The Unclassifiable Library Remix

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Monthly Report for September 2012

Access Services Department
Monthly Report
September 2012

Access Services Activities

We had a fairly typical month.  Student assistant management remained busy – both with timesheets, needed updates to our Blackboard training site, getting their pictures in so that we can learn who is who, and their day to day task management.

Study room requests were heavy this month, and seemed higher than normal, which means we could be in for a very busy exam season.

Additionally, I updated reserves policy to reflect the change in the access point from the Library to Blackboard, and dealt with numerous student fee issues.

Library Activities

I participated in/attended the following Library events in the month of September:

September 19th – Information Literacy session for Beth Froeba’s Freshman Seminar class
September 25th – Goodreads book club meeting
September 27th – Liaison Luncheon
September 27th – Second Life book club reading from George Orwell’s 1984

Additionally, I worked on SACS Assessment reports and spent quite a bit more time than usual on duty at the reference desk, including my scheduled weekend.

I planned, gathered materials, and with the help of my student assistant Brittany, assembled the Library’s annual Banned Books Week Display.  Jean and I are both posting on Facebook this week about our favorite banned books to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Banned Books Week.  I am also participating in the Banned Books Week virtual read out on YouTube later in Banned Books Week.

Access Services staff participated in/attended the following Library events in the month of September:

September 6th and 24th – FOL meetings – Chris Bowyer
September 24th – Staff Development meeting – Chris Bowyer
September 26th – Pembroke Day – Chris helped with selling hot dogs for FOL and Penny and
Tela worked at the Library’s Pembroke Day Table.
September 28th – FOL Calendar Sale at the football game – Chris Bowyer

University Activities

I participated in/attended the following University events in the month of September:

September 4th and 20th – SAGA meetings
September 5th – Faculty Senate meeting
September 10th – SPARC meeting and reception
September 12th – Town Hall meeting
September 20th – FIAC meeting

Professional Development

Tela Brooks participated in an OCLC webinar “Document Delivery using OCLC Article Exchange.”

Community Service

I am volunteering with Girl Scouts again this year, and attended the first meeting of the year for Daisy Troop 498 on September 20th.

Respectfully submitted,

June L. Power
Access Services/Reference Librarian
October 3, 2012

Monday, October 01, 2012

Kicking Off Banned Books Week

It's my favorite week of the year as a librarian.  Welcome to the 30th anniversary of the American Library Association's Banned Books Week, presided over by the Office of Intellectual Freedom. Libraries are at the forefront of many censorship battles, not solely because we are a provider o
f many banned and censored works, but because our code of professional ethics requires us to stand up for peoples' right to read without judgement or censorship. Does this mean that we agree with all viewpoints for which we argue a voice be heard? Not at all. However, we will defend its right to exist, because it may be the right work for somebody and that person deserves access to that work. You don't have to agree with the sentiment to disagree with its censorship.

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." - Beatrice Hall, The Friends of Voltaire, 1906

In celebration of Banned Books Week, myself and another library will share this week with our patrons on the library's Facebook page, some of our favorite banned books.  The following is my share for today: 

 In 2011, the popular Hunger Games made the list of challenged books kept by the Office of Intellectual Freedom. Some people claimed it was anti-ethnic, anti-family, insensitive, satanic, and contained offensive language and violence. Celebrate Banned Books Week by reading a banned or challenged book. Read the book or watch the movie - the Library has both.

More information:

BBW 2012: Most Challenged Books of 2011

It's Banned Books Week Sept.30-Oct.6th: follow hashtag & see  for more info.

PS - Band practice outside the library?  Why? 

PPS - I updated contract spending spreadsheets, worked on student worker paperwork, dealt with reserves issues back and forth all day, and still am behind on everything.  Hate being so productive yet feeling that I am not accomplishing anything.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Banned Books Week Display

Always excited every year to get my banned books week display done.  My thanks this year to my student Brittany, who helped assemble the display.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Banned Books in Second Life

More reference - mostly spent it preparing for book club.  This was followed by a quick breeze through the library liaison luncheon, held every year.  This is a chance for the department liaisons from the academic areas on campus to meet their library liaison, learn about their materials budget, and ask other general information questions.

