Get To Know: Jean In The Library

Jean Dobinick

Jean Dobinick

Alicia Stavitzski, Reporter

   Many know of Jean Dobinick as the woman who works in the library, but what many don’t know is Dobinick was a part of journalism history.

   Dobinick lived through the 1978 Times Leader newspaper strike. She worked as the secretary for the editorial page editor of The Times Leader for only a few months before the strike began. At the time, The Times Leader was taking on new ownership, and this frightened the unionized employees.

   “It was scary, being a new employee there. We were out on strike walking the picket line, not knowing if our jobs were totally down the drain, and so, it was a very dramatic time,” Dobinick said.

   Dobinick and other employees moved into a makeshift building, and formed The Citizens’ Voice. It is the oldest newspaper in the nation formed by striking workers.

   “We had started our own newspaper because we had editors with all of this experience. Being a part of that was very gratifying, especially later on when my daughters went to school and learned about the newspaper strike and how it was such a key part of history,” Dobinick said.

   At The Citizens’ Voice, Dobinick worked as a staff member and had a variety of responsibilities, including writing obituaries, community articles and feature stories.

   “I learned a lot from there, the importance of being brief and to the point, and correctness in writing an article from the information gathered,” she said.

   Dobinick left work in 1981 to have her first child, Maria. A few years later, she started doing clerical work for an insurance adjuster, and then worked as a secretary in the Student Programs and Services Office in Hayfield House at Penn State Wilkes Barre.

   “I mean to have an office there, in a mansion, was wonderful. I was the assistant secretary to the dean of students. Working at Penn State was a great precursor to where I am now,” she said.

   She had her second child, Michael, after working there for about a year, and she took time off and became a substitute teacher at both Lake Lehman and Dallas middle schools and high schools.

   “My background is in English. I actually graduated in 1977 with a bachelor of arts degree in English from Misericordia University. As a substitute teacher, I not only subbed for English, but also Spanish and gym classes,” said Dobinick.

   During high school, Dobinick worked for the newspaper as the co-editor, and in college, she worked for The Dallas Post.

   “I would prepare articles at The Dallas Post. I transcribed them into a computer program so the articles could be sent to layout. The Dallas Post helped build my skills to lead me to

The Times Leader,” she said.

   Today, Dobinick is  Circulation/Reserve Specialist at the library.

   “For those who do not know, reserves are materials that professors ask us to place on our shelves. I work with traditional and hard copy reserves, rather than electronic ones. Circulation includes checking out DVDs, books, magazines, CDs, and equipment.”

   Dobinick recently received a service award.

   “In the fall, I received my 15 year service award, so it’s always been a good place to work.”

   Many people don’t know this, but Dobinick was a transfer student who started at the College of Bloomsburg.

   “A year later I transferred to Misericordia. As a transfer student I felt very welcomed here, and I enjoyed staying at home and commuting. A lot of my relatives attended Misericordia. My sister actually graduated two years before me with a four year degree in nursing,” she said.

   Dobinick resides in the Back Mountain with her husband, Dennis. She has one grandchild, Oliver.

   “Oliver will be one year old on February 22nd and has changed our lives in a wonderful way,” she said.