Schewe Library Updates

Library Interview: Luke Beatty

Over the next few of weeks we’ll be presenting short interviews with Schewe personnel.  The fourth in our series chronicles the adventures of our Outreach Librarian, Luke Beatty.

Luke with SharkWho are you, what is your title, and how do I get in contact with you?

I’m Luke Beatty, and I’m an Outreach Librarian / Assistant Professor at Illinois College. I can be contacted at luke.beatty@mail.ic.edu, or by phone at (217) 245-3573. I’m located behind the Circulation Desk in Schewe Library.

 

How long have you been at IC, and what led you here?

I’ve been at Illinois College since April, 2014.  Prior to coming here, I’d been working as a librarian at a large university, and my contract came to an end.  Professionally, I thought it would be a good idea to try out a smaller institution, and I was also keen to live in America for awhile (I’m Canadian), so I ended up here.

In a more philosophical sense, I decided librarianship would be a good fit for me because it’s one of the few professions that does unambiguous good in the world (the other two such professions are firefighting and nursing, in my opinion).  Since I didn’t want to die in a blazing inferno and don’t care for needles, librarianship was a pretty easy choice 🙂

What do you do at Schewe?

I’m here to ensure that Schewe meets the needs of the college’s students, faculty, and staff.  On a practical level, this means I do a lot of library instruction, reference, faculty liaison, program evaluation, and collection development.  I’m also the point person for a lot of the non-standard/new technologies that Schewe supports (think: the stuff in the Digital Learning Center, the Geospatial Information Systems Lab, our HP Sprouts, etc.).  Suffice it to say, I’m kept busy!

Any exciting initiatives you’ve got planned in the next little while?

Excitement is a relative thing in Schewe, but here are a few projects I’d like to take up in the near future…

  • Run a few workshops for students to learn Final Draft, which is a screenwriting software we have in our Digital Learning Center;
  • Conduct focus groups to get more detailed information on how we can improve the library;
  • Get a soda machine in Schewe’s front lobby. [In days of yore, Schewe had a soda machine in its front lobby, but, as the story goes, the then-President of IC felt that the machine’s neon glow was vulgarly intruding on his evening walks, and so he decreed that the machine be removed.]

Tell our readers something interesting/exciting/unusual about you…

I used to live in Banff, Alberta, and to get to work, I had to hike through a graveyard and up a mountain. When I walked back home (to my housing coop, on the outskirts of town), I often had to tiptoe around a series of moose harems for fear that the alpha males would mistake me for a rival and gore me! Those moose were impossibly dumb, but what they lacked in brains, they made up for in terrifying brute power!

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Library Interview: Liz Potsch

Over the next couple of weeks we’ll be presenting short interviews with Schewe personnel.  The first in our series is our Circulation Manager, Liz Potsch.

Liz's PictureWho are you, what is your title, and how do I get in contact with you?

I’m Liz Potsch, the Circulation Manager. You can email me at liz.potsch@mail.ic.edu, call me at 217 245 3264, or come by the circulation desk Monday through Friday, 7:45am to 4:30pm.

What do you do at Schewe?

I manage circulation; basically, I make books go. When you request books from I-Share I get them to you, and I send our books out to I-Share patrons. I make sure our books are on the shelf where they’re supposed to be, keep your library account in good standing, and supervise the student workers at the circulation desk. If you ever have a question about an overdue book, how to get a book, or printing in the library, I’m the person to ask.

How long have you been at IC, and what led you here?

I’ve been at IC for five months. I came here because circulation is my jam, and this position is precisely in my wheelhouse.

Any exciting initiatives you’ve got planned in the next little while?

New books are exciting, right? Soon we’ll be shifting the collection to make room for lots of new books.

Tell our readers something interesting/exciting/unusual about you…

If you’re an athlete you’ve probably played against my alma mater—I went to Lawrence University. Go Vikings!

What is a GIS Lab and Why is it in My Library?

By Guest Blogger Danielle Trierweiler

Sometime between the Spring Semester and Fall, a new space worked its way into the Hilltop’s beloved Schewe Library: enter the Geospatial Information Systems or GIS Lab.

