Cecilia Sercan, Central Library Operations
Given her length of service, we expect Cecilia to have developed a well of wisdom to share with the rest of us. To commemorate her four decades, we asked her if she would answer a few questions for the Kaleidoscope readership. If you would like to see a detailed accounting of her early work life, please have a look at the August 2005 issue of Kaleidoscope from five years ago. David Banush did a great job summarizing thirty-five years of Cecilia’s career.
Scott: Cecilia, looking back over the past forty years, what two library-focused events or activities stand out foremost in your mind and were these good things for our users or not?
Cecilia: First, the development of MARC. Not that it is perfect, but it organized the “card” environment, and gave us a benchmark for development of other organizational possibilities.
Second, the development of OCLC and Online Public Access Catalogs (OPACs). This made the pathway from information to user much quicker. I remember faculty friends saying that they periodically would go and browse the stacks where “their” books would be; the cards would take longer to be filed than the books to be bound. With the introduction of an OPAC, they also were pleased that they could access this information from their offices, since previously the only union catalog of materials in the Cornell University Library was physically located in Olin. Especially in the sciences, it was wonderful to see that an item was in Physical Sciences rather than Engineering, without having to traipse first to Olin.
Scott: In your own work, what do you consider your proudest achievement over the last four decades?
Cecilia: My two-plus years of working as the director of the NEH Dante Project. Why? Because it was my first experience managing a project and personnel. When approaching the material in the usual way did not work, I devised a method to process as much material as efficiently as possible. It was amazing to see ILL requests come in as we processed materials that dealt with women characters in Dante. I learned a lot about the collection Williard Fiske had amassed. There were dozens of pamphlets celebrating the “nozze” of various couples, essays on different aspects of Dante’s work that were presented to guests as favors at weddings. And finally, there was that wonderful feeling of accomplishment that, as those shelves were emptied of uncataloged material, they would not be replaced with new receipts. Having an end in view, and getting there, is a great feeling.
Scott: As we face new budget realities as well as a moving target with regard to how technology and cultural norms are changing, what do you fear most about the future? What gives you the most hope?
Cecilia: I have few fears, but probably the one I admit to is the fear that people will forget that not everything can be accessed through Google, and that the internet may serve as a first step in research, but it certainly is not the last. I think that the move to closer collaboration between institutions is a great hope. One of the pluses with WorldCat Local is the immediate information about how many other institutions own an item. Yes, there are some core items that should be in many locations; but there are many items for which access in a few locations would be adequate.
Scott: What advice would you give someone who was contemplating a career in librarianship?
Cecilia: Be open to change. Librarianship is a great field, but like any field, it is changing all the time. Being open to the possibilities is a necessity. (Scott Wicks)
Susan LaCette, ILR Catherwood Library
Susan LaCette has been an integral part of the Catherwood Library and CUL for many years and I am glad I was able to attend the Service Awards breakfast at which she was honored. It is just a small return on the many important contributions that she has made over the years. From her work at the Annex, to her time spent as night and weekend supervisor, and all the way to her present position in the Reference department, Susan has displayed the work ethic, knowledge, and innovation for which she is so well known. I personally owe her a lot for her willingness to share her extensive knowledge of the subject area we cover as I got oriented upon my arrival and even currently. She values service to faculty, staff and students and is a model for how to interact with all of these groups. From all of us that have been helped by you in so many ways, I want to thank you for your many years of service. (Chris Miller)
From left: Mae Louis, Mei-Hsi Chen, David Corson, Janet McCue, Julia Parker, Lois Purcell, Anne Kenney
Mei-Hsi Chen, Central Library Operations
I remember clearly when I first met Mei-hsi. As I nervously awaited my job interview, standing near her cubicle, she kindly engaged me in conversation and helped to ease my tension. But this is Mei-hsi. She is caring and thoughtful. This is her cataloging style as well, as is currently shown in the way she patiently wades through a complicated 800 volume, multi-vol. set, or attends to a large cataloging clean-up project in the Kroch stacks. Mei-hsi is steady and attentive as well when anyone comes to her for advice or with a need, be it a co-worker or friend. She is very generous with her cataloger’s insight as well as with a quick and hard, back massage. She is always ready to fulfill a friend’s need, enjoy her family, or be a very willing golf partner for her husband. (Cynthia Rich)
David Corson, Rare & Manuscript Collections
David Corson serves as Curator of the History of Science Collections in RMC, a position he has held for over thirty years. As curator, David has been responsible for developing holdings documenting the historical development of the physical and biological sciences, technology, and non-clinical medicine from the Renaissance through the twentieth century. He has built the collection in a variety of interesting and creative ways, bringing it to its current position as one of the foremost history of science collections in the country. Like all Special Collections librarians, David must excel in a variety of areas. He not only provides expert reference services, but he is also a wonderful and popular teacher and speaker. His knowledge and love of the collections comes across to students, faculty, alumni, and visitors. His talks and show-and-tell presentations on ornithology, astronomy, Lavoisier, and botany, and other topics for classes in such a broad variety of fields ranging from English, History, and Art to Neurobiology, Nutrition, and Physics, are outstanding.
We all rely on David’s calm manner, attention to detail, and knowledge of construction projects in the many facilities projects in Kroch. Five years ago, David was responsible for making sure that the Kroch sprinkler project went smoothly. Now, David has planned and is coordinating a major security system upgrade. Thanks to his expertise and (almost) always-calm direction, the project continues to be bearable and, following his lead, everyone remains cheerful and cooperative.
I enjoy working with David, and I appreciate his expertise, intelligence, lively curiosity, deep caring for others, flexibility, and sense of humor. He continues to be a colleague whose opinions and counsel I value and trust. I cannot imagine how I would have dealt with facilities issues without him. I look forward to additional productive and enjoyable (and, hopefully, at least slightly less crazy!) years of working together. (Elaine Engst)
Nancy Dailey, Mann Library
Nancy has worked in many different capacities in CUL over the span of her career, including work at the Hotel Library, Mann Interlibrary Services, and as Billing Coordinator in Mann Access Services. Since 2006 she has been the Interlibrary Lending Coordinator at Mann where she verifies, tracks, and transmits interlibrary loan requests to users. In years past she has also provided administrative support at Mann and also support to the Entomology Library.
Nancy has a great wealth of knowledge of Access Services policies and procedures. She’s also a natural on the Circ desk with her excellent customer service skills and warm, friendly demeanor. She brings a cheerful, upbeat presence to the job with her great sense of humor. (Michael Cook)
Sung Ok Kim, Central Library Operations
It’s impossible to pick just one trait of Sung Ok’s to highlight. As an original cataloger in Central Library Operations, she has to juggle many competing responsibilities and she does this with an enviable calm. No matter what the department calls on her to do, she always accepts with a good-natured smile. She is the most dedicated and conscientious of catalogers. As faithfully as she attends to what is currently on her desk, she also takes many classes to prepare herself for whatever may come down the road next. She knows there is no standing still in our dynamic environment!
Sung Ok takes her responsibilities to others seriously. She devotes her time to her church library, does Korean translation, and tutors in the Korean language. (Pam Stansbury)
Mae Louis, Law Library
The Law Library holds many hidden treasures, but one of its better kept secrets is Mae Louis. Mae performs her duties out of the public spotlight, working tirelessly in the Law Library’s Information Management department. Throughout her 30 years at the Law Library, Mae has made a point of acquiring new skills and developing new areas of expertise as technology has added ever-increasing layers of complexity to our workflows. Her willingness (and even eagerness) to expand her horizons is one of the qualities that I value most about Mae. The library world has changed a lot since Mae began her career at Cornell, yet she remains an island of calm serenity while chaos swirls all around her. She juggles her multiple roles of cataloger, student supervisor, statistics-keeper, and (most recently) invoice-payer with admirable aplomb. We thank Mae and congratulate her for her thirty years of dedicated service to the Library. (Jean Pajerek)
Janet McCue, Library Administration
Janet McCue has left her indelible mark on the Cornell Library, beginning with her stint in Uris thirty years ago, followed by her move and subsequent directorship of Mann Library, and more recently as the Associate University Librarian for Teaching, Research, Outreach and Learning Services. Her notable accomplishments include a successful $4M endowment campaign for Mann Library, the completion of the $40M expansion and renovation project of Mann Library, and serving as midwife for many innovative initiatives. She wrote a Project Ezra grant for Uris Library’s first computer; developed the concept for a Technical Services Workstation and installed the first on campus (one of the first in any university); created the first Metadata Librarian position in CUL and the first Research Data Librarian; led the team that developed the first web-based Mann Library Gateway; and nurtured the development of VIVO.
For the past three decades, her professional writings have focused on digital library development, fund raising, administrative partnerships, and a biography of librarian and naturalist Horace Kephart. She has published articles in the Encyclopedia of Library & Information Sciences, contributed to publications, including Becoming a Digital Library and Successful Fundraising: Case Studies of Academic Libraries, and is an invited speaker at various professional meetings. She has served as Principal Investigator or Co-PI on a number of grants from funding agencies, such as NSF, USDA, and Cornell University, and from foundations, including the Rockefeller Foundation. Her international work includes consultations in India and the Philippines as well as development work in Africa.
Janet was honored with the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Librarianship in 1996 and for Excellence in Professional Service in 2009. She currently serves on the Board of The History Center, the Cornell-Sathguru Foundation (India), and is active in local community affairs. In her spare time, Janet enjoys time with her family (husband, Boj, and sons Matt and Andrew),cross-country skiing in the winter, kayaking in the summer, and hiking throughout the year. She celebrated her sixtieth birthday by going to the Amazon. These days she is practicing her slow stroke for Women Swimmin’, which Donna Callais and she have done together for the past five years. Like Horace Kephart, McCue believes that “librarianship offers a better field for mental gymnastics than any other profession.” (Anne Kenney)
Julia Parker, Rare & Manuscript Collections
Julia is the Senior Archival and Manuscript Processing Specialist in the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections. I have had the pleasure of working with her for over eight years. Archival work is done on a very different scale to the processes involved in cataloging individual published works. Often the collections will come in after being literally emptied from filing cabinets into multiple boxes, and it is our job to impose an intellectual order on the collection so that it can be used and is accessible to our researchers. At times it really is bringing order to chaos which can be rather intimidating. It may mean you have to be inventive and make decisions that involve thinking broadly outside the box. Julia can combine this ability with a methodical work ethic and attention to detail. We are very lucky that Julia can bring order to chaos and process these collections so that our researchers have access to them. She a stalwart worker and can produce amazing results from her concentrated efforts.
Another of Julia’s major strengths is training and working with students. She has a real affinity for them which is visibly reciprocated. In the Division at large one of her most endearing traits is sharing her amusing Joke of the Day calendar. That provides a lot of entertainment for all of us.
Julia is multitalented and comes from a family of musicians. She recently celebrated another thirty-year anniversary, as Immaculate Conception organist. Learning to play such a complex instrument such as the organ is no mean feat. The present organ was built in 1912 and consists of approximately 1,635 pipes among 27 stops. The organ also has 20 chimes and a collection of bells. Julia practices regularly for several hours a week and participates in the Church’s musical program all year long. She also has a personal instrument collection including a piano, pump organ, hurdy-gurdy, and various smaller instrument such as bowed and plucked psalteries.
I enjoy working with Julia. She is a fun and interesting colleague and is also diligent and good at her job. What more can a supervisor want? (Eli Brown)
Lois Purcell, Central Library Operations
I feel truly humbled writing a passage to celebrate Lois’ thirty years in the Library. So many people along the years have been bewitched by her unique personality and capabilities that it is almost impossible to do justice to the extent and measure of her success. But here goes: you probably know that Lois has only recently joined our CLO Acquisitions Department, after many years of serving as the very capable and loved head of the Copy Cataloging unit. I told her in person several times as she replaced me as the Ordering Head, and still remind myself daily (but more quietly), that our department was so lucky that she was willing to take upon herself such a task! In fact, I don’t want to even begin to imagine how this change would have transpired without her extraordinary ability to just shift gears, learn, explore and, most importantly, be joyful and adventurous in the eye of yet another transition. Indeed, when Scott Wicks asked her to head Ordering he wrote: “I didn't need to worry about it with her taking charge”. Interestingly, when I looked back also at what Karen Calhoun wrote about Lois in 1998 (when she just became a new supervisor) I was not too surprised to find this remark: “She [Lois] is to be commended on making her rapid transition from copy cataloger to supervisor appear to be relatively transparent to me, while I know it took courage, commitment, sensitivity, and considerable managerial talent to do so.” All those words still hold today.
When I try to think about the three main characteristics that allow Lois to do such a tremendous job, I come up with a strange mix. First are her curiosity and interest in people: she will stop by your desk to ask exactly how you are doing, and will be genuinely interested in what you answer. Second is her astounding analytical capability: Lois can clarify even the smallest details in a cataloging workflow. Last but not least, is her acute sense of fairness and generosity of spirit. Lois always remembers the bigger picture: that the library is in fact a living organism that is driven by people and their needs, and our interactions with one another is what makes this place work well and be relevant.
I will end with a more personal confession: when things get tough in the midst of stressful managerial meetings, Lois sometimes smiles at me. I know that she has already seen it all, and I am sure that she observes my great enthusiasm as well as the mistakes I sometimes make. You might think that with the breadth of her experience, I would be intimidated by that gesture, as if she harshly judges me, but I know that Lois truly believes that we are all human beings that try to do good and help others as much as we can within our own limitations. What else can you ask from a manager, a friend, and a colleague? I want to thank her for being so special and to wish her all the best with her next explorations doing what she loves: shedding fresh light, uncovering knowledge for the benefit of the people around her. (Boaz Nadav-Manes)
From left: Jean Pajerek, John Marmora, Barbara Berger Eden, Kathy Chiang, Lance Heidig, Cynthia Lange, Margaret Nichols, Anne Kenney
Barbara Berger Eden, Preservation & Collection Maintenance
Barbara is well-known as someone who ‘gets things done’. Just ask her about the time she arranged for over 80,000 volumes to be shipped to Tsinghua University Library! They probably would still be sitting in a warehouse somewhere had it not been for Barbara’s tenacity with the Chinese shipping company. For those who do not know, Barbara manages the good folks who preserve and/or conserve the tangible CUL collection. She’s also responsible for the Collection Maintenance operation which, while situated in Olin Library, is active in most collection projects throughout CUL (and there have been quite a few lately!) whether in support of Google digitization efforts or to migrate materials off campus to the Library Annex over which Barbara also provides direction, working with Cammie and her capable crew. These roles have made her a good match for serving on local committees such as the Large Scale Digitization Initiative Steering Group, the Managers Council, and the Library Annex Review Task Force.
If you’ve had much contact with Barbara, you would know that throughout her twenty-five year career at Cornell, she has authored or co-authored numerous successfully funded grants (as well as a few that have not been funded). Some of the latest ones have included a proposal to New York State (NYS) for a Training Program on Works of Art on Paper (funded); a proposal to NYS for Major Conservation Treatment of Unique East Asian Collections (funded); a proposal to the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to Restore the Architecture Collections at Cornell and Columbia University Libraries (not funded); a proposal to NEH to Stabilize the Humanities Collections at Cornell University Library (not funded). A grant proposal was just submitted to the Save America’s Treasures program to digitize and conserve the Trials Pamphlet Collection at the Law Library.
Outside of the workplace, you can find Barbara spending hours (actually, days) in her vegetable and flower gardens, fighting off slugs and deer and other invasive critters, but it all pays off when she harvests fresh produce that she quickly incorporates into any number of sumptuous dishes (yet another hobby she shares generously with friends). Would you ever have guessed that Barbara swam the English Channel? If you had, you would have guessed wrong. She has joined with other CUL women and swum across Cayuga Lake as part of the Women Swimmin’ fundraiser for Hospicare and Palliative Care Services of Tompkins County. In her efforts to be open to new experiences, Barbara attends culture at the mall (otherwise known as the Met Opera in HD) with an opera club that includes her colleagues from the Library.
