The Education Program of the Gottesman Libraries comprised virtual offerings to members of the Teachers College community, as well as select remote events and displays to the wider community of scholars. The Summer 2021 reflected ongoing commitment to teaching, learning, and research through workshops on topics of enduring relevance; book and news displays on themes reflecting current events with broad educational context; and self-guided learning through the promotion of library resources and services, while preparing for hybrid opportunities and the return of staff in early to mid-August.
From May through August research librarians conducted the following online workshops: So You're Alumni!; Orientation to Resources and Services; The Literature Review; Cited Reference Searching; Introducing the Scoping Review; Managing Citations with Zotero; Deep Dive into Dissertation Research; Research, A-Z; Systematic Reviews; Introducing Zotero; Mendeley or Zotero; and Introducing Educat+.
The year's program of guest talks concluded with Deaf Music Project Documentary, given by TC alumni Julia Silvestri and Yiru Chen in early May -- also the final event of the series: Artivism: The Power of Art for Social Transformation, spearheaded by TC alumna Caroline Cambronero-Valera and team from Adelphi University, Sing for Hope, and the Gottesman Libraries.
The curation of Daily News from Around the World continued, using Newseum as a source for headlines. Historical news displays using Proquest Historical Newspapers also fearured on the Library Blog on a weekly basis to highlight interesting articles and related library holdings for the Today in History series. Among the historical news curations were: Virginia Woolf Publishes To the Lighthouse; Jenner Administers the First Vaccine Against Smallpox; Brown v Board of Education Is Decided; Brooklyn Bridge Opens; World Bicycle Day; Benjamin Franklin Flies a Kite; Happy Birthday, Dr. Edmund Gordon; Hawaiian Islands Are Annexed; Twitter Launches; Tolkien Publishes The Fellowship of the Ring; and The Atomic Bomb Drops on Hiroshima.
Online book displays, also curated by staff, comprised Staff Picks on topics and themes of special interest : Global Finances, by Joseph Edwards; School Librarian Perspectives: Advocacy, by Rachel Altvater; and Foods of Summer, by Lauren Young. Everett Cafe book displays, relating to news, hot topics, and learning were titled: Understanding Vaccines (May-June) and What Trees Tell Us (July-August) -- all designed by Trisha Barton, who also created the special news slides for Today in History.
In addition we promoted specific databases support of programs and offerings at Teachers College: Resources for Alumni (May); Biodiversity: Life's Library (June): Social Wellness (July); and Nutrition Education (August).
Warping the Future: How Craft Led to the Digital World As We Know It, the commissioned artwork of the Gottesman Libraries, ran continually.
Beyond programming or library-sponsored events, we addressed a number of special projects that took advantage of space, construction, technology, and personnel to improve and rebuild the library and meet additional goals.
Through the generous support of the Eugene E. Myers Charitable Trust, we began renovating the Tudor Room, 271 Grace Dodge, a grand historic landmark for art talks and select meeting space. Originally designed in the Arts and Crafts style by Arthur Wesley Dow, Professor of Fine Arts and influential art educator, and Helen Kinne, Professor of Household Arts, at Teachers College, it will also provide gallery space for the College's framed historical art portraiture, conserved through Myers. New lighting fixtures, restoration of woodwork and antique furniture, painting, and new furniture are elements closely coordinated with the Teachers College offices of Special Projects, Senior Vice Provost, and Development.
Similarly, the much-needed refurbishment of Russell 104b involved treating and refinishing the oak paneled room in the library which serves as a special meeting space, come reading room for historical collections.
We continued to service the Paul Monroe papers throughout the summer, and upon request we digitized select archival materials (including the Horace Mannikin) using our new overhead scanner with book cradle.
A significant project to repair books from the closed collections entailed collaboration with TC Facilities, Environmental Health and Safety, and Insurance, resulting in the treatment of over 13,000 needy books; duct work; humidity checks; and other protective measures are in place to safeguard unique and valuable historical collections. Staff continued shelf reading of the Tower Stacks -- now nearing completion to ensure maintenance of and access to the print collections.
We welcomed three new full time staff: Iraida Torres Irizarry, Manager of Operations (Library), previously Academic Affairs Director, Teachers College Office of the Provost; Roshnara Kissoon, Reserves and Support Services Librarian, previously Reserves Coordinator at Newman Library, Baruch College; and Lorraine LaPrade, Substitute Assistant Professor and Reader Services Librarian at Kingsborough Community College, to our team. We also onboarded eight new Library Associates, comprising students from Teachers College, Columbia University, and those from local library schools: Connie Lee, Natali Constanzo, Rania Abdelqader, Kirti Sinha, Joseph Riccio, Lucy Skrebutenas, Grace Handy, Katie Blake, and Loriana Donovan.
We continued preparing for the launch of our new integrated library system: Exlibris Alma and Primo VE. At the end of July, we hosted a virtual focus group to debrief on the experience of using the new discovery layer for library resources; the group consisted of a dozen faculty members, staff, and students who provided feedback that helped us to fine-tune the look and feel of our new catalog, Educat+ which went live on August 17th, 2021, complete with review and planning for library materials expenditures, both general and grant-funded, in 2021-2022.
We prepared for the return of members to campus / library by replacing stored furniture (floors 1-3); upgrading technology (re-imaging first floor workstations, with the help of TC IT); and relocating office spaces on the first floor. We modified paging and pick up services, allowing requests for materials from the closed stacks, and Fifth Floor tower (due to ongoing roof repairs). We offered digital delivery services (scanning of materials for Course Reserves and scanning small portions for personal use) through mid-August. We participated in three digital drop in sessions for new students -- sessions coordinated by the Office of Graduate Student Life and Development who also invited us to participate in the panel talk "Academic Success" for Fall New Student Orientation.
We updated our circulation policy, mobile app, main search bar, drop down selections for Ask-a-Librarian, and other web pages as needed, due to the change in library software; anticipated return to campus; and resumption of full library services.
Finally, we conducted performance reviews for full time professional staff, allowing for the review of both short and longer term library goals and objectives. Planning complemented work on Columbia University Library Committees, including Access Services, Planning, and Strategy (weekly meeting) and Learning and Reference Support Strategies (monthly meeting).
You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.
-- C.S. Lewis, Of Other Worlds: Essays and Stories
Summer- Still Life-Open Book- Flower, Courtesy of Pixabay
Wildflower, Courtesy of PxHere