Librarian celebrates 20 years at FDU

Janique Baltimore

Design Editor


Eleanor Friedl would not have spent the last 20 years of her employed life at Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Florham Campus library if she did not believe it to be a worthwhile choice.

Friedl’s first visit to the campus was actually years before she was added to the payroll; it was 1989. One day, she read a review in The Daily Record about an exhibition the university library was having that showcased posters from the then-Soviet Union.

She received a guided tour by James Fraser, the library director at the time.

Acquiring state-censored posters had been quite an accomplishment and the research that went into analyzing the messages conveyed in the artwork was an even greater one.

The number of research opportunities and intellectual undertakings that would be available to Friedl excited her the most about Fairleigh Dickinson, so when a full-time librarian position opened up, there was no doubt in her mind whether she should apply.

Friedl was officially hired as a reference librarian in 1996. Friedl said recently that she has enjoyed the atmosphere of FDU the most – both the campus atmosphere and the work environment of the library.

“The beauty of the campus raises your spirits, and the work culture encourages learning and growth. We have a university community of supportive people and that makes it a good place to work!”

Tracy Dante, who works in the interlibrary loan department, said, “Eleanor is such a wonderful, caring person that is always eager to help students, faculty and staff with their wide range of requests and needs. She always greets everyone with a cheery smile that is contagious and brightens your day.”

One shift that Friedl has noticed since she first began working here is that students are much more motivated and polite than they were in the past.

In addition, technology has, of course, become more sophisticated over time, and things such as library research databases are larger and more comprehensive than they used to be.

Some improvements that Friedl would make to the FDU library if she could include “more and better-designed spaces such as an interactive information literacy classroom and a large, dedicated space to house our many and growing archives.”

Another reference librarian, Nicole Potdevin, thinks that Friedl has done so well at the FDU library because of her focus on students and making sure that they have the best resources when it comes to academic research.

“Eleanor’s best quality is probably how much she cares about students.”

Friedl also had some advice to share with FDU students. “Start sooner than later on any project, whether seeking resources such as books, articles or librarians, asking a professor for clarification or a librarian for assistance, or requesting an interview or another favor from anyone.”

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