It’s been my pleasure to work with Barbara for over twenty years. If you haven’t yet done so, seek her out. You will not be disappointed. Congratulations, Barbara! (Scott Wicks)
Katherine Chiang, Mann Library
Kathy Chiang began working at Mann Library in 1984 in an innovative new position as the Computerized Data Services Librarian, and she has been innovating ever since! Today Kathy is the Head of Services for Academic Programs for Mann, where she continues to provide vision for the science library of the future. Kathy played a pivotal role in the Mann Library renovation project, from design to security details. Often seen wearing a hard hat, Kathy gracefully navigated the Library through design and construction phases and led us to the spectacular conclusion of the project that is visible in Mann today. When she’s not keeping Mann services running smoothly, Kathy enjoys traveling and mosaic art work, interests she often combines by traveling to interesting places! Kathy has served as a leader in Cornell University Library public services for over twenty-five years, and we congratulate her on reaching this career milestone! (Mary Ochs)
Rhea Garen, Division of Library Information Technologies
Rhea Garen is the lead photographer for DLIT’s Digital Media Group, producing high-quality images for a range of diverse and challenging projects. Examples of her stunning work can be found in the highly detailed Lab of Ornithology Digital Collection; the excellent facsimiles of Mark Twain photographs that line Olin Library’s first floor hall; and in all of the online RMC exhibitions. Rhea approaches her photographic work with unmatched precision and determination, consistently fine tuning her craft to capture the exact color and finest detail of the original. We rely on her expertise to keep our lab and workflow up to date with the latest technology available, and are ever-grateful for her excellent guidance in all things digital!
Rhea came to Cornell as an undergraduate in Biology, and has since worked in various departments across campus, including Cornell's Microbiology Department and the Material Science Department's Electron Microscopy Facility. Since receiving her BA in Microbiology, she has taken advanced courses in Art Photography, both at the undergraduate and graduate level. She came to Olin Library in 2000 and has since worked in DCAPS on many exciting initiatives.
In addition to her work at Cornell, Rhea is an accomplished artist, with exhibitions at such venerable institutions as the Getty Museum of Art in Los Angeles and Lightworks in Syracuse. She is also an avid bird watcher and gardener, and makes the meanest pumpkin-chocolate chip cake around (ask her for the recipe!). She is an excellent teacher, a gracious colleague, and an all-around fun person. We are very lucky to have Rhea in our unit, and look forward to many more productive years with her at the Library. (Danielle Mericle)
Lance Heidig, Research & Learning Services
In November, 1984, Ronald Reagan was re-elected, Imelda Marcos shopped for shoes, Bishop Desmond Tutu was the Nobel peace laureate, and Yoram Szekely hired Lance Heidig to join the reference and instruction team at Uris Library. Lance had just earned his MLS from the Columbia University School of Library Science, and armed with cutting-edge RLIN expertise, he was put to work immediately at Uris’s lone computer terminal. Lucky for Cornell that twenty-five years and hundreds of computer stations later, Uris still counts Lance among its librarian cohort. In fact, Lance is known as Uris’s unofficial curator, and researched, wrote and even recorded much of the text used in the Uris Library Historical podcast series. No longer collecting McBee cards, he employs the latest in library technology to teach students at every stage in their Cornell careers, even before they arrive on campus. Ever since Guns, Germs & Steel, Lance has coordinated the Library’s role in the New Student Reading Project, and has been especially creative as the author of the project’s annual blog, which students read as they prepare for their first intellectual exchange at Cornell.
Lance brings tremendous energy and resourcefulness to his numerous popular instruction sessions for undergraduates and graduate students, in for-credit and course-related classes. He has been a particularly skillful advocate for information literacy—in class and online, as leader of the Library’s LibGuides program. Lance has extended his skill in reaching classroom audiences to building interest for cultural programming across campus. For a number of years, he coordinated the Library’s book collection contest, which saw several prizewinners go on to win national awards. Most recently, Lance has been making a name for himself as a Twain scholar. The past year has found him turning up all kinds of new information about the noted American humorist (especially his connection to Cornell), delivering papers, appearing in a video, editing the exhibition catalog, giving tours, and most of all, curating Known to Everyone - Liked by All: The Business of Being Mark Twain, the current exhibition in RMC’s Hirshland Gallery. Please join his colleagues in Research & Learning Services in congratulating Lance on his many accomplishments during twenty-five years of service to the university. And while you’re at it (if you haven’t already), go see the Mark Twain exhibition! (Susette Newberry)
Cynthia Lange, Interlibrary Services
Cynthia joined Olin Interlibrary Services as a Lending Assistant in Fall 2009. Her responsibilities include preparing incoming ILL material for Cornell patrons, processing returned items, and some Borrow Direct processing. Cynthia started in her new position during the busiest part of the fall semester, which meant she was learning many new procedures while managing a high volume of work. Although this was a challenging situation in which to learn a new job, Cynthia approached learning each new procedure with enthusiasm and determination. Cynthia is a conscientious and careful worker, and is always happy to volunteer her help wherever needed. Her hard work and willingness to help has made her a welcome addition to the ILS team. In addition, her friendly manner, cheerful attitude, and sense of humor are appreciated every day by all her co-workers. During her twenty-five years in the library Cynthia has worked in a variety of jobs, including as an original cataloger in Olin, and she also had a job in Interlibrary Loan twenty-five years ago.
Outside of work, Cynthia has many interests including beekeeping, art history, printmaking, and photography. Some of her art was on display during the most recent CUL Art Show. (Caitlin Finlay)
Richard Lightbody, Division of Library Information Technologies
Rick’s first job at Cornell was as a student worker, running an offset printing press. After selling cameras at the Campus Store and running data lines through curious places like the Cornell Synchrotron, he began work at the Cornell Library in 1987, first as the Uris Library media assistant and then as the media supervisor. In these roles he oversaw the recording of thousands of campus lectures, the development of Uris’s video collection, and the renovation of the department’s viewing facilities.
In the mid-90s Rick's job began changing to officially include computer-related responsibilities, first for Uris Circulation and Media, then for the Access Services Division in Uris, Olin, and the Library Annex. He eventually became the first full-time desktop computer support provider for Access Services. His work there included the development of the Annex’s first electronic document delivery system. He then became part of the IT support team for the Library division known then as IRIS, and a few years later he joined Desktop Services. Currently, in addition to working the DS help desk with his colleagues, Rick serves as DS's liaison to CIT regarding the campus-wide Active Directory.
During his tenure with the Library, Rick was able to complete his bachelor’s degree in film studies. In his time away from work, he enjoys not only watching and discussing good films, but also dancing waltz, contra, swing, and many other dance forms, attending music concerts and festivals, hiking, photography, and nature study. (Pete Magnus)
John Marmora, Preservation & Collection Maintenance
John began his career at Cornell as an Evening Supervisor in Olin Access Services. His many talents were quickly recognized and as a result his responsibilities increased over the years. John became an Administrative Supervisor with additional responsibilities that included coordinating library move projects. John has managed the two library annex move projects, the transfer of the Huntington Free Library Collection from the Bronx to Ithaca, the move of the Africana Library, Physical Sciences Library, and coordinated the shipments for the Microsoft digitization project. In addition, there have been countless smaller projects that John has helped facilitate. In 2008, John was the recipient of the Staff Outstanding Performance Award. He is always willing to go the extra mile no matter what the assignment is.
As of July 1, 2010, John will begin a two-year phased retirement. He will have more time to devote to his beautiful vineyard and arboretum. The library has been very fortunate to have John work here for so many years. Congratulations, John, on all of your many accomplishments. (Barbara Berger Eden)
Margaret Nichols, Central Library Operations
As the section heading suggests, Margaret has made Cornell University Library her work home for twenty-five years. Five years ago, Elaine Engst wrote up a wonderful tribute in recognition of Margaret’s then twenty-year milestone. Rather than repeat (steal) this information, I will limit my comments to what Margaret has been up to in the last five years.
Margaret continues in her role as a holistic rare materials librarian (meaning that she does a bit of everything and a lot of somethings). In addition to her role to provide original cataloging for rare and manuscript materials, she coordinates the rare materials cataloging work of several CMS staff members, serves at the RMC public services desk, gives occasional tours and class presentations, edits exhibit captions and other RMC publicity materials, and is responsible for managing the collections and stacks maintenance activities (her very own Warehouse 13). She’s also well-known in the Library for her popular class on how to handle rare books properly.
As you see elsewhere in this issue, Margaret is very active professionally. Her current focus has been in managing the relationships between rare book catalogers and technical services archivists—part of the solution may be to create a standard that will meet the needs of both groups when processing single manuscripts, but, based on the title of the presentation she gave at the Rare Books and Manuscripts section of the ACRL preconference just this past June, “The Cataloger and the Archivist Should Be Friends: or, Herding vs. Milking Special Collections,” her interests appear to be more encompassing. By the way, the title of the preconference was somewhat more dire: Join or Die: Collaboration in Special Collections.
Outside of work, you may have seen Margaret engaged in one of her interests ... walking about town. While walking about, she’s probably thinking about one of her other primary interests—the history of the book. Margaret is also involved with the American Association of University Women and the Unitarian Church. She hopes, time permitting, to rejoin the Ithaca Community Chorus, a group with which she has a twenty-year history.
I’ve enjoyed working with Margaret for part of her twenty-five years. Apart from her special cataloging skills, she’s also a proven deep thinker who has a sense of humor. Congratulations, Margaret! (Scott Wicks)
Jean Pajerek, Law Library
Celebrating twenty-five years at Cornell Law Library, Jean Pajerek has built her career in ways she could never have fathomed while she was in graduate library school. She began as an assistant cataloging librarian, learning the ropes from a great mentor, Diane Hillmann. Jean was quick to learn and synthesize the intricacies of law cataloging and has continued to build on her strong foundation. She stepped through the ranks to the top Librarian status, and has served on many promotion review committees over the years to help shepherd younger librarians through the ranks. One sure sign of her mastery is that she is an excellent teacher of her art, regularly teaching on campus and to regional and national audiences the intricacies of cataloging, metadata, and online systems.
In her current position, Jean is Head of Information Management at the Law Library. In addition to supervising the acquisitions and cataloging operations and serving on our coordinating management team, she coordinates and does the heavy lifting in many of our newest services. Jean is the project manager for our institutional repository, Scholarship@Cornell Law, the Digital Commons platform that provides all of the publications of our law faculty, plus the scholarship of law students, visitors, and speakers at the Law School. She is also the long-time editor of InSITE, a current awareness service that is also a fully searchable database of annotations on law-related web sites. I am always impressed with how Jean stays current and is skilled at the latest technologies, which has made her an indispensable librarian and valued friend at the Law Library. (Pat Court)
From left: Julie Delay, Johanna Williams, Ardeen White, Joe MacNamara, Donna Callais, Sarah How, Craig Mains, Suzanne Schwartz, Anne Kenney
Donna Callais, Mann Library
Donna has sole responsibility for staff computing at Mann Library. She has been providing exceptional support to the staff at Mann for fourteen of her twenty years at Cornell. Most staff members do not remember a time when Donna wasn’t there to address their computing needs. What would we do without her? Donna is conscientious, responsible, dependable, proactive, positive, hardworking, and caring. To top that off, Donna also has a wonderful sense of humor that makes her fun to be around. Donna is diligent in insuring that the staff members at Mann have the proper hardware and software with which to do their job. It is amazing how much Donna knows about what each person at Mann is doing. In addition to looking out for individual needs of the staff, Donna also looks for single solutions to create a better work environment for everyone. Donna will assist you with any problem you encounter and will treat you as if you are her number one priority. She is usually balancing no fewer than a dozen requests and problems at any one time, but still manages to meet the highest standard of quality. Donna, thanks for taking such good of us. How about another twenty years? (Holly Mistlebauer)
Julie Delay, Library Administrative Services
Julie has been Director of HR for the Cornell University Library since April 2009 while continuing to fill the same role in the College of Engineering. Given how busy she now is supporting and guiding these two units, she has little time to spend on herself. Thankfully, we have provided her with a fitness plan -- running back and forth between her offices!
Julie has a great and varied set of experiences at Cornell – all of which give her an excellent background and understanding of how things really work in units. Her first job at Cornell was in AAP. She served in several roles, culminating in being Assistant Director of Administration and Finance. She then moved to the Bursar’s Office where she managed the student accounts department. From there she joined Engineering as the administrative director in Material Sciences, before becoming director of human resources in 2005. Bottom line – Julie not only is a great human resources director, but she has financial and general administrative skills too! We are lucky to have her as part of our Library family! (Lee Cartmill)
Margarita Ditmars, Mann Library
Margie started out in Mann Library Access Services in 1986, left CUL for a time, and returned to Mann to work on what was then the first barcoding project at CUL. From 1990 to 2001 she worked in Engineering Library’s Tech Services department and their Accel Lab; she then returned to Mann Library again where she worked first as the Access Services Supervisor and since 2006 has been the Interlibrary Services Coordinator. She has functional supervision over all aspects of Mann’s interlibrary services and document delivery, which also includes ILS services for Vet, Entomology, Geneva, and Adelson patrons.
Margie is an excellent manager, motivator, and mentor to our student employees and her co-workers, setting an example of great customer service for students and other staff to follow. She focuses on patrons’ needs and takes whatever steps are necessary to ensure the quick delivery of materials. She provides valuable and well thought input into our policies and procedures and is an important member of the CUL GetIt! Team and the 2CUL Resource Sharing Working Group. Her wonderful sense of humor and devotion to a job well done is a great combination to have and she is always happy to help her fellow staff at Mann and throughout CUL. (Michael Cook)
Sarah How, Research & Learning Services
I first worked with Sarah How in the mid-1990s when I was a library intern in Collection Development. At that time, Sarah had been working for several years as the Bibliographer for Western European Social Sciences, a position she assumed in 1989. As part of my internship, she assigned me a variety of tasks, including researching the various political parties in Western Europe. I greatly appreciated her mentorship and was very impressed by her in-depth knowledge of Western Europe and of many aspects of collection development. Today, I appreciate her expertise even more so.
Over the years, Sarah has been a selector for a large array of subject areas. In addition to her ongoing role as selector for Western European Social Sciences, she has most recently served as the interim selector for Eastern European and Slavic Studies. Sarah also provides reference and instruction services in RLS. During this time, Sarah has also taken a leadership role in several CUL-wide committees, and has worked closely with the Institute for European Studies where she serves as a member of the Steering Committee, assists with grant proposals, and contributes to programs and conferences. Sarah is also very involved with the Western European Studies Section of ACRL, including serving as immediate past-chair of the committee.
Among Sarah’s many talents, I am most impressed by her scholarly approach to all areas of her work. She displays both initiative and creativity in building and refining collections within CUL. This year, she proposed and initiated Cornell’s membership in the French Resources Project (CIFNAL) of the Center for Research Libraries (to which she serves as Cornell’s representative). She also initiated a subscription to a portal for French language periodicals in the social sciences and humanities (CAIRN) which will lead to opportunities for CUL subscription savings and processing savings. Please join me in congratulating Sarah on her twentieth anniversary and on her many contributions to CUL! (Deb Schmidle)
Craig Mains, O/K/U Access Services
When Craig began working at Olin Library in January 1990 he was a Building Attendant and his job was to check IDs so that only graduates or undergraduates with special passes could get into the stacks and to check bags as people exited the library as there were no security gates. He was soon promoted to evening/weekend Circulation Supervisor, responsible for Olin/Kroch and Uris Libraries. Craig is an outstanding supervisor, responsible for overseeing Olin/Kroch/Uris Libraries in the evenings and weekends. His many years of experience make him a valued resource for library staff. Craig’s artistic skills are reflected in the signs and stack guides he produces. Outside the library he is a member of The Ink Shop Printmaking Center, a not-for-profit art organization that promotes fine art prints, works on paper, and artists’ books. Craig is the exhibit and publications designer and serves as the vice-president of the executive committee. He is also busy renovating his new house. (Carmen Blankinship)
Joseph McNamara, Central Library Operations
Joe began his CUL career at the Hotel Library in 1989 as a night supervisor. In June of 1990 he joined technical services in Olin Library, then known as CTS, in the Authorities Unit of the Cataloging Department and has been doing authority and catalog maintenance work ever since. Joe’s expertise in authority control is second to none and he is the resident expert of the eccentricities of Gary Strawn’s headings maintenance program. He has successfully taught a plethora of students to do authority control work with high expectations and usually the students achieve and exceed them largely due to his efforts. He often has students who stay with him for three to four years and he gives them increasingly complex work. In the last year Joe became a member of my group in Batch Processing which was a natural fit as he has been doing authority work in batch for several years. Joe brings the same work ethic and desire to understand every part of a batch job that he does with his authority work. Joe also is an accomplished musician and we have had the pleasure of his performances at several holiday parties. We extend our hearty thanks and congratulations for twenty years of excellent work and our best wishes for continued success. (Gary Branch)
Suzanne Schwartz, Research & Learning Services
Suzanne joined the Cornell University staff in 1990. After eight years at the University Development, Research, and Records Data Management Office, she began her employment in the Cornell University Library as part of the Collection Maintenance Unit. Since 2001 she has been in her current position as a student supervisor in the Maps, Media & Newspapers unit of Research & Learning Services, Olin & Uris Libraries.
