Where have you been? Semester Retrospective, Part I

A semester is a natural break in the year, a time at which students flee home to be able to read at their leisure rather than under time constraints. Professors enjoy several weeks without quizzes and papers, weeks to do their own research and reading. And librarians? This librarian, at least, will seize the several weeks without students underfoot to make headway in the cataloging project.

Yes, the cataloging continues. I imagine my readers grow weary of it, but unfortunately it is the single largest challenges facing the library. Have we made progress? Certainly. A few highlights for you:

  • To date, we have checked 1,126 records. As we go, we have been updating status (here, missing, damaged), call number, bar code and noting condition
  • To check these records, one must first try to locate the subject of the record. This proved a challenge to the A section of our catalog, which was scattered to two primary locations, with small pieces here and there. This has been rectified.
  • 176 books have been verified and shelved through natural circulation. There are certainly another 50 waiting for my return.
  • A borrowing policy has been implemented! Very simple, very analog, but it is exists and at least some of the students follow it.
  • Phase 1 of the music room has been completed, and the room can now hold several musicians at once, surely a boon to bands across campus as the rainy days of fall and winter sweep in.
  • The experience of attempting a shelf read using Excel as the cataloging weapon of choice has highlighted our need for a better tool, and there are several lessons learned from our slow but steady progress.

The best thing, for me, has been getting into a library again. I was outside the industry in another role that morphed into information professional, but a library is still different. I enjoy seeing plain covers give way to intricate title pages and fly paper. I love finding interesting volumes here and there, simply waiting to be discovered. I enjoy thinking of ways to reinvent the Scholar’s lounge into a true Lounge, not just a sitting room surrounded by a random section of the library collection.

Don’t just take my word for it…


Winter semester considerations and thoughts coming up on Thursday!


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