Later on I did my Banned Books Week themed book club.  Book Club was in Second Life today, and I read from Chapter 1 of George Orwell's 1984.  Scary how that book still seems so relevant. This is my avatar reading to the book club attendees in world.

Might be hard to see, but my avatar is wearing one of her Banned Books Week outfits - my black t-shirt with "Censored" across the front.   I wore this as I thought the black censor bar bikini might be pushing it a bit. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Still working on my Banned Books Week display for this year, my student assistant Brittany is going to help me assemble the display this year.  I gave her a list of books to choose from to highlight in the display, can't wait to see which she will pick.  Should have it up soon and will post pictures.  

Follow Banned Books Week on Twitter with the following hashtags:  

Today was also the rain date for Pembroke Day, which got postponed last week.  It is an event with the University and larger town of Pembroke community.  Interest groups, student groups, vendors, academic departments and more set up tables all over the quad and there is music, food, and door prizes.  The library, for the second year, sold hot dogs to benefit the Friends of the Library.  I really don't like going out in the crowd, but I did see that my student group got their table set up and I bought a couple hot dogs for the FOL before retreating back to the peace of my office.  Thankfully, I was on reference for most of it and so had a reason to avoid the chaos.

Reference was per usual today.  Helped someone look up articles in Hispanic American Review and answered some questions about ILLiad requesting.  Also overheard patrons talking - "my sister murried a furrener" - typical for this area.  Le sigh.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Goodreads Book Club

After my morning at reference and working on assessment statistics and reports, today I hosted the monthly meeting of the library Goodreads Book Club.  For any not familiar with - it's a reader's dream.  A way to record books you have read and want to read, see what your friends are reading, find online book clubs, and oh so much more. Our first book club was being held in Second Life, a virtual world, and we had a number of requests from people interested in a face to face book club.  However, as anyone that has run a book club can tell you, getting everyone to read the same book and show up to book club ready to discuss said book is often much more difficult than one would think.  Instead, we modeled ours on the Goodreads web site, and set up a corresponding Goodreads group in order to facilitate sharing among group members.

We haven't had many member discussions yet, but I hope to get that part rolling soon.  In the meantime, we meet once a month, bring lunch, and discuss whatever books the attendees are currently reading or have recently read.  We add these to our group list on Goodreads so that anyone that missed can look up what was discussed, and so that members can add group books to their personal Goodreads lists.  So far it has been a moderate success, with anywhere from 1-8 members attending meetings.  I hope to see an increase in activity, but book clubs are like the lottery sometimes.  Doesn't help that the other two members in the library that were really active have resigned, but I am determined to try to carry it on.  Luckily the format makes that easy, little prep needed for me and little needed on the part of participants.  Definitely takes the pressure off.

Monday, September 24, 2012


Reference, reference, and more reference.  It's my night at the desk again, so after rushing through student time approval I made my way to desk duty.

The first person to approach was one of the maintenance guys working on the library's HVAC system, which is completely FUBAR, in my opinion.  They needed the key to get into Special Collections and work.  Since my specialty in library school was archives and special collections, this made me nervous.  I hate letting people in that room.  What if they touch things?  Mini-librarian stroke out.

Then I had the joy of helping a student access and print from microfilm, since full-text on JAMA was down.  I hate microfilm - the screen nauseates me.  Luckily, it was a short article.  Nothing much else happened, other than helping some students find documentaries.  The nerd in me loves this, as I watch this stuff for fun.  Our students sometimes act as if documentaries are a foreign world, so it's nice for me to see them get something other than films just for entertainment.  Not that the latter is wrong, but mixing it up is a good thing.

Friday, September 21, 2012


RT : On average librarians say "Why don't we try Firefox instead of Internet Explorer" 5 times per day

Can't tell you how many times having the patron switch browsers fixes the problem.  Of course, you often have to explain to them what a browser is first.  