Suzanne’s work is concentrated in three main areas: student supervision, newspaper processing and maintenance, and equipment maintenance. Suzanne has an excellent knowledge of the daily newspaper handling operation. She has established efficient procedures for processing and distribution of the daily newspaper arrivals. Suzanne is quite technically savvy. She puts that to good use when she does routine maintenance and minor equipment adjustments, evaluates the machines and decides when to contact repair technicians for further assistance, and maintains logs of repairs; as a token of recognition, she was appointed a consultant on photomicrographic equipment maintenance for Music, Law, and Physical Sciences. Suzanne interacts in an excellent way with patrons using the Media facilities. She has established personal rapport with several regular visitors who trust her on all aspects of the equipment usage.
Suzanne works hard on her personal development. She has enrolled in the Associate Degree Program of the Empire State College and works toward her degree. All of these qualities have made Suzanne a valuable member of the staff of Cornell University Library. (Boris Michev)
Ardeen White, Central Library Operations
Ardeen has contributed to the work skills of most in Technical Services. Not only has she trained many a student worker, but also her colleagues in anything from inputting, to copy cataloging, and dare we forget, cataloging “funny formats”. All this parlayed her into the newly created position of Training Coordinator which allowed her along with the Training Committee to come up with specialized training in various topics such as OCLC, Macro Express, and the “Tips” classes. Ardeen is always anxious to share knowledge and her organizational skills put informational resources at the ready. Having begun her career in CUL at the Experiment Station Library in Geneva in 1990, the following year she moved on to Technical Services in Olin Library as a searcher/fastcatter and continued on to become an original cataloger and trainer. Ardeen puts her Spanish skills to use and enjoys cataloging for Rare as well, given their variety of subject, culture, and history. When not at work, Ardeen enjoys a very wide variety of creative endeavors from felting to fly-tying, doing Yoga, and taking her sweet dog Molly for rides around Ithaca. (Cynthia Rich)
Johanna Williams, O/K/U Access Services
Johanna Williams began working at Cornell in 1989. She worked for Cornell Dining first at J’s Express on West Campus for ten years and then on North Campus to assist with the opening of Bear Necessities. When Uris Library first opened the Tower Café, Johanna was there to help open it and she also worked in Libe Café before coming to work in Olin/Kroch/Uris Access Services in January of 2006. Since 2006, Johanna has been the official morning greeter at the Olin Library circulation desk as well as student supervisor for approximately thirty-five access services student assistants. When not working at the Library, Johanna enjoys spending time at the beach and with her family, particularly with her godson whom she adores. (Bethany Silfer)
From left: Swe Swe Myint, Eveline Ferretti, Pam Baxter, Ann Crowley, Eileen Keating, Anne Kenney
Pam Baxter, Cornell Institute of Social and Economic Research
Congratulations to Pam on the receipt of her fifteen-year service award. The Data Archivist for CISER, Pam serves the social science needs of Cornell faculty, staff, and graduate student researchers. Pam maintains a collection of social and economic data comprised of more than 27,000 online files and thousands of studies on other media. The collection includes federal and state censuses, public opinion surveys, administrative records, economic and social data from national and international organizations, and individual studies compiled by Cornell researchers. In conjunction with other CISER staff, Pam is currently undertaking a modernization of the technology underlying the CISER Data Archive which will result in improved data access and discovery tools for Cornell researchers as well as more efficient data curation practices within the archive.
In addition to serving as Data Archivist, Pam has also been appointed Custodian of the Cornell Restricted Access Data Center (CRADC), which Cornell researchers can use to acquire, house, and analyze restricted data in a secure computing environment complete with sophisticated statistical tools. As custodian, Pam helps researchers tailor and implement data security plans meeting the requirements of secure data providers such as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, and many others. She also works carefully with Cornell’s Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP) and Cornell’s Institutional Review Board for Human Participants (IRB) to ensure compliance with University policies. Under Pam’s management, the number of secure data projects housed with CRADC has grown to seventy, with new projects coming on regularly.
Pam is a member of the International Association for Social Science Information Service and Technology (IASSIST) where she is currently serving an elected position as U.S. Regional Secretary. She is also a member of the Association of Public Data Users (APDU) and the American Society of Notaries. (Bill Block)
Ann Crowley, Library Administrative Services
Ann began her career in Library Accounting in 1994, following her graduation from SUNY Oswego with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. She was quickly recognized as a resourceful and creative co-worker and supervisor. She took on the library materials fund accounting using NOTIS, and was instrumental in converting from NOTIS to the current Voyager system. Her peers have consistently recognized her as a go-to person for questions about library funds and accounts. In a recent review, one of her co-workers noted that Ann is “top-notch” and “absolutely one of the best people I have ever worked with.”
When I first started as the Library Accounting Services Director, Ann warned me that she was the one in the group to ask the “devil’s advocate” questions. She will frequently ask the first question, the question that everyone else may be thinking about but not asking, or the “huh, we didn’t consider that” question! The subsequent discussions from these questions have been invaluable in discovering opportunities for more efficient workflow and better customer service. Ann’s energy, creativity, and resourcefulness contribute greatly to the Library, and I am honored to have the opportunity to recognize her work. (Tami Magnus)
Eveline Ferretti, Mann Library
Eveline Ferretti originally joined the staff at Mann in 1995 as a special projects assistant, working on projects ranging from the Core Literature of Agriculture project to the Journal Price Study. As plans for a campaign to boost the Mann endowment materialized, Eveline’s skills in outreach and development were quickly put to work! Eveline currently serves as Mann’s Public Programs Administrator, which means you can see Eveline’s hand in Mann events ranging from the local foods festival held in the lobby of Mann last November to the Reunion grand opening of the Blaschka glass sculpture exhibit, as well as in Mann’s outreach publications for friends and donors. Eveline’s energy and enthusiasm are contagious and keep going well beyond the end of the day at Mann. When not at Mann you’ll find Eveline working overtime as Mom to sons, Felix and Ali, where if she is not attending a basketball tournament, she is probably organizing the school book fair! Congratulations to Eveline on her fifteen years of service! (Mary Ochs)
Eileen Keating, Rare & Manuscript Collections
Eileen Keating has served as Cornell’s University Records Manager and as Records Manager in the College of Human Ecology for fifteen years. As records manager, she has seen many changes in the nature of university records, and she deserves great credit for taking on complex electronic records issues, developing a greater understanding and awareness of needs and requirements. She has responded to these challenges with energy and enthusiasm, retaining the cooperative and friendly attitude that has been the mark of her interaction with colleagues across the university. I am always very impressed with her ability to interact with faculty and staff at all levels, both in Human Ecology and across the campus, and to provide them assistance in transferring records. She has been particularly successful in providing retiring and emeritus faculty with skilled and sensitive help during transitional times. Her work in the College of Human Ecology continues to be outstanding. She ensures that the College is well-documented, and she’s clearly a great resource to the Dean, the Communications Director, and the faculty in Human Ecology.
Despite the competing demands on her time, she continues to provide expert reference service and well-received and effective information sessions, presentations, and tours. Eileen also has been professionally active as a former president and current board member of the Central New York Chapter of American Records Management Association.
Of course, her family is also deeply important to Eileen, and her husband, her three daughters, and two grandsons are a source of immense joy and pride. I appreciate her lively interest, energy, sense of humor, and deep caring for others. She is a valued colleague and friend whose opinions and counsel I trust. I look forward to many more years of working together. (Elaine Engst)
Swe Swe Myint, Central Library Operations
Swe’s smile and bright laugh introduce her before you’ve actually met. Swe has been the Gifts Coordinator, previously Gifts and Exchange, in 110 Olin since 2006, acknowledging, recording, and distributing those items received including large gift collections. She started here as a technical services assistant in 1999, receiving and processing monographs. Previous to that, Swe worked in Kroch Library as a reserve/circulation assistant and also translated and Romanized Burmese script. Swe has recently added Class-On-Receipt cataloging to her repertoire of skills and puts her Burmese to good use for the library. Swe looks forward to visits with her two grown children and prefers the benefits of flower gardening to those of the vegetable genre. Swe is an active member of the Burmese community here in Ithaca. She can often be seen on a campus stroll during her breaks. (Cynthia Rich)
Vanessa Ng, Nestlé Library
Before coming to Nestlé Library in 2007, Vanessa Ng worked in Olin and Uris libraries. A committed employee, Vanessa expects only the best of herself and is not satisfied until a job is done to her expectations. She is willing to experiment with new ideas, and since she is so thorough and detail-oriented, she makes new ideas work smoothly. Vanessa has great empathy for our student staff, which helps her connect with them as she hires, trains, and schedules students each semester. Recently she served on the Backup Coverage Committee, and she is a current member of the CUL Reserves Group. In her spare time, Vanessa is an avid and gifted photographer and world traveler. (Jessica Withers)
Thomas Trutt, Mann Library
Tom Trutt has worked at Mann Library since 2001, first as the e-Reserve Coordinator and now as the Access Services Specialist. He has phenomenal technical skills which he has used to improve every library service he’s been associated with, from improvements to our scanning and OCR of e-reserve materials to the development of the Ares Tools program which has been a huge help for Reserves staff throughout CUL. He excels at producing statistical reports, developing databases to make some of our jobs easier, and helping his co-workers with almost any sort of computer issues.
Tom also provides excellent customer service at Mann's Circulation desk and is a core member of Mann’s Media Support Team, proving A/V support in all public areas of Mann Library as well as in Call Auditorium and the CALS Schedule 25 classrooms. He is one of those rare individuals who has a superior technical aptitude as well as great people skills, all of which makes him a real asset to Mann and CUL. (Michael Cook)
From left: Peter Martinez, Erla Heyns, Darla Critchfield, Michael Cook, Margaret Carleton, LuAnn Beebe, Michelle Cartland, Betsy Elswit, Beth Kelly, Adam Spry, Anne Kenney
Kyi Aung, Preservation & Collection Maintenance
Kyi started working for us on the first Annex project and then came to Collection Maintenance. He has worked as a book shelver in Kroch Library and on the 4th and 6th floors of Olin Library. Kyi is a an incredibly hard worker, a skilled shelver, and a unique man. Before coming to the Library he was a general in the Burmese liberation movement. He is also a poet and memoirist and is working on a novel. Currently Kyi is out on medical leave. We wish for his recovery and await his return to the stacks. (Jon Frankel)
LuAnn Beebe, Annex Library
LuAnn Beebe came to Cornell in April of 1999; she is a dedicated employee of the Library Annex. She keeps the brains of the Annex staff sharp with word puzzles at lunch and breaks. While not at work she enjoys spending time with her family and grandchildren. She is also dedicated to her community; she and her spouse spend time with the upkeep and mowing of the community cemetery and park. They also are very well known for their chicken BBQs and helping out at local fund-raisers. Thank you, LuAnn, for your dedication and hard work at the Library Annex. (Cammie Wyckoff)
Margaret Carleton, Central Library Operations
Margaret has been with us as a copy cataloger in Olin Library since 2003. Previous to this she was a member of Acquisitions. Margaret is very dedicated. She throws herself wholeheartedly and with a positive attitude into whatever she chooses to undertake, be it a fund drive for her daughters’ school, learning Arabic, or helping a new group of students on campus from Qatar; actually, the list could go on and on. Being herself from Belgium she steps in to help those from other countries with great regularity and compassion. Commitment is not her weakness. She takes initiative when attention is required, be it a problematic cataloging situation, volunteering for any number of good causes, or encouraging her young daughters in the ways of how life works. (Cynthia Rich)
Michelle Cartland, Preservation & Collection Maintenance
Before coming to Collection Maintenance Michelle Cartland worked at the Olin Circulation desk. She has been the shelver on Olin 5 for many years now. Michelle is a great worker and person. She quietly and efficiently keeps order in the stacks while pursuing the various enthusiasms spawned by a life spent among books. This summer she is getting married. (Jon Frankel)
Michael Cook, Mann Library
In the summer of 2009, after many years as Mann Library’s Head of Public Access Computing, Michael made a seamless transition to new responsibilities as the Head of Access Services and Media Support. Michael’s strong leadership and management skills, along with his professionalism and superb judgment, made him the perfect choice for this important new role. He proceeded to make this transition as easy as possible for our staff, while at the same time ensuring that service to our users would not be interrupted.
Michael’s strong service ethic and proactive management style are hallmarks of his commitment to providing excellent services to the students, faculty, and staff at Cornell. He is a compassionate and caring supervisor and he projects warmth and engagement when working with the public. During his tenure as Head of Public Access Computing Michael created an environment that encourages innovation and experimentation. His many accomplishments as Head of Public Access Computing include the integration of two CALS computing labs into the Mann administrative structure; providing leadership for introducing duplex printing to campus; planning for the CIT lab that successfully opened in Mann; working with CIT on a cloud computing pilot project; and contributing to the profession via presentations and papers both nationally and internationally.
As the Head of our newly formed Access Services and Media Support Department, Michael provided the leadership to successfully transfer two new staff members to his department from CALS Academic Programs. Michael did a superb job of assimilating these new staff members into his department utilizing his skills as a manager, trainer, and mentor. Michael’s new department provides consistently excellent service in access services functions and in media support for the public rooms in Mann and over forty classrooms throughout the College. (Howard Raskin)
Darla Critchfield, O/K/U Access Services
Darla Critchfield began working at the Library in September of 1999. She was initially hired to work on the Library Annex project, working in the old vault located in Olin Library sorting books by size, labeling boxes, and entering them into the Annex system. She worked on several other projects including barcoding materials and paging rare books. In 2000, Darla joined Olin/Kroch/Uris Access Services. She supervises approximately thirty-five student assistants. In April of 2009, Darla was nominated by several of her students and won one of the Cornell Employer Recognition Awards. The award was presented by the Cornell Tradition Office, the Office of Minority Educational Affairs, and the Office of Financial Aid and Student Employment. When not working at the library, Darla enjoys spending time in her garden. Her garden is really more of a floral display complete with goldfish pond, fruit trees, hand laid stone walkway, and outdoor patio. She also enjoys spending time with her husband and two boys, the oldest of which heads to college next month. (Bethany Silfer)
Elizabeth Elswit, Central Library Operations
Although I have only supervised Betsy for one year I can attest to her efficiency, exceptional organizational skills, and remarkable sense of humor. Betsy’s varied responsibilities in the Serials Management Unit include serials invoice coordinating and processing, serials check-in and problem solving, student supervising including bindery, bookmarking, and daily mail processing. Betsy adapts to the changes in the Library with a positive attitude; she is a true team player, always willing to help out where she is needed.
Betsy is an amazingly talented wood carver. She can’t indulge in her favorite hobby right now because she broke her left elbow in May. But this doesn’t keep her down. Betsy and her husband Dan recently bought a new home and are busily preparing to move. I congratulate Betsy on ten years of service and hope that we can work together for ten more. (Deb Warfield)
John Fitzgerald, O/K/U Access Services
John joined O/K/U Access Services first working the late night shift from 10:30 to 2:30 a.m. and later going to a full-time day position. He was then promoted to evening /weekend supervisor. He is an excellent supervisor who understands the enormous responsibility of being in charge of Olin and Uris Libraries often full of patrons. He has outstanding public service skills and is able to provide excellent help to patrons, effectively handling building and security problems while overseeing the workflow of the circulation desks. Outside of work John is very busy with his family and attending Syracuse Law School full time. (Carmen Blankinship)
Michael Fordon, Frank A. Lee Library (Geneva)
Thanks Mike. You made my day. ** The material you had put aside was not only interesting, but extremely important in filling in some holes in my research. ** Thanks Mike - once again you've proven to be a valuable resource.
Mike joined the staff of the library at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva as a part-time public services assistant, and it didn’t take long for the value of Mike’s work to be recognized with comments like these. His position grew to full-time and he began assisting with interlibrary services, which he subsequently coordinated for many of his ten years in the library.
He has been involved in many projects along the way, including one of the earliest e-journal databases in CUL. His background in history and archives made him a natural to collaborate with Eileen Keating, offering training and guidance to administrative assistants and faculty members on records management. This was so successful, that an email from the Experiment Station safety coordinator asking offices to be cleaned up for the pending fire inspection, reminded faculty and staff that the Archives would be interested in the papers they have piled up in their offices. He has also played a significant role in the publicity and expansion of the Eastern Wine and Grape Archive (EWGA) based in the Rare & Manuscripts Collection. He coordinated the digitization of two early twentieth-century films held by the Wine Museum at Bully Hill. The positive relations he built contributed to Bully Hill donating to the EWGA the historic Pleasant Valley Wine Company records.
