Tale of Two Departures
March 21 hearalded more than just the beginning of spring. In the morning, I learned that John Dean will retire at the end of June. John has been at Cornell for nearly 20 years. During that time he has built a preservation program that is internationally renown for its breadth, excellence, and contributions to preserving not only Cornell's collections but those in many areas of the world through education, training, and consultancies. Fortunately, John has agreed to continue on a part-time basis after July, focusing on conservation treatment, education and training, and international work.
After lunch, I learned of Yoram Szekely's upcoming retirement, sometime in late July. Yoram has worked at CUL for 25 years, contributing his substantial talents to building significant research collections and to managing first Uris Library and most recently directing Collections Coordination and Support Services within IRIS. His counsel will be sorely missed and no amount of arm twisting could convince him to continue on even a part-time basis!
John and Yoram will have bigger fish to fry come summer!
I must confess that the vernal equinox took a back seat to these messages, and I was glad when the first day of spring drew to a close.
Here’s what else is new from the past month.
from the War
Chris Bucko, who is a Petty Officer, Second Class in the Navy Reserves, has been serving in Naples, Italy for the past month. Chris returned to work on Monday, April 7th. Although her military activation status seems to change week to week, for now, it looks like Chris will not be mobilized at any time in the near future. We're really glad to have her back! In the following piece, Chris offers some reflections on her time in Italy.
The middle of February I was sitting in my office working when I received a phone call from the XO (Executive Officer) of my unit telling me they needed my help in Naples, Italy ASAP. I had all these emotions running through me. I was excited to be doing my part as a member of the armed forces, I was scared not knowing what I would confront when I got to Italy, and finally I was sad that I would have to leave my family for an extended period of time. As it turns out, I only needed to be away for a month.
I arrived in Italy on March 2 and started work on March 3. It was nice to be greeted with familiar faces. Most of my unit was mobilized for a year providing support in Naples and I was in Italy last June so I knew most of the full time staff. The first couple of weeks I worked on the CAT (Crisis Action Team). I worked from 7:30 am – 8:30 pm for 4 days, then had 2 days off, then worked from 7:30 pm – 8:30 am for 4 days, then had two days off. The schedule would alternate between days and nights. I was so exhausted that all I did on my off days was sleep and eat. The work was very interesting and I learned a lot. Unfortunately, I can’t explain the work I did. All I can say is it had to do with ships. Once the CAT was fully staffed, I went to work for the Reserve Liaison Coordinator. I helped her with the mobilizations and helped check people in that were on AT.
I received from my family, friends, and co-workers was amazing. I would
get daily e-mails from them and that is one of the things that kept me
going. At first I thought I would be called up for a year, but it looks
like that is not going to happen. I am prepared, however, for whatever
New Network Usage Based Billing Policy
CIT has issued a new Network Usage Based Billing (NUBB) policy, which goes into effect July 1, 2003. Information on this new billing system is available from the CIT Web site. The IRIS Technology Support Team (Chris Bucko, Valerie Jacoski, Rick Lightbody and Joe Richardson) have been working with Oliver Habicht to learn more about the new system and to train the Local IT Support Providers for each IRIS unit. Because this new system has implications for budgets, Oliver will be attending the April 8 meeting of the IRIS Management Team to provide an overview.
The launch of NUBB highlights the need for thorough computer security procedures. A computer that has been unknowingly compromised or hacked could incur abnormally high usage rates that come to light only after the billing is complete for a particular month. During April and May, IRIS TST staff will be working with Local IT Support providers to assess computer security for all computers in IRIS units and to provide training and assistance for needed improvements.
Policy on Moving Olin Stack Materials to the Annex
Thanks to the efforts of John Dean, Yoram Szekely, and Pat Schafer, there is a new policy that outlines procedures for ongoing selection of volumes from Olin stacks for storage in the Annex. The purpose of this procedure is to establish a process for relieving storage pressure points in the stacks by moving small batches of material on a continuous basis. Since the stacks fill up unevenly, different areas reach the crisis stage at different times. By relieving small scale overcrowding on a continuous basis it is hoped that we can avoid repeated and/or large scale shifting of materials within the stacks. Also, that in this way the necessary steady state could be achieved in the stacks without having to do as many large scale Annex moves.The policy page provides a link to the new policy. If you have any questions or comments about the new policy, please contact Yoram Szekely.
