The Unclassifiable Library Remix

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.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


A thankfully quiet morning at the refdesk.  The beginning of the semester always brings a flurry of students checking our collection for textbooks.  Like many libraries, we have a non-competition agreement with the campus bookstore, not to mention the cost prohibitive nature of trying to supply the text for every class and with every revision.  

In answer to the question - no the library doesn't carry textbooks in general. A professor may donate an old edition, or we may happened to have picked up a book that happened to be chosen as a text, but please don't set your hopes on us for all texts.

Following a quiet morning, the afternoon was one of meetings.  First there was a general faculty meeting and then I had to rush across campus for the first meeting of the year with my student group.  

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


I feel like I am beginning to sound like a broken record, but the beginning of the year wave is finally beginning to crest and I am slowly wrapping up student assistant contracts.  However, today was more student worker paperwork, fine appeals out the wazoo, and a longer to-do list than my brain can currently handle.  I hacked away at the pile as much as I could.

Plus my new reference assistant started today.  Going to have her help me update Blackboard training videos and create instructional videos for the library's databases for posting on our YouTube channel.

Own It

Too often copyright is only discussed with regards to fair use and infringement and the use side of the equation.  But what about the creator's side?  What about your own creations? Your own words?  How much do you know about your rights as a creator and what are you doing to ensure you are retaining those rights?  Something to think about.

This article is a good place to start:

Your words are wasted - Scott Hanselman

'via Blog this'

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Back to the refdesk today.  While there I read over the Beloit mindset for this year.  Each year we are reminded about the mindset of incoming freshmen. Each year I am reminded that I am getting old.  That list is depressing, though enlightening.

After a slow reference morning, I finally had an interesting question - looking up books on Catholicism for a girl who's boyfriend wants her to convert.

The afternoon was more of the same beginning of the semester fare.  More student worker paperwork, updating the Access Services course in blackboard for my staff and student assistants, and working on schedules. Plus reserves, patron accts, & more.  Never a dull moment the first few weeks of classes.

PS - I highly recommend  - highly amusing.

Monday, August 20, 2012


Only worked half a day today.  Was hard to drag myself away from the beach.  I paid by having to hit the ground running when I got to work, putting out fires, answering voice and e-mail messages, meeting with staff and students and librarians, and generally tring to do as much as I could with the short day that I had. It was one of my chaos days.  On a more calming note, new student workers are starting this week and I look forward to getting to know them.

Friday, August 17, 2012


Yay for Friday.  The weekend is withing my grasp and the beach is calling.  

In the meantime, another busy day.  I worked on the newsletter and agenda for the student group I advise all of last night, and jumped right into student worker paperwork this morning.  

In the midst of trying to get caught up on the pile overflowing my desk I had to dash off to a meeting to discuss the departmental libraries on campus and the utilization of student assistants and ensuring proper training.  The revision of the agreement and the training of the assistants falls to me, since the departmental libraries only use the circulation portion of our ILS. 

The rest of the day kept me busy right up until the end of the day.  I worked on schedules, and contracts, and fine appeals - oh my! Plus policies, faculty duties, and writing galore!  I also stayed a little late to give an overview of closing to our weekend assistant.  She's worked for us for years, but this is her first weekend closing.

On a tangental note - I hate it when programs force you to use IE - stupid I9 verification site.

Thursday, August 16, 2012


Reference today.  Very busy day - working on scheduling, random docdel, and now looking up british spy novels.

Also met internally in the library to discuss how we wished to handle the new campus grant assistantships.  We are getting three - one in reference, one in special collections, and one in document delivery.  So far our guidelines are very minimal on the university level, so being librarians we are further clarifying them for ensuring proper supervision of assistants.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


First day of classes. Bring it on!

Worked on reserves, student assistant paperwork (including spending spreadsheets,) policy revisions, and read some professional literature, and all on 1st pot of coffee.  Hitting the ground running today.

Posted the following to the library's Facebook page today, hoping word would get out that we aren't complete ogres when it comes to monies owed the library.  Also hoping it staves off a few fines inquires.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


Such a busy morning - attended the now annual Chancellor's address, handled a number of faculty reserves issues, and worked on a number of student worker hiring tasks.  

Student hiring is an ongoing cycle for me.  I get phone calls and emails all year long inquiring about jobs.  I have canned emails for responding to the requests depending on the situation, as they generally fall into four categories - work study approved, work study ineligible, will review application, or positions filled.  Additionally, I must post all jobs in the campus Braves Opportunities system, run by the Career Center, which provides a central portal for students looking for on campus jobs.  I post the jobs available each semester and respond to each student applicant in the system, and also to the duplicate email that it sends me, as I am never sure which the student will check.  If we do hire a student, there is a contract to fill out, in addition to the usual government employment forms, and setting up the student for direct deposit.  Lastly, I must verify each student in the Department of Homeland Security's e-verify system.  I then have to obtain all the necessary signatures and deliver the papers to HR, which I usually have a student worker do so that I don't have to trust in campus mail and I know for a fact that it ended up in a human's hand.  I've been burned on that one before, so I go with better safe than sorry when dealing with HR matters.

I then had a quick break before I had to attend a work study meeting hosted by the Financial Aid Work Study Coordinator, meeting with the executive board of the student group to which I am faculty advisor (SAGA), and attended the University welcome back party at the Chancellor's home after work.

Monday, August 13, 2012


As best stated on:

(CYA note - only providing link)

Students have returned to campus.  Among those that arrive early before classes - the band, and the drummers, who practice almost right outside my office window.  

Today was a total melange of student worker contracts, the campus re-opening, approving student time sheets, working on the circulation desk schedule, and following up on this semester's expected service animals in order to inform staff, and that was just what made up my morning.

In other news the Judge slaps down injunction request in GA State copyright case  This is big news for those of us working with electronic reserves.  For the most part we are vindicated, but there are a few sticky wickets we need to be careful of in avoiding infringement.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Field Trip!

Twice a year the library's staff development committee sponsors a staff development week.  There is usually a luncheon and several speakers during the week, with the big event being the staff field trip.  The staff visits a library, museum, or other cultural institution somewhere in the state.  This week's trip took us to Raleigh where we visited the North Carolina History and Natural Science Museums.  What is great about these trips is we can bring family if we drive ourselves.  My little girl loves the museums and this was the last chance for a trip before the school year starts.  We really enjoyed the history of NC exhibit and the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts exhibit.  At the science museum, my little one got to pet a rat snake and an alligator - far braver than I.  Was a nice break from the usual day, and a good chance to revert to tutor for a day.  Definitely a day well spent, and I am thankful for the opportunity.

Downtown Plaza getting set up for a day bazaar

Museum of History - NASCAR is big here, and my daughter and husband enjoyed checking out the Intimidator's #3 Chevy.

The dinosaurs are always a favorite.  Thank you Dino Train and Land Before Time.

Last Chance for Peace

This is the last weekend the library is closed for a while.  Summer was nice while it lasted.

Thursday, August 09, 2012


Today was pretty standard. Met with other librarians to review student applications for their departments, since I coordinate all student worker hiring for the library. Had my usual reference desk stint.  I am usually on during the week on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 am - 12:30 pm.  I also have the occasional Friday shift, alternating Monday nights, and a weekend every few months or so.

The most interesting reference query I had was answering questions about e-book access.  While one would wish for seamless access to all e-books for patrons across vendors and e-readers,   However the reality is far different.  Our e-books come from three main vendors - NetLibrary, e-brary, and Books 24x7, in addition to government documents and other sources linked readily online through our online catalog.  Not to mention that licensing headaches and varying platforms for access - Nook, Kindle, iPad, etc. - make assisting patrons with e-books access far more complicated than it sounds.  Especially over the phone or by IM/email and especially when the patron is not uber-technologically literate.

Reference happy of the day: Just overheard from lady coming in to the library - "I love the smell of books." Librarian squee.

 I also spent a lot of time today fielding calls regarding library accounts and monies owed.  Now is the time of year when students that ignored their fees to the library all semester realize that they need to clear their accounts in order to register or to add/drop.  That means a slew of fine appeals, upset parents, adamant students, and transferring account calls to the circulation desk with whatever deal I've made with the student. 

In between that I worked on my article for the Journal of Access Services for which I am way behind.  Will now have to submit it for the next issue now.  I'm reviewing top mobile apps for librarians.  I have been behind all year, but am determined that this year I will never miss a deadline.  I just need a clone.  =)  In lieu of that, going to set aside some specific time for writing this year and I will meet those deadlines.  

Goodreads v. LibraryThing

I came across the article below on Facebook via I Love Libraries.  I found it a very good read and breakdown of the pros and cons of each of the book lovers' sites Goodreads and LibraryThing.  The question posed on Facebook asked which site people tended to use.  My answer was that I use both of them - but for different reasons.  

If you aren't familiar with Goodreads and LibraryThing, I recommend reading the article, as I am really not going to delve into the ins and outs of the networks, but rather how I particularly use each one.  Even if you are familiar with the sites, it makes for an interesting read and I look forward to future installments.  The introduction is excerpted below.  

Goodreads v. LibraryThing- Part One | BOOK RIOT:

"If there’s one thing I love almost as much as books, it’s making lists of books. Books I own, books I own that I haven’t read, books I own that have purple covers- whatever. While I used to do this on a spreadsheet, the internet has kindly provided a digital way to catalogue my books with the ADDED BONUS of allowing me to interact with other bookish folks. The two most popular book cataloguing/social networking sites seem to be Goodreads and LibraryThing.So which one should you use? What are the benefits/drawbacks of each? I’ve got accounts on both sites and have done some major digging into their terms of service (TOS) and various functionalities to give you some (many) points to consider about both sites. It’s a ridiculous amount of information, so I’ll be splitting this over two weeks. This week, we’ll consider how to add books to your library, the book recommendation functions, stats, the user interfaces, and discussion/groups."

'via Blog this'

LibraryThing I use less as a social network, and more as an open source catalog for small collections.  I have both a personal free account, and an account for my church collections for which I purchased a lifetime membership.  I used LibraryThing to catalog my church choir's musical holdings, most of which had to be entered manually, but which nonetheless provided the choir direction with a much easier way of searching for the right music each week.  I look forward to adding the church library's print collection to the catalog in the upcoming year.  I see LibraryThing as more of a tool than a social network.  I also maintain a personal LibraryThing account, but am woefully behind in adding my materials to it, mostly because I need a new bookcase at home.  The member giveaways are pretty awesome too.

Goodreads is my social networking outlet for reading.  I monitor what my friends are reading or want to read, I maintain my own lists of books (to-read, currently reading, and read), belong to book groups related to my personal interests and location, look for forthcoming literature, and so much more.  I spend far more time on Goodreads than I do on LibraryThing, which I find incredibly useful in providing access to materials that might otherwise remain unknown in the hands of private collectors.

There is really so much more to both sites, I've only highlighted my main purposes here.  The author and I pretty much come to the same conclusion about the two sites, but I just don't see that one or the other is better - they are just different.

Click HERE to friend me on Goodreads.

My personal catalog is located at, but please keep in mind that it is rather empty at the moment, but my goal is to add at least half of my items by Christmas.

The church catalog is located at, and currently contains just the choir collection.  My goal is to have the remaining print collection added by the end of the academic year.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012


Wednesdays are my favorite day of the week, in that I almost never have desk duty at either circulation or reference, both which will increase at the beginning of the semester due to the loss of the university library tech for public services who helped with coverage at both locations.

How did I make use of my day?  First, I have been behind on my email since I returned for vacation.  I make extensive use of email filtering and I leave discussion lists for last, focusing on those folders for university and library lines of communication when I get bogged down.  I catch up on the rest when I have time, and did so for a little bit this morning.  I hate to get too behind on these lists, because many of them pertain to the systems we use to function, such as ILLiad which I found out needed to be scheduled for an upgrade (which I promptly did lest I forget later.)  I got down to only two folders of unread messages - yay me! =) That feels like a major accomplishment, even if accomplished quickly this morning due to careful scanning of subject lines enabling me to delete anything not pertinent to me at  glance.

I then got busy on assembling my display, after getting the prints I had asked for yesterday this morning.  I so appreciate how quickly the other librarian got back to me, as I know everyone is swamped and it's summer, and no one feels like getting one more thing to do.  My display, as mentioned previously in this forum, was developed from a meme and can be found on my facebook page - Get HBO Programming Early - Read Books display.  The display at the library is on a freestanding display board that is about as high as me and slightly longer than it is high, and is a bi-fold.  I printed the meme poster sized and the cover art at full page or half page size to decorate the board.  In the facebook album, I included links to the library's catalog for all the items we held (which was the majority of the selections) and HBO series information.  Several of these are personal favorites especially Sookie/True Blood and Game of Thrones. Movies also seem to be pulling more frequently from plot novels.  Though it has always happened, it seems to me that it is happening at an increasing rate, but I have no statistical proof of that so it might just be my perception.

Student assistant application review continued - I have to respond to their email plus update the application in the career center database.  I get about ten applications a day at peak times of the year, often supplemented by additional emails introducing themselves, submitting resumes, sending me schedules, and asking questions about working at the library.  I sent my first two completed contracts over to HR today, which is always a good feeling.  I have them hand delivered to HR across campus, as I want to ensure they are received.  Not until HR inputs the contract into Banner do student assistants have access to time sheets and can begin working, so sooner is always better.