Perhaps Mike’s greatest strengths are in the area of user assistance. He has always been extremely diligent in finding even the most obscure interlibrary loan request, and he has successfully answered a wide array of reference questions, from both the Cornell community and from the fruit and vegetable grower and processor industries. Mike is now the sole staff member at Lee Library handling an even wider range of tasks and services, and we are fortunate to have someone with his skills, interests, attention to detail, and dedication delivering excellent service to the Station community. (Marty Schlabach)
Erla Heyns, Flower-Sprecher Veterinary Library
Erla Heyns has been the Director of the Flower-Sprecher Veterinary Library since December of 1999. She came to Cornell from Indiana University where she worked as a librarian since 1986 in various capacities, most recently as the Director of the Health, Physical Education, and Recreation Library. Erla received her Ph.D. in Library and Information Science in 1994 from Indiana University and her specialization is in Library Management. Erla moved to the United States from South Africa in 1983. Her undergraduate education is from the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa. Erla and her husband, David Vernon who works at CIT, have two teenage daughters in Ithaca High School and the family enjoy skiing, boating, and hiking in and around the Ithaca area. Erla and David spend much of their free time at swim meets, soccer games, lacrosse games, ski races, and piano recitals! (Mary Ochs)
Melissa Jackson, Management Library
Melissa Jackson began her current ten years of service to the Cornell University Library in March of 2000. She worked concurrently at the Johnson School Library as the night supervisor and at the Fine Arts Library as a serials specialist from March 2000 until July 2001, after which she has worked exclusively at the Johnson School Library to the present. Melissa has been the bedrock of our evening program that has allowed the Johnson School Library to offer service to our graduate students until midnight Sunday through Thursday nights. She both supervises and helps to train the student staff members who support the library's nighttime schedule.
Melissa enjoys a multitude of musical and artistic pursuits. She has sung with the Voices Multicultural Chorus for four years, often as a solo performer. She has worked as a volunteer for Loaves and Fishes, Ithaca's community kitchen, for ten years. One of her great loves is travel to the tropics. She has vacationed in the Caribbean, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Panama, but her most frequent choice has been Hawaii, where she lived briefly before returning to Cornell in 2000. Melissa brings much of this zest for life into her time at the library. Thank you, Melissa, for both your steady reliability and the sheer fun of having you as a colleague. (Lee Ringland)
Beth Kelly, Central Library Operations & Music Library
Beth is the Library’s score keeper (she’s the original cataloger for music materials with a concentration in scores cataloging) in Central Library Operations, a position she has held since 2007. In addition to original cataloging, Beth informs her cataloging by keeping aware of use habits of music faculty and students through a regular role in the public services function at the Music Library. Prior to becoming an original cataloger, Beth managed much of the acquisitions activities in support of the Music Library from bibliographic searching to ordering and receiving, to serials check-in, to gifts processing. During her years in the Music Library, she also served as unofficial horticulturalist, tending to the library’s collection of plants.
But Beth doesn’t limit her time and talent to keeping scores. Perhaps you’ve seen Beth playing flute or recorder in local ensembles: earlier this year she performed with library colleagues Lenora Schneller and Kate Wilkinson at the Library Art Show; she performs regularly with Les Petits Violons, the Music Department’s baroque chamber ensemble; she is a member of Women’s Works of Ithaca, a group that performs music written by women composers; and she performs with the Grassroots Chamber Orchestra. She’s also a music instructor and proud mother of her two wonderful children. (Bonna Boettcher, Scott Wicks)
Cynthia Lamb, Flower-Sprecher Veterinary Library
Cindy Lamb came to the Veterinary Library in a casual hourly position in 1999 and in March 2000 she accepted a position in Technical Services at the Veterinary Library. Cindy is perfectly suited for a career in the Veterinary Library with her keen interest in and compassion for animals and a degree from Cornell’s College of Human Ecology in Human Nutrition. Cindy and her husband Steve, who also works at the College of Veterinary Medicine, have two children, Brian who will be a senior at Cornell next year and a daughter Natalie who just graduated from Ithaca High School and will be attending Binghamton University next year. Cindy is a master gardener and cares for the poisonous plant collection in the Veterinary Library. She is a keen nature photographer and enjoys going to concerts with her family. Cindy is a very highly valued member of the Veterinary Library with a keen eye for detail and an excellent service attitude, and she is highly respected by her colleagues in the Veterinary Library, CUL, and the College of Veterinary Medicine. (Erla Heyns)
Peter Martinez, Central Library Operations
Peter started in the Library as an administrative assistant in Rare and Manuscripts where he assisted the Administrative Manager with the accounting, facilities management, and event planning. He also provided network support for the staff. He soon advanced to the Electronic Projects Technician position where he got involved with the On-line Finding Aids Project, work with Luna Inscribe cataloging tool, and EAD training, assistance, and support for staff and students. In 2006 he joined LTS in the Batch Processing Unit as the Senior Metadata Management Assistant where he is a major contributor to our work. His deep understanding of the softwares that we use in Batch Processing, the various character encodings present in vendors' MARC records, and his ability to teach other staff in a way that fosters confidence and teamwork is much appreciated. Peter is actively involved with linkage problems for various library resources, contributing not only to resolving problems promptly, but proactively seeking more comprehensive solutions that maintain large groups of records. I congratulate Peter on ten very successful years with the Library. (Gary Branch)
Joy Paulson, Mann Library
Since joining Cornell in 1999, Joy’s work has focused primarily on managing projects to digitize historical materials. Joy got off to a fast start submitting a grant proposal to IMLS just two months after her arrival. The grant proposal was successful and lead to the creation of HEARTH (Home Economics Archive: Research, Tradition, and History). She was also deeply involved in the work to revitalize CHLA (Core Historic Literature of Agriculture) and has continued to coordinate the ongoing development of both collections. Today 4,263 volumes (1.65 million pages) are available online with another 725 volumes (310,000 pages) to be made available in the near future.
Joy has had a leading role in USAIN (United States Agriculture Information Network) by being instrumental in moving the preservation portion of the projects from preservation microfilming to digital imaging. The most recent phase of the project has lead to the creation of HARVEST: Access to Historical U. S. Agriculture Collections. This portal provides searching and access to multiple state-level digital collections and CHLA. The six phases of the project were supported by over $4.5 million from the NEH (National Endowment for the Humanities) allowing twenty-nine states to identify and preserve their most important agricultural literature.
Mann Library has hosted the current publications of several agencies of the USDA for over fifteen years (ESMIS). Joy was working with three of the agencies to identify and digitize their historical publications. Over 8,500 volumes (195,000 pages) have been added to ESMIS and a new site for the historical Census of Agriculture has recently gone live and content will continue to be added over the next two years.
Joy has served as a member of the CUL Large-Scale Digitization Initiative Steering Group since 2006. She coordinated the initial six months of CUL’s project with Microsoft resulting in the digitization of approximately 80,000 public domain volumes. She has coordinated the first phase of CUL’s Google Book project, which has focused on agriculture and life science materials from Mann, Entomology, Geneva, the Bailey Hortorium, and Adelson and their holdings in the Annex. As the project wraps up this summer, over 250,000 volumes have been sent to Google for digitization. Joy is now in the midst of evaluating the use of e-readers in scholarly research and working with CRL (Center for Research Libraries) on a possible project to collaboratively preserve print runs of agricultural serials.
Outside of work Joy enjoys traveling including several trips to India and Nepal. She’s also an avid reader. (Marty Schlabach)
Lyndsi Prignon, Library Administrative Services
Lyndsi Prignon is Assistant Director of HR for Cornell University Library. Lyndsi’s main responsibilities include employee relations, compensation, policy interpretation, reporting and analysis, and HR office operations management. Her work spans both academic and non-academic HR. She is a respected and trusted resource for employees, supervisor,s and CUL management. Lyndsi is the proud mother of two wonderful children and has a very fun-filled and busy schedule with her family and friends.
Her colleague Linda Bryan says: "Lyndsi and I have been colleagues for all ten years. One of Lyndsi’s most admirable qualities is her consistent performance. No matter how much change she is juggling in her career and her personal life, Lyndsi can be counted on to honor commitments and follow through. Her positive attitude and professionalism are constant from the first to the last detail of any project. Lyndsi is my go-to colleague for advice on positive, no-nonsense approaches for dealing with the immediate and practical needs of staff. Congratulations on ten years of service, Lyndsi! Thank you!" (Julie Delay)
Christina Rice, Mann Library
Christina Rice is the Department Business Manager for Mann Library. Christina came to Mann Library in 2002, transferring from the CALS Dean’s Office. Christina quickly learned to make sense of the alphabet soup of libraries. She manages the Mann Library budget, keeps Mann’s grant funding in order, serves as Mann’s personnel coordinator, and keeps our acquisitions dollars moving. Christina’s jack-of-all-trades support for Mann’s business operations is essential to keeping Mann running smoothly on a daily basis.
Originally a “California girl,” Christina has a B.A. from California Polytechnic. In spite of her California heritage, Christina has learned to tolerate the Ithaca winter and loves to garden in her yard in Lansing during the Ithaca summer, when she’s not busy as Mom to her girls, that is. Congratulations to Christina on her ten years of service! (Mary Ochs)
Lee Ringland, Management Library
Lee Ringland began her Cornell career as circulation supervisor at the Math Library in 1999 and then moved in 2001 to the Management Library. On a day-to-day basis Lee juggles management of our student staff while overseeing circulation activities. She also supervises our night supervisor and reserves supervisor. Lee will always go out of her way to find a customer service solution to a problem, and due to her work hours, she is often the only full-time staff member in the Johnson School at night and/or on weekends - this has led to some interesting situations! Lee is an avid gardener and takes yearly trips to Sweden to visit her daughter. Thank you, Lee, for ten years of dedicated service to Cornell. (Angela Horne)
Sasha Skenderija, Law Library
Sasha was hired at the Law Library in 1999 when it became clear that the evolution of website technology was rapidly outpacing the ability of the law librarians in charge of the library’s website to keep up with it. Soon after his arrival, he started to think about ways in which the website could be improved. Since then, the website has undergone several renovations under Sasha’s guidance and leadership. We have seen the website evolve from a functional but simple web presence to the innovative content- and image-rich site it is today. Sasha has been instrumental in the development of many of the Law Library’s flagship projects, including the Donovan Nuremberg Trials Collection, InSITE (an online current awareness service), the Law Faculty Publications Database, and the Foreign and International Research Materials database. We rely on his extensive knowledge of emerging web-related technology to keep the Library’s website up-to-date and relevant to our users. Apart from his outstanding technical skills, Sasha is also a published poet! We thank him for his many contributions to the Library, and congratulate him on his ten years of service. (Jean Pajerek)
Adam Spry, Library Administrative Services
Adam Spry work has been an important part of the Shipping and Receiving Department, with leadership skills that have always reflected the positive atmosphere that our department has strived for. He has risen through the ranks to Senior Shipping Clerk, a position well deserved, and Adam’s vast knowledge of the system earned him that role. He has also had the unique opportunity to play dual parts in our area, shifting from Senior Shipping Clerk to Building Coordinator when the Library needed him to fill in for the position during absences, and currently for the Olin/Kroch renovation project. His multi-tasked life here in the library makes him a popular and well known figure to just about everyone. Adam has a busy home life as well, with his wife Debbie and three growing children. (Don Fenton)
Nancy Trapani, Central Library Operations
Nanci Trapani has filled a number of roles in her ten years with CUL. Moving from the Annex Project Team to Interlibrary Services to Wason Collections and places in between, Nanci has gained experience in a wide range of library work. In her current role with the Electronic Resources and Serials Management team, Nanci combines her technical services knowledge and attention to detail to acquire, maintain, and troubleshoot databases and other e-resources for the Cornell community. She takes her work seriously and is dedicated to giving our users a positive experience with CUL. Nanci’s work is much appreciated by her unit, CUL, and beyond. (Jesse Koennecke)
Photographs provided by HR. The wonderful group shots of the picnic are by Joan Brink.
Annual Library Picnic
The Annual Library Picnic
Tuesday, August 17
On the Arts Quad
From the weather to Dinosaur’s barbeque to the recycling, even the servers (!), this year’s picnic was just great. I hope you enjoyed it as well and will join me in thanking the planning committee and volunteers, including Lynn Bertoia, Rachel Brill, Joan Brink, Tiffany Howe, Randi Kepecs, Pete Magnus, Cayenna Rosa Ponchione, Jinhee Roper, Laurie Stevens, and Ken Tiddick. (Anne Kenney; photograph by Joan Brink)
Outstanding Performance Award 2010
Barbara Tarbox, Central Library Operations
Nominated by Jim LeBlanc
Barb Tarbox joined the Cornell University Library in 1973 and has achieved what is undoubtedly one of the longest catalog maintenance/database management careers in the country. She is a wonderfully rich source of institutional memory for CUL catalog maintenance and database management practice over the past thirty-six years. She has consistently demonstrated a willingness to extend herself as a leader, both within CLO and library-wide.
Perhaps most note-worthy among her long-term accomplishments has been her thirty-two-year involvement in retrospective conversion, the completion of which in 2007 marked a significant milestone in CUL cataloging history: achieving complete coverage of Cornell holdings in the online catalog. More recently, she has served as CLO’s lead for addressing the database management aspects of library moving projects, which recently included the transfer of Physical Sciences Library material prior to the closing of that facility, as well as online record work in preparation for the Olin Fire Safety and Olin/Uris Collections projects.
She is described as diligent, reliable, patient, dedicated, and a strong team player. Barbara Berger Eden, who has had the pleasure of working closely with Barb Tarbox over the past ten years, pointed out that: “In addition to [Barb’s] ... professionalism, her attitude is always positive and she has a ‘can do’ attitude. Barb can always be counted on to have a thorough understanding of the complexities of her work and will mention significant details that may not have been addressed by others. I cannot think of a more qualified person to receive this award.”
Barb cares a lot about her staff and works hard to ensure that they receive the recognition they deserve. This attitude has not gone unnoticed by those who report to her, with one staff member providing the following views last spring: “Since 2003, when I moved to this department, I saw [Barb] handle some very tough situations with grace and strength. I don’t know if anyone above her has acknowledged that and expressed their appreciation for her resilience and for her contributions to the department. If not, I recommend they do.”
Thank you and congratulations Barb!
Jim was unable to attend the Awards ceremony, but Scott Wicks attended in his place and Anne Kenney presented the award. Anne also read a letter of congratulations from Christian Boissonnas who established the award in 1999.
Fuerst Awards 2010
16th Annual Fuerst Award winners with Anne Kenney, picturedfrom left: John Chambers, Isabelle Cutting, Freddie Joyner, Katherine Ard, and Brian Sawnor (photograph provided by Library Communications)
Katherine Ard, '10, Mathematics and Physical Sciences Libraries
Katherine began working in the Mathematics Library in 2007. She quickly grasped the basics of working in circulation and was promoted to the position of Student Supervisor III within the first year of her employment. She is the only employee on duty a couple of nights per week and is the ONLY student employee trained to work independently to open the Engineering Library if a staffing emergency were to arise. Described as a “go-getter” with high energy and enthusiasm, Katherine was considered the perfect choice to assist the Physical Sciences Library staff with their book moving project in the summer of 2009. This complex project involved moving over 40,000 volumes to the annex, and required much review and attention from beginning to end. Katherine was named a co-leader, and worked closely with library staff from Math, PSL, and Engineering to coordinate the move to meet project deadlines. Throughout the move, she continued to successfully balance her other responsibilities, which included supervising the circulation desk, processing interlibrary loans, shelving books, scanning ILS books, and making faculty office delivery. Katherine is considered an exemplary employee and fully deserving of the Fuerst Award.
John Chambers, '10, Music Library
John began working in the Music library as a sophomore, working during the academic year, over summers, and during several breaks and intercessions. He has filled in when they were short-staffed; sometimes helping out with almost no advance notice. John has mastered multi-tasking – working the circulation desk, shelving, performing stacks maintenance, as well as assisting with technical services processing. As a music major, he has also been able to provide assistance to patrons with searches. He has demonstrated a strong interest in the operation of the library and has made recommendations for improvements to signage or suggestions for book shifting. Rather than simply communicating problems to the staff, John has taken initiative to offer solutions that will help improve library functions and policies. The staff of the Music Library note that it has been years since they’ve had a student of John’s caliber and they are grateful for the chance to publicly recognize him with the Fuerst Award.
Isabelle Cutting, '10, Library Human Resources and Business Service Center
Hired in the fall of 2006, Isabelle has worked for Library Human Resources and the Library Business Service Center for all four of her undergraduate years. She is the ideal public face for Library Human Resources and always maintains a cheerful, positive, and professional demeanor. She is particularly helpful to those who appear in the office to complete paperwork and has exhibited great patience and gentle humor at all times. In response to changes made by the Payroll Office, Isabelle devised a template that we now use for new student hires. She consistently works many hours each week, frequently offering to work shifts for our other student employees, offering to cover the office so staff can attend meetings, or asking if we’d like her to come in to help train new students. A very organized person, Isabelle has often helped remind staff of meetings or deadlines, yet it has always been done in such a professional way that we feel appreciation that she is part of our team. Isabelle possesses the intangibles that we desire in our student employees and truly deserves to be a Fuerst Award winner.