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Busy day today.  I finished yesterday with student mediation, sometimes because I am a campus safe zone students will drop by to discuss problems.  I don't do official counseling, but i do recommend to many that they seek it.  Mostly though I just provide a friendly ear and a place to vent.  

Today ordering signage for the library, working on SAGA minutes, and finishing book club event postings.  

Afterwards more - you guessed it - reference.  I detest our printing and copying system.  It is frustrating to no end.  Not only is it overly complicated, but often just doesn't work altogether.  We have no way to bypass the system, and another campus department controls the copying/printing system and all we can do is call them and hope the problems get fixed quickly. On an up note, a faculty member recommended a Rachel Maddow book to me, which brought a smile to my face.  And a student got lucky and we actually had her textbook.  We normally don't have textbooks for courses, as keeping up with new editions for all courses is the realm of the campus bookstore, with which we are often confused.  Sometimes though, a copy is donated to the library and the student lucks out.  I know textbooks are exorbitantly priced, and I feel bad for the students, but this is one need we can't fill in many cases.  I was left wondering though, why was the student getting her textbook only now, with mid-terms looming? 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Aaaarrrr! 'tis International speak Like a scurvy pirate Day. 

I be probably far more excited 'bout that than I be, but avast, thar I be still sick 'n I needed a grog-filled. 

Started th' day doin' me once a semester required installment 'o teachin' Freshman Seminar. I truly detest 'tis part 'o th' semester. I lust bein' a librarian, but hate classroom teachin'. I used to be a teacher, then I became a librarian. I always feel like freshman seminar be a reversion. At any rate, I don't feel it does much jolly. Information literacy be 'tis own one credit course, 'n be a required tavern session fer all courses requirin' research. Without such context, our how-to wit' th' opac 'n Academic Search be not relevant 'n before I sail out forgotten. I got extremely lucky though, wit' another librarian takin' over me second session 'o th' day in light 'o me continued bout wit' th' plague. Which only left me a short stint at th' refdesk, whar me only queries were fer some city directories we didn't have 'n showin' a patron how to request items via ILLiad when they be not held by our library.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Days when we are short staff both at circulation and reference are incredibly long, as I work in both areas.  As the Access Services Librarian, I have to cover any staff shortages at the circulation desk when those I supervise are out.  It is nice thought to work on the front lines, though I wish it was less laptops and TV series, and more interesting works.  I love to see what others are reading and watching when it is something interesting.  Also worked on book club planning, reserves issues, time sheets, student group paperwork, and updating spreadsheets for contract spending. Had the additional fun of having a student call and berate me for his irresponsibility regarding his very minor library fine.  He called me unprofessional and said if it was so minor a charge I could pay it.  Being sick I was less patient than I usually am and let him know he was free to take it up with the dean, but that he would have to pay the fine.  End of conversation.

Then I took my sick self to reference, where I tried not to breathe on too many things so that the person following me had less to de-germify at shift change.  Lots of students in for study materials on the GRE and MAT today.  Some other interesting queries came up, which always makes working reference enjoyable.  This is why I became a librarian. well that and free access to all the books I want.  One professor was looking up our CD collection on teaching music through performance and a student was looking for articles on the politics behind the foundation of the Appalachian trail.  Would have been far easier to assist the latter had his butt not been hanging out of his pants, but we ended up finding some sources that would help him with his research. Helped another student find juvenile books in the catalog - she was pleased to learn that she could limit her search from the beginning rather than wading through a bunch of irrelevant results.

Monday, September 17, 2012


Oh goodie.  I am so excited about my first controversial post on the library page. I love to stir up controversy and discussion, simply because it makes people think.  I highlighted a recent acquisition and was accused of political partisanship.  It was especially funny as it was an accusation that I was advocating for the right when all of my friends know that I am a bleeding heart liberal.  But without getting into politics here, let's say that just because I disagree with a work doesn't mean I won't include it in posts that represent the library in general.  The library's page is not my page, and therefore must sometimes represent views that are not my own in order to be fair to all patrons of varying beliefs.  To the patron who commented, I gently replied that partisanship was not meant by the post and that I was only trying to highlight the importance of the day (Constitution Day), a new library acquisition, and we have many works on the topic that represent various points of view.  A good lesson to remember with Banned Books Week coming up.  

