This post is originally from 2014. It continues our tribute to Rita Hilu, who passed away last weekend. Rita was an incredibly important member of the Touro College Libraries staff, and we want to remind everyone of what made her so special to students, faculty, and staff.
Mrs. Hilu began her association with Touro College as a student, majoring in social work. She has always loved working with people and eventually decided that working as a librarian would be the best way for her to accomplish this. Prior to her library career, she taught 5th graders in Jewish elementary schools. She became a library assistant at Avenue J in 2001 and transferred to the Starrett City library when that site opened.
At left, the campus at Avenue J in Midwood, Brooklyn, where Rita began her career with Touro College Libraries. At right, a warm welcome to her current space at Starrett City.
As an information professional, Mrs. Hilu focuses on the importance of students’ awareness and understanding of all the resources the Starrett City Library has to offer. She aims to increase the frequency of use but also improve the students’ experience by showing them what they can access beyond the books on her shelves. TCL’s electronic resources and the TCL online catalog provide students with online books, scholarly journals, periodicals, databases, guides, writing aids and tutorials.
Mrs. Hilu takes an active role in fulfilling TCL’s mission, and feels that teaching and helping students is her favorite part of the job. Her background as an educator has served her well in her current career, helping familiarize students with all the resources and tools available and inspiring them to reach their academic goals.
Rita reports that many of Starrett City’s undergraduate students continue their studies towards a Master’s Degree in Special Education & Psychology. On Sundays, she works in the library for Touro’s Masters in Special Education program, where such students often come to the library to give her updates on their progress. Hearing such great news makes Rita very proud of each and every one of them!
Born in Argentina, Mrs. Hilu speaks five languages (English, Spanish, Portuguese, Hebrew and Yiddish) and, not surprisingly for such an enthusiastic library staff member, she loves to read. She enjoys a variety of subjects but her favorite is learning about other cultures. The Touro College Libraries are very lucky to have such a dedicated, accomplished and effective professional amongst their staff!
This staff profile was originally published in the Spring 2010 edition of the TCL Newsletter.
Rita wrote and contributed to several TC Library Blog posts: