Library Highlights, vol. 1, no. 7
And where has the summer gone? These past few fleeting months have allowed us time to review the past year’s accomplishments, catch up on unfinished projects, and take a break from our regular schedules. Even at this slower pace, we have a number of notable achievements. We completed several more new hires and transfers, including: Jean Bauer, Digital Humanities Librarian; Amanda Rinehart, E-Science Librarian; Karen Eberhart, Manuscripts Processing Archivist; Bryan Tait, Library Technical Assistant I (Shelving); and Paul Cormier, Library Associate Specialist (Annex). Two new searches are underway to fill the positions of Digital Repository Manager and Director of Special Collections and the John Hay Library. We finalized the selection and implementation of VuFind and Summon, which will serve as a Google-like discovery service to connect researchers with the Library’s vast local and licensed resources, and we launched a new version of the Library’s home page. Several staff have been relocated to new offices, and we are in the process of creating a new study space on Rock Level A near the art books and updating Room 102 in the Rock to house manuscripts processing. Managers have taken great care in preparing departmental goals for the year, and OPG will soon distribute the library-wide list of action items. John Hay Library staff have worked with colleagues in Access Services to transfer more than 27,000 volumes from the John Hay Library to the Collections Annex (January-July, 2011), enabling first floor renovation plans to proceed. Other summer activities include Lee Pedersen and Frank Kellerman’s participation in a number of summer classes for high school science students. Sarah Bordac, Tom Stieve, Li Wang, and Ben Tyler contributed to the College’s First Reading program, including helping design the First Reading website (http://library.brown.edu/firstreadings/) and also engaging in related seminars. As part of the Fall orientation, several librarians will take part in more than 20 events planned for both undergraduates and graduates. And of course, in the meantime, we also weathered a hurricane. With many staff planning and preparing beforehand and promptly responding afterwards, and some luck from Mother Nature, the Library fared much better than it might have otherwise.
As the beginning of the Fall semester draws near, we happily anticipate the arrival of new and returning students and the subsequent flurry of scholarly and social activities that will fill campus. Our focus this year is on moving the inside out and bringing the outside in. Each of us has a role in ensuring and enriching this state of permeability that, somewhat ironically, has the potential to create increased stability and inter-connection. Two new staff positions have particular responsibilities in these areas: the AUL for Research and Outreach Services and the Communications and Stewardship Specialist. As the AUL for Research and Outreach Services, Ned Quist is tasked with taking a strong leadership role in working across the Library to define and direct a set of targeted initiatives to assess the needs of and engage with students and faculty both within and beyond the confines of our buildings and websites. Ned will look to each of us for input, support, and cooperation.
Aiming her efforts more toward the broader external community, Amy Atticks, Communications and Stewardship Specialist, is working with staff across the Library and campus to create opportunities to promote the Library within the larger academic context, the extended Brown community, and beyond. Examples of Amy’s work thus far include publicizing the upcoming Roger Williams exhibitions scheduled at the Hay, Haffenreffer, and John Carter Brown Library; working with Dan O’Mahony on coordinating the Federal Depository Library events on September 26; initiating an exhibit and presentation by the American Dance Legacy Institute based in part on the Bryson Dance Collection; helping establish the Digital Arts and Humanities Lecture Series that will be co-sponsored by the Library and the John Nicholas Brown Center; and working with others to generate a library brochure that will highlight the Library’s collections honoring Brown’s commitment to the Year of China celebrated during 2011-2012. Again, Amy’s work is dependent on the “news” that we generate and on the quality and depth of external interest and support that our endeavors elicit.
It is good to recognize that by working together we have much to offer as we move the inside out and much to gain as we (mindfully) bring the outside in. I join you in welcoming this new academic year and expressing gratitude for our good fortune and our many successes, both those accomplished and those to come.
September 6, 2011