30 Years of Service: Terry Robertson

   Employee Awards 2022 | Posted on March 4, 2022

Insightful, calm, patient, humble, has good common sense, is a good listener, knowledgeable. These are some of the descriptors colleagues use to describe Terry Robertson, Seminary librarian and associate dean of libraries.

Terry carries himself with dignity and is a very gifted librarian with a high level of professionalism and scholarly excellence, a plenary speaker, and the editor of the Journal of Adventist Libraries and Archives. He’s also a distinguished author and peer reviewer for information services, religion and theology disciplines. The Digital Commons, the open-access repository that has become an Andrews University signature, was started and is currently maintained by Terry. As the Seminary librarian, he’s integrated himself into Seminary activities, providing access to core theological resources and participating in theological gatherings and organizations worldwide. His deep involvement has added quality to the training of seminary students. Yet no one ever sees him associating these landmark achievements with himself. I admire his humility and dedication to duty.

Congratulations, Terry, for 30 years of service to Andrews and the James White Library. I wish you more strengths and insights as you explore innovative ways to expand library services to the Andrews University’s learning community. (Margaret Adeogun, head of Patron Services, James White Library)

I know Terry personally and professionally; he has good common sense. When he speaks up in committees you listen. He is very knowledgeable on theological subjects. He gains the respect of his colleagues through his humble quiet ways. He is dependable in any task he takes on. He is someone that can be trusted. I have great respect for him. (Kathleen Demsky, professor emerita)

Terrygreatly contributed to the development of the Seminary collection at James White Library. He has helped students from different continents in their research work. He taught them the rudiments of research and introduced the rich seminary collection. Not only is he knowledgeable but he also imparted and shared the know-how of writing dissertations and research work. Andrews University, especially the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary, has been much blessed by his three decades of dedicated service. (Philip Tan, head of Bibliographic Services, James White Library)

The Seminary students and faculty greatly appreciate Terry Robertson as he has a very broad, in-depth knowledge, a detailed expertise in seminary librarianship, and is always willing to give pointers when faculty and students meet research and writing challenges. He has actively improved user services and willingly trains individuals in their use. Terry has creatively managed the development of the Seminary Library’s collection, and Adventist and non-Adventist scholars have commented on how the collection is outstanding. Terry’s development of Digital Commons has been an extremely important research resource accessible worldwide. Terry, the Seminary thanks you for your 30 years of dedicated service. Congratulations! (Jiri Moskala, dean, Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary)

I want to take advantage of this opportunity to express my gratitude to Mr. Robertson for his impressive work as the seminary librarian. I think that three words can aptly qualify his work: knowledge, dedication and patience. First, Mr. Robertson shows ample knowledge of his field. In an area of constant change, he keeps always updated to provide the best information possible. Second, his dedication is evident in how available he is to receive any student who seeks his help. Incredibly, I never stop by in his room to be dismissed. He always interrupts what he is doing to give attention to us. Third, I could not miss mentioning his patience in dealing with us. With his trained ear to hear broken English (like mine), he never minds repeating any explanation patiently showing every step in any process he is clarifying. All these qualities mark the excellence of his service. And I am pretty sure that my opinion reflects the larger body of students who have been blessed by his work throughout all these years. I want to thank you for your dedication to providing excellence in service with knowledge and love. (Jônatas Leal)

Terry is very willing to listen, a very important trait for librarians to succeed. (Silas Marques, head of Information Services, James White Library)

I appreciate Terry’s involvement in starting and keeping alive the Journal of Adventist Libraries and Archives. It was a pleasure to be a reviewer for one of its early articles and work with him during that process. (Carolyn Gaskell, Library Director, Walla Walla University)

I have been blessed to have Terry as the associate dean of the James White Library and my sounding board. He brings knowledge, context, critical assessment and balance to a variety of issues. He is deeply spiritual, personable, listens well and is easy to listen to.

Terry’s expertise in scholarly communications is evident in his original publications and in the development of Digital Commons which, at the time of writing, boasts more than 20,250 records, has 4,769,909 downloads (1.47m in the past year alone), and is viewed in 211 countries around the world.

Terry’s deep interest and training in theology qualifies him to make significant selections for the Seminary collection. Terry shines when he engages students at all levels individually by coaching them and providing support for them to improve their research skills. One of the library’s student workers, Nathaniel Gibbs, observed that the question, “Is Terry here?” is a common request at the Patron Services desk and that “he helps a lot of students.” He also recalled that when the library flooded a few years ago, Terry came in and worked just as hard as the student workers in making sure the library books escaped damage or were identified for repairs. Another time, the evening shift was very short-staffed, and Terry covered the shift to midnight and closed the library. Nathaniel remarked that Terry’s example “speaks volumes to him.”

Terry also served the Association of Seventh-day Adventist Librarians in various capacities, including as president, and publisher of the Journal of Adventist Libraries and Archives.

Above all the professional accomplishments, Terry values relationships—with God who has given him everything he needs for living a godly life (2 Peter 1:1–12 is Terry’s favorite Bible passage);with his family who inspires and supports him daily; his church family that enriches his life and keeps him grounded; and his professional relationships at Andrews University with colleagues who encourage him to flourish.

Terry, thank you, and congratulations on 30 outstanding years of seeking knowledge, affirming faith, and changing the world through service to Andrews University, the James White Library, and the Seventh-day Adventist Church worldwide. As you mark this special occasion, be assured, this tribute is just a token of our appreciation, but when the Giver of all good gifts return, “youwill receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:12). (Paulette Johnson, dean of libraries, Andrews University)