Freddie Joyner, '10, Library Facilities
Freddie immediately established himself as a valuable asset to the Cornell Facilities Office in Olin Library when he began working for them in the fall of 2007. Jane Znamirowski wrote, “Freddie has that rare quality of taking on an assignment and becoming committed to the assignment from beginning to end.” Jon Ladley concurred, saying “I couldn’t agree more as I have learned to count on Freddie to help complete tasks and projects that would have been assigned to full-time employees in the past.” Freddie has demonstrated his “can-do” attitude, assisting with whatever is needed. Tasks include inspections, equipment inventory, repair analysis, compiling and analyzing complex data, or even the more mundane such as clearing the Olin terrace of stones. The decrease of staffing in the Facilities Office combined with the looming Olin construction project resulted in an even higher appreciation of Freddie’s steady reliability and high initiative. The Facilities staff note that Freddie’s work ethic, positive attitude, and experience will be very hard to replace. Congratulations Freddie!
Brian Sawnor, '10, Nestle Library
Brian began working in the Nestlé Library two years ago and also worked full-time during one summer session. Brian is described as conscientious, efficient, responsible, and thoughtful in his work habits. The staff often save some of the more complicated and detailed tasks for him since they know he will perform them so well. He is described as “one of the best students we’ve had in awhile;” a true compliment coming from a library that focuses on hospitality and public service. He was promoted to the Assistant level II position after his first year, which is rare for their student employees. Brian made such a positive impression on the Nestlé Library staff that he was also nominated for this award last year. Don Schnedeker wrote that Brian is “very personable, helpful, and easy to talk to…one of our best students.” His nomination also noted that “having him around is equivalent to having little invisible elves in the library do all your work for you.” His contributions help make the jobs of the regular staff easier and he is very deserving to be selected as a recipient this year.
2010 WILLIAM F. FUERST AWARD NOMINEES:
Matt Brouillette '10 / Research & Learning Services
Elizabeth Curran '10 / Maps & Media
Andrea Faldermeyer '11 / Interlibrary Services
Doug Gibbons '10 / O/K/U Access Services
Emily Goldsmith '10 / Mann Library,TEEAL
Laura Heslop '11 / Interlibrary Services
Mollie Lauterback '10 / Law Library
Cathy Lee '10 / Mann Library, Access Services
Nichole Martin '11 / Mann Library, Access Services & Media
Amber McColl '10 / Library Technical Services
Sara McDermott '10 / Rare & Manuscript Collections
Meaghan Phelan '10 / Library Alumni Affairs & Development
Jillian Scott '10 / Mann Library, Access Services
Sue Song '10 / Access Services
Rarinthorn Thammakulkrajang '10 / Mann Library, Access Services
Nora Tickell '10 / Library Alumni Affairs & Development
United Way 2009/10
At the Campaign celebration for the United Way of Tompkins County, held on April 30 at the Moakley House on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Course, local agencies and volunteers were thanked for helping not only to meet the goal of $2,075,000, but exceeding it with $2,085,000 and still counting! Campaign co-chairs Tom LiVigne of Cornell and local leader Andy Sciarabba thanked the community for its outstanding support in raising the largest amount ever for Tompkins County. This year while we were busy in our work and home lives and worrying about finances, jobs, and the university, we managed nevertheless to contribute more than our share to that success, exceeding our goal of $725,000 by raising $793,000. Last year Cornell University won the Key Contributor Award; this year that honor went to Wegmans whose employee participation rate was a staggering 90%. In the Library we should be especially proud of our own participation rate which again exceeded that of the University. Even in uncertain times we have shown that the excellence of Cornell resides in the people that work here. Thank you for your generosity.
Elizabeth Teskey, Division Deputy for Cornell University Library
Retrospective Barcoding: Twenty Years of Sticking and Scanning
When the Cornell University Library implemented its first online library management system (LSM) on April 1, 1988, circulation of library materials began immediately to increase dramatically. By two years later, manual circulation files at Olin Library alone totaled over 80 drawers containing over 80,000 McBee cards! Although staff had begun to apply barcodes to newly received material with the implementation of the new LMS (NOTIS), several CUL circulation points were running out of space, with “temporary” book carts and tables everywhere. It was time to start barcoding items in the existing collection so that we could take full advantage of NOTIS’s online circulation module.
Barcoding the existing collection (or “retrospective” barcoding) was a vast, but essentially two-step operation. First, we sent bibliographic data to a barcode vendor for the creation of “smart” barcodes” – one for every title in CUL’s online catalog. Smart barcodes are labels containing the 14-digit barcode associated with a given item, as well as title and call number information for that item. Library staff and students then applied these labels to the appropriate pieces, while the Library Systems Office added the barcode numbers to NOTIS using automated methods. In Olin, by far the Library’s largest collection at the time, an army of staff (including then Director of Olin Library, David Corson) led by the Head of Olin Access Services, Susan Currie (now Director of the Tompkins County Public Library) forayed into the stacks to apply barcodes. It was an intense, at times “perilous” effort – one person accidentally got a barcode stuck in her hair and it had to be cut out! There were also comical slip-ups, such as the collision in Buffalo between a shipment of barcodes and another package, a misadventure in which both boxes were smashed to bits. The postal workers repacked the material as best they could, but somehow a woman’s girdle arrived neatly packaged with Cornell’s barcodes.
Mann Library’s Howard Raskin, now Head of Mann Operations and Program Outreach, led the effort in that building and, along with Susan, served as project mastermind. Mann was the first library on campus to complete retrospective serials barcoding and may have been the first unit library to be fully barcoded (does anyone remember for sure?). In the end, smaller retrospective barcoding operations were mounted all over campus, led and carried out by staff too numerous to mention.
Of course, the mass effort to apply smart barcodes to existing items found on unit library shelves was only the beginning. Many items were circulating at the time of the first big push and needed to be caught later. Barcoding of multipart items, including serials, needed to be tackled on a project basis using “dumb” barcodes” (labels containing only the barcode number), since we only received one smart barcode for each title in the collection. Moreover, retrospective conversion – the transfer of catalog information from print card format to online records – was not completed until 2007 and retrospective barcoding long formed part of the recon effort. A central team to handle the bulk of this work was formed in the 1990s within Olin Access Services. In 2003, administrative responsibility for retrospective barcoding operations shifted to the Database Quality Unit (DBQ) in LTS, with Sally Lockwood (a veteran of the operations’ early days in Olin Access Services) leading a band of students through the project’s final years. DLIT’s Lydia Pettis was instrumental in regularly supplying Sally and her group with lists of remaining unbarcoded, or not completely barcoded, titles.
In May, Sally and her crew completed the last phase of the programmatic aspect of the project when they barcoded the last of the previously unbarcoded Kroch Asia serial volumes. Given the multi-faceted, multi-phase nature of the twenty-year operation, there are still uncharted pockets of unbarcoded material turning up, particularly in conjunction with the large book moves currently taking place. The DBQ group will address these pockets as they uncover them, but the era of mass retrospective barcoding has – gladly, though perhaps also a bit sadly – come to an end.
Jim LeBlanc,with special thanks to Susan Currie, Lydia Pettis, and Howard Raskin for their recollections of the early days. (Photograph of Lydia Pettis and Sally Lockwood by Joan Brink)
Colleen Cuddy is the new Director of the Samuel J. Wood Library & C.V. Starr Biomedical Information Center at Weill Cornell Medical College, effective September 1, 2010. Colleen received her MLS at Rutgers University and also holds a Master's in American and English literature from New York University. For more information on Colleen see Announcements below.
Rob Davis is the new selector for Slavic and East European studies at Cornell. He has a Master's of Library Science from CUNY, an MA in history from Columbia University, and a BA in political science from Columbia College. For more on his unique appointment see Announcements below.
Stefan Kramer started as Research Data Management Librarian at
the Cornell Institute for Social and Economic Research (CISER) on April 30. Prior to joining Cornell, his positions included Social Science Data Librarian at Yale University; Director of Library Services at Fielding Graduate University (1999-2007); and Internet user support services at the University of Washington and at NorthWestNet. He has a BA in political science from California State University Fullerton and an MLS from the University of Washington. Stefan will provide expertise and support in the areas of data management, metadata production, data preservation, and discovery tools to promote secondary analysis of data in the social sciences. (Photograph provided)
Chris Manly has joined the Division of Library Information Technologies as Coordinator of System Architecture. Chris comes to the Library from Cornell Information Technologies, where he has worked since December 2008 as a Network Software Engineer. Prior to that, Chris worked as Systems & Network Administrator at QFS Asset Management in Greenwich, CT. Chris has a BA in science and technology studies from Cornell University. Many of us in DLIT know Chris because of his five-year role from 2002 to 2007 as a Systems Administrator for Systems & Operations in CIT. (Photograph provided)
Jennifer Gibson has transferred from O/K/U Circulation to Mann Library where she is TEEAL Production Coordinator.
Tom Hunt has been promoted to collections assistant IV in O/K/U/ Collection Maintenance.
I’m very pleased to announce that with the beginning of FY 2010/11, Kizer Walker’s position title has been changed to Director of Collection Development. The Director reports to the AUL for Scholarly Resources and Special Collections and serves as deputy in matters pertaining to system-wide Library collection development. He will chair the Collection Development Executive Committee (CDExec), and will continue to represent CDExec on the Public Services Executive Committee (PSEC) and, along with the Director of Olin and Uris Libraries, to represent CUL on the Library Humanities Research Collections Committee. Kizer will continue to serve as CUL’s selector and subject specialist for German Studies and for Classics, Ancient Near Eastern Studies, and Archaeology. He also serves as managing editor of Signale: Modern German Letters, Cultures, and Thought, a print and electronic mongraphic series jointly published by CUL and Cornell University Press (http://signale.cornell.edu). Please join me in congratulating Kizer on this recognition of his contributions and talents. (John Saylor; photograph provided)
Please join me in congratulating Gail Steinhart on winning the 2009-2010 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Librarianship. The award was announced at the recent CALS Awards Ceremony. Some background on the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence is below.
The Chancellor's Awards for Excellence are System-level honors conferred to acknowledge and provide system-wide recognition for consistently superior professional achievement and to encourage the ongoing pursuit of excellence. These programs underscore SUNY’s commitment to sustaining intellectual vibrancy, advancing the boundaries of knowledge, providing the highest quality of instruction, and serving the public good. Through these awards, SUNY publicly proclaims its pride in the accomplishment and personal dedication of its instructional faculty, librarians and professional staff across its campuses. The awards provide SUNY-wide recognition in five categories: Faculty Service, Librarianship, Professional Service, Scholarship and Creative Activities, and Teaching. Congratulations, Gail! (Mary Ochs; photograph by Gwen Glazer)
Congratulations to Oya Rieger on earning her PhD in Communication from Cornell University. Oya's research focused on human-computer interaction, an interdisciplinary research area between the IS and Communication departments. The title of her dissertation is, "Humanities Scholarship in the Digital Age: The Role and Influence of Information and Communication Technologies." Below, Cornell's founder greets Oya in the Arts Quad. (Photograph here and below provided)
Congratulations again to the Management Library, under Angela Horne’s leadership, for receiving the Special Libraries Association (SLA) Business & Finance Division’s Centers of Excellence Award for Service for 2010. As promised in the April announcement the award was presented at the annual meeting on June 14th. To quote Janet McCue, "to my knowledge, this is a first for this SLA award within CUL. Please join me in congratulating Angela and the staff of the Management Library (Barbara Bartholomew, Angela Horne, Melissa Jackson, Susan Kendrick, Elena MacGurn, Lee Ringland, Neely Tang, and Terri Whitaker) on this prestigious award which is richly deserved!" (Photograph provided)
The Management team from left with their award: Neely Tang, Angela Horne, Terri Whitaker, Elena MacGurn, Barbara Bartholomew, Melissa Jackson, Susan Kendrick, Lee Ringland
Congratulations to Lydia Pettis who received a Master's degree in Creative Studies from Buffalo State College in May of this year. In July Lydia also completed an 8-month program to be certified as a professional life coach, through the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC). This was the culmination of two years of study and stretching into new areas of interest. (Photograph by Joan Brink)
Out & About
Michele Brown, Book Conservator in CLO’s Department of Preservation & Collection Maintenance, presented a free webinar on “Mold: Identification and Remediation” during National Preservation Week (May 9-15) for the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS). Michele presented another workshop entitled “Care and Handling of Books” for home collections at Buffalo Street Books on May 9th as part of the Finger Lakes Literary Festival. Capping off her busy spring of instruction, Michele gave a workshop of “Disaster Planning and Assembling a Disaster Kit” at the New York State Library Assistants Association (NYSLAA) annual conference on June 10th in Corning, NY.
Kaila Bussert, Librarian in the Olin/Uris Research and Learning Services Department, was recently appointed to the ACRL IRIG Visual Literacy Standards Task Force.
A revised and expanded version of Jim LeBlanc’s interview with Adam Chandler on “Measuring the Quality of Open URLs”, which originally appeared in the April 2010 issue of Kaleidoscope, has been published in Information Standards Quarterly, v. 22, no. 2 (spring 2010), pp. 51-52. Adam also presented a poster session on the work of NISO’s OpenURL Quality Metrics Working Group, otherwise known as IOTA (Improving OpenURLs Through Analytics) at the ALA Summer Conference in Washington in June. Adam is CLO’s E-Resources & Database Management Research Librarian.
Virginia Cole, Librarian in the Olin/Uris Research and Learning Services Department, presented a paper at the RUSA RSS/MARS Virtual Reference Discussion Group at the June ALA meeting in Washington, DC called “To Text or Not to Text.” Virginia was also recently elected Member-at-Large for RUSA’s Reference Services Section.
As part of the first ever National Preservation Week, a nation-wide effort to educate and assist the public with caring for their family heritage, Michele Hamill, Paper and Photograph Conservator in CLO’s Department of Preservation & Collection Maintenance, presented a workshop on “Preserving Family Documents and Photographs” at the Tompkins County Public Library on May 13th. In conjunction with this event at TCPL, CLO’s Assistant Book Conservator, Pat Fox, developed an exhibit on preserving family books and documents, which was on view at that library in May.
Lance Heidig, Librarian in the Olin/Uris Research and Learning Services Department, was invited to participate in Elmira College's The Trouble Begins at Eight lecture series in May 2010. His presentation, "Mark Twain’s Cornell: Venturing Far above Cayuga’s Waters with Samuel Clemens" was given at Quarry Farm, where Mark Twain spent twenty summers.
Dean Krafft, CUL’s Chief Technology Specialist, along with new Physics & Astronomy Librarian (and, until recently, CLO’s Research Data Librarian), Dianne Dietrich, gave a project briefing entitled “Taking the Library Outside the Library: A Light-weight Innovation Model for Heavy-weight Economic Times” at the Coalition for Network Information’s Spring 2010 Membership Meeting in Baltimore, MD in April. Dianne also gave a talk on data curation and the DataStaR project at “Science Boot Camp” at UMass Lowell in June.
Jim LeBlanc, CLO’s Director of Delivery & Metadata Management Services, presented a paper entitled “Bad Faith, Sincerity, and Freedom in ‘The Boarding House’” at the XXII International James Joyce Symposium in Prague, Czech Republic in June.
CLO Metadata Librarian, Liz Muller, received a fellowship from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation to attend the Summer Educational Institute for Visual Resources and Image Management (SEI Pro 2010) in Albuquerque, NM in June.
Margaret Nichols, Head of the CLO’s Special Collections Unit, gave talks at two conferences in June. The first, at the Joint Meeting of the New York Archives Conference and the New York Metropolitan Area Archives Roundtable (NYAC/NY-ART) at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, was titled “Between a DACS and a Hard Place: Creating a New Metadata Standard for Single Manuscripts.” The second, at the ACRL Rare Books and Manuscripts Section (RBMS) Preconference, held in Philadelphia just prior to ALA, was titled “The Cataloger and the Archivist Should Be Friends: or, Herding vs. Milking Special Collections.”
Lynn Thitchener, Librarian in the Olin/Uris Research and Learning Services Department, was recently appointed to the ALA/ACRL Law and Political Science Section Publications Committee.
Deb Schmidle, Director of the Research and Learning Services Department at Olin/Uris has been voted in as Secretary of the Fund Raising and Financial Development (FRFD) Section Executive Committee of ALA/LLAMA.
