Heads of Undergraduate Libary

Heads until 1992

William Vernon Jackson

Undergraduate Librarian in the 1950’s — Prior to the construction of the new Library.


Jan Seifert (1966 to ?????)

Remembrances regarding Jan and the opening of the library from Susan Hill “One thing I remember is that Jan had the construction site exorcised by the priest at St. John’s Episcopal. Also, to add to the spiritual atmosphere, the graduate student hired to watch the site while the workers were at lunch to prevent theft of tools used to spend the time doing Buddhist chants.”  via e-mail April 16, 2010.


Gene Rinkel Assistant Librarian

Gene Rinkel

Quote about Gene Rinkel’s contribution to the collection of the UGL (by Susan Hill)

The Undergraduate library was in the space currently occupied by BEL.  There was Lots of Money to buy books for the new space (Jan [Seifert] said he probably bought everything that was in print during 66-69) and the books as they arrived would not fit in the shelving space, so they were stashed everywhere, in basement space, closets, anywhere space could be found.  Gene spent at least a year planning how to move everything into the new space in call number order.  It all worked perfectly.  I don’t remember any real problem in finding material or any real need to rearrange books once they got in the new space.

He may also have something to say about how the collection was built; we had an extensive browsing collection with fiction, general non-fiction and sf.  I remember one of my jobs was to see that everything on the New York Times and Time magazine best-seller lists was ordered and Jan used to see that books in current discussion in Time, Newsweek, Nation and other magazines of that sort were on the shelves.  There was money for this, and faculty would use the current collection

Susan Hill

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Maureen Pastine  1979-1980

Head of Reference, Main Library and Head of Undergraduate Library
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


David Kohl 1980-1986

Undergraduate Librarian and Assistant Director  of the Undergraduate Libraries and Instructional Services. While at the University of Illinois, he and his staff were the first librarians to receive the University’s AMOCO teaching award for undergraduate instruction.

Responsibilities: Oversaw the Undergraduate Library, Library Media Center and Illini Union Browsing Room with a collection of 180,000 monographs, 380 current journals and 57,183 media volumes; included a staff of 7 librarians, 3 FTE pre-professional staff and 17 FTE support staff; oversaw all media and UGL original monograph cataloging; allocated and monitored $150,000 library materials budget; allocated and monitored $76,000 student wage budget.

David Kohl

Remark in his article: Kohl, David  (1995).  “As Time Goes By…:  Revisiting Fundamentals” Library Trends 44 (2):221-457.  Available: http://www.ideals.uiuc.edu/

The library needs to be reorganized to facilitate and encourage independent users. More than the reference area needs to be considered here. After several years as head of the Undergraduate Library (UGL) at the University of Illinois, I was astonished to discover that the chronic complaints I had been receiving about the stacks being out of order were in large part due to a UGL shelving policy which ran the over- sized books along the bottom row of the stacks in their own sequence totally independent of the shelving sequence of the upper six shelves. The UGL circulation staff were not being perverse, they were just providing good “service.” Years ago, someone had complained that having heavy oversized books on the upper shelves was both inconvenient and possibly dangerous. Obviously, the solution adopted was not a solution compatible with the concept of independent users. Ironically, the reference staff was as unaware of this “solution” as most of the patrons. (p.427)  and:

“Most of the outcomes reported in the early days of library instruction involved students self-reporting on their satisfaction with library instruction courses or lectures. While this is not inappropriate, it is not necessary for library instruction programs to limit themselves to such subjective measures. At the University of Illinois, for example, we were able to determine a measurable increase in the sophistication and quality of students’ bibliographies as independently verified by both librarians and course instructors. In short, students did not just feel good about instruction classes, they were actually able to make better use of information resources in meeting their course requirements.” (p. 429).


Charles Forrest 1983-1988, Assistant Undergraduate Librarian and Media Coordinator 

Comments made via email for the UGL’s 40th Aniversary:  “I enjoyed working with students, and felt that the Undergraduate Library served as an important gateway to the rich and varied resources of the University of Illinois Libraries, one of the premier libraries at a public university.

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Betsy Wilson 1986-1991

Assistant Director of Libraries for Undergraduate and Instructional Services, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Betsy Wilson

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Dennis Norlin, Acting Head 1991 until May 1992.


Heads after 1992

Joyce Wright, 1994 to July 2006 (May 1992- 1994, acting head)

Joyce Wright


Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe,  Interim Head (2006-2009)

Lisa Hinchliffe


Lori S. Mestre, Head (June 2009- Oct. 1 2017)

In 2005-2006 lead a team to develop planning to turn the “1970s” UGL into a Learning Commons and continued the efforts after becoming Head in 2009. Later led the effort, engaging stakeholders with various campus groups, to develop the Media Commons and to expand the Loanable Technology collection and service.  Completed the “facelift” of the Undergraduate, which included:  rearranging spaces, purchasing furniture more conducive to student needs, creating more collaborative student centered areas, making best uses of technology rich areas, adding collaboration rooms and working with UGL librarians to create a more focused collection representing the needs of undergraduate students.

Lori Mestre_______________________________________________________________________________

David Ward, Interim Head (October 2017 –  )