Monday, April 21, 2014

Celebrating the Library staff

As a supervisor I would just like to say that I’m very lucky that I work with such a great group of folks.  They come to work, they do their jobs, and they help the students find the resources needed for projects.  But the main reason, that I’m lucky, is that the folks that work in the library LOVE helping the students.    In case you haven’t been by the library lately, let me tell you about us.

Claudia is the front line supervisor for circulation.  She has been here over 25 years.  She has seen it all!  And she has moved the library from Miller Hall to Ruby Hicks using shopping carts.  She knows more about the history of the library than anyone else.  She is the one in charge of the student workers.  Claudia loves the Clemson Tigers and goes to EVERY football game.

Michele is the Easley community campus dedicated librarian.  She also organizes our PR campaign, answers reference questions, and teaches information literacy classes.  She is the point person for interlibrary loan including PASCAL.  Michele moved from Ohio to start working here.  She loves that we don’t get that same amount of snow they do up there. 

Alydia orders the books and catalogs them.  What does that mean you wonder?  That means after she gets the books in, she is the one that loads the information into the on-line database so everyone can find where that book lives in the library.  Oh, and she decides where that book lives by determining the call number (yes, that is all those letters and numbers on the spine of the book.)  Alydia started here as a work study student many years ago.  She finished her AA, then her BA, and now has a Masters in Adult Higher Education (I’m trying to get her to go to library school next!).  TCTC is in her blood – her son is attending here now.

Jessica was formerly at the Easley campus and is now the night circulation supervisor here.  She is the “serials” person. What that means is that she is the one that orders and sorts all those journals and magazines we get.  She also works on how that information looks in electronic form.  Jessica has her Masters in Library Science from USC and has worked for TCTC for 3 years now.   She is the quietest one of all of us. 

Sue is in charge of Instruction of the library resources.  And boy howdy (as my grandmother would say) does she do some instruction!  She organizes the calendar of who is teaching the workshops and where.  This can get very involved since the library teaches over 250 workshops a semester in 4 or 5 locations with 6 people teaching.  On top of that, she creates the videos of the information, makes sure it is transcribed so that we follow ADA, and develops the workshop outlines.  Oh, and she answers reference questions.  Sue is a wonderful cook and usually spends the day on Sunday cooking so that she just has to warm dinner up after her 7 mile walk every day. 

Kultida has been here 1 year as of last week.  Happy work anniversary!  She has a Phd in Film and is originally from Thailand.  If you have a country project for Thailand, you should interview her.  The skill she has that just amazes me is translating fiction novels from English into Thai.  Kultida is the Anderson community campus dedicated librarian.  She is in charge of electronic resources and the overall look of the webpage.

Debby is at the Anderson campus.  She has decades of library experience from working at a community college in Ohio before she “retired” and moved here.  Debby recently got a new cat, Calypso.  Ask her to see the video!  Besides being the Anderson point person, she has other projects including helping Norman upload the electronic versions of the literature notebook.

Allison is the newest library team member.  She is stationed at the Easley campus.  Allison has library experience in a variety of places like West Virginia and Greenwood.  She has her Master’s in Library also.  Allison is a 2nd generation TCTC employee (her mom Judy is still an adjunct here and her dad David retired a few years ago).  Oh, and she has a new car that she is very proud of.

You might still see Norman around here.  Yes, he retired a year ago. But he still comes in a few hours a week to work on the Megasearch discovery tool the library has so that all of you can find your articles and books.  He has a new dog that he is training.  Jasper is a real character that keeps Norman hopping.

And me, I’m Marla.  Like I said earlier, I’m very lucky to work with such a great group of people.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Weeding the Old and Planting the New

The Tri-County Technical College Pendleton Campus Library has gone through a “weeding” process in which books that are out of date are discarded from our catalog and placed on a ‘free’ book cart in the library lobby. Similar to pulling weeds from a flower bed, it is an essential part of our mission to provide our students, faculty and staff with the best resources available. As a result, we have also added many new books to the collection within the past week. A few of the titles added to our collection are as follows: The Divergent series, reference titles on Mythology, Michelangelo, and Military vehicles. Feel free to stop by the library to check out one of our new titles or to take advantage of the free discarded titles. Additionally, we are always willing to accept book requests for purchase.  Your input is valued!