Kornelia Tancheva, Director of Olin/Uris presented on an ethnographic study of what students are doing after hours in Uris Library, at a LLAMA/MAES panel discussion at the June ALA meeting in Washington, DC. Kornelia was also elected chair of the RUSA Reference and User Services Evaluation Committee.
"Collaboration and Automation Support Cornell University Library’s Collection,” an article co-authored by Kizer Walker, Director of Collection Development, and Scott Wicks, Associate University Librarian for Central Library Operations, appears in B.I.T. Online: Zeitschrift für Bibliothek, Information und Technologie, v. 13, no. 2 (2010). A local copy of the article’s text is also available in eCommons.
Glen Wiley, CLO’s Chief Metadata Librarian, gave a presentation entitled “MARC -- A New Life through Re-using and Remixing” as part of a program called “Boot Camp for the 21st Century Metadata Manager” at this year’s ALA Annual Meeting in Washington, DC.
From: Anne R. Kenney
Sent: Wed 7/7/2010
Subject: Colleen Cuddy Appointed as New Director of WCMC Library
It is a distinct pleasure to announce the appointment of Colleen Cuddy as the next Director of the Samuel J. Wood Library & C.V. Starr Biomedical Information Center at Weill Cornell Medical College, effective September 1, 2010. As Director of Wood Library, Ms. Cuddy will lead the faculty and staff of the library and archives as well as help launch new initiatives in medical informatics at Weill Cornell.
Colleen Cuddy received her MLS at Rutgers University and also holds a Master's in American and English Literature from New York University. More recently she has been an NLM/AAHSL Leadership Fellow and an NLM Fellow in Medical Informatics at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole. Over the past15 years she has held various positions of increasing responsibility, most recently as Interim Director of the NYU Health Sciences Library and NationalNetwork of Libraries of Medicine – Middle Atlantic Region.
Colleen Cuddy is following on the years of distinguished leadership of Carolyn Reid, who retired as Director in June after twenty-three years at Cornell. (Photograph provided)
From: John Michael Saylor
Sent: Wed 7/7/2010
Subject: Introducing Our New Slavic and East European Studies Collection Development Librarian
I'm pleased announce that, as of July 1, 2010, the Cornell University Library has reached a resource-sharing agreement as part of the 2CUL initiative to hire Rob Davis, Librarian for Russian, Eurasian & East European Studies at Columbia University, to serve the information and research needs in Slavic and East European studies at Cornell and to coordinate the collection development and in-depth reference services of both institutions in these areas. While we have contracted for 25 percent of his time, Rob's base of operations will continue to be Columbia University in New York City. Rob will be coming to the Cornell campus at least once a semester and will be available to Cornell faculty and graduate students by email, phone, and Skype.
Rob holds a Master's of Library Science from CUNY, an MA in History from Columbia University, and a BA in Political Science from Columbia College. He has been in his current position at Columbia University Library since 2008 and was previously a subject librarian in the Slavic and Baltic Division of the New York Public Library. See Rob’s profile here. Please let me know if you have questions about this new arrangement that I can address. I'm confident that Rob will do an excellent job in building our collection along with Columbia's, as well as in responding to the research and in-depth reference needs of the Cornell community.
Here is Rob's contact information: email@example.com<mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>;phone: (212) 854-4701
The 2CUL initiative is supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. (Photograph provided)
From: Mary Ochs
Sent: Thu 5/6/2010
Subject: New Assignments at Mann
Dear CUL Staff,
I am pleased to announce some new assignments in Mann Services and Collections. On July 1 Jaron Porciello will become our new Coordinator of Instruction and Business Information Programs. At the same time Baseema Krkoska will become our new International Projects Librarian. Baseema recently returned from South Africa’s University of Kwazulu-Natal where she carried out a 1-week information literacy workshop for the African Centre for Crop Improvement (ACCI) Ph.D. students. This was her first assignment in the transition process that will take place over the next several months. Baseema and Jaron will be cross training each other for their new positions. By fall Jaron will be up and running to coordinate our overall instruction program and carry out our AEM instruction sessions, and Baseema will take full leadership for TEEAL and Mann’s other international programs. Baseema will be doing some of her work from Seattle through a FlexPlace agreement. Since many of the duties of the International Projects Librarian are performed via email and Skype, it seemed like a good fit for Baseema to carry on working for Mann in this new capacity. In addition, Nan Hyland will be taking on the role of Coordinator for Reference and Information Services as of June 1. This is a role Nan has had in the past, and we are pleased to have her back in this key role for Mann Library. Please join me in congratulating your colleagues on their new assignments.
From: Anne R. Kenney
Sent: Mon 8/2/2010
Subject: Take One: August 2, 2010 (Administrative Changes Effective August 1)
I mentioned in the All-Staff meetings in July that August 1 marks a change in administrative portfolios. These result from the university’s administrative savings efforts, emerging needs in digital scholarship, and personnel changes. First, the Library is one of three new IT “clusters” recently formed in response to the university’s IT review (the others include Student and Academic Services and the Hotel/JGSM/ILR cluster). As such all IT staff who work in the library system will now report to a Director of IT, which will be Dean Krafft. Dean will retain his role as Chief Technology Strategist for the Library and will report dually to me and the CIO for Cornell (currently Steve Schuster is serving in an interim capacity). Dean’s portfolio will include: Library Systems and Discovery Services, Mann Library Information Technology Services, Software Development and Integration, Repository Architecture and Services, Web Programming, Desktop Services, R&D projects such as VIVO, and Research Data Curation.
A second reason for the administrative changes is the increasing importance of digital scholarship and the inadequacy of established practices and programs. Oya Rieger’s portfolio will now include Digital Scholarly Services, focusing on requirements analysis, business planning, policy development, assessment, client relations. In that capacity she will coordinate faculty partnerships in digital initiatives (visual resources, digital humanities); Digital Consulting and Production Services, scholarly communication services for arXiv, eCommons, Euclid, CUL archival repository, and e-publishing initiatives; Intellectual Property Rights and open access initiatives; and digital preservation. My Powerpoint presentation from the All Staff Meeting includes several slides that detail the changes in Dean’s and Oya’s portfolios.
Xin Li’s decision to move temporarily to Taiwan with her family for the next two years provides the third impetus for change. She will be working half time, focusing on strategic partnerships in Asia (primarily China) and well as 2CUL. Her departure, coupled with the Provost’s charge to all units to reduce management overhead, has led me to merge the Department of Communication with the Research and Assessment Unit. The new department will be called Assessment and Communication and will be under the direction of Zsuzsa Koltay. I’ve also separated out support for events planning, so Lynn Bertoia and CJ Lance will now report to Michelle Eastman. Ed Weissman will report to Lee Cartmill and will maintain his responsibility for grants administration, internal staff communication, and administrative support for the University Librarian. Later this week or early next, we will have a new organizational chart up on Staff Web that will reflect these changes. Have a healthy and productive week.
From: Dianne Dietrich
Sent: Wed 5/19/2010
Subject: Cornell University Library Joins Flickr Commons!
I'm thrilled to report today that Cornell University Library has just joined Flickr Commons as a partner! Flickr Commons was created in 2008 to "increase access to publicly-held photography collections and to provide a way for the general public to contribute information and knowledge". Many other libraries and cultural heritage organizations have been making their digital collections available on Flickr Commons, including the Library of Congress, the New York Public Library, the Smithsonian, the Powerhouse Museum, and many more.
Others are already excited about the wonderful collections we already have up on Flickr. See here, here, and here.
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the many people instrumental in making this happen: Susette Newberry had the idea to put CUL's images up on Flickr, starting with the A.D. White Architectural Photos. It started out as a Library Outside the Library Project and is now a joint effort with the Visual Resources Working Group, Rare and Manuscript Collections, Metadata Services, and Library Outside the Library. Without the help of Mira Basara, Eli Brown, Matt Connolly, Tony Cosgrave, Jeremy Cusker, Jeff Diver, Evan Earle, Gwen Glazer, Eileen Keating, Dean Krafft, Baseema KrKoska, Peter Hirtle, Laura Larrimore, Laura Linke, Janet McCue, Liz Muller, Susette Newberry, Rick Silterra, Oya Rieger, and Glen Wiley, none of this would have been possible. We've officially been up on Flickr Commons for only a few hours, and already I'm seeing a spike in traffic: people are adding us as contacts, tagging images, and adding images as favorites. I'm looking forward to what happens next! (Photograph of Roger Clearwater at the picnic by Joan Brink)
From: Kornelia Tancheva
Sent: Wed 5/19/2010
Subject: Olin/Uris Libraries Book Move Begins May 24th
As part of the Olin Library fire safety improvements project, we are beginning some major Olin/Uris collections moves on May 24th, 2010. Here is a general outline:
- All materials currently in Uris that are duplicates will be moved to the Annex; patrons will be able to request them using the normal Annex request procedures. We will monitor their use and at the end of the project will make a decision on which ones are coming back to the Olin/Uris complex.
- All materials in call number ranges A-P currently in Uris that are unique will be integrated in the Olin stacks (permanently).
- All current Olin materials in the call number ranges Q-Z will be transferred to Uris (permanently). All unique Uris materials in Q-Z will remain in Uris. This means that the collections in Olin and Uris will be distributed by call number ranges: A-P in Olin, Q-Z in Uris.
- All Olin theses will be moved to Uris.
- To accommodate the sprinklers and pipe work during the fire safety project, all top shelves on floors 3-7 will be temporarily removed and either interfiled on the same floor or staged separately on the same floor with a shelf-encoding system that will allow staff to retrieve the materials if patrons are unable to find them.
We will be posting signs and doing regular updates on the fire safety project web page but in general, patrons are encouraged to inquire at the desks if they cannot locate certain materials. The big book move should be finished by June 21st. We know this project is going to be a challenge but once it is over, Olin Library will be much safer for people and collections. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at OlinLibraryFireSafety@cornell.edu or let me know if there is something that I can help clarify further. Thanks.
For the entire text and more particular details of this important announcement see here.
From: Marth Walker
Sent: Mon 6/21/10
Subject: 78,000 FAL Volumes Begin Their Journey to the Library Annex
The shift of 78,000 volumes, from the Fine Arts Library to the Library Annex, begins today. A team of expert staff (in particular Cammie Hoffmier, Lydia Pettis, Barb Tarbox, and Jill Ulbricht), have worked together to plan and make this shift possible in record time. The firm of William B. Meyer is on site to work through the pick lists and pack the carts that will be loaded onto a moving truck and driven to the Annex for processing there.
We have posted the following message on the FAL homepage: “As part of the renovation of Rand Hall and the construction of Milstein Hall you will see some changes in the Fine Arts Library. This project will involve building temporary faculty offices on the second floor and shifting books from the third floor. Most of the physical alterations to the space will happen during Summer 2010 . . . “
We plan to update the website as the shift progresses. By the end of July (we hope) the remaining FAL collection will be consolidated in the Dome area and the 2nd floor east wing of Sibley Hall. The Fine Arts Library will maintain its standard summer operating hours during the shift and construction projects.
The planning of this project began in early April. A task force of librarians, faculty, and graduate students, reviewed statistics, discussed research and collection priorities, and measured capacity, to arrive at the admittedly painful decision (for all) that monographs published before 1990 and pre-2003 serials will be moved to the Annex. When the new FAL space is complete in Rand Hall (in about three years) many of the titles now being moved will be returned to central campus.
This is the big picture. I could spend an hour or more itemizing the tasks that have been completed between April 1 and today to work within this rather challenging timeframe. I am very impressed with the work of the many colleagues who have contributed their expertise to this project. I’ll send a longer note at a later date giving greater detail on who did what by when, so that a clearer picture will emerge of the complexity of the project and the accomplishments of those involved.
Stay tuned for move updates. Let me know if you have any questions or concerns. I would particularly appreciate notes from those who have “been there and done that” regarding potential fallout from these decisions that we may not have anticipated. No concern regarding patron or staff inconvenience or friction, due to these changes, can be understated.
New Management Library Web Site
Photograph provided by Elena MacGurn
The Management Library has a new Web site thanks to the Management Library Team. Special thanks go to Adam Smith, Steve Rokitka, and everyone who worked so hard to develop the new site.
From: John Michael Saylor
Sent: Fri 7/2/2010
Subject: Asia Information Desk
As of July 1, 2010 the information desk in the Severinghaus Asia Reading Room in Kroch Library will be closed. Since most of the questions handled at the Asia Desk are directional in nature, we have undertaken a full review of the signs leading to the Asia Collections and signs throughout Kroch Library. With improved signs patrons will be presented with clear directions to various parts of the Asia Collections and the Rare and Manuscripts department. They will also be directed to the appropriate Asia Collections staff offices for reference questions between the hours of 9:00am and 5:00pm, M-F. As always, the Asia Collections staff are available to answer questions via e-mail and phone. Please see the staff directory on our website.
The physical desk itself will remain in place with four additional computers set up there to give patrons increased access to the catalog and online library resources. Along with the computers, the desk will provide study space set aside for visiting scholars to reserve for short periods while they are intensively using the Asia Collections. Our colleagues at the Olin Library Information Desk will also be glad to field any questions when we’re not available.
We are looking forward to continuing our high quality of service to those using the Asia Collections. Please do not hesitate to ask questions of us when they arise or suggest ways in which we can better serve those in the Cornell community interested in Asia.
From: Oya Yildirim Rieger
Sent: Thu 6/17/2010
Subject: Large-Scale Digitization Initiative Update
Our last update on the large-scale digitization front was in February 2010 and we would like to share with you the highlights from the last several months:
Since October 2008, we have been collaborating with Google to digitize 500,000 volumes, both public domain and in-copyright material. The first phase of the initiative has focused on monographs and serials from the agriculture and life sciences collections (both in-copyright and public domain). This will continue to be our focus throughout July 2010. We have sent Google over 239,000 volumes since October 2008, averaging 12,000 books/month from Mann Library, the Entomology Library, the Lee Library at the Geneva Experiment Station, the Bailey Hortorium Library, and the Library Annex. Joy Paulson from Mann Library is coordinating the material preparation and shipment process.We want to acknowledge the hard work of our materials preparation team that includes Cammie Wyckoff (Annex) , Jacob Barnard-Blitz, Saw Htoo, Liz Kluz, Rich Paige, Paw Pha, Nate Miner, LuAnn Beebe, Michele Payne, and John Howard. They have all done an outstanding job, and it is their hard work that has made this first phase of the Google Project successful.
The digitized books quickly move into Google Books. To date almost 225,000 volumes have been added to the Google Book Search index. The level of access is based on the publication date of a specific title. If a book is under copyright protection, Google provides limited or snippet views of the material. If a book is in public domain, it can be viewed fully or downloaded.
Beginning in July, digitization process will shift from agriculture and life science collections to the collections of other unit libraries.The following collections will be included in this next phase:veterinary medicine, engineering, physical sciences, and mathematics. Michelle Paolillo will be coordinating the material preparation and shipment process.
For the entire text of this detailed update, including information on Bibliographic Access to Digitized Books, Quality Control, Wordsworth Collection, Print-On-Demand, HathiTrust, Google Book Settlement, and Special Collection Digitization Projects, see here.
New Central Library Operations Web Site
Photograph provided by Nancy Solla
Central Library Operations has a new Web site, thanks to the CLO Web Site Integration Team. Liz Muller chaired the group that also includes Joan Brink, Caitlin Finlay, Lois Purcell, Nancy Solla, and Jim Reidy.
From: Anne R. Kenney
Sent: Mon 5/3/2010
Subject: Take One: May 3, 2010 (On the Entomology Library)
As part of the library’s strategic planning effort, we are reviewing several unit libraries, including the Entomology Library. Although the collections in the Entomology Library are outstanding, the facility has limited hours, the compact shelving needs to be replaced, and there is no permanent staff onsite. Both the Library and CALS have been concerned about these conditions for a number of years. Last year, the director of Mann Library, Mary Ochs, and the chair of the Entomology department, Jeff Scott were asked to prepare a document outlining the pros and cons of consolidating the Entomology Library with Mann Library. This document was reviewed by faculty and students in the Entomology Department and by other stakeholders. As part of this review, the Mann Library Faculty Committee endorsed the recommendation to consolidate the Entomology Library with Mann. Based on careful analysis and community input, the document was revised and the recommendation modified.
At its April 2010 meeting, the University Library Faculty Board accepted unanimously the revised recommendation from CALS and Mann Library to relocate the Comstock Memorial Library’s collection to Mann Library in 1-2 years, after sufficient digitization has been completed for the reference materials. Susan Henry (Dean of CALS) and I both agreed with this recommendation and shared that with the Provost, who has accepted it.