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." 
- Beatrice Hall, The Friends of Voltaire, 1906

Sunday, September 16, 2012


More observations from my weekend at the reference desk.

Worked on my Banned Books Week display despite feeling the plague coming on.

Was provided much entertainment from two ComSci majors who are regular patrons.  I don't know if people realize that librarians will listen in on their conversations.

What would give a patron the idea that adjusting himself while seeing help at the refdesk is a good thing?  Please don't.  Thank you.

Felt so bad for a student today.  Her test in Blackboard is getting ready to time out and the lab tech couldn't help, we can't help - le sigh.

All library computers are in use I think - including laptops. Wonder how many are doing academic work.

Damn it - I hate it when I have to shush. Makes me feel old and uptight, but sheesh people, this is a library not the great outdoors.

Managed to be productive despite the busy day at reference.  Updated patron records, read some professional articles, and helped a patron with APA citations.  SAGA forms were filled out, Blackboard was updated, and I also updated the reserves policy for the library manual.

Saturday, September 15, 2012


Friday, September 14, 2012


Another day of random referencey thoughts.  Has been a monotonous week.  But it was busy today at the refdesk - had students researching the enlightenment, criminal justice, and theology.

And while I enjoy helping people, and it's part of my job, I don't see that as any reason that common courtesy should go out the window.  

Really nice student to hang up on me when I finished helping you rather than say thanks or bye or anything.

OMG - A student I helped came back from upstairs just to thank me for the help. Maybe manners do exist after all. Someone's mama did good.  It's so nice to be appreciated from time to time for what I do.

Not all students are annoying - some are funny.  Student was complaining about a 5 page paper she had due this semester.  Student - one 5 page paper for the semester is nothing! My Reunification of Germany class - 5 page paper due 3 times a week.  And that was an easy class.  

When not complaining about assignments, I get fine complaints.  Ummmm no I haven't reviewed your appeal yet.  You kind of have to submit the form first like we told you yesterday.  

And now a fun library fact from @omgfacts: Wearing headphones for just an hour will increase the bacteria in your ear by 700 times.  Eww! Library headsets must be worse!  Ours are used by everybody and never get cleaned.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


With all of the extra reference shifts my thinking is even more random than usual, as my brain thing is taxed to the max.  Having a hard time stringing thoughts into a coherent paragraph, so here are some random thoughts I had while working reference today. 

Students - if you have headphones in and I can still sing along to your music, the headphones are kind of pointless.

Dear student who has iPad that was due last month - bring it back and save me the headache of tracking you down.

What is so hard about this concept - no you can't pick up materials for another person?

Students giving each other actual tattoos in the stacks - that's a new one on me. (Heard from another librarian - as far as I am aware has not happened in our library yet.)

"Don't gobblefunk around with words." #quoteoftheday

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Today I had surprise reference duty.  I normally work Tuesday and Thursday mornings, every other Monday night, and the occasional Friday.  Now I have extra Monday and Wednesday shifts thrown in, and hadn't paid attention to that change on the schedule.

It was fairly busy, but I did manage to work on some interlibrary loan issues despite several patrons trying to kill me with their perfume.  How do other librarians handle this?  It literally made me ill to inhale, and you can't get away from it when trapped at the desk.  

Did have a funny though when I read the latest library newsletter.  I support FOL - but "Friends with Benefits? Ummm somebody needs to read the Urban Dictionary. Can't stop laughing.

If only that funny could have carried me through the Town Hall meeting in the afternoon, which was sparsely attended and rather dry.  It's hard for me to pay attention in auditorium seats, I do better at conference tables.

