The September 2021 Library Staff Pick’s theme Re-starting reminded me that July 2021 was a new beginning for me: after 16 years working in the areas of student, academic and faculty affairs, I took the position as Manager of Operations of the Gottesman Libraries. A new beginning with many things to learn, new colleagues to meet and establish relationships with and a large space to explore and support. July and August were devoted to initial discovery, learning and realizing what a busy place a library is.
My first task was to make sure the library's vendors have my contact information as many of our accounts were under the names of people who are no longer with TC. I collaborated with the Library Director to submit the application for the 2021-22 CCDA Metro grant and contributed financial information for the 2020-2021 Myers Foundations report. While preparing the report, I worked with the Director of Disbursement to determine how to pay the recipient of the Myers Art Award so that the taxes wouldn’t have a huge impact on the funds she received. Reviewed the 2021-2022 approved budget to determine how to fund the accounts lines to match Alma’s ledgers. (Finance)
The library is an enormous space, approximately 25,000 square feet, requiring lots of attention. My first week as Manager was consumed by the mold remediation project, logging the Call Number of the books being taken away for cleanup. It took the TERS team, the company hired to conduct the cleanup, close to a month to pack and remove all of the affected books in RH4, RH5 and the subbasement room – more than 13,000 books – for treatment and to clean and sanitize the rooms. Unfortunately, water seeped into RH4 and RH5 three times during the summer but the culprits were identified: a water pump that shorted out and failed, a clogged drain in the mechanical room and faulty computer equipment that failed to identify inadequate humidity levels in these rooms. The Facilities team and Environmental Health and Safety are helping to keep the rooms safe until the computer equipment arrives. To prepare Russell Hall floors 1 to 3 for the start of the new academic year, work requests were submitted to bring furniture out of storage, arrange furniture on the second floor, discard or store away furniture and cleaning the floors. Finally, taking advantage of some funds available, RH 104B was refurbished – the wood panels were fixed and painted. The room looks refreshed. (Russell Hall)
During the pandemic, the library had an adjusted schedule with access limited to the first floor only, and several of the Library Associates left Teachers College. The Library Director and I interviewed about 15 candidates for the position of Library Associate, mostly TC students and library students, and hired nine new Library Associates to replace those who left. Seven of the existing Library Associates are continuing in academic year 2021-2022 and were reappointed. (Personnel)
I started to familiarize myself with the technology, equipment and the Library Content Management System and was introduced to the library reservation system which I will be supporting. Began to survey all of the existing iMacs and laptops to determine what equipment needs to be upgraded or replaced. Reviewed a 2020 report prepared by TCIT with recommendations for upgrades to the Library meeting rooms and generated a new option that is being implemented in Fall 2021. TCIT is now providing technical support for RH 305 and RH 306 which are considered classrooms and has been working with TriTech to fix problems with the equipment in RH 305 and RH 306. (Equipment/Software)