NJSLA Honors Julie Peters, Director of the James B. Carey Library
Friday, Apr 16, 2021
photo of Julie Peters
Julie Peters

The New Jersey Chapter of the Special Libraries Association honored Julie Peters, the director of SMLR’s James B. Carey Library and the school’s academic integrity facilitator, as its Distinguished Member of 2020.

Peters chaired the subcommittee for the NJSLA’s 85th anniversary celebration and pivoted to an all-virtual event due to the pandemic. She oversaw all aspects of planning and served as virtual host for the event, earning the Chapter’s highest honor.

“I am deeply humbled to be recognized as the NJSLA’s Distinguished Member of 2020,” Peters said. “Leading the community's anniversary celebration was a learning experience as we continually needed to adapt to the effects of COVID-19.”

The SLA is a nonprofit global organization serving more than 12,000 academic, corporate, and government information professionals in 83 countries. The New Jersey Chapter, founded in 1935, serves 150 members statewide. It works to promote and strengthen its members through learning, advocacy, and networking initiatives.

Peters, who joined SMLR in 2013 and serves on the American Library Association’s HR Development and Recruitment Advisory Committee, is mildly embarrassed by the attention.

“This honor was difficult for me to accept as I sometimes favor working under more anonymous circumstances,” she said. “But perhaps that is the role of a library, to work quietly in the background, providing a strong foundation on which to build. It is my hope that the Carey Library quietly provides this foundation to the SMLR community, building the resources and services that are needed daily to learn, educate, empower, and grow.”

"An Integral Part of Combatting Misinformation"

Libraries are not just books on shelves, Peters said. They formulate knowledge, connect people with jobs, promote arts and culture, and help us to be informed citizens in an era of alternative facts and deep fakes.

photo of Carey Library
James B. Carey Library

At SMLR, Peters helps students find reputable information sources and peer-reviewed journal articles to cite in their assignments. She recently worked with students researching the intersection of race and gender in the workforce; diversity, equity, and inclusion within the context of HR and labor relations; union member engagement at a federal level; and arbitration lawsuits concerning product liability.

“Students are conducting research and they need the tools and knowledge to be successful,” Peters said. “Information literacy has become an integral part of combatting misinformation, disinformation, fake news, echo chambers, and confirmation bias that society is now consuming daily from social media and alternative news sources.”

Peters is also helping to raise awareness of research conducted by SMLR faculty members. She launched the Carey Library Research Minute, a monthly e-mail newsletter that includes snapshots of research studies that are published or in-progress. 

Like the NJSLA celebration, the newsletter is helping to keep the SMLR community connected in a virtual format. In addition, the library is open for “click and collect” services and Peters is available via WebEx every weekday from 8am to 4pm.

“The Carey Library was never closed, just transformed,” she said. “The library is one more way to keep the SMLR community together while we are still physically apart.”

Students seeking research help and faculty members with submissions for the Carey Library Research Minute should email jpeters@smlr.rutgers.edu.