By Ellen Meltzer, Information Services Manager; Photo: Craig Thompson, Web Producer

Leslie Wolf 
Within Bib Services, this newly-minted librarian is a project manager for both the WorldCat Local and Request services.  In addition, she and colleague Lena Zentall are responsible for strategic planning for bibliographic services—looking at new tools and new ways of working that will enhance the user experience and make our current tools and practices more efficient.  In everything Leslie does, she relies on her strong customer service focus.

Leslie calls librarianship her “third age career” Act I: Working as a manager in financial services, such as Wells Fargo.  Act II: Serving as an independent business consultant focusing on process improvement and customer service for entities as varied as Autodesk, Mills College, and the Trust for Public Land.  Act III: Libraries!  While seeking a more stable environment than the world of consulting offered, Leslie talked to a friend who had recently attended the UCLA library school and suggested librarianship as a way forward.  SJSU School of Library and Information Science turned out to be ideal for Leslie, since she could work and attend school simultaneously.  There she was able to ramp up her technology skills with a preponderance of online classes and learn to function in a virtual world with teammates and professors she never saw in person.  Leslie quickly became adept at this kind of work and realized how valuable it would be in her new career.

Examining the themes that have traversed her career path, Leslie identified project management skills as a common thread, particularly useful in her current position.  Could it be that as the oldest of 4 sisters Leslie thrived in an ideal environment for developing project management skills and bringing people to consensus?

A fortuitous introduction at library school led to a special projects internship at UCSF Library.  At UCSF, Leslie helped with the early implementation of the Next generation Melvyl Pilot at UCSF, worked on a collection move for a renovation of library space, and developed a proposal for equitable access to library resources.  The UCSF projects became a lab for her classes.  “The UCSF library staff were so generous in answering my many questions and making themselves available to me.  I learned so much from their insights and advice”  Leslie says.  Her contributions to the UCSF projects resulted in her winning the SJSU-SLIS/Jean Wichers Award for Professional Practice in library school—a wonderful synergy!

It seems like finding a career in the University of California Libraries was a natural for Leslie.  “My parents met on the steps of the campanile at Berkeley, and 4 out of 6 in our family are UC grads,” Leslie boasts.  From banking to consulting to librarianship, Leslie’s career path displays a determination and bounding energy that will serve her (and us!) well at CDL.