This month's news: We have a new reference desk || Jake is on the library's web site || Library statistics: the library collection is larger than we thought and we are busier || Library staff update: added librarian position, searches to fill vacancies. (Underlined items are links to more information.)
We love our new Reference Desk! It arrived on Valentine's Day, and will provide a more appropriate setting for our one-on-one research assistance services. Other physical changes: we have moved our display cases next to the sofa grouping on the first floor, to get them away from damaging sunlight. Our next display will be items from the School of Music collection in the library's archives.
Library Web site: Our most recent library Web site enhancement is JAKE (Jointly Administered Knowledge Environment), an electronic reference tool from the medical library at Yale University that allows you to locate full-text periodical resources included in almost 200 different databases. We have customized this tool so that you can find specific titles in our own databases. That is, if you know that an article is in a particular periodical, you can then determine if, and if so where, we provide the full text of that article electronically.
The customization work was done by An Lim, Technology Fellow to the library last fall until her December graduation, and Susan Avery.
New Books: Every month we produce a printed list of all books and other library materials catalogued during the previous month. The list includes titles newly purchased as well as gift items. The list is arranged first by location (videos, reference, stacks, curriculum materials, juvenile) and then by subject. The January list contains our newly catalogued Leisure Reading collection as well as titles from our ongoing work of cataloging a large older gift of music recordings (33 3/3 rpm LP's) .
Copies of the printed list are sent to each academic department at the beginning of every month, and additional copies are available at the Staley Library Circulation Desk.
In the online catalog, new titles are listed in with the regular collection as soon as they are catalogued or, for new titles, as soon as they are ordered.
Library statistics: In the process of filling out yet another statistical survey , I recalculated the number of volumes owned by Staley Library. We obtained a report from our online catalog on everything but our periodicals volumes (since those are not individually tracked in the catalog), and then I physically calculated the number of bound periodicals volumes including those still shelved in the Gorin (Birks Museum) stacks. The new number for our holdings is over 198,000 volumes of books, videos, recordings, microforms, and periodicals! This is greater by more than 8% than our previous calculation of 183,000!! That is to say, our collection is more extensive than we thought, though still of course not as extensive as it might be. (Then again, I hear from colleagues at the Johns Hopkins and Yale University libraries that their users also think that their libraries do not have enough stuff...)
Other facts collected for the survey:
1998/99 total: 33,022
1999/2000 total: 39,158
All circulation categories were up except for Reserves. Especially for books, this is counter-intuitive given the increasing availability and use of electronic resources. Obviously, print still rules!
1998/99 total transactions, both lending and borrowing: 7,342
1999/2000 total: 8,831
For both lending and borrowing, the increase has been in books. By now, up to 50% of book borrowing is self-initiated by users, from the online catalog.
Both years we lent more than we borrowed, unusual for a library our size and a testament to our excellent interlibrary loan service.
The survey in question was the biannual Academic Library Survey for the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics, or what used to be the library portion of the Institutional Postsecondary Education Data System [IPEDS] report through the Bureau of the Census. New from two years ago is that the data was collected through a web based electronic form which, while it did not lessen the work at the library end, will greatly facilitate and speed up the national data compilation which will then be available to libraries for comparison purposes.
Library staff changes (update): We have been able to convert our two senior librarian position vacancies into three beginning librarian positions, and have already begun receiving applications for those positions. (The vacancies are those created by Virginia McQuistion's retirement in December 2000 and Cindy Fuller's plans for moving on in mid-March this year). A full combined job description for the three positions is available at http://www.millikin.edu/staley/librarian_job_description.html