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By the Book: Kevin Verbesey ’93G Succeeds in Library Science

Thursday, February 6, 2014

St. John’s didn’t just provide Kevin Verbesey ’93G with practical training – it transformed him into a well-rounded Library professional.

“It’s the vision, philosophy and professional ethics that made my college experience so remarkable,” explained Verbesey, who currently works as the Director of the Suffolk Cooperative Library System. A proud graduate of the University’s Division of Library and Information Science (DLIS), this outstanding alumnus looks back fondly on his student years.

“My studies were great and taught me so much,” he said, “but the other aspects of my St. John’s education were just as important to my development. This included learning how to conduct myself in a professional manner, how to do the right thing and how to treat others with respect.” 

A New York native, born and raised on Long Island, Verbesey knew early on that St. John’s was the right fit for him. He had already determined that he wanted to pursue a career in Library Science, and SJU provided him with all the tools he’d need to get his career started.

“St. John’s had a premier program, and they still do today,” he noted. “It was the perfect choice for me. And today, to look back and realize that I’ve enjoyed a career in the field for  20 years – I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome.”

Before assuming his current role, Verbesey worked at a variety of public libraries in Suffolk County, serving as Director of the John Jermain Memorial Library in Sag Harbor, NY, and later as Founding Director of the Hauppauge Public Library. Today, at the Suffolk Cooperative Library System, he finds that the skills he learned at St. John’s still come into play. 

“I’m always using the lessons I learned from my student days at St. John’s,” he said. “The University’s faculty had such a high level of caring and commitment to their students. That set me up well to succeed, and I think it’s a big reason behind my professional accomplishments.”

Verbesey has remained connected to St. John’s by frequently coming back to campus to attend symposiums and by often working as an Adjunct Professor. In recognition of his outstanding contributions, St. John’s honored him at its 75th Anniversary of the Division of Library and Information Science.  

“There are so many things that make this University community so unique,” he said. “Even as the people change over the years, the way our faculty and administrators approach their work shows a level of dedication that, quite simply, goes beyond what you see in most places.”

To celebrate the 75 years of the DLIS program, Verbesey noted, was a particularly meaningful and worthwhile endeavor.  

“Based on what I’ve seen within the program,” he explained, “I have every bit of confidence that the next 75 years will be even more successful than the last.”