The GIS Lab arrives at the library in pursuit of the same mission that the Digital Learning Center or DLC initiated roughly a year ago: get students and faculty access to the digital tools and software they need to explore, interrogate, and produce digital projects. As the Digital Services Librarian, I am biased, but these 4 seats to Esri ArcGIS Desktop 10.3 , an industrial-strength mapping tool, are pretty exciting. Here’s why:

Newly finished GIS Lab April 2015

Newly finished GIS Lab @ Illinois College Schewe Library April,  2015

  • Visualizing and sharing data such as population distribution or regional income
  • Mapping definitive routes (such as a river or highway) or more rapidly changing phenomena (like cloud cover or water toxicity)
  • Collaborating with other GIS data producers, analysts, and curators to reveal findings otherwise impossible to view
  • Data management is a large part of GIS, since the attractive map visualizations are comprised of an aggregation of one or more data sources.
  • Using GIS will boost your vocabulary (raster data anyone?) and technical awareness (I get .PDF, but what exactly is a .shp- shapefile?!)

Understanding what GIS is broadly and being able using it the way you want to use it does take some time. Like any skill or sport, it is what you put into it- practice (and time) makes perfect. I can verify that in only a few months of viewing online videos and using textbooks and courses that provide dummy-data to complete basic exercises, I am fascinated by GIS and enjoy looking for new open data sources to map.

About a year ago, Outreach Librarian, Luke Beatty mused on the then-prospect GIS in Schewe back when it was only a sparkle in the Library Director’s eye: “Personally, I’d like to see a GIS-lite tool with a focus on demographic, business, or social data.” he wrote. Sorry Luke! ArcGIS can handle spatial analysis for all of these, but it is strictly BYOD (Bring [downloand] Your Own Data!) Not necessarily a bad thing, but ArcGIS users, especially ArcGIS desktop users should be up for the management challenges that comes with freedom to structure and customize your data.

To help get you started understanding and using the GIS Resources available to the IC campus, check out the *NEW* GIS page on the Schewe Library website or visit the lab next time you’re in the library to see for yourself.

I’d like to close this entry with one of my personal favorite video Overviews of GIS  *not* found on the library website: a rather long but solid overview published, created, and produced by Mr. Jere Folgert, owner and trainer of an online professional GIS training firm, http://www.KnowGIS.com: here is his Introduction to Cartography and Making Maps with ArcGIS Desktop 10X

Adding to the Archives

As the summer draws to a close, it’s always nice to take stock of what you’ve accomplished.  Here at Schewe, we’ve been busy during the last few months with an assortment of projects, including a revamped website, mastering some new technologies, and preparing to enter the publishing business.  One of the unexpected turns the summer took, however, was the discovery of a number of artifacts suitable for our new Archives.  The story is a strange one…

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It began when a student requested a back-issue of our IC yearbook (the Rig Veda).  Through a labrynthine arrangement no one precisely understood, Schewe had come to be the steward and distributor of IC’s yearbooks, but no one, including the students, really knew this.  So we had hundreds of unopened boxes of yearbooks moldering away in our receiving room, most of them unmarked, and even more of them inaccessibly stored behind piles of shelving, detritus, and books slated for deaccessioning.  It was with great pleasure, then, that I intermittently spent two-weeks sifting through a miscellany of forgotten treasures to get to the boxes containing the yearbook in question.  As I mowed through our receiving room, however, I came to realize that the room had become a de facto repository for a large part of IC’s history, and that much of this material would be ripe for deposit in our Archives.

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Looking back on the whole strange episode, I’m happy to report that much good came from the yearbook retrieval mission.  For one, the Archives got a whole bunch of great new material, including old faculty minutes, photos from the founding era of the College, yearbooks from the 1800s, and correspondence from a number of College luminaries.  As well, we found a number of conference trophies, which our Sports Information Director, Alex Keil, was eager to haul away over to Bruner.  For Schewe, we managed to free up some space in our receiving room, and also managed to collaborate with Marketing on a new scheme for distributing yearbooks.  All and all, not a bad takeaway for a simple yearbook request!

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June Celebrates LGBTQ Month

by Guest Blogger: Danielle Trierweiler

June commemorates LGBT Month (also known as LGBTQ or simply “Pride” or “Gay Pride” month), honoring the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and, depending on the individual or organization,  queer communities of the United States and Internationally. For the purpose of inclusivity, I am including the “Q” in writing this blog entry just know that the meaning behind the acronyms is often a work-in-progress.

June/LGBTQ Month Showcase Display

June/LGBTQ  Showcase Display

Celebrated since 1994, when a high school teacher coordinated the event in October to converge with National Coming Out day, (October 11th) but is now celebrated in June to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall Riots in Manhattan New York, associated with the “beginning” of the LGBTQ movement and socio-political watershed moment for the community.

