Merced College - Outgoing
Having threatened to retire for years, Susan Walsh will be retiring from Merced College in February 2016. She came to community college libraries from public library land where she served for ten years in reference, and branch services. Susan left the Branch Manager position of the Davis Branch (Yolo County Library) to become the Director of the Merced College Learning Resources Center in 1985. The LRC Director job, then (as now) included oversight of library services, collection development, reference services, library instruction, audio-visual services, classroom technology, and technology training for faculty and staff. Distance education responsibilities came and went and then came and went again. Over the 31+ years Susan served as the LRC Director, her temporary titles and accompanying “part-time” duties changed nearly as often as the library content formats and classroom and library technologies did.
During her college career, the library was automated, full time reference librarians went from 1 to 4 (one assigned to the Los Banos Campus), the book budget reached over $80,000, online subscriptions and databases were added, information literacy competencies became a graduation requirement, faculty librarians served as Academic Senate Presidents and Curriculum Chairs, computers were added to the library for student use, and the library held firm that it was only open during hours when faculty librarians were available. The Audio-Visual Department left cassette recorders, VHS tapes and players, and 16mm projectors in the rear view mirror to move to Internet and multi-media enabled classrooms complete with digital projectors, document cameras, dvd players, and streaming media. Technology training came to include not only computer training, but also digital and video image production and manipulation, a multitude of software packages, and learning management systems platforms. The crowning glory in her career was when the Learning Resources Center moved into a new, beautiful, well-planned 53,000 square foot facility. The LRC has seen over 3 million visitors since it opened February 27, 2007.
Susan also served as the Director of Distance Education, Title III / Title V HSA Grants Director, Faculty /Staff Development Coordinator, Interim Associate Vice President of Technology, Interim Vice President of Instruction, and, her last position, Interim President.
In the community she served as president and / or a board member of AAUW, Soroptimist International, League of Women Voters, and the County Chamber of Commerce. She just finished her second term as an elected trustee of the local elementary school district.
In retirement, Susan will not be still. She plans on volunteering in the Merced College Archives (which she established as part of the library) and for the Merced County Library. She will be active in county-wide literacy initiatives and LWV study groups.
She will also do traditional things like read more and garden more, activities dear to her heart now. She will also hold the hand of the love of her life, her husband Phil Wilson, more often and spend more time with him watching the garden grow.