Our annual summer cookout was held today despite the early morning rain.  We always have hot dogs in the summer as part of staff development week.  I am glad they include kosher dogs, as the other kind creep me out.  There was also chili, slaw, beans, chips, and watermelon - YUM! =) This was followed by the State of the Library address from our interim dean.  This was a short meeting just to let us know where we stood in searching for a new dean, to let us know her background in various areas, and to let us know what to expect in the forthcoming year.  Already I can say it's great - the meeting was less than thirty minutes long.  ; > Always a bonus.

I spent the rest of the afternoon attempting to write, but with band camp right outside my office I am having severe trouble concentrating.  I really am looking forward to Friday's field trip simply to escape the incessant drumming.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012


Today was very much a mixed bag.  I skipped out on the AED/CPR workshop for staff development and worked my reference desk shift this morning.  While there I began work on the display for the boards in the front lobby.  I loved this meme I saw recently:

I thought it made for a good display idea, to highlight some books worth reading - a sort of passive readers' advisory.  I also happened to come across the article HBO Makes Great TV from Books.  It made the display easy to assemble - simply gathering the images I needed to use.  Our display boards don't hold actual items well, so I prefer to laser print cover art onto card stock for display.  I sent the pictures I needed to our librarian in charge of publications printing, who prints them off for me.  I have a desk jet in my office, but for displays the laser jet makes for a much better picture.

While at reference, I also spoke to our Freshman Seminar coordinator on campus.  I love working with her, she is one of the most pleasant people that I've ever met - always so full of energy.  Due to the nature of the course, they are going textbook-less this year and relying more heavily on Blackboard.  She wanted to consult with me to make sure she was abiding by copyright, since other than the campus attorney for official inquiries I am the default campus copyright guru.  Since she was merely linking to material provided elsewhere on the web, she was entirely within the legalities of copyright - no where near murky ground.  I love cut and dry cases like that.  I emphasized my if you merely provide links, there are no legalities to consider.  However embedding material or copying it means having to consider Fair Use, the TEACH Act, and other copyright implications.  I also added copyright to my Klout topics, though I am still figuring Klout out.

My reference surprise today was someone asking for three different years of University catalogs.  I didn't know that people still looked at those! 

I spent the afternoon attempting to finish my article for the Journal of Access Services, which I am behind on (as usual) as I always seem to overestimate how much I will get done in a given day.  Didn't quite finish writing, but I did read an article from my hometown newspaper The Virginian Pilot-Ledger Star - Library's retro-gaming event hits a new generation.  The Central Branch (the one I went to growing up there over on Virginia Beach Blvd.) held a Pac-Man tournament.  I wish I had been in town for that - how much fun!  I would really like to see something like that happen here at my library - some sort of gaming day, or circulating games. I think that academic libraries should include some gaming and not leave it as a strictly public library domain - at least on National Gaming Day @ Your Library in November.  Though I do believe their academic purpose can be more far-reaching than one day a year, not to mention I personally think there are a lot of benefits to recreational gaming as well.  (Though as a gamer girl I definitely am biased in this view.) 

There was also the ever-present beginning of the year fine appeals and job applications to review, which come in on an almost constant basis and will continue to do so over the next couple of weeks.  Hopefully in two weeks, I will have all student assistant hiring completed.

Monday, August 06, 2012

A Visit from NCCU

Every August and March our library staff development committee hosts staff development activities throughout the week.  Our August activities are always held between the end of the summer II semester and the beginning of the fall semester, as this is a time that least impacts our students.  Also, since we are only open 8am-5pm this week, no one is working the night shift and has to miss anything due to their work schedule.

This week's activities opened with a visit from our counterparts at NCCU - North Carolina Central University.  Like us, they are part of the UNC system of 17 institutions across the state, only they are one of the bigger institutions located in the NC Triangle.  I thoroughly enjoy meeting people that have a similar job function as I from other institutions, especially related institutions that also share some of the same state and institutional guidelines as myself.  I wish we had known further in advance that they were coming and/or had some idea of what they were interested in visiting us to talk about.  After they received a brief tour of the library from our interim dean, they and a number of our librarians met in our electronic classroom (which always feels like the ice planet Hoth.)  We had a good discussion, and I enjoyed getting to meet the visiting library folk.  However, I think it would have been much more effective if we could have met in smaller groups with just our counterparts from the other institutions in order to focus our time effectively on those issues that are most pertinent to our realms of experience.  (I never need to discuss cataloging - in fact I am pretty sure I am allergic to it.)   I missed out on the networking lunch since they opted for Fuller's and I just can't stand the smell of barbeque.  However, I was very pleased to meet Sunny Jackson, the circulation assistant from NCCU, whom I felt I had quite a bit in common with and who I look forward to networking with more in the future.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Monthly Report for July 2012