The Entomology Library is one of the finest entomological collections in the country and prominent scientists from around the world have expressed their concern about the “closing of the library.” It is important to understand that we will continue to build an outstanding collection and that by moving the collection to Mann we will actually enhance our stewardship of the collection. To help us with this transition, we will be working with an Implementation Team that will include faculty and librarians. They will help us make determinations on digitization priorities, collection move timelines, etc. I have attached an FAQ to provide some background and clarity on this decision.
Over the next few days, we will be working with Tommy Bruce, VP for University Communications, to develop a communication strategy for addressing stakeholder concerns and keeping the community informed. As we create a list of key points, we will share them with you for your input and for your advice on how best to communicate this decision and next steps. Have a healthy and productive week.
From: Anne R. Kenney
Sent: Mon 8/9/2010
Subject: Take One: August 9, 2010 (Update on Review Process for Hotel, ILR, and Management Libraries)
We have completed the last of our unit library reviews initiatedas part of the University’s and the Library’s strategic planning efforts. As a result of this process, I want to update you on the review of the Hotel, ILR, and Management libraries, which began last spring with the establishment of a group of faculty, students, and librarians to conduct a joint review of these libraries. Their charge was to envision excellent future library services for the three schools by thinking creatively about alternate means of providing services and scholarly resources and by examining all viable options with an eye toward both improvements and cost savings. The group’s work was informed by a survey of the users of the three libraries, as well as three focus groups with students, and an analysis of available library data including detailed circulation statistics and service transactions. The Advisory Group recommended four goals including enhancing service excellence by focusing on evolving user needs; ensuring optimal resource use by appointing a change leader for the three libraries; finding opportunities to share resources; and testing new ideas of sharing and learning from these experiments. Building on the Advisory Group’s report, the respective Deans and I identified specific approaches for moving towards these goals including a commitment to maintaining study space and library subject experts in all three locations; defining a single director for the three libraries; consolidating the physical print collections; and developing cross-functional teams across the three units. Some of the changes are effective immediately, others will be planned and implemented in the coming one to two years. The Provost has given his approval to our moving forward. I have communicated these recommendations to the Faculty Senate Library Board and we will be discussing implementation issues at the first meeting of the Board when it reconvenes for the fall term.
On Wednesday, July 28, the three deans, Janet McCue, and I met with Angela, Don, and Curtis to discuss our recommendations, which are intended to maintain and even improve on-site, high quality, specialized research help at all three sites; to maintain the excellence of the collection; to further modernize library services by responding to well-established and emerging trends in use patterns and information technology; and to use available spaces and resources in a more efficient manner.
In a nutshell here are the key recommendations:
- Enhance electronic access through greater coordination of collections budgets between the three schools and digitization through our Google partnership of key resources. We will also move aggressively towards e-reserves wherever possible, taking into consideration faculty and student needs.
- Consolidate print collections for the three libraries in the ILR Library (or the Annex as appropriate) within 1-2 years. This will provide savings by reducing operational and facility costs of circulation and stacks management functions. As the collections are consolidated, there will be an impact on support staff as positions will be eliminated, but this would not take place for at least another year. Anticipating this recommendation, we will review open positions and take advantage of staff attrition to consolidate some functions as opportunities arise. For instance, rather than fill the vacant night supervisor position in ILR, we are developing a coordinated approach to utilize the night supervisors in Hotel and JGSM to cover all three libraries, effective immediately. By such measures and reviewing other employment opportunities within the library system, we believe the need to lay off staff will be minimal.
- Continue and enhance on-site services in each school, including subject-specific research help, individual and group study space, and access to computing. Staffing hours at these local service centers will be analyzed. The feasibility of after-hour key card access in a manner similar to Law Library practice will be investigated for unstaffed, but safe and controlled extended hours at JGSM, including access to specialized databases.
- Consolidate administration, form collaborative teams, and share functions. A single director will oversee all three libraries with a charge of enhancing services, implementing changes, and increasing fiscal efficiency. Until a permanent director can be hired, Janet McCue will serve as the interim director, effective immediately. The deans and I will agree on direction and goals for this interim period and will meet quarterly with Janet. A limited national job search will begin this fall, and internal candidates are encouraged to apply. Don, Angela, and Curtis will continue to play a pivotal role for their respective communities but they also will take on new leadership roles as coordinators of collaborative teams across all three schools and be responsible for change management within the team and across the schools.
An advisory committee will be established to help guide the implementation process and will include representative faculty, students, and staff. Open forums and information sessions in fall 2010 will give users an opportunity to ask questions and provide input on the transition plans. We are developing an FAQ, based on questions received from staff, faculty, students, and others. We are also investigating other ways to secure input into the process, including use of an online suggestions/comments form. A fact sheet on thiscoordinated library model is available here. I’d encourage you to refer to it in responding to questions you might get, but if you or patrons have specific questions not covered by the fact sheet, please don’t hesitate to contact Janet McCue (email@example.com).
In response to what success would look like in this effort, one dean said, “high quality student and faculty library services; taking advantage of new technologies; and efficient coordination of services.” With Janet’s, Don’s, Angela’s, and Curtis’s leadership I think we can do this. Please let me know if you have any questions. Have a healthy and productive week.
Good-bye and good luck to Medha Devare, Mann Library, Terry Ehling, DLIT, Surinder Ghangas, DLIT, Elaine Guidero, Mann Library, Richard Hallett, Engineering Library, Sarah Keen, RMC, Zach Kemp, ILR Catherwood Library, Laura Larrimore, Mann Library, Carolyn Reid, Weill-Cornell Medical Library, Will Sayers, Research & Learning Services, and Gordon Law, ILR Catherwood Library, who recently left the Library.
Medha Devare, Mann Library
Medha Devare has taken a position at the Kathmandu office of CIMMYT, Centro Internacionale de Mejoramiento de Maiz y Trigo, the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center. Medha came to the library system from a research scientist position with Professor J.Thies in Crop and Soil Science. She quickly became the Library’s VIVO enthusiast. She and Jon Corson-Rikert met with faculty, department chairs, associate deans, deans, vice provosts, and the provost to gain support for VIVO. Medha became an excellent reference librarian; she taught a one-credit course on bioinformatics for the genomics minor; and she co-sponsored a campus NCBI Bioinformatics course. She authored library and crop science papers, including a chapter for the World Bank’s International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for a Development project. She capped her 6+ year career in CUL by co-authoring the successful NIH National Center for Research Resources grant proposal for a national implementation of VIVO.
A group of well wishers assembled June 30th to bid Medha farewell. She was serenaded by a chorus singing variations from The Sound of Music. Samples from the lyrics are below.
To the tune of Eidelweiss:
Research invites … VIVO excites
Nepal’s preparing to greet you
Maize, wheat, rice …. Maize, wheat, rice
We hope that this song will please you.
Doe, a Deer:
Dough, the stuff that’s full of wheat
Ray, the end of your last name
Meals, for everyone to eat
Far from here, but still the same
So, we wish you’d stay instead
La, we hate to see you go
Tea, you drink it with shortbread
And that will bring us back to dough.
The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Music:
The halls are alive with the sound of research
From far in Nepal, to the state of Maine,
The halls are all filled with your friends and colleagues,
Who wonder if they’ve mispronounced your name.
(Kathy Chiang; photographs provided; Medha and her husband Andy McDonald above)
Sarah Keen, Division of Rare & Manuscript Collections
Please join your colleagues in RMC for a farewell party to celebrate Sarah Keen's new position as Associate Professor and Head of Special Collections and University Archivist in the University Libraries at Colgate University. The event will be held between 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. on Friday 21st May in Kroch 2B48. This date also marks Sarah's last day at CUL. We look forward to seeing you there.
The Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections bids "bon voyage et bon chance" to Sarah Keen who has accepted a position as Associate Professor and Head of Special Collections and University Archivist in the University Libraries at Colgate University. We appreciate her contributions to the Department and CUL. We look forward to hearing about the exciting developments in her new career. (Eli Brown)
Gordon Law, ILR Catherwood Library
The ILR School
cordially invites you to attend
a retirement reception for
Gordon T. Law, Jr.
Honoring him for 28 years
of dedicated service
to the ILR School and
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Please share your memories in this online memory book
Gordon Law, director of the Martin P. Catherwood Library, at Cornell University will be retiring in early July 2010. Gordon said that when he began his career, he was hoping to find a small school in which to work. Cornell with its 20,000 students, 2800+ faculty, 12,000 staff, 14 colleges, and a sprawling campus did not seem like it would fit the bill. Ironically, the ILR School at Cornell was the perfect “small school.” As director of the Catherwood Library, Gordon has been able to build that close-knit community within the context of a large institution. He is an integral part of ILR and the Library and he should be enormously proud of his contributions to both of these communities.
Gordon started at Cornell in 1972 as the Head of Reference & Information Services at Catherwood; in 1983, he left for Purdue where he was the head of the Management & Economics Library for nine years. In 1993, he returned to Cornell as the Director of the Catherwood Library. When he applied for this position, Gordon said that “assuring excellence in a program of information services for the School’s faculty and students will be my primary consideration as director.” Gordon has achieved that and so much more. Ross Atkinson once said that Gordon was “both a diplomat and an accomplished fund raiser.” In his 17 year tenure, Gordon has built a substantial endowment for the library and nurtured relationships with donors, including the Oxman family (in June 2008, Gordon became the Harriet Morel Oxman Director of the ILR’s Catherwood Library—only one of a handful of named positions in the library system).
As a diplomat, he has fostered relationships with key labor organizations and national and international partners. His leadership in shepherding a new building and renovated spaces was exemplary and his commitment to developing an organizational culture that fostered collaboration and teamwork was impressive. Throughout these seventeen years as director, this diplomat has shown a keen understanding of the politics of an organization but also an astute business sense so that Catherwood could be successful in lean times as well as more prosperous eras.
We will miss this diplomat but I am very pleased that Curtis Lyons has agreed to serve as the Interim Director of the Catherwood Library. Curtis’s knowledge of the ILR community through his work as the director of the Kheel Center, his success at fund raising and grant writing, and his strong commitment to public services ensure that the strong legacy that Gordon built will continue to flourish.
After a successful career at Cornell and Purdue, one might imagine a gala or a roast but Gordon is also modest. He has requested no speeches and no formal recognition but he has agreed to champagne! Please join your colleagues in wishing Gordon much happiness at a reception on June 29th in the Catherwood Lobby from 2:00-3:00! (Janet McCue)
Surinder Ghangas, Division of Library Information Technologies
In honor of Surinder Ghangas
You are invited to a farewell reception
Friday, May 14
1:30 – 3:30 p.m.
2B48 Kroch Library
Please join us to wish Surinder well as she retires after 30 years of dedicated service.
On May 18, we celebrated the admirable career of Surinder Ghangas as she retired as the Lead Programmer/Analyst and Database Administrator after 23 years service at CUL. She played key roles in just about every hardware and software system implementation since she began work at the library in 1997. Surinder has so many wonderful qualities to mention but let me highlight a few.
She came to the United States from Punjab, India with her husband and as she raised her three children, she managed to make time for taking a course to learn data entry using a keypunch machine. After she started working in the Network Operations Center at CIT, she continued to take courses at TC3 during the day while working on the third shift to improve her technical skills. She has consistently maintained and improved her skills through self-study, formal class work, and on-the-job training with each new system the Library has purchased. Surinder was an excellent liaison as we interacted with external hardware and software vendors in assessing, purchasing, and supporting systems and services. As her retirement day approached, several company representatives came to Ithaca just to say goodbye to her. Surinder was consistently hard-working with high standards as she performed her duties. For instance, holding one of the few positions at the library with 24/7 expectation, she maintained a professional demeanor even when she was woken up by a colleague reporting a system problem during odd hours.
Surinder is diligent, intelligent, proud, honest, loyal, and colorful. Best wishes as she moves to sunny California to enjoy a newly built home, a wonderful family, a new daughter in-law, ... and a wonderful legacy behind her. We will miss and remember her with very fond memories. (Oya Rieger)
I’m very pleased to have the opportunity to wish Surinder well as she leaves Cornell and the library for her new home in the Sacramento valley. I haven’t known Surinder as long as many of you have and she and I have only worked closely with one another for about 3½ years, but even in that relatively short period of time I feel I’ve learned something about how Surinder approaches her work and her life.
When Surinder began reporting to me in the fall of 2006 I had zero experience in the technology sector of the university -- none. Because of Surinder’s commitment to our area in library technology she was determined that I succeed. And I’m sure that all of you know that when Surinder is determined to do something failure is not an option. Surinder took me under her wing, drew countless diagrams of the library systems for me, many of them more than once, and introduced me to all of the contacts on campus who I would need to know and work with. It was then that Surinder told me, and more importantly demonstrated for me, something that I think illustrates her wisdom and her success: she said that only a small fraction of the effectiveness of working with technology is the technology itself; far more important are the relationships you build with the people involved.
For Surinder this is not only a way of working, it is a way of living. We live our work lives and our home lives amid the relationships with our colleagues and our families, and when we nurture those relationships our efforts are all the richer, we are fulfilled, and we can embrace each challenge or opportunity as it comes to us. Thank you, Surinder, for everything you have shared with us during your time at Cornell. We wish you and your family all happiness and success in the years ahead.
Surinder Ghangas is one of those remarkably intelligent and determined individuals who moved to a country very different than her home and then, while never deserting her original culture, made the new country her own through the strength of her accomplishments and her dedication to her institution and her colleagues.
With limited knowledge of English and little technical training, Surinder became a highly skilled technologist and technology administrator. Working at Cornell Information Technologies, she moved from beginning assignments to become a certified Oracle Database Administrator, a distinguished achievement. She then moved to the Cornell Library and played a critical role in the Library during a period of immense technological change impacting every aspect of library services. Working first with Lynne Personius and then with me, she routinely went the extra mile. With Lynne, she had a colleague from whom she would learn a great deal about library technologies. With me, Surinder had to be the teacher -- but I was teachable.
There are so many times when I was dependent on Surinder’s abilities and dedication. I particularly remember being in the Library on New Year’s Eve implementing a system change -- so many times she was the essential agent in our success. But in addition to her technical knowledge and abilities, she was a source of wisdom, support, and friendship for me. I will be forever thankful for the opportunity to work with and to know personally an individual of such intelligence, integrity, and caring.
Surinder, I wish you and your family wonderful days in your new home in California. I feel honored to have had the opportunity to have worked closely with you and to have shared our friendship in Ithaca. I am sorry that I am not personally present on this day honoring your achievements and contributions, but my thoughts are of you today and in the days to come as we share views of the Western skies. (Tom Hickerson)
While we couldn’t be there this afternoon to help commemorate your achievements and celebrate your retirement, we wanted to share a few words with you and those there with you to celebrate, to illustrate just how much your 30+ years of work have meant to us.
As we thought about it, we remembered so many things, both large and small, about your commendable professional record and enduring personal sacrifice that make us stand in awe of you. Here are a just a few of the highlights:
- When you joined Cornell, you had little knowledge of computers and a beginner’s command of English but when you leave you'll be remembered for your vast reservoir of technical skills and your sociable nature. Your tenacity, perseverance, and hard work are pillars of your career at Cornell and to this day stand as guideposts to how we approach our work and our lives.
- You started work as a night shift employee with three small children. Despite this, you managed to successfully build an impressive career and raise three awesome kids into even more awesome adults (yeah, we said it).
- Your thirty years of employment at an Ivy League institution has encompassed eighteen years in CIT where you moved from key punch and computer operator, to programmer analyst and DBA. And in your thirteen years at CUL, you have managed and maintained the Library's most mission critical platforms, while learning a dizzying array of programming languages and computing systems. We will always look to model our service to our employers after you.
- Through your example, you have shown us the benefit of an unwavering work ethic and commitment to get the job done regardless of the issue or time of day -- but at times we wonder whether you are actually retiring or just switching back to the night shift.
- And lastly, how could we ever forget the almost “irritating” celebrity status you held at Cornell. We have each heard the words “Aren’t you Imroz, Param, or Roop? Ohhh, I know your mother!!” thousands of times over the years when running into one of your many friends.
Mom, it isn’t just your incredible professional record that makes us proud. It’s the example you’ve set for us. While we’ll never achieve quite the same consistency (30 years is a long time at one place!) and hold the same celebrity status as you, we’re proud to say that our work ethic and commitment to excellence in our jobs and the friendly and respectful manner in which we treat our colleagues are a direct result of the example you’ve set. Mom, thank you for not only being our mother but for also being our mentor, boss, colleague, and friend.
