Week of 11/7
This is the week when final grades are handed in. Kindles are ordered for next term as well as e-textbooks in the MEMP program (the ARP program’s texts are mostly lab manuals developed by the IAR teaching staff, and are now loaded into the Kindles). This is the first time that 2nd term classes in the revised MEMP program will be delivered, so I am double-checking editions of books that may be different from the ones listed on the syllabi as submitted to the state. As an example, we’ve discovered that the QuickBooks text is now unavailable, and we must find an update. I am also responsible for updating the syllabi with regard to editions and page numbers as part of the being the MEMP administrator.
During new student orientation sessions, I addressed 70 new students about the library and its services, which include issuance of e-mail addresses.
The school catalog is still in disarray, but soon I will be asked to review it as part of our literacy functions.
I have completed shelf reading of the entire physical library book collection. There were lots of books shelved in error, and one book in particular that a faculty member wanted has turned up. I will be starting the process of weeding the collection next week. This has never been done according to Wendy, and it is now a desperate situation. There are too many books that are out of date; I see no reason to hold on to textbooks that have been revised. Wendy is leaving the weeding to me, with certain books to be evaluated by the Library Committee.
Hours in library this week – 21
Total Hours – 134
Week of 11/14
I’ve done a sizable amount of the weeding at this point, and there are more books that are out of date than I realized. I made a list and discussed this with Wendy, who reminded me that we have to have a certain amount of books on the shelves, and due to the buying freeze, we must be extra careful what we want removed.
Because of the transition from old program to new MEMP program, several textbooks are no longer being used and are coming in from faculty. Cengage Learning asks that we return such books to them for recycling; I have printed out labels for us to do that. There is some discussion as to the disposition of the other texts; in the past, Financial has re-sold them through Amazon. We are dealing with books on subjects like contracts, marketing and record labels that become out of date quickly, so I have already let Financial know that re-selling them may not be the best idea.
Kindles are being distributed to new students this week, and textbooks are being uploaded. Each student has a sign-off sheet to acknowledge that their device works (2 are already known to be defective and are being replaced) and that the necessary textbooks are accessible and usable.
Library use this week by students has been light since the term just began, but I expect this to change by week 3.
Hours in library this week – 20 ½
Total Hours – 154
In my work as a composer/arranger, an historian, teacher, and my many years as a professional in the publishing world, I’ve spent many hundreds of hours in libraries, and when I attended Queens College (CUNY) in the 1970s, I worked in the music library for a year, so the functions of a library serving higher education have been part of my DNA for many years. In joining the library staff, I have been able to learn more about the basic workings of the Learning Center, as well as be part of the fabric of change.
I have learned much about the KOHA system and the other functions currently in practice by the facility (checking books in and out, use of the photocopier, refreshing my memory about the Mac system since the library has Mac Computers, basic budgeting considerations).
The traditional responsibilities of a library are now joined by the elements of research demanded by our constant refinement of what makes up information literacy. I have been aware that many students in our school cannot do basic things such as attach files or even use a word processing program (Wendy informed me that this exists even in community colleges she has worked in). Even though there is a required computer course in the 1st term of the MEMP program, many of the ARP students are not prepared for advanced learning. On the one hand, our job is to prepare all students to get work in the music field, but we must also provide a link to further study via a college degree. Hence the importance of continuing to remake this facility into an active information literacy center.
One of the perks of having my ‘office’ in the library vs. my previous space in the faculty lounge allows all of the students to find and interact with me. In the past, I had little involvement with ARP students; because I am now visible to them, I have already assisted many in writing assignments, advanced research, and reinforced that the library is a friendly place, an alternative to studying at home, and a meeting place with other students.
The previous assistant in the library was not invested in the way the library functioned; most of the books that were misfiled were done so by him. Wendy said to me several weeks ago that there has been a real change, in particular because we have a new director and a new dean of students, both of whom realize the importance of this facility being a center of activity in addition to the computers students use to record and mix music tracks, and our recording studios.
So in writing this summation of my experiences here so far, I am filled with ideas of possibility, of a greater community of students not separated by program, and greater student facility in finding, evaluating and presenting information via the Kindles. These past weeks have been a wonderful introduction to the manifold worlds of a living, breathing resource center.