Reading, April 23
In Celebration of National Poetry Month, the Committee on Cultural Events is sponsoring a reading in the Libe Café in Olin Library on Wednesday, April 23, from 3:00-4:00pm. Local poets will read their original works. The poets include Michelle Berry, Cynthia Bond, Maria Coles, Jon Frankel, Bridget Meeds, and Carole Rubinstein.
Cornell University Library is reviving its undergraduate Book Collection Contest this spring. Designed to encourage student interest in books and reading, this annual competition will provide Cornell undergraduates with the opportunity to display their aptitude in assembling and organizing book collections. Continuing the tradition of the Arthur H. Dean and Mary Marden Dean Book Collection Contest, held from 1966 to 1987, the new contest is sponsored with the generous support of the Library Advisory Council.
The contest is open to all currently enrolled undergraduate students at Cornell. Entrants must submit an essay describing the formation and development of their collection, a bibliography listing representative titles in the collection, and a list of ten titles the student would like to add to the collection. Collections must be owned and compiled by the student entering the contest.
A panel of five judges, consisting of librarians, faculty, and members of the Library Advisory Council, will select six finalists from all entries. Contest finalists will display their collections in Uris Library at a reception on Monday, May 5. All finalists will receive a cash prize: First Prize $1,000; Second Prize $750; Third Prize $500; and three Honorable Mention awards of $100 each
Entries are due by Friday, April 18. Complete contest rules and entry forms are available online.
Asia Curator Search Committee Named
We announced last month that a search is underway for a new Curator of the South Asia Collection following Ved Kayastha’s retirement in July. Because the job description has been slightly revised to include cataloging responsibilities. The application deadline has been extended until April 30. Meanwhile, the Search Committee has been named and will include the following individuals:
David Block, World Area Collections (chair)
Fred Kotas, Wason Collection
Chris Minkowski, Asian Studies
Linda Stewart, Mann Library
For more information on the search process, contact Susan Markowitz.
It has been over ten years since the Kroch Library opened its doors and much has changed in the interim. The Asia collections have continued to grow at a heavy pace, outstripping the available space for processing and storage. Digital technology has begun to change the nature of collecting and materials use. Computers, including vernacular support for Asia resources, have been introduced into the reading room, yet the space for key printed reference materials remains inadequate. And the administrative structure under which the Asia Collections operates has also changed. In an effort to assess whether policies and operations put in place a decade ago still serve the interests of the collections and users, we have begun two separate reviews in Kroch Asia. The first focuses on public services and is being coordinated by Michael Engle. He will be assessing the physical facilities, staffing, resources, and services for access and use of Kroch Asia to ensure that they are meeting the needs of patrons and staff in the most effective, efficient, and cost-effective manner. Karen Calhoun is coordinating the second review, which is focused on assessing the physical and intellectual aspects of collection processing and maintenance (ordering, receiving, staging, storing, processing, cataloging, shelving, stacks management, documentation, and staffing). The reviews should be completed in late spring.
In April, Linda Miller, who has been the Special Projects Librarian in Preservation and Collection Maintenance Department of IRIS, is transferring to the IRIS Research team to conduct and coordinate data gathering and analysis for organizational evaluation and assessment. Christopher Hamilton has just joined the IRIS Research team on a term appointment to work on the Political Communications Web Archiving project, a project supported by the Mellon Foundation and coordinated by the Center for Research Libraries. Chris is a recent graduate of the University of Michigan's School of Information with an M.S. in Human Computer Interaction with focus on Web Development, Information Architecture, and User-Centered Design. The Political Communications project is described on CUL's Alumni & Friends Access site and a piece on the project will also appear in the next issue of Kaleidoscope. Also at the end of March, Peter Botticelli completed his appointment as Digital Projects Librarian on the NSF-funded Prism Project. In addition to Prism, Peter had also been a member of the editorial team for RLG DigiNews.
it for this month. As always, drop me a line if there’s something
on your mind.
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