Love, Imroz, Param & Roop
Carolyn Reid, Weill Cornell Medical Library
Carolyn Reid with Dean Gotto
The bare facts of Carolyn’s employment here at Weill Cornell are that she came to the library in 1987 at the rank of Associate Librarian to become the associate director. In 1993 she was promoted to the rank of Librarian. She was the Acting Director of the Library from 2001 to 2004, and in 2004 she became the Frances and John L. Loeb Librarian of Medicine and Director of the Library.
On her own, Carolyn is recognized as a leader in medical librarianship. She has received the Medical Library Association’s Research Development and Project Award, the MLA Academic Librarian of the Year Award, and is a Distinguished Member of the Academy of Health Information Professionals. From 1989 to 2001 Carolyn was an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Information and Library Science at Pratt Institute. She has been invited to teach and present to medical librarians all across the country.
The Weill Cornell Medical Library, far from being a sleepy place to read, is recognized by medical librarians as an outstanding library and an exciting place to work. It is Carolyn’s leadership, guidance, counsel, encouragement, and most of all, her example that inspire her staff to achieve great things. We will miss her very much. We thank her for her service, and wish her the best in her retirement. (Curtis Cole, MD, CIO Weill Cornell; photographs provided)
Giok Po Oey, 1922-2010
Giok Po Oey, who served as the first curator of one of Cornell University Library’s premier collections, the John M. Echols Collection on Southeast Asia , died peacefully, at the age of 88, on May 12, 2010. He was the son of Oey Goan Kie and Tjoa Tho Nio, ethnic Chinese of the Dutch East Indies, modern-day Indonesia. Giok Po was born January 16, 1922, in Sukabumi on the island of Java. Growing up Chinese in colonial Indonesia, Po attended the Dutch-Chinese elementary school and graduated from high school in 1941. After World War II, he attended the Sinological Institute of the University of Indonesia, earning a bachelor's degree in 1950. He held a fellowship at Berkeley before earning an M.A. in Chinese Literature at Cornell in 1953. Having worked as a library assistant as a student, he was uniquely qualified to help launch the Cornell Library's collection associated with the new Southeast Asia Program. The University arranged for the 1956 U. S. Senate Bill S.3285 to allow his personal exemption from strict immigration laws. The same year, he married Tan Lian Hoa (Tinny), a fellow student in Sinology, and together, they moved to Ithaca in 1957.
Under his devoted leadership, and with the help of faculty and students, especially Prof. John M. Echols, Cornell's renowned Southeast Asia Collection grew into the largest collection of its kind in the world, surpassing even that of the Library of Congress. Among Giok Po's notable achievements is his successful acquisition of Vietnamese and Burmese materials during the Vietnam and Cold War periods. In 1977, at his suggestion, the collection was named the John M. Echols Collection on Southeast Asia, after his good friend and close collaborator, and Giok Po became its first Curator. It has been an integral component supporting the status of Cornell's Southeast Asia Program as a National Resource Center of the U.S. Department of Education.
John Wolff, Professor Emeritus in Asian Studies, reflected on Giok Po’s important contribution to the Library and the University in this way:
"Giok Po was an indefatigable worker. It was no small task to collect, catalog, and manage literally hundreds of thousands of items that were added in the years of Giok Po’s leadership, and when it became a special collection, his curatorship. Giok Po displayed admirable leadership in building and managing with a very limited staff and a far-from-adequate budget. He was an inspiration to the people who worked for him in the Southeast Asia Collection and elicited extraordinary efforts from them. I cannot begin to count the number of times I went into the library after hours and found workers in the collection doing things on their own time. Giok Po inspired in his staff fierce loyalty and determination to do the job.
The Southeast Asia Collection at Cornell attracted and continues to attract researchers from all over the world to use the collection, some of whom spend extensive periods of time here and are a tremendous resource for our faculty and students. It is because Giok Po was here and because of his skill in developing the library that I have had the pleasure and advantage of getting to know many of them—a distinct boon to my own education.
Through his work as the head of the Southeast Asia Collection I can fairly say that Giok Po had a pivotal role in developing the Southeast Asia Program. The excellence of the library resources attracted the very best of the Southeast Asia specialists to take positions at Cornell. There were dozens of new appointments made in Southeast Asia studies in the years after I came here, and invariably we were able to appoint the very best of the field and were able to keep them here. I personally could never conceive of leaving Cornell because for me the Library was not just a resource for scholarship. It was like a pleasure palace. One could go in there and lose oneself with items on all manner of topics and and all manner of content. My colleagues felt the same way. I could fairly say the Library was the glue that kept us all together here."
Mary Crawford, the Echols Collection Administrative Supervisor who worked with Giok Po for many years has these remembrances:
"I came to Ithaca in 1967 at a time when there were no Indonesian students at Cornell that could assist with the cataloging of Indonesian books. Our family had spent a few years in Indonesia so I had a rudimentary knowledge of the Indonesian language. It was a privilege and honor to work under Giok Po's direction in the Catalog Department. He was a dedicated librarian and curator who put his whole heart and soul into the work of developing the Southeast Asia Collection. With Professor John M. Echols' encouragement and his expert knowledge of Southeast Asian languages and cultures, great strides were made in adding volumes in many Southeast Asian languages to the Collection. Giok Po established relationships with many book dealers and even developed personal contacts that creatively helped supply materials under very difficult circumstances. I remember one such dealer sent library materials in exchange for shirts and other hard to get items which Giok Po patiently selected and mailed.
Giok Po spent countless hours, even on his own time, poring over book catalogs and giving attention to rare materials in the Collection that he sent for any necessary repair, treatment, and sometimes filming before being housed in the Southeast Asia section of the Rare Book Collection. Giok Po also made arrangements to have large portions of important Southeast Asian newspapers and periodicals filmed and thus made them available for purchase by other interested libraries. He worked cooperatively with Southeast Asia Librarians at other institutions to mutually strengthen holdings and to make sure that important materials were being preserved at one of their centers. He gave personal attention to inspecting materials before they were sent out on library loan, to be sure they were in satisfactory condition to be loaned out without being damaged. He worked with staff and student assistants with various language skills, and showed them that his interest stretched to all the Southeast Asian countries and their materials, which he worked diligently to obtain. He always kept in close contact with professors and students in the Cornell Southeast Asia Program and gave them his personal help and assistance in utilizing the collection.
During his curatorship, all the library cards of materials in the Collection were filmed and printed in a large multi-volume set, which made this valuable bibliographic material accessible to many scholars elsewhere. He also was part of the long process to convert such information to digital records accessible and searchable by computer. I can truly say that he, along with Professor Echols and other dedicated faculty, laid the strong and comprehensive foundation for the one-of-a-kind, John M. Echols Collection on Southeast Asia that we know today."
After his retirement, Giok Po returned to his first love, the study of the Chinese language. He also spent his time volunteering for Gadabout and for the Friends of the Library. He was a masterful cook and loved to travel. He took up Taichi and spent many happy hours taking advantage of the programs at Lifelong. Besides his wife, he is survived by daughter Marion S. Oey (Sally) of Ann Arbor,MI; son David T. Oey of Aiea, HI; brothers G. Boen Oey of Woburn MA, Henry G. Oey of Temecula CA, Andrew Tamara of Sacramento CA; sister Jeanne Winarti of Issaqua WA; nieces and nephews. His sister, Keng Blackwell of Monrovia CA, predeceased him. Friends, colleagues, and family will remember him fondly for his happy smile and his unique sense of humor, which he kept until the very end.
(Marion S. Oey, with additional material from John Wolff and Mary Crawford included by Ed Weissman; Cornell University photograph from Special Collections taken by Russ Hamilton, Office of Public Information, 1976, showing Giok Po celebrating the publication of his magnum opus, the Southeast Asia Catalog; photograph taken at Lifelong provided by Giok Po's widow, Tinny)
Barbara Wilcox, 1949-2010
It is with great sadness that I inform you of the passing of Barbara Wilcox, long time member of the CUL community. Her death was sudden and unexpected alone at home. We do not know anything more at this time. Barb was just recognized last year for 40 years of service at Cornell with over 20 years at the Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Engineering libraries. She was a a kind and sensitive soul who touched many people on campus and in the community with her volunteer work. Barb worked very hard, cared a great deal about the libraries, and was always friendly and helpful. She was very active with her church and a familiar face at the Friends of the Library book sale. Barb will be remembered for her many kindnesses and warmth.
We will have an open meting for people who want to gather to remember and honor Barb next Wednesday June 30th in the Mathematics Library at 2:00.
The Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (formerly the Employee Assistance Program EAP) offers free, confidential, professional counseling and consultation services by telephone or in person. Call (800) 327-2255 (select option #1), 24 hour per day, 7 day per week. For additional information, see here. (Steve Rockey, June 23, 2010)
Barb Wilcox and I were co-workers the entire time I was at Cornell. She was a very caring person and always willing to lend a hand where needed. She will be missed by many of us. (Pat Viele, retired from Physical Sciences Library)
Barb Wilcox had a way of surprising me - I was continually surprised to find the many things that Barb knew. Sometimes I would puzzle through various records problems, like serials that split and merged, and split again in new ways, all the while undergoing slight changes in title. I would look at all these records and scratch my head, trying to figure how they related, and then I would just go ask Barb, who, as it happened, already knew all about what I wanted to know. I should have asked her earlier, and saved myself a whole heap of trouble, but Barb was unassuming and quiet about her expertise and accomplishments, and I am not always the most observant person.
What I came to learn, slowly, and over the course of working with her, was that she knew a tremendous amount about a wide variety of things, both inside and outside of the workplace. To say she was flexible and easy to work with was an understatement. Often, when I was saying something, Barb would nod her head vigorously in agreement. Initially, I took this to be a form of courtesy. It later struck me that she had actually already come to the same conclusion before I had – she was already there, ahead of me, in noting an adjustment needed in some process. I would feel like a sprinter, who, rounding a bend, spies a runner up ahead who she had passed some time before. Surprise!
I remember that after my first whale-watching vacation in the mid-90’s, I came back to work all fired up with the novelty of the moment when I first saw whales. I was struck by the feeling of tension at being so close to such a mighty and wild creature, and how strangely wise and gentle they seemed. Barb asked me about my trip, and specifically wanted to know if I saw whales. Her face lit up at my enthusiastic narrative. She, too, had seen whales – really seen them. She too, had been captured by their unimaginable power and gentle manner. She, too, had been completely overwhelmed by the experience. We shared our stories like excited children. Clearly, we had experienced the same thrill, the same moment of connection with gentle giants, and for some reason this surprised me. It shouldn’t have. Barb had depth and breadth of spirit, even as she had an unassuming and quiet demeanor. I will miss Barb, and I will treasure the surprises she offered me, simply by being herself. (Michelle Paolillo, Library Information Technologies)
I will always remember Barb’s dedication to her work, her always positive attitude, and most importantly, her kind soul. (Angela Horne, Management Library)
A few years ago, my husband and I rented a houseboat in the Thousand Islands, taking our granddaughter on our trip. We got lost one day, ran aground, and had to ask the rental company to rescue us. Not having enough punishment, we decided to do it again the next year. Barb knew about this and when she saw some nautical charts of the Thousand Islands being donated to the Friends of the Library Book Sale, she set them aside for me to look at. At the start of the sale she was able to buy them (a special perk for volunteers) and I got exactly what I needed. Having the advantage of studying the charts before the trip, we did not get lost or hit any rocks the second year. This is an illustration of Barb's kindness and thoughtfulness, for which I am very grateful. (Marybeth Michelson-Thiery, Retired from Engineering Library)
Barb and I worked many years together at the Mathematics Library. She was friendly and helpful to the library patrons and always provided excellent customer service. She was such a caring and kind hearted person who volunteered much of her time helping others. I will miss our conversations and her cheerful personality. (Natalie Sheridan, Math Library)
I remember her ready smile whenever I would bump into her downtown. I saw her often as she was waiting for the bus early in the morning or coming home. She was always friendly and willing to share some information about life at the Engineering library or about the book sale which she was always a volunteer for. A number of years ago, she asked for my help in repairing her bicycle. I don't remember exactly what I did, but I adjusted something, and she insisted on giving me some money for my time, although I told her it wasn't necessary. She was always a pleasant and hard worker, and I will miss seeing her around town. (Ron Liso, retired from Engingeering Library)
In January 2010 Barb began working at Mann Library on Wednesday mornings to tie up loose ends after the Physical Sciences Library closed. Barb accomplished this due to her extremely organized manner and attention to detail. She was always smiling and enjoyed the final steps related to binding those very last issues, dedicated to completing the long and involved process. Barb enjoyed the challenge of completing the cancelled and continuing serials records. Barb was a pleasure to work with. We miss her smiling face on Wednesday mornings and can’t believe she is no longer with us. (Deb Warfield, Serials Management Supervisor)
I first met Barbara Wilcox when I went to work at Physical Sciences Library in 1993. She was then the Library Secretary. She was always very pleasant and hard working. My job at that time was receiving serials and having them bound. As time went on, Barb's hours were cut to I think 3/4 time and I am not sure why. When Jean Poland came to Physical Sciences she suggested that Barb and I switch jobs! By doing serials in 3 libraries she could become full-time again and I was already 20 hours and that would be sufficient for what became the Library Administrative Assistant. Thus, Barb and I worked rather closely for a while as we "taught" each other our new jobs.
I found Barb to be very reliable, always helpful and willing, and truly concerned for other people. She rarely complained and just went about doing her job. I think Linda Mapes in the Engineering Library sort of became a mentor for Barb and that was very helpful to her. Barb was very involved in the Tompkins Public Library Book Sale, she was active in her Church, and for some time was involved in the Cornell Recreation Connection. She will be missed by many and I am sure many of us feel blessed to have known and worked with her. (Jeanette Miller, retired from Law, Hotel, & Physical Sciences Libraries)
Barb was a happy person with a gentle and kind spirit. She enjoyed coming to work where she derived satisfaction from giving great service to customers and doing her tasks as well as she could possibly manage. She made the workplace a better place not only with her hard work and enthusiasm but with her smile and zest for life. I think Barb saw only the good in every situation and person. Barb lived her life fully, enjoying it and making those around her feel at ease and happy. I will miss her. (Steve Rockey)
I became acquainted with Barbara Wilcox back in the early ‘80s. Our husbands at that time were very active with the Cornell Railroad Historical Society, and we met at the group’s events and were “railroad widows,” along with several other women, when the guys were out “chasing trains.” When I became employed in the Cornell Library system, we occasionally communicated on matters involving the Physical Sciences Library, and became better acquainted.
Barb was always friendly, always presenting a positive face to the public. It’s not that there wasn’t sorrow or hardship in her life; she was just a lot better than most of us at not revealing it. She put much energy and enthusiasm into whatever she got involved in; especially the TCPL Friends of the Library book sale. It seemed that whenever I visited the sale to make purchases or to donate, Barb was there! News of Barb’s passing was a stunner. Her smiling face was such a familiar and comfortable part of my life, even if at the periphery, that it’s hard to accept that I will never see her again. I will miss her very much. (Dorothy Stiefel, retired from LTS Cataloging, Olin Library)
Barb was a wonderful inspiration to all of us. I was in awe of her volunteer and work accomplishments. As budgets shrank and we had fewer people to check in journals and work at the circulation desk, Barb was called on to work most days in not just one or two … but three subject libraries every day - Math, Physical Sciences, and Engineering. She did this for years. In addition, she had a busy volunteer schedule at the Friends of the Library and Food Pantry. Because of her unique experience, Cornell Human Resources asked if they could use her as a resource for others being introduced to the hotelling environment. Barb was one of those rare individuals who worked hard every day, never complained, and had a cheerful, positive personality. Her service ethic was always evident. She was always willing to go the extra mile to help, even coming to the library during the week between Christmas and New Year's to empty the book drop. We will miss her laughter and giving nature. (Jill Powell, Engineering Library)
I had the pleasure of working with Barb Wilcox during our time together at the Physical Sciences Library. Barb was an essential part of the success of our library. She offered many times to cover hours that were open before I even asked her. She would work weekends, evenings and help out on special projects. We really appreciated her flexibility and reliability. We will all miss her contribution to CUL and our community.(Deb Muscato, Physical Sciences Library)
We would like to thank everyone that attended our get together on June 30th to remember Barb Wilcox. Some of us will be making a donation in Barb's memory to the Ithaca Kitchen Cupboard. Barb volunteered at this food pantry for many years, so we find it fitting that contributions will be sent to them. If you would like to donate, please make your check out to the Ithaca Kitchen Cupboard. Write in the memo on your check: Memorial donation Barbara Wilcox. If you would like to send your payment to me, I would be happy to forward the donations to the organization. Thank you. (Natalie Sheridan, Math Library)
Photograph by Jill Powell