In this age of outcomes measurement, many academic librarians are focused—and rightly so—on making sure they best serve students. Yet students are not the only population of end users on an academic campus. Faculty, too, are conduits not only to students but to library users in their own right. As well, studies of faculty attitudes such as Ithaka’s often show that, even as faculty increasingly depend on library-brokered online access to expensive databases and electronic journals, the off-site availability of modern resources may leave many faculty members less aware of the crucial role of the library in their and their students’ workflow.
When the University of Akron (UA), OH, revealed plans on July 27 to restructure the University of Akron Press (UAP) and terminate its three full-time employees, the decision was met with a mixture of dismay and confusion. As part of a campus-wide effort to trim the university’s $367 million FY15 budget by $40 million before the beginning of the fall semester—which included cutting more than 200 other jobs as well as the school’s baseball program—UAP editorial and design coordinator Amy Freels and print manufacturing and digital production coordinator Carol Slatter were given two weeks’ notice. Press director Thomas Bacher was told to take two weeks’ paid leave, after which he would serve out the remainder of his contract through January 2016. Associate professor of English Jon Miller was named transitional director of the press.
In our latest 2015 In-Depth Interview with Library Journal Movers & Shakers from academic libraries, sponsored by SAGE, we spoke with Patrick Sullivan. Now retired from his position as instruction coordinator and business reference librarian at San Diego State University, Sullivan is one of the three cochairs, along with Lucía Gonzalez and Oralia Garza de Cortes, of the REFORMA Children In Crisis Project (CCP). REFORMA (the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latino and the Spanish Speaking) formed CCP in 2014 to help unaccompanied minors traveling from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, across the Texas and California border into the United States. CCP provides these children with backpacks containing age-appropriate Spanish-language books, a journal, and writing supplies that they can use in the shelters and group homes where they are detained, and afterward as they travel to their final destinations. According to CCP’s website, its mission is “to get books into the hands of these children, ensure that they have access to storytime materials, and to make all the recent arrivals aware of the wealth of library resources that are available to them here in the United States.”
Rick Osen is the newest member of the five-person board of trustees at Bellingham Public Library (BPL), WA, but he is no stranger to the library world. Osen served as interim dean of libraries and assistant dean for library administration and planning at Western Washington University for 35 years, retiring in 2014. In February he joined chairman J. Robert Gordon, Rachel Myers, Marilyn Mastor, and Tom Barrett to serve a five-year term on the BPL board, and LJ caught up with him to find out more about his transition from academic librarian to public library trustee.
Every library has a sci-fi section, but not many can compete with the collection of speculative fiction that has been growing steadily at the University of Iowa (UI) in recent years. While the UI Libraries boast an impressive collection of works by notable authors in the genre, it’s not the focus of the UI’s universe-spanning sci-fi collections.
In our most recent 2015 In-Depth Interview with Library Journal Movers & Shakers from academic libraries, sponsored by SAGE, we spoke with Hosea Tokwe. In 2007 Tokwe, at the time a senior library assistant at Midlands State University (MSU) in Kweru, Zimbabwe, was given two boxes of books bound for the Matenda Primary School in rural Zimbabwe, donated by former students. The difficulties he encountered in simply getting the books to Matenda inspired him to singlehandedly establish a library at the school—no small task, as Zimbabwe was in the midst of ongoing political and social unrest and his first forays into the rural community were met with mistrust. But Tokwe prevailed, convincing the school to convert a classroom into its first library in 2008, and—in addition to serving as chief library assistant in MSU’s special collections department—he has continued to work with outside groups to continue to fill its shelves ever since.