November 12, 2012
Maylone, Dean of University Libraries, was raised in a suburb
of Chicago, IL. She came to St. John’s University in 1999 as the
Libraries’ Coordinator of Planning, Budgeting and Development.
Maylone also served as Executive Director of Libraries, University
Librarian and Interim Dean before her appointment as Dean in
What was your first career
I am a product of the same sort of household that many of our
students come from: with a parent who is a first-generation
American. I was the first person in the family to go to college,
and the importance of education was stressed. I’ve always been
interested in academics, and even at a very young age I thought,
“What a marvelous environment this [school] is. I don’t want to
Describe a typical workday for you as the Dean of
There really is no typical day. There are a lot of meetings. I’m
addicted to e-mail, so there’s a lot of time dedicated to that, and
I want to always be available to people with questions or in need
of assistance. There are times when I show up late to a staff
meeting and everyone asks me, “So how many people did you stop and
talk with on the way here?” It speaks to the overall culture of the
If you could be or do anything else, what might that
From a very early age, I’ve been in love with ballet. I certainly
would have loved to be a ballerina. I love the movement, grace and
expression of using the whole body to tell a story without
If you could change something about your job, what would
you change and why?
This is a particularly compatible group of deans. There’s a lot of
mutual respect and we all get along extremely well. There’s a great
openness in this organization. I feel comfortable calling anybody
here for help. It’s great to be able to move with that kind of
fluidity. There really isn’t anything I would want to change.
What's the one thing about you that few people know
(hidden talent, guilty pleasure, etc.)?
I’m a huge baseball fan. When I was a kid, baseball games were
always on the radio in the background. I grew up in suburban
Chicago, so I was a Cubs fan. Now, I root for the Yankees. My
husband grew up in the Bronx, so when I moved to New York, there
was really no conversation about which team I’d root for.
As Dean, how would you like to be
I’d like to be remembered as someone who managed through a time of
real transition, for not only this library, but libraries in
general. The role of libraries is very much in a state of
transition. To be in a place that is open to that kind of change is
What five words would you use to describe the
We’re an informational crossroads. We’re
facilitators — we don’t tell you the answer; we
help you to find it. I would hope that we are
academic and a place of
discovery. We’re also welcoming
and supportive. That’s more than five.
What’s your proudest achievement at St.
I’m proudest of the work and progress that we’ve accomplished with
the library staff. We have such talent among our staff. Everything
that happens in the background, everything that makes what you see
work, is done by our staff.
What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in the University
Libraries during your time here?
The obvious answer is the transition to digital. Technologically,
libraries have always been ahead of the curve. Online catalogs
first happened in libraries a long, long, long time ago. The
databases that now are ubiquitous really came out of government
initiatives that then entered the private sector. They all involved
categorizing and archiving information, so the logical place for
them to end up was the library.
What’s the best piece of advice you could give to
Be yourself. Define yourself. Don’t allow others to define you. Use
this time to explore and to experience your surroundings. See
what’s available to you and what’s possible in this world, because
it’s an opportunity as a student that you will never have
What’s an important lesson you’ve learned from the
I learn from students every day. I learn how smart they are.
Smartness isn’t just measured in terms of grades or even success;
it’s that inner part of you that in moments of conversation makes
itself known. We also need to respect them, to understand what they
can give to us and realize that this is not a one-way street.