At the end of every month, I have to submit a report of what I and my staff have done during the month.  I think it does a great job of highlighting how eclectic Access Services is and I will be sharing mine from now on.  I am often pulled in so many directions that it is hard for me to post as regularly as I like.  I think this report demonstrates why that is.  

Monthly Report
July 2012

Access Services Activities

I started the month working some nights and the Lumbee Homecoming weekend while Chris was on vacation.  Circulation finished up the remaining stacks projects as student assistants completed their summer hours.  Our students Dan’elle and Victoria were extremely helpful to us this summer, especially on days we were short of staff and they assisted at circulation.  With flex time, leave time, and the resignation of Julious there were days where their assistance was vital and much appreciated.  I finished all time sheet approval and updated contract hours work spending calculations.  Additionally, I began working on planning for student assistants for the fall semester, discussing with Susan Whitt what the budget would allow us to hire and posting the jobs to the Braves Opportunities system.  I will be reviewing applications in the forthcoming weeks.

In addition to circulation concerns, our Ares reserves system had two updates completed in the month of July.  I coordinated the database update with Ares technical support and the updating of staff machines with Rob Wolf.  We are now using Ares version 4.2.  Our Microsoft Access statistics database was also updated with the assistance of Jessica Karpel and Rob Wolf.  Chris Bowyer, who is responsible for circulation statistics reporting, and I met and discussed some of the categories of statistics we were keeping in Access that are more easily and more accurately to be had from Millennium – eliminating the need for duplicate reporting and ensuring more accurate statistics.  These include laptops, iPads, DVD players, and room keys (Mac Lab, study rooms, multimedia room.)  The only remaining statistics to be recorded in Access are questions at the desk (directional, reference, technical, instructional), manual reserve items, and the “reason for no” report.  Staff were reminded that this latter statistic is important to record, as it allows us to review our services for needed and possible changes.

Updates were made internally as well to two forms I am responsible for maintaining.  The first is the circulation daily checklist.  The print form that was submitted each day to report circulation desk activities was replaced by a web form, located at  This form reports the same information as the print form, but will submitted by each individual at the end of their shift, rather than having to maintain a print page that is passed from shift to shift.  This makes each individual responsible for reporting their own activities.  The daily cash count reconciliation and the daily equipment inventory are emailed to me separately by the individual closing the circulation desk.  In addition to making reporting more efficient, this web form allows me to more easily store and review circulation desk reports.  The second form that I updated was the Library’s incident report form.  Previously, this form was a Word Document that the reporting librarian would fill out and then paper copies were made for library administration and the Access Services/Reference Librarian.  Then the reporting librarian had to make a log note in an Excel spreadsheet.  This process was cumbersome and rarely carried out according to procedure.  To make reporting easier to submit, thus encouraging better reporting by library staff, and to make storage and review of incident reports more efficient and less cumbersome, I updated the Word document form into a web form located at  Immediately upon submission of this form, email copies are sent to the Dean of Library Services, Associate Dean for Collection Management, Assistant Dean for Research Services, and Access Services/Reference Librarian.  Once I receive the report, I follow up with library administration and campus police as appropriate, as well as being responsible for notifying library staff by email of the incident so that all are aware.  I updated the problem patron page of the Library Policies and Procedures Manual to reflect the change in format of the form.  Other than the format change of the form, the procedure remains unchanged.  Library staff were apprised of the change by email, but reminders to encourage reporting would be helpful.  Rob Wolf did the web form creation based on the field I told him each needed, and made them live online for me.

July saw a rash of incidents involving smoking in the Library.  I received numerous reports of such incidents, but despite reviewing security camera footage have been unable to determine who the culprit is.  Library staff have been made aware of the situation and increased monitoring of the library stair wells will be taking place.  Campus police will also be notified of the situation.