*PS of the day - I don't usually promote products but I have to put in a plug for the Scribble Press app.  My little one loves being able to make and publish her own books.  If you have a child in elementary or middle school - definitely check it out.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Randomosity with a side of Extra Reference

Today another reference librarian was out sick and two others had a lot of beginning of the year information literacy classes to pick up, so I had to cover some extra reference time.  Since I worked reference through my lunch break and only had a short time before and after being on reference to work on anything else, it was a less productive day than I had hoped.  Here are a few of the inner thoughts I had today while working the desk:
  • Students looking for materials for a quiz due at 2 pm - and one of the three discs is checked out. Sorry I can't help your lack of planning.
  • Copier and printer issues are so frustrating when you have little control over their operation. (Business Services on campus controls all copying/printing.)
  • Student looking for books and movies on Alexander the Great - sadly the rest of her class got here first. You can always tell when a class has a project when all the materials are suddenly gone.
  • Students asking how to search instead of asking me to search for them...librarian warm fuzzy.
  • Finally - substantive research - statistics and articles about the local syphilis epidemic.

Monday, September 10, 2012


Working second shift today.  I have to work an evening at the reference desk every two weeks.  To be honest, I prefer it.  Just seems easier to work when there aren't constant interruptions, which is pretty much what happens to me when I work during the day.

The only problem I have with night shift, is that my students must submit their time sheets online for approval every two weeks.  I have to have them approved on the Monday following the due date by 5 pm, which coincides with when I work my reference nights.  Which means, I have four hours to get all assistant time sheets approved.  This isn't a problem if they are all submitted and there are no errors, but those instances are rare.  Luckily, I didn't run into too many problems today.

Before my reference shift this evening, I also have a SPARC meeting.  SPARC is the Strategic Planning and Resource Council on campus, and I have been a part of the group since SPARC 1 (we are now on SPARC 2).  The committee seeks to guide planning according to the mission of the University, system-wide goals, our Chancellor's vision, and our available budget.  Because of the length of time it often takes to accomplish change in academia, this type of group is important in getting the ball rolling on change.  A lot of people may shake their heads and ask what good it does and what good will come of it, but I see this as one of those you are part of the solution or part of the problem type of things.  I would rather try to be part of the solution, for even if we fail to accomplish what we would like, at least we have worked on the attempt.

After the three hour SPARC meeting, I finally got to reference and was shushed by a student for helping someone too loudly.  It made me laugh since I was the one being shushed and not being the shusher.  I did try to be quieter after that, but it's hard when you are helping at the desk and students are studying right in front of you.  Especially when you are happy that you actually received a substantive request for a change.

Friday, September 07, 2012


Well the library is down not only a reference assistant now, but we are also down a reference librarian position.  (Not to mention several in technical services, but the reference positions affect me more.) This means lots of extra time for me at the reference desk.  Today was a fairly quiet day.  Other than the usual looking up of items (call number locations, media on critical care, full text articles), I had the other usual queries for which there is little I can do.  Yes we do have study rooms.  No there are none available.  Check back when we get a new building.  They are almost always full and are first come first serve.  Also, I can tell you how to search the database, but I can't tell you if the results are relevant to your topic.  You have to determine that on your own, especially when the subject is business, about which I know less than nothing.

Thursday, September 06, 2012


While at the refdesk today I  finished editing and publishing the newsletter for my student group SAGA.  As part of our focus on advocacy and awareness, we're going to publish a monthly newsletter to the campus community.  It's a couple of days late, but we'll hopefully be on schedule by the next issue.  I was glad to get it published before the SAGA meeting this afternoon though.    

Tangental note from refdesk duty - is this a public vs. academic libraries thing?  Why do patrons think we offer technical support? No I can't (read won't) help you install Office on your Mac but I can tell you where to find the help desk.  

While I planned on working from home on updating Blackboard and maybe getting some work done on my never-ending article, alas it was not to be.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012


Beginning of the month always means reports.  Running statistical reports, writing and submitting my monthly report, eating lunch while I work on reports, the usual.  Today also got to add assessment reporting to the mix, but at least a very kind colleague brought me a pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks, which made it far more enjoyable to work on.

