John Frederick (Fred) O'Bryant

Business Address

Charles L. Brown Science and Engineering Library
Clark Hall
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4124
FAX: 804-924-4338

Employment Summary

The Brown Science and Engineering Library, University of Virginia

      3/05 -             Applied Sciences Librarian
      1/00 -  2/05       Coordinator for Digital Projects and Services
      9/95 - 12/99       Coordinator for WWW and Instructional Services
      3/95 -  8/95       World Wide Web Development Coordinator
      4/94 -  2/95       Assistant Director and Technical Services Coordinator
      9/93 -  3/94       Acting Director
      1/91 -  8/93       Assistant Director and Technical Services Coordinator
      7/84 - 12/90       Assistant Director and Science Bibliographer
     10/82 -  6/84       Science Bibliographer
            All of the above positions were/are at the academic rank of Assistant Professor

The Claude Moore Health Science Library, University of Virginia

      5/75 -  9/82       Assistant Professor and Head of the Audiovisual Center

The Carl A. Rudisill Library, Lenoir Rhyne College, Hickory, North Carolina

      1/73 -  4/75       Reference and Serials Librarian

Educational Background

MSLS      1972      The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

BA 1971 Southwestern at Memphis (now Rhodes College)


Over 30 years of progressively responsible library experience in academic settings in both public services and technical services positions. Supervisory experience in managing employees at all levels. Experience in strategic planning and logistical analysis, operation and management of serial and monograph collections, basic cataloging, interlibrary loan, reference services, and audiovisual services. Experience with WWW document creation, web site maintenance, user instruction, online catalogs and cataloging, online bibliographic utilities (OCLC and RLIN), electronic mail, CDROM and WWW database products, GIS systems (ArcInfo), union list creation and management, word processing, spreadsheets, and desk-top computing. Sixteen semesters/quarters of classroom teaching experience in computer science (techniques of BASIC programming), plus workshop and course design and teaching experience on a variety of library topics. Demonstrated ability to convert theoretical concepts into practical applications. Excellent writing and verbal skills, organizational and analytical ability, and interpersonal skills.


Mr. O'Bryant began his professional library career in 1973, taking charge of reference services, interlibrary loans, and serials at the Carl A. Rudisill Library of Lenoir Rhyne College in Hickory, North Carolina. While at Lenoir Rhyne Mr. O'Bryant reorganized the serials and periodicals section of the library to eliminate confusion and enhance usability. He also programmed and implemented a computerized serials holdings database system and taught a short course in reference services.

In May of 1975 Mr. O'Bryant joined the library faculty of The Claude Moore Health Sciences Library at the University of Virginia Medical Center as Head of its newly created Audiovisual Center (now called Learning Resources Center). In this position he completely organized and developed all aspects of the Center's operations, including staff training, in-house and later OCLC cataloging of AV materials, equipment loan and maintenance, interlibrary lending of AV materials, and the preparation of a printed catalog of the Center's collection. During 1981/82 he began implementing a computer assisted instruction facility in the Audiovisual Center and began planning for a public computer facility there as well. His duties also included editorship of the Virginia Union List of Biomedical Serials, a computer-maintained database of over 8,000 titles held by 48 Virginia biomedical libraries.

In October of 1982 Mr. O'Bryant assumed the position of Science Bibliographer in the Science/Technology Information Center at the University of Virginia. During 1982/83 he assisted with planning for and implementation of the merger of the Engineering Library with the Science/Technology Information Center to form the Science and Engineering Library. This planning included a complete evaluation of both office and public services space and resulted in a reorganization of the circulation desk area to enhance the provision of all public services. In July 1984 he became Assistant Director of the Science and Engineering Library.

During 1983/84 Mr. O'Bryant helped plan and implement a public computer terminal facility in the SEL. In 1986 he led a major weeding and reorganization project involving science materials held in off-site attic storage. During the mid-1980's he authored several microcomputer programs for managing serials, tracking materials expenditures and student wages, providing information about locally produced technical reports, and providing front-end menus for staff microcomputers. In 1988/89 he conducted staff training for electronic mail implementation in the science libraries. From 1990-1995 he was heavily involved in technical services matters relating to VIRGO, the library's online catalog, including several major database clean-up projects, weeding projects, and boxing for storage. In the summer of 1997 he served on a committee charged with a major redesign of the public VIRGO search interface and later served on the Library's WebCat Advisory Committee until it was abolished in 2005.

During the summer of 1994 Mr. O'Bryant was in charge of logistics for a major remodelling project at the SEL. In the spring and summer of 1995 he was assigned the special project of designing and developing a series of World Wide Web (WWW) documents outlining the facilities and services of the science libraries at UVA, as well as topical pages organizing links to scientific and engineering information on the WWW of interest to faculty and students. This project continued until 2006 when a major library-wide upgrade of all library web pages took place. The current version of the Brown Library web pages can be viewed at this URL:


Mr. O'Bryant's current duties cluster around the provision of library support and training to the academic departments of mathematics and statistics, civil engineering, computer science, electrical and computer engineering, mechanical and aerospace engineering, and systems engineering. A large portion of Mr. O'Bryant's duties consist of providing bibliographic training to users and the teaching of reference and internet searching skills in direct support of classroom instruction. Mr. O'Bryant has authored well over a dozen major user manuals and training documents during his career, including co-authorship of a National Library of Medicine sponsored workshop on managing audiovisual services in health science libraries. In 2006 he presented a major workshop on The Effective Use of Internet Resrouces for Teaching. Learning and Research to the Southeast Section of the American Society for Engineering Education, and he also authored a workbook on Resources for the History of Science, Technology and Mathematics. He has authored and taught a variety of library seminars and workshops and has 16 quarters/semesters of classroom teaching experience as an adjunct faculty member at Piedmont Virginia Community College. He served as coordinator of in-house staff training for the SEL from 1983-1995. In the late summer of 1995 the position of Assistant Director of the SEL was abolished and Mr. O'Bryant was made Coordinator for WWW and Instructional Services in the SEL. These duties included further development and refinement of the library's WWW pages, as well as authoring user instruction short courses, teaching, managing the SEL electronic classroom, and coordinating user instruction activities for the science libraries. Further reorganization in the library at the end of 1999 led to Mr. O'Bryant's position of Coordinator for Digital Projects and Services, in which he oversaw operation of the science libraries' web pages, the Science and Engineering Library's digital lab, and coordination of specialized electronic projects in the science libraries. He relinquished these duties in the spring of 2005 to assume his present responsibilities. He has also co-authored several professional articles, written numerous book reviews for Library Journal and other library publications, and a series of online tutorials on BASIC programming.

Mr. O'Bryant has served on numerous committees and working groups at the local, state and national levels, including chairing the By-Laws Revision Sub-Committee of the Health Sciences Audiovisual Group of the Medical Library Association and chairing a Special Appeals Committee of the Promotion Review Board of Alderman Library. He is a former editor of the American Society for Engineering Education's Engineering Libraries Division Membership Directory. He is also a member of the HTML Writers Guild.

Mr. O'Bryant has demonstrated effective leadership and management throughout his career. His management philosophy is one of active listening, consultation, and coaching designed to motivate by example, to encourage staff to assume responsibility, and to foster independent thought and action. He is committed to staff development and education at all levels. He is dedicated to excellence and to a vision of dynamic, flexible service responsive to both traditional and innovative information needs of all library users.


A list of references is available upon request.

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This page last modified Monday, 16-Oct-2006 15:28:05 EDT