By, Alydia Sims

Friday, April 4, 2014

Library Book Displays

All three campus libraries change book displays at least once a month.  We like you to see the variety of print information that we have available for you to check out and read.  Jessica Scott creates a brochure every month to highlight some of our collection. This month Jessica focuses on Earth Day. If you would like a copy of the actual brochure, stop by the library and ask for one.  Also remember that April is Poetry month.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Chatting Answers

The library at TCTC offers a chat feature for students, who would like to submit their reference questions online.  Often, as we answer questions submitted by students, we go to an EBSCO database and search for information.  These searches, once complete, can be easily shared with students.  EBSCO offers a drop-down menu on the top right section of the hit list called "share".  From this drop-down box, a permalink can be found that can be sent to the student through our online chat feature.  If the student is on campus, they will easily be able to access the results of our search.  If they are not on campus, the proxy prefix for the college must also be provided.  The image below is a screen shot of an EBSCO search for "Things Fall Apart".  Students appreciate the immediate access to the search results, through the provision of this permalink.  It is a great way to remotely help students with research!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Library Jargon

It is common knowledge that library jargon can sometime be an impediment to public service and user access to information. But who would think that interpretations of some of them can be both amusing and at time embarrassing. The other day a student asked me; “What is Stacks-Calculating?” It took me a few seconds to realize that he meant ‘Stacks-Circulating’. He probably was baffled by the idea of something called ‘Stacks’ be combined with ‘Circulating’, which is not possible. ‘Stacks’ and ‘Calculating’ makes more sense. Hence, the question was worded that way.

Why the library world uses the term ‘stacks’ is a mystery to me also. Would it be easier for everybody to understand without an extensive explanation if we use ‘shelves’? Not only that, do we know how this term has been used? For example, Urban Dictionary defines ‘Stacks’ as an obscured place to have sex. “Take him to the stack”’ implies that “sexual actions are desired between an employee and a non-employee, usually a patron, in a public library.” A regular user of Urban Dictionary gives the meaning of ‘Stacks’ as “a section of the library that is rarely used, such as the history section. It is an ideal location for sex”. I think if we use the term ‘Shelves’ instead, it would discourage anybody from coming up with such a ‘disrespectful’ interpretation. It would be quite difficult to picture somebody performs such activities on a shelf.

By Kultida Dunagin

Friday, February 21, 2014

Access to e-Books

The University of California Press provides free access to over 700 titles of its e-Book collection to the general public.  The books in this collection were published from 1982-2004.  Topics covered include art, science, history, music, religion, and fiction.  Accessing these titles is easy.  Simply go to the following URL:  From this site, you can browse by author, title, or subject.  Select the “Browse Public” option and you will receive immediate access to the e-Books!

Friday, February 7, 2014

A Friendly Face

I attended a webinar yesterday on the topic of how college libraries influence student’s first year experiences. The webinar format isn’t my favorite way of interacting with people, but when several people gather to attend the webinar together there is often an exchange of ideas during and after the session. One of the other attendees at yesterday’s webinar was a new instructor in our Comprehensive Studies Department, who used to be a TCTC student. I recognized him as a former student when he started working here at the beginning of fall semester, because he’d been in the library seemingly every day back then.

One concept that the webinar touched on was that students may not realize that besides knowing how to find academic information for assignments, the librarians know a lot about how the college itself functions. A study of first year college students found that they have contact with their parents an average of 13.4 times per week – just under twice a day. Often, these contacts occur when students need guidance about “how the college functions” – where they should go for financial aid assistance, what to do if their academic advisor isn’t available, when to schedule classes for next semester, etc., etc., etc. Many of our students are the first in their families to attend college, and their parents might not know the answers to these questions.

After the webinar, the new instructor/former student said that when he was here as a student, he’d realized that not only were the librarians friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable, they were also THERE ALL THE TIME. Think about this: There is not much employee turnover at an academic library. If students can make a connection with a librarian early in their first year, that person is likely to be available to them for the remainder of their attendance at that college. Librarians are an untapped resource for many first year experience programs, but here at TCTC we are taking an active role in the integration of library skills and personnel in our Learning Communities. And with the required library workshops in all 100-level English classes, our students have the opportunity to connect with a friendly face that can help with much more than just research assignments.

By, Sue Andrus