Thursday, March 10, 2011

Other Projects: Librarians don't just read books all day.

Since I now have four hours a week to sit behind the Ref. Desk, but no more training material to work on, I have been given a couple projects to work on.

The first was a data analysis project. Librarians keep all sorts of data, from how many times someone asks the person at the Desk to fix a paper jam, to how many students have a class period taught by a librarian in Rm. 20. This data project was about figuring out how new faculty members make use of the library's services. When new faculty are hired they have to go to New Faculty Orientation and one of the things they are oriented to there is how they can have their Department's Library Liaison teach a class for their students in the library about how to use the resources we have here and how to apply them to the specific assignments on the syllabus. I had to dig through the lists of new hires and the lists of which professors brought their classes in to see how many of them matched up. While this wasn't the most riveting experience I've ever had, it is important for the library to have this information so they can try to plan how to market their services to the faculty better.

The next project I have been working on has to do with the Browsing Room. There are a lot of newly published books that we might not want for our permanent collection, but that we think patrons might be interested in, so we rent them and keep them in the Browsing Room. I have been perusing the book rental catalogs and selecting Musselman Library's rentals for the next couple of months. For example, Tina Fey and Betty White both have new books coming out. We don't really need these in our collection, but someone might want to read them, so we have ordered them for the Browsing Room. They should be in next month. The only parts I had trouble with here were the sections of the catalog that I don't know anything about, such as Sports and Graphic Materials. One of the Reference Librarian tips I have learned since working here is when in doubt, ask for help, so I talked to my comic book enthusiast friend for advice on that section. The new title Aaron and Ahmed is apparently getting a lot of praise in the comic book world, so that will arrive here for next month as well.

It is really exciting that I can have an influence on the collection here at Musselman Library. Even if it's only a small part of the temporary collection, it's still pretty cool. Next month there will be books in the Browsing Room because I thought they should be there.

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