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Donna Roe joined the University of Detroit Mercy in 1992 as Head of the Cataloging and Database Management Department. As noted by the librarians and staff who reported to her “Ms. Roe’s understated, yet powerful leadership style created an environment in which department members were encouraged to utilize their expertise and creativity in ways that would increase efficiency without sacrificing quality.“
Leadership and contributions on the part of Ms. Roe include but are not limited to: chaired the committee which developed the Libraries/IDS Diversity Statement, the first such statement in the University; compiled written departmental procedures, provided direction for others and worked on changing library records as resources were moved to and from the Outer Drive Campus Library following consolidation; wrote procedures and supervised personnel who added over 125,000 call numbers for the Outer Drive Campus Library collection in the OCLC international database; and organized and worked on the conversion of all serial/periodical titles in the Outer Drive Campus Library and the School of Dentistry Library so that volumes could be shelved by call number rather than title.
Ms. Roe was the first technical services librarian to cross the invisible line between public services and technical services by requesting a collection development assignment. She wanted a way, other than classifying and organizing resources, to not only more closely support the student and faculty research needs, but also to gain a better understanding of how each of the groups conduct their research. Ms. Roe developed and defended a proposal to establish separate collection development funding for the Women’s and Gender Studies program.
Ms. Roe participated in the life of the University of Detroit Mercy far beyond the boundaries of the Library. One important contribution was her service as a member of the Core Curriculum Task Force, where she provided a strong voice for the role librarians play in education and research. She epitomized this role herself with a deep involvement in teaching classes and participating in academic department work. Ms. Roe also served on the Women’s and Gender Studies Program Steering Committee, the Academic Committee on the Status of Women, the Prioritization Process Steering Committee, and was Faculty Advisor to the Native American Student Organization.
Over the life of her career, Ms. Roe was honored by being inducted into Kappa Delta Pi (International Honor Society), Pi Lambda Theta (National Education Honor Society), and Beta Phi Mu (National Library Science Honor Society). She was recognized by the National Women’s Studies Association with the Significant Achievement Award from the Association of College and Research Libraries of the American Library Association.
Prior to accepting her position at the university, Ms. Roe held positions as Serials Technician/Michigan State University, Assistant Librarian/Anderson Air Force Base/Guam, Educational Consultant/Lenawee Vocation-Technical Center, and Head of Cataloging/Siena Heights College.
Ms. Roe has an earned Bachelor of Arts in Literature and Language (1974) from Michigan State University, a Master of Science in Library Science (1976) from University of Michigan, a Master of Arts in Higher Education Curriculum Development from Siena Heights College, and a Master of Art in Education (1999) from University of Detroit Mercy.
Donna Roe’s nomination for Senior Librarian Emerita status was approved and conferred by Antoine M. Garibaldi, President of the University of Detroit Mercy on August 16, 2011.