In addition to the regular beginning of the month fare, today I had my first faculty senate meeting. I was elected to my three year term at the end of the last academic year and begin my term this fall.  It ought to be interesting to experience, especially learning to strike the balance between speaking as an effective agent for representing faculty interests and not getting drawn into the politics of academia.  I was told not to say a word for an entire year and to just listen and get the lay of the political land, but it's really not who I am and will definitely be a challenge.  I did ask one question during the senate meeting today, which I hope was innocuous enough not to cause any issues.  Our campus health committee is investigating our policies regarding smoking on campus and emphasizing the problem with compliance with the policy.  I asked if any smokers were on the policy making committee, as I thought that might increase compliance with the policy.  Let's see how long that one takes to come back to haunt me.  Academia is like a courtroom at times - "any thing you say can and will be used against you."

Monthly Report for August 2012

Monthly Report
August 2012

Access Services Activities

August was an extremely busy month, as the first few weeks of the academic year always are.  Just prior to the beginning of the semester, our Ares server received a major update as did all the client machines in the Library.  Rob Wolf and Jess Karpel helped with the upgrading of staff machines.  In other reserves news I have been paying close attention to the judge’s rulings in the GA reserves case, as it has implications for all university e-reserves systems.  Sam has been working diligently to process all the reserves that came in at the beginning of the semester and has done a wonderful job of getting things done in a timely manner and communicating with faculty regarding their reserves.  I assisted with some reserves issue for faculty, namely fixing any connections between Blackboard and Ares lost due to course cross-listings or a faculty member cloning the same class more than once.  I also assisted in finding a few obscure ILL items for Sharon Matilla.  Penny and Tela have been excellent about assisting at the Circulation Desk in the absence of Julious and in light of Sam’s need to focus on course reserves. 

The staff have been excellent in helping the student assistants get settled into the semester as well, setting them up on the biometric time clock, getting them started in training, and supervising them on a day to day basis.  Eric also supervises their stacks activities and makes their stacks maintenance assignments.  Student assistant administration took up the bulk of my month.  I had several meetings with library staff regarding student worker needs for their areas and available students.  I posted all the library jobs in the Career Center’s Brave Opportunities program, and responded to all job queries – both in the system and by e-mail.  I completed contracts for those students hired, conducted interviews, scheduled students, updated Blackboard, and approved time sheets for the first two weeks.  Other than one Hawk Assistantship and the always available work study option, all student library positions have been filled as of the last week of August.  In addition, since Melanie is leaving, I am taking over the supervision of the Hawk Assistant for which she applied for reference/instruction.  In order to stay true to the application, this student will not work circulation but will assist with making video tutorials for reference/instruction, and is available to the other librarians providing instruction on Wednesday and Friday afternoons if needed.

Fee appeals and account queries made up the other main part of my work this month.  When the last time to add/drop classes comes, students come in large numbers to clear their accounts.  Often these fees are not recent and take some time to resolve – talking with staff, checking Millennium, searching the stacks – making each query very time consuming.  This necessitating diffusing a few vociferous situations with students who wanted immediate action, though most I feel were satisfied with the resolution of their fees issues and all were handled as timely as possible in light of the need to expedite their ability to register.

In the rest of my available time I completed the Circulation desk schedule for fall, worked on
SACS assessment reports, and met with both of the new circulation weekend assistants.  Dan’elle and Kara have both worked at the Library for a number of years, so they only needed a quick overview of closing duties, and have been doing a great job so far.

A great picture of the Access Services staff and student worker looking great on school colors day!

The campus body conducting the event recognized our circulation staff for their school spirit.

