Library staff opens new chapter

Looking forward to welcoming the Peacock community to Henderson-Wilder Library on Fayette campus are Upper Iowa University staff members (l-r) Assistant Director of Library Services Jodi Hilleshiem, Director of Library Services Rob Hudson, Electronic Services Librarian Victoria Troemel and Archivist Jeanette Garcia. Hudson and Troemel were hired following the retirements of longtime library staff members Becky Wadian, Carol Orr, and Mary White, who combined to serve UIU for nearly 125 years.

With the arrival of fall classes, Upper Iowa University Director of Library Services Rob Hudson has been settling into his somewhat new surroundings, introducing himself and providing assistance to Peacock community members visiting Henderson-Wilder Library on Fayette Campus. UIU previously announced the hiring of Hudson in June. Additional staff members include Assistant Director of Library Services Jodi Hilleshiem and Electronic Services Librarian Victoria Troemel. Previously serving as technical services librarian at Indiana Tech Law School in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Troemel began her duties in mid-September.

Hudson and Troemel were hired after the retirements of longtime library staff members; Director of Library Services Becky Wadian, Associate Director of Library Services Carol Orr, and Assistant Director of Library Services Mary White, who combined to serve UIU for nearly 125 years.

“I want to first say that I have the utmost respect for the previous library staff,” said Hudson. “Their tenure, the legacy they left behind, and their knowledge of this entire institution and its history is immeasurable. The three weeks I was able to work alongside Becky and her staff last summer provided me new insights in librarianship. It was such a fun and educational experience.

“At the same time, Jodi’s 10-plus years of experience here in the library has been extremely beneficial to me since my arrival,” he added. “Similarly, I’m already appreciative of Victoria’s insight and her technical services expertise is certain to provide a major upgrade to our digital library in the near future.”

A Las Vegas, Nev., native, Hudson was most recently employed as library director at the United States Sports Academy in Daphne, Ala. He previously worked abroad as an assistant professor and librarian at Lakehead University, School of Law in Canada, and as a lecturer in law and the librarian at Qatar University, Faculty of Law. He was also an associate dean for the Law Library at Phoenix School of Law. He started professional librarianship in Florida at Nova Southeastern University as faculty services librarian and adjunct instructor. In 2015, Hudson taught at the Sports Authority of Thailand in International Sports Law. He and his wife, Irma, have two daughters, Allison, 9, and Grace, 6.

“It was a love for learning and my continuing interest in an interdisciplinary library career that led me to Upper Iowa University,” said Hudson. “I thoroughly enjoy the personal and professional satisfaction I get from working with library patrons on a daily basis. In addition to the educational interaction with students, I look forward to working alongside University archivist Janette Garcia and gaining more knowledge about UIU’s rich history.”

The new library director’s immediate goals include assisting Garcia with designing new archive displays and planning for potential renovations to the library’s second floor. Additional goals include creating more digital library services, providing services to UIU centers around the globe, developing a learning commons area for the benefit of all students, and creating more collaboration with the UIU Student Center and local Friends of Library organizations.

“The unique thing about Henderson-Wilder Library is that it is so much more than a typical campus library,” said Hudson. “The reference materials and archival information available here are a benefit to everyone in the region and beyond. In addition to the public, I extend a special invite to UIU alumni during the Homecoming celebration and future returns to visit the library on Fayette Campus. For those who haven’t stepped through its doors in a while, you may be astounded by what awaits you.”

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