In the blink of an eye…
As many of you have heard, after eight years I’ll be leaving UCSC this summer to become University Librarian at UCLA. The time has flown by, and, as I look back, it’s hard to believe all that happened. I’ll certainly take many memories of the library and the campus with me.
When I arrived in 2005, groundbreaking on the McHenry renovation and addition project had just occurred. Although I knew most construction projects fall behind schedule, I didn’t anticipate that this one would include serious delays and even the threat of shutting down the project. The highlight—or, more accurately, the low-light was a stop-work order by the Governor. As it turned out, the project was at a critical stage, and there was a very real risk the original McHenry building could collapse if even a minor earthquake occurred, so after a few days of uncertainty, work began again. Eventually, after almost six years, a fire, and a multitude of cost overruns and last-minute changes, the building was finished. Usage more than doubled in the first year and has continued to grow by more than 25 percent this year—a clear sign that we all succeeded in restoring McHenry as the true intellectual heart of the campus.
In the midst of the McHenry project, we coped with multiple student occupations of the Science & Engineering Library—another new experience that tested our negotiation skills, diplomacy, and patience. Who knew the life of a librarian would include facing a mob of unruly and unhappy students protesting for longer library hours?
Throughout my time at UCSC I have been impressed by the level of support for the library. We couldn’t have survived without all of you! I will miss seeing you and being an active member of the campus community, but I will always carry a deep fondness for banana slugs in my heart. If you live in or travel to Los Angeles, I hope you’ll stop by to say hello!
As University Librarian Ginny Steel departs for UCLA, she leaves behind a strong and talented leadership team, among whose members is M. Elizabeth Cowell.
Elizabeth Cowell, who joined the campus in 2008, is Associate University Librarian for Public Services. She is a passionate champion of the vital role the modern academic library can play in supporting the research and instructional mission of the university. She is also a tireless advocate for ensuring that libraries meet the needs of students, faculty, and staff.
Elizabeth brings more than 10 years of management experience in the UC system to this interim appointment. Deeply engaged in UC and national library networks, Elizabeth was recently appointed to the Depository Library Council of the United States Government Printing Office and is current chair of UC's Systemwide Operations, Planning and Advisory Group.
Ms Cowell’s appointment begins July 15 and will last through June 2014, or until the search for a permanent University Librarian concludes.
It takes a truly dedicated library staff to build and maintain your University Library. Five mainstays of the organization retire this month. Their combined years of service total an astounding 158 years. Best wishes to all on their retirements.
Jan Becking’s extensive knowledge and expertise with government documents will leave a lasting impact on the University of California system. Her enthusiasm for government information and tutelage have significantly enhanced the reference acumen of the University Library’s public services staff, including those who went on to become government document librarians throughout the UC system.
The UCSC Library is a Federal and State Depository library. This means the Library receives print and electronic publications at no charge in return for making them available to the public. These documents include detailed statistical series, census data and reports, Congressional hearings, legislative information, and reports from government agencies like the EPA and the Departments of Education, Agriculture, and Energy.
Jan provided reference service to students, faculty, and the public to help them find and understand both the basic and complex information contained in government documents. She helped provide very detailed instruction sessions and reference assistance to students in Environmental Studies and Legal Studies, enabling them to find and fully utilize a wealth of data. Her service to researchers has been formally acknowledged by undergraduate and graduate students and faculty in their senior theses, dissertations, articles, and books. Her research assistance extended to members of the public as well as to students and faculty at other area universities and international scholars. For the last several years she has worked tirelessly on the technical processing necessary to make these valuable and diverse resources discoverable in the library catalog.
Jan Becking arrived at UCSC in 1989 after working at the University of Iowa and the Palo Alto law offices of Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich, and Rosati. The University Library has been fortunate to have Jan’s deep knowledge of federal and state government documents and legal sources for almost 25 years. We extend to her our best wishes in the next chapter of her life.
If you’ve ever checked out a book or a score, watched a DVD, listened to an audio cassette, or simply needed something in a hurry, it’s likely that Shirley Hart had a hand in ordering, cataloging, or rush processing the material. In Shirley’s 36 years at UCSC she has ushered in hundreds of thousands of titles.