Library Activities

I participated in/attended the following Library events in the month of August:

August 6th – Met with librarians and staff from NCCU
August 7th – Put up display on lobby board – “Books – Get HBO Programming 10 Years Before
Everyone Else” highlighting books that have been produced as HBO series or movies
August 7th – Met with Beth Froeba to consult on copyright for freshman seminar materials in
August 8th – Hot dog cook out
August 8th – State of the Library
August 9th – Overheard student at reference – "I love the smell of books."
August 10th – Staff Development trip to Raleigh to NC Museums of History and Natural Science
August 13th – Followed up with DSS regarding service animals in the Library after announcement
sent out by DSS – all service dogs wear identifying markers so that there is no confusion with other pets
August 15th – Submitted updated manual pages for incident reporting per discussion regarding
University policy project
August 16th – Library Hawk Assistantship meeting
August 17th – Departmental libraries meeting and revision of cooperative agreement and training
August 28th – Study room occupancy meeting
August 28th – Goodreads Book Club
August 31st – Planning committee and Librarians’ meetings
August 31st – Jess’s Farewell Party

Access Services staff participated in/attended the following Library events in the month of August:

August 8th – State of the Library – Tela Brooks and Penny Locklear
August 9th – Facts and Questions presentation – Tela Brooks and Sam Jacobs
August 10th – Staff Development trip to Raleigh to NC Museums of History and Natural Science –
Chris Bowyer
August 29th – FOL meeting – Chris Bowyer
August 30th – Arts, Displays, and Exhibits committee meeting – Penny Locklear
August 30th – National Library Week committee meeting – Sam Jacobs

University Activities

I participated in/attended the following University events in the month of August:

August 14th – Chancellor’s Address
August 14th – Financial Aid Work Study meeting
August 14th – SAGA executive board meeting
August 14th – Welcome Back reception at Chancellor’s
August 23rd – Faculty meeting
August 23rd – SAGA meeting

Access Services staff participated in/attended the following University events in the month of August:

August 13th – Convocation – Chris Bowyer, Tela Brooks, and Penny Locklear
August 14th – Chancellor’s Address – Eric Chavis
August 14th – Health Sciences Building Dedication – Chris Bowyer, Tela Brooks, Eric Chavis,
and Penny Locklear
August 14th – Welcome Back Reception at Chancellor’s – Eric Chavis
August 31st – Jess’s Farewell reception

Professional Development

August 2nd – I participated in a virtual field trip to the 2012 International Disability Rights
Affirmation Conference at Virtual Ability, Inc. Island in Second Life with the purpose of learning to make Second Life more accessible

August 9th – Chris Bowyer presented Facts and Questions with Melanie Wood as part of staff
development week.

Community Service

Penny Locklear and I both attended the PTA Open Houses for our respective children’s schools.

Respectfully submitted,

June L. Power
Access Services/Reference Librarian
September 4, 2012

Tuesday, September 04, 2012


Coffee, student assistant contracts, time sheets for staff, monthly report for Access Services, refdesk, staff members out, and who knows what else - and that is just what was waiting when I walked in the door.  

But wow - finally some news on the budget that pertains to me.  The NC Legislature approved a 1.2% raise for EPA employees.  That means Exempt from the Personnel Act, which is where "non-teaching" faculty, such as myself, are classed.  (Though I dispute the designation non-teaching.)  That is about an extra $40 a month, our first raise in years.  If only the raise kept up with inflation it may have made a difference.  I much more appreciate the five days time off.  And I am grateful that they did something, but when it's been this long one tends to get a bit disgruntled.

Refdesk this am per usual.  I signed up for my fall instruction sessions, my least favorite part of the year.  I really am not a fan of instruction, especially freshman seminar.  I got out of teaching for a reason.  I also monitoring an EDN class turn in assignments for another librarian and helped a graduate student with business research.  My favorite question of the day was in literature research assistance - I always like looking this stuff up.

Other than that I spent the rest of the day finishing up the SACS accreditation reports that should have been done last week...enough said.

Friday, August 31, 2012


PAYDAY!!!  It comes but once a month - and is highly welcomed. And this one is followed by a long holiday weekend and a much needed unplugging.

Went to Walmart, took kiddo to school, working on student contracts, then off to a planning committee and a librarians' meeting after-phew!  The librarians' meeting - always interesting when you have to pause the meeting to wait for the train

From Facebook, a great picture of the Access Services staff and student worker looking great on school colors day!

Thursday, August 30, 2012


Working late tonight, feel like I will never catch up.  But I think the beginning of the semester is finally easing into the regular semester rhythm.  And none too soon.

