The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Library ‘cornerstone’ Terese Heidenwolf passes away

Terese+Heidenwolfs+work+at+Skillman+Library+spanned+over+three+decades.+%28Photo+courtesy+of+Lafayette+College+Library%29
Terese Heidenwolf’s work at Skillman Library spanned over three decades. (Photo courtesy of Lafayette College Library)

Terese Ann Heidenwolf, Lafayette’s director of research and instructional services and college employee of 32 years, passed away on March 6. She was 59. 

“She had a really wide-ranging impact,” dean of libraries Charlotte Nunes said. “Her impact ranged from really significantly shaping the information literacy program to collection development to setting culture at the library.”

Heidenwolf “transformed the library into what it is today: the heart and soul of the campus and a vibrant, model 21st century library,” according to a March 7 tribute written by Nunes and Lijuan Xu, the acting director of research and instructional services.  

Xu declined to comment beyond the tribute.

Heidenwolf joined the college in 1992 as a reference librarian. In her time at Lafayette, she spearheaded and oversaw significant changes in Skillman Library, including starting the information literacy program in 2001.

The program is focused on “relationship-building amongst librarians and faculty,” Nunes said.

Within the program, Heidenwolf created a grant for faculty who developed classes with information literacy skills.

In 2007, she led a review of journal subscriptions to ensure a strong research program at the college. She “experimented with new ways of providing access to journal content,” according to the tribute. 

Heidenwolf also helped transition Skillman into a more modern space. She helped the library’s book collection move into electronic form and supported open access in libraries, making all materials free and accessible. Lafayette was one of the first colleges in the country to adopt an open-access resolution, according to the tribute.

Heidenwolf was also a mentor to many newer Skillman staff members.

“I vividly remember my first conversation with her,” Nunes said, noting that Heidenwolf was the first to interview her for her current position. “I just remember the kind, measured, informed perspective that she brought to a conversation about digital scholarship.”

“My favorite memory would be a sense of humor that she brought to all of her interactions,” she continued. “She really brought levity and humor to staff meetings [and] department meetings.”

“Terese was the cornerstone of the library,” Ben Jahre, the head of electronic resources, wrote in an email. “She was a brilliant librarian who brought excellence to everything she did.”

Outside of her time in Skillman, Heidenwolf enjoyed traveling, tending to her flowers and spending time with family, according to her obiturary.

“She has a number of nieces and nephews who she was really close with and [she] supported her grandnieces and nephews as well,” Nunes said.

A cause of death was not provided by the college.

Heidenwolf’s funeral mass took place on March 12 in Allentown. Donations in her honor can be directed to the Friends of Skillman Library Terese Heidenwolf Memorial Fund.

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Andreas Pelekis, Assistant News Editor
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