Library Activities

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

July 9th – 11th – With Jessica Karpel, I provided library instruction for Kids’ College.  Jess and I met several
times and prepared two units – Animals and Spy Kids.  The second unit was requested by a teacher for us to do, yet unfortunately we were unable to carry it out since the teacher did not show up as scheduled.  However, we have saved all the materials for use next summer.  The animals unit we did get to use, as we provided instruction for four classes, with a total of 38 students attending.  We read stories, created some artwork – including the mural on display in the lobby, played Jeopardy based on the stories read, and  reviewed basic library skills.

July 11th – Space Committee Meeting to discuss Library signage

July 26th – Met with Anne Coleman to review the Library Policies and Procedures Manual to determine
which parts need to go forth for inclusion in the new University policy template.

July 31st – Met with Jason Hutchinson, Mass Communications, Rob Wolf, Anne Coleman, and Susan Whitt
to discuss the Mass Communications Millennium instance.  Jason was seeking to allow students to use the system, which we have not allowed for reasons of privacy and due to the shared nature of the database with the rest of the Coastal Library Consortium.  It was decided that Rob would investigate the possibility of a limited log in with Dan Pfohl in Wilmington, but chances are the policy will remain as in unless permissions for a student log in can be sufficiently limited.  Additionally, issues regarding receipt of Mass Communications fines into the correct account were brought up.  I have subsequently reviewed the fines paid file and determined that $300 of Mass Communications fines were receipted under an incorrect account number – as Library fines instead of Mass Communications fines.  The Mass Communications Department needs to provide us with the appropriate fine and replacement account numbers for accurate receipting in the future.

July 31st – Met with Anne Coleman and Susan Whitt to review the Library Policies and Procedures Manual
to determine which parts need to go forth for inclusion in the new University policy template.

University Activities

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

July 25th – Heritage Hump Day Social – Chris Bowyer, Tela Brooks
July 25th – Summer Theatre Workshop performance at GPAC – Chris Bowyer

Professional Development

July 12th – I participated in the OCLC Virtual Resource Sharing User Group Meeting.

On July 25th, Chris Bowyer and Sam Jacobs attended AED/CPR training.

Respectfully submitted,

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

Thursday, August 02, 2012


So many of my days are random, and I really need to do a better job documenting that randomness as it is the only way to explain really all that is encompassed in an Access Services job.  That part of my job description that says other duties as necessary is a much bigger part than it would seem based on it's priority and length in the list of duties.

Today I got to wear my reserves hat, which often I don't since I have an amazing staff person that really handles the majority of reserves processing and issues.  We were updating our software today.  We use Atlas Systems Ares reserves software for both processing and providing access to reserve materials for our faculty and staff.  We maintain a hosted server (so worth the cost) so updates are done by technical support on the server end and then we log into the client, which automatically updates itself.  A fairly painless process, but there are a number of staff machines to update, as the document delivery staff serve as back up to reserves (since they have scanners) and so that my staff person that processes reserves has access to the system at the circulation desk (where he works two nights a week and alternating weekends.)

Being Thursday, I also spent my usual couple of hours at the reference desk.

Aside from that, the day was mostly taken up with student assistant planning for the fall semester.  Every semester I must work with our budgeting people in the library to determine how many positions will be available based on our budget.  Work study students cost the library nothing, but there just aren't many to be had.  A few years ago there were approximately 400 work study students on campus, and last year only about 100 received a work study award.  So the pool is much smaller, and we don't have nearly the number of students we used to have.  Therefore, those few students I can hire via temporary service contracts under the library budget make a huge difference in being able to accomplish what my department needs - especially with regards to stacks maintenance.  Even with the contract students though, I dropped from 30 student assistants in 2010-2011 to 5 students in 2011-2012 - a burdensome loss.  Once I determine the number of students I can hire, I post the jobs to the career center's campus jobs database and wait mere minutes for the applications to come pouring in (since students are as desperately in need of jobs as so many of us are.)  Then I began updating the spreadsheet I keep on contract spending to submit to the administration once all contracts are complete.    A few contracts have already been completed and sent to HR, but the hurdles I have to jump through to complete that task is a story for another day.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Twittergate is Over

Yay! My work Twitter is back.  Since I try to stream only work related posts through this account,  I can't imagine there was anything wrong with the content.  However, I am relieved to have it back.  I am even more glad that it only took a week to get resolved.  I didn't think support would get around to it that fast, as I am sure they are inundated with spam and other such nonsense.  I am so glad that I am now again able to post to @unclassifiable_.  As the librarian heading the web 2.0 front for social media in the library being able to maintain my professional account separately from my main account is something I value, as it helps me to streamline my thinking and stay focused.