LGBTQ month has gained prominence in both the individual and national consciousness through a combination of court cases, activism, art and filmmaking, popular culture, professional career role models and mentorship, education, and private conversations to name just a few. Dialogues on what it means to be a community member, advocate, or ally are constantly shaping daily realities and the future of the movement.

Festivities include parades, public concerts, barbeques, poetry readings, pool parties, and other often public activities.  Many US Cities hold major a city-wide event. Pride Seattle for example, is a big deal!

Illinois College is home to its own student LGBT advocacy group SAGE (Straight and Gays for Equality) if you are interested in becoming involved on campus.

 

Relevant Resources:

Reads: The American Library Association (affectionately known as ALA to those of us in the library) supports a GLBT Roundtable appointed to present the 2015 Stonewall Book Awards List

Lambda Literary.org, also presents a literary award organization for excellence in LQBTQ literature. Of course, Schewe’s display case offers some excellent titles at IC but if you are reading this from a distant land or simply not here in the library, Schewe Librarians (me!) are happy to connect you to our display reading list.

Research: The Library of Congress  has prepared a list of secondary and primary resources on LGBTQ authors, composers, archivists, poets, and more!

On May 29th 2015, President Obama issued his most recent Whitehouse proclamation acknowledging the month.

 

Didn’t find a title in the Schewe Library Catalog?  

Suggest a Purchase by completing our *NEW* digital feedback box and let us know!

National Student Employment Week

April 13-17 marks National Student Employment Week.  The goal of this week is to recognize the importance of student workers on campus.  At Schewe Library, we would most definitely be lost without the help of our student employees.  They staff the Circulation Desk for each hour the library stays open from 8 in the morning until midnight.  Not only do they provide great service to their fellow students, they help the entire library by working on projects and shelving, among many other things.  You might see them helping someone find a resource or troubleshooting a problem with technology.  Most of the time, they are the first face you’ll see when you walk in the door.

Yesterday, Illinois College recognized student workers and their supervisors at a kick-off event in Bruner.  Both Luke Beatty and Sarah Snyder were nominated for the prestigious Supervisor of the Year award.  In addition, one of our student workers, Alessandra Capparelli, was nominated for Student Worker of the Year.  Clearly, all of the hard work and dedication that the library staff and student workers put in each day paid off, at least in some small way!

Alessandra Capparelli is a senior this year and will be graduating this May.  She has worked here since her Sophomore year and has put a lot of time into making the library a great place for all faculty and students.  She has been accepted into the Master’s program at Rush University where she will pursue a graduate degree in nursing.  We are all very proud of her and wish her great luck in her future career!

Student Employee Week

In addition to our slate of student library workers, Luke Beatty supervises 5 Digital Learning Center Student Assistants, each of whom are helping out a faculty member with a technologically forward-looking project.  For those not in the know, the Digital Learning Center is a recent addition to the Schewe family, and features space-age hardware, software, and a top-notch Library crew working to ensure that students, staff, and faculty get everything they can out of it.  As the academic year draws to a close, Schewe would again like to thank its Digitial Learning Center Student Assistants, who have learned fast and done some great work.  Congratulations!

Community Outreach

Yesterday, in honor of Deafness Awareness Week, Schewe hosted two students from the Illinois School for the Deaf.  The two students were interested in library careers, and Schewe was happy to give them a taste of the library life (glamorous as it is).  The two students were introduced to the staff, and our Circulation Manager, Sarah Snyder, gave them an opportunity to learn some of the ins-and-outs of library operation.  This is the second year Schewe has participated in this event, and it highlights one of the less-appreciated functions of academic libraries: community outreach.

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Though the academic library’s primary mandate is to serve its parent campus, there is also an obligation — usually written, occasionally not — to provide a minimal level of service and materials’ lending to non-campus communities.  In a small city such as Jacksonville, this mandate is even more pronounced.  In the past, Schewe has involved itself in the following community outreach activities:

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In the past, directorial prerogative has kept Schewe from engaging more fully with the broader Jacksonville community.  Our new Director, Jan Figa, has made it a priority to promote the Library and its services to both students and non-students, and this philosophy of openness has already resulted in more Librarian engagement with the larger community.  During the summer, the Library plans to have a “strategy summit” wherein community engagement will be a hot topic of discussion.  Hopefully, we can arrive at a plan to further engage our non-College patrons!