting your library on the path to environmental sustainability” Rhode Island Library Association Bulletin — March 2011.

“Creating an Environmental Sustainability Program through Collaboration” Panel Presentation, Rhode Island Library Association Annual Conference — June 2011.

“Signage that Works: How to Create Effective, Eye-Catching Signs in Your Library” Poster Session, Rhode Island Library Association Annual Conference– June 2011.


Fall 2014, 2015: First Year Transitions, a one-credit course for first year students to help them transition to college.


Association of College and Research Libraries, New England: Information Technology Interest Group, Member 2010-2015, Co-Chair, 2012.

Association of College and Research Libraries, New England: Scholarships and Awards Committee, Member 2012-2014, Co-Chair, 2015.

Rhode Island Library Association Conference Committee, Registrar 2012, Co-Chair 2013-2014, Facilities Coordinator, 2015.

Association of College and Research Libraries, New England Chapter and National Chapter, Member.


Capable French reader and speaker, familiar with Spanish and Italian, studied Arabic.



2 Responses to Resume

  1. Gerard says:

    No mention of Corner Store?

    • dawnemsellem says:

      Hahaha. I know! It was my most formative job, so really, it should be at the top of my resume, but for some reason potential employers can’t see the direct line from slinging meat to slinging books. I ham who I ham because of the Corner Store.

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