Bonnie Nelson

Wishing Bonnie Nelson the best as she retires!

When I first arrived at John Jay as Chief Librarian in 1995, Bonnie Nelson immediately made me comfortable and aware of just about everything that went on in the College. It was evident that she was a consummate librarian who strongly supported all librarians, staff, and especially our student body. Whenever I needed statistical information about the Library and its thousands of users, Bonnie was the go-to person. Not only did she advocate for the Library on the many committees on which she served, but she never varied in her support for all staff in the College as she worked tirelessly and well as a representative of the PSC. Bonnie always came through!!

Larry Sullivan
Bonnie is a person who is able to keep a clear perspective when dealing with complicated issues. She knows how to explain things without oversimplifying them. She has a great knowledge of CUNY and College policies, and I will miss this comfort of having someone to consult with immediately by dialing x8267 (one of a few extensions I remember by heart).

Maria Kiriakova
I always admired Bonnie’s ability to look at every angle of a situation and see problems through to a reasonable resolution. I never worked with anyone who gave such a damn about her work, solely for the common good. In the Bonnie-shaped hole that is left here at the Library and the College, all we can do when faced with tough questions is to ask ourselves, “What would Bonnie do?”

Kathleen Collins
I am so very grateful for Bonnie’s mentorship over the past five years. She has shown me—us—again and again how to lead graciously, examine technological issues critically, counsel patiently, and advocate bravely. I’ve learned so much from Bonnie and already miss starting the week with our IT meeting. You can always trust Bonnie’s advice, especially those three little words... “Read the contract!”

Robin Davis
When I first interviewed at John Jay College, one of my library school professors asked whether Bonnie Nelson still worked there because she has never seen anything that Bonnie was involved in that was not well done. It turns out she was right. Bonnie raises the bar in everything she does. She is one of the most capable people I have ever worked with. Her technological savvy, understanding of how libraries can continue to serve the changing needs of its users and her willingness to share her knowledge and know-how with those of us with less experience, will long leave its mark on the library community.

Maureen Richards
Working with Bonnie for all these years has been a tremendous joy. While I’m sad that I’ll no longer see her at the library, I’m glad that she’s able to move on towards new directions and fun experiences. Bonnie, best wishes!

Mark Zubarev
Words cannot describe what Bonnie has accomplished for the Library throughout her career. She has made countless contributions to the Library and she deserves every minute of her retirement life. And personally, she has been nothing but a great mentor to me during my time at the Library. Congratulations and we will all miss you very much!

Geng Lin
Bonnie fought fiercely for faculty with a finely tuned sense of what was going on at John Jay, CUNY and the PSC. She was a true champion for keeping the library and the college on the cutting edge of technologies that benefit all of us—students, faculty and administrators. I will miss her greatly, and so will the college.

Pat O’Hara, Dept. of Public Management
Bonnie mentored me in a lot of things throughout the years. She really cared about students, faculty and staff and it is because of her caring, she helped make John Jay a better place to learn and grow for all. I am very happy for her and I will truly miss her. All the best in your new life Bonnie!

Johnny Taveras, Marketing
Bonnie played a large part in bringing the Lloyd Sealy Library into the 21st Century. Her vision allowed John Jay to be on the cutting edge of library technology, from pulling the wires for the first library network to establishing our web presence to implementing the library’s first online catalog. Her advocacy with the faculty and college administration secured the funding to allow the library to become a leader in CUNY in access to electronic research databases and full-text journal articles. She did a vast amount of service both at the college and across the university including union activities. She was a quiet leader, but her participation in these arenas much sought after. She was a person you could count on to participate. On a personal note, she was a caring mentor, valued collaborator, and friend. She helped me to recognize my potential and sparked my interest in educational technology. Some of the most fun days of my career were spent working with Bonnie in these endeavors! John Jay College will miss her tremendously!!

Kathy Killoran, Office of Undergraduate Studies
To me, Bonnie is a true example of what it means to always do your work with the benefit of the community foremost on your mind. I’ve known Bonnie mainly through the Faculty Senate Technology Committee, which she co-chaired for an incredible 21 years. Thanks to Bonnie’s integrity, her deep knowledge, clear-sightedness, and her calm and even-handed approach to whatever problem might be at hand, everybody’s technology-affected life at the College is better, whether they install software on their office computers, forward their John Jay email to a private account, or take advantage of distance-learning opportunities, to give only three of many possible examples. In addition to all this, I’ve also learned from Bonnie how to run a warm, productive, and enjoyable meeting, one of the little miracles of academic life. It’s hard to imagine the College without her.

Alexander Schlutz, English Dept.

November 2017

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