A Fresh Chapter for Jeff Orrico, SHU’s New Librarian

In Aug. 2022, Jeff Orrico was named the new Interim University Librarian at Sacred Heart University. But Orrico’s time at Sacred Heart didn’t start there. 

“It will be 13 years in December since I started my full-time position at SHU. Technically, it was even before that when I worked as a part time reference librarian starting in 2004. Prior to SHU, I was a campus librarian for a for-profit university. In 2010, I was excited to be back at SHU full-time as the Health Science Librarian before becoming Director of Digital Library Services in 2015 and finally University Librarian this year,” said Orrico.

Since being named the new University Librarian, Orrico has plans for the library and what students can look forward to.

“We are working on plans to renovate the Ryan Matura Library building – sometime in the next few years, we hope. With the overall university goal to become more research intensive, we are also laying the groundwork to increase our collections and services as needed,” said Orrico. “I am looking forward to raising awareness of our current services. Many students are only aware of a fraction of what we have to offer.”

On Sacred Heart University’s campus there are two main libraries, Ryan Matura on main campus and in the Center for Healthcare Education. These collections provide free access to over 76,738 print books, 761,865 e-books, and 79,651 journals.

The university libraries are frequently used by students not only for academic purposes but also for bringing them together and forming a sense of community. Sophomore Andrea Haggerty said, “Having a new librarian is very important, especially being a nursing major. The library is where I spend most of my time studying and having a new librarian allows us to have a new resource for when we need help. I’m excited to meet him.”

Students can look forward to some events within the year planned by Orrico.

“We are very busy during exams and want to support students during this critical time. Coming up on Nov. 29 and Dec. 6, the Venerable Shim Bo will lead meditation sessions,” said Orrico. “There will be hot chocolate and cookie bars at different times too – co-sponsored with campus partners. You can check out the library’s website or newsletter for more about our upcoming events.”

Becoming a librarian wasn’t always Orrico’s plan.

“I majored in business with the intention of working in the family business. I soon realized business wasn’t my calling. I wanted to be involved in education but couldn’t picture myself as a classroom teacher,” said Orrico. “Soon after graduating, I learned of librarianship as a profession from a friend. I was instantly hooked. The ability to help people with their research, and the ever changing technical and academic landscape that requires lifelong learning is a perfect fit for me.”

As a result of this passion for helping people with their research, Orrico encourages students to use him as a resource.

“For the past year, I served as the Interim University Librarian. During that time, I gained the respect and support of my staff and colleagues,” said Orrico. “As a University Librarian, I also serve the students. I take that seriously, and I am open to new ideas and suggestions that can improve the library. I would encourage any student with a concern or suggestion to contact me directly. My door is always open.”

Junior Gianna Santoro said, “It’s nice to know that at Sacred Heart we are surrounded by staff that are eager to help us. I’m glad there is another resource for us students.”

“The library is the best resource for students for all their research needs. Regardless of where you are in the research process, the library resources and expertise of our highly trained and friendly librarians can help you,” said Orrico. “I encourage you to check out the ‘Ask a Librarian’ section of our website to find the subject specialist in your area.”

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