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During the Summer, Cook Library Continues to Work for You

Introducing Education Librarian Sarah Gilchrist and Library Associate for E-Resources Shannon Blackburn

Riding the RAILS Project at Cook Library

Cook Library by the Numbers

During the Summer, Cook Library Continues to Work for You

subpagepic As the spring semester turns to summer and thoughts of vacation abound, Cook Library's staff will be hard at work preparing for the Fall 2012 semester. Throughout the summer, the library continues to offer full services at all desks, and a current copy of the library's summer schedule can be obtained by clicking here:

During summer months, the Library Technology staff will be busy implementing some significant changes to enhance user experiences in both the physical and online library. The staff will replace older student computers with updated models and the Media Resource Services Department will work to upgrade software on their AV lab computers. The staff also is preparing an improved single search box for the library website. This search will enable users to see the books, articles, and special collections resources that are available on a particular topic with just a few keystrokes.

The library's collection also gets a good bit of attention during the summer months. Many staff members will work on a journals cancellation project to trim the library's subscription budget by $200,000. This is the first cancellation project undertaken at Cook Library since 1992, and it will involve careful examination of all journals, databases, serials, and standing orders. The Technical Services staff will play a significant role in this project by creating information packets for academic departments complete with cost figures and usage statistics for each title. This data will enable the departments to make well-informed recommendations about how the library can reduce the budget while still meeting departments' information needs.

For librarians, summer is the time to work on collection enhancements, including rolling up their sleeves to shift collections for better allocations of space, assessing various areas for currency and completeness, and taking care of those items which are worn or in need of repair. The library has been fortunate to have received a sizeable gift donation from a professor in the Music Department. The Library Liaison to Music together with Technical Services staff will be busy evaluating and processing this large collection of books, musical scores, and compact discs for inclusion in the collection. In addition, the Circulation Department uses the summer to put the stacks in good order for the upcoming semester. Staff will spend a good deal of time going through assigned sections of the collection, putting items in strict call number order and searching for items marked as "lost or missing."

Librarians also use the summer months to focus on instruction and they are busy planning for a wide variety of courses taught in the fall. They are available through the summer to meet with faculty and plan collaborative efforts that include both direct classroom instruction as well as the creation of Course Gateways and teaching tools for research topics. This summer, a dedicated group of Cook employees will be planning and filming a new series of short videos promoting library services to students. Another group of librarians, headed by Science Librarian Laksamee Putnam, will be making a presentation at the annual conference of the American Library Association outlining how they created their award-winning civility video.

Cook Library is a busy place during the summer months with library staff focusing on enhancing library technology, expanding access to library collections, and preparing for effective library instruction in the fall. We invite you to stop by this summer and see what Cook Library has to offer.

Written by Lisa Woznicki

Albert S. Cook Library 8000 York Road • Towson, Maryland 21252 • 410-704-2461 •
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