Over the years Shirley has worked her magic behind the scenes as a monster cataloger and superstar project person, frequently being the first to offer her services for whatever task needed to be accomplished, whether it be rush processing new collections, placing large orders, withdrawing or re-cataloging records. She has been the premier go-to person for many cataloging-related questions and monographic record corrections, which has helped to keep the library catalog up to date and accurate. Over the years Shirley has done authority control work, and cataloged countless monographs, theses, DVDs, and CD-ROMs.
Shirley Hart has consistently been one of the most productive, upbeat, well-liked and helpful staff members in Technical Services and the Library. We thank her for her hard work, sense of humor, and friendship. We wish her the best as she enjoys some hard-earned leisure with more time to enjoy her passion for “two-dimensional moving images,” RDA (Resource Description and Access) terminology for what is commonly known as film and television.
Mordechai Shapiro, who earned his MLIS from UC Berkeley, has provided many years of top notch cataloging, handling diverse materials such as music scores, audio CDs, and Hebrew and European language monographs. More recently, he expanded his work to include monographic receiving, record loading, authority control, original cataloging, and resolving electronic resource access problems. Every user of the library owes thanks to him.
For several years Mordechai has assisted in cataloging special collections material and was responsible for copy cataloging several collections such as the Morton Marcus Poetry Archive and Benjamin Franklin gift. He also participated in creating metadata for Grateful Dead Archive material. Mordechai has been a very capable, pleasant, low maintenance, and hardworking staff member. He retires after 31 years and 8 months of service to the University of California..We wish him the best as he enjoys his new role as stay-at-home dad extraordinaire.
Connie Croker’s fairness, loyalty, and ability to build community are the key attributes that mark her 38 years of service to the University Library. She finishes her career at the Library as Senior Budget Analyst for Library Financial Services. Her expertise with the budget and relationships with other campus financial wizards provided Connie with the information needed to assess and recommend financial forecasts that have served the Library well through some of our most difficult financial challenges.
Connie joined the Library family in May 1977 as a key-entry operator. Through her many assignments in the Library she has amassed an amazing understanding of how the Library functions and more specifically the inner workings of the campus financial systems, policies and procedures.
Not content to perform just the tasks related to her title, Connie has represented the Library and the campus in several noteworthy endeavors. She was an original member of the Library’s Diversity Committee and a key figure in helping to organize the programs offered by this group.
Connie is always one of the first volunteers for any Library social event, working closely with office manager Suzanne Flanders and the other folks who always ensure the events are fun and memorable.
She was long associated with the UCSC Women at Work Retreat. Additionally, Connie was a member of the Staff Advisory Board providing support to the SAB’s Compensation Committee, the Staff Appreciation Committee, and the SAB Elections Committee. Most recently, Connie was first a Junior Delegate and then Senior Delegate representing UC Santa Cruz systemwide on the Council of UC Staff Assemblies (CUCSA). This vital council's objective is to provide service to the University by advising and providing a staff perspective to decision makers.
In typical Connie fashion, she notes in her retirement letter, “After 36 years of riding my bike up the hill to the Library, I have decided to give my bike a break and retire on June 27, 2013.” Congratulations, Connie, on your retirement and your long commitment to the Library!
We like to think of Peggy McNicholas as the unofficial historian of the UCSC Library. She began her career in McHenry Library in 1981. After working on many library teams, she took the role of Information Services Specialist at the Science and Engineering Library.
In recent years, Peggy helped launch the Roving Information Student program, training students to provide information services to their peers in both library locations. Peggy’s students are extremely well trained and completely devoted to her as a mentor. It was Peggy who created Library champions out of these students who are extremely effective in promoting and providing information services.
During her career Peggy worked in Interlibrary Loan, Serials, Development, Preservation, and she worked in Reference at McHenry. This is all to say that her insight and knowledge about the workings of this organization will be missed, as will her tireless commitment to public service. We will miss Peggy as a colleague and wish her all the best as she moves on to what promises to be a rewarding retirement. Thank you Peggy for all of your years of excellent service to the UCSC Library!
Editor: Lettie Bennett
Contributors: Ginny Steel, Varvara Paizis, Elizabeth Cowell, Luisa Haddad, Kate McGirr
Production: Linda Hunt, Kirsten Cattell
Copyediting and proofreading: Mark Engel
Photography: Elise Mahoney, Luisa Haddad, Varvara Paizis, Linda Hunt