On a high note - reference reprieve today! Yay! 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Obscure ILL requests end up on my plate.  Any thing my staff think is out of the ordinary they route to me in ILLiad.  These may be rare items, items in a foreign language, or some other such problematic item.  Sometimes we get lucky and I can find it, and other times we must go back to the faculty member and try to obtain more information in order to track down the item.  Even then, we don't always succeed, but when we get to that point we know we've tried every trick in the arsenal. 

On a fun note I got my new 1TB external back up drive and gaming headset for video production today.  Yay!  Can finally back all my files up to one location and hopefully my next instruction video won't have such bad mic input.  

Today was also the student involvement fair for campus organizations.  I created a number of informational handouts for my student organization for the recruitment fair.  Our numbers have dwindled  due to academic attrition due to drop outs and transfers, and recruitment is our big goal for the year.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


My day was even more random than usual.

I went from answering book club questions, to a study room occupancy meeting, to hosting the library's Goodreads book club, to interviewing student assistants, and then dealing with questions about tutoring for ESL and study rooms and transgendered students using the bathroom.  

OK.  Maybe that is just as random as normal.

Our Goodreads book club is a very loose and informal club.  We meet monthly to discuss whatever we have been reading lately.  Kind of like show and tell for readers.  We are maintaining a list for the group on the Goodreads site ( .  It takes very little prep (only sending announcements) and very little maintenance.  Perfect for an already swamped librarian.

Now to set the rest of the dates for the live book club and get the Second Life book club planned for the year.

Awesome library fact: 

RT : The librarian Jean Armor Polly coined the phrase "surfing the Internet" in 1992

Monday, August 27, 2012


First day of first grade for my daughter today.  I should be at home enjoying the silence.  

Instead I am working second shift reference.  

I spent some time at the refdesk explaining that secondary vs. tertiary sources can be a really gray area depending on a number of factors.  They always look so confused when the answer isn't black and white.  

Sad when students can't use current electronic holdings because the professor requires a hard copy from print even though years out of date.

Had several queries from the same student regarding APA formatting and headers in Word - someone needs a trip to the Writing Center.

Later I magically fixed a jammed photocopier and got a warm fuzzy when the student I was helping thanked me.  It's nice when the are appreciative - it can make the whole day better.

Passed off some flyers to the anime club for another librarian.  Several librarians are faculty advisors to student organizations.  I advise UNCP SAGA, and might possibly be taking on a second student group if it is approved.

Wrapped up reference with the student needing the Europa World Book, Statistical Abstract, and US Fact book for an assignment - his eyes so wide at the size of the books. =)

Friday, August 24, 2012


Getting excited for Banned Books Week.  One of my favorite weeks every year.  Trying to come up with a novel display idea.  I've used so many of the usual themes in years past and want to do something different this year.  Also trying to decide which book I want to read for the - Submit Your Virtual Read-Out Video - .  Las y.  Las year I had my   .     Last year I had my Second Life avatar read from Brave New World.  Have to come up with an idea for both by early September at the latest.

Notes from the refdesk:

  • Helped a student with a reference in a paper and he was citing Medal of Honor the game - sweet!
  • No I am not your default Power point help manual.
  • No I can't help you comprehend what you are reading. Yes I can point you to additional sources no matter how bigoted the topic.

Had an interesting query from another librarian on a discussion list.  She was trying to determine if other libraries have a listening station where patrons can listen to audiobooks?  Since our audiobooks are for adults, and most of our audiobook readers have their own listening devices, we don't really have stations for audiobooks per se.  We don't have any children's audiobooks. What we do have is video viewing stations, for viewing materials that cannot leave the library or to provide players for media to which patrons would otherwise not have access, like old VHS tapes.

In other news, the student worker saga continues, ILL was knocking down my door, there were some instruction surprises, mysterious moving DVDs, and fraternity pranks.  In other words, wrapping up the week on a busy note and then dashing off to the mountains for the weekend.  After today, I feel I've earned it.