Marzluft Brings Enthusiasm and Dedication to Role at OWHL

Jeffrey Marzluft, Associate Director for Instructional Services at the Oliver Wendell Holmes Library (OWHL), challenges the stereotypical image of a high school librarian. Though he works to maintain the quiet environment of the library, Marzluft always greets students by first name with a cheerful smile that conveys his passion for connecting with students and teaching with enthusiasm. Marzluft said, “One of the wonderful things about being a librarian is when students come up to you and say, ‘Thank you so much for the help with that paper, Mr. Marzluft. I feel really good and I think I did really well.’ It really is one of the greatest feelings to have a student thank you for something you worked on together.” As Associate Director for Instructional Services, Marzluft leads the other instructional librarians and helps them determine what they want classes to learn from their visits to the library. Marzluft’s interest in becoming a librarian sparked in graduate school, where he spent a lot of his time working and studying at his own school’s library. Marzluft had initially pursued an education in biblical and theological studies and considered a career in teaching. He attended Colgate University and received a Masters Degree in Theological Studies at Boston University. He later also received a Masters Degree in Science at San Jose University. Marzluft said, “I wanted to become a college professor, and I saw a lot of the politics involved in getting a Ph.D., knowing that there is not a lot of demand for biblical studies professors.” “A lot of people have worked in libraries their entire lives. I’m not one of those people. But I really enjoyed working in the library in graduate school and talking with people there,” he continued. Marzluft then worked at a variety of school libraries across the country. Some of these positions included Head of Public Services at Maui Community College and Web and Business Librarian at Golden Gate University. Eventually, Marzluft and his wife found their way to Andover with hopes of settling down. “My wife and I really loved Boston and we thought it would be a great place to start and raise a family. And I had heard of Andover before so I decided to come, basically on a whim. But the truth was that some of the best things that I have ever done were on a whim,” said Marzluft. Marzluft is now entering his fourth year working at the OWHL and has worked with the library to unveil new initiatives. Marzluft thinks of his mission at the OWHL as a multi-fold operation. “Oftentimes when people find out that you are a librarian, they say, ‘Oh, I hated my librarian back in college. She was just the worst.’ So part of what we want to do is instill a sense of comfort for the students. They should know that the library is a place where you can seek help,” said Marzluft. Recently, the OWHL also looked to broaden its horizons with new initiatives and faculty-student programs. According to Marzluft, the OWHL has “reinvigorated” their Facebook presence by becoming an organization on Facebook. “We are hopefully planning on running some contests and interactive programs through there,” said Marzluft. In addition, the OWHL has also started a dessert reception with the student proctors and prefects on campus. “This was to get students involved in taking care of OWHL because it is your library,” said Marzluft. Outside of the OWHL, Marzluft also enjoys advising his eleven day student advisees, instructing his PACE class and overseeing the Mock Trial Club. “I became a PACE instructor because I thought it would be a great way to find out what is important to the students, [which] would help me become a better librarian. Knowing your users is the best way to serve them,” said Marzluft. Marzluft also enjoys a variety of other activities with his family and friends. He said, “In my free time, I do enjoy reading books, especially books that I think you kids would read. I spend a lot of time with my kids, playing games and whatnot. I like to joke with students that I just said something to them that [I often say] to my four-year-old.”