Greetings from the Chief Librarian

Greetings and Happy New Year!

In this issue, there’s much news regarding additions to the various collections, and updates on current services and programs. Before you move on to the articles in this issue, let me take a few minutes of your time to share with you some activities about the CSI Library that may not be covered in the next few pages.

First the big news…we finally made it on YouTube.  As part of the Library’s participation in the New Student Orientation program, we created a video about the library’s resources and services and it can be found @ http://www.youtube.com/csilibrary.  We’ve also recently launched a Twitter account to promote upcoming events, library openings and closings, and new resources.  We are proud to have 55 followers and counting!

The entryway into the Library was renovated last summer and its impact was tested this winter when we experienced sub-zero weather conditions.  The lobby’s new weather entryway, which has been our envy of all other campus buildings since 1993, stood up to its capability as the double doors shielded us from the bitter cold that would whirl through whenever the doors were opened.  For the first time in the history of the 1L building, students studying in the Reading Room on the first floor, as well as the librarians and staff members working at the Reference Desk or Circulation/Reserves Desk, did not have to keep their gloves and/or coats on during cold windy days in winter.

We have had to update our noise and food/drink policies due to an inordinate amount of issues we experienced last semester.  Regarding the noise policy, we now require no talking in the silent zones, i.e. 2nd and 3rd floors.  Regarding the food and Drink policy, we are not allowing any food or drink (except for bottled water) into the library. While these policies may seem extremely restrictive, they have been put in place to ensure a conducive and welcoming learning environment for all.

We had several memorable events last semester which included our 5th Annual Archives History Day, the Author Talks featuring recent publications by CSI faculty, and a successful Citation Clinic held during the last two weeks of the semester to assist students with their bibliographies.  Over the winter break, we also held our annual workshops for faculty.  New sessions introduced this year were “Analyzing Sources for Publications” and “Ebooks are in — Ebooks are out?”

Upcoming events this semester include a variation on the Author Talk presentations entitled, “Getting your First Book Published” on March 8 and March 22, 2012; a presentation by Jeanine Otis, curator of the traveling exhibit from the Staten Island Museum entitled “Portraits of Leadership: African American Entrepreneurs on Staten Island” that has graced our Gallery since the 20th of January; and our Earth Day event on April 19th sponsored by the Greener Library Committee.

New to our collections since September 2011 are the online version of Cabell’s Directories of Publishing Opportunities, which offers graduate students and faculty a wealth of up-to date information on publishing details required by academic journals in the Social Sciences, Computer Science, and Health Sciences; a membership to the Center for Research Libraries, which makes available via inter-library loan more than 4.5 million publications of rarely-held books, journals, pamphlets, newspapers, and other primary source materials from all regions of the globe), and the cataloged gift of 700+ Music Scores from the Staten Island Chamber Music Players to the Department of Performing and Creative Arts.  While the latter has been secured in the Special Collections section of the library because of their delicate nature, it is certainly rewarding to observe music faculty and students browse the collection, as well get several requests from other CUNY patrons.  Available as a trial this February are the online subscriptions for E-books from Cambridge University Press and Films on Demand. The latter research tool has over 80,000 video clips and 7,000 documentaries, dramas, and newsreels.  Please explore theses e-subscriptions to see if any could be a useful tool for your current research and/or classroom instruction and email your thoughts to Library@csi.cuny.edu.

With the down turn in the economy, we were all not surprised that academic institutions would take a hit sooner or later.  President Morales’ sobering remarks at the beginning of fall semester prepared us for the curtailed budgets we would receive shortly, and the CSI Library was not immune to the budget process.  As such, we had to make significant changes in staffing, a reduction of services; and new acquisitions were reduced to a couple of new electronic resources and monographs only to support programs up for accreditation.  With a shortage of both professional and part-time staff, we merged services of the Document Center and the Circulation/Reserves unit to optimize use of part-time staff; we worked on restructuring the library instruction program to leverage the reduction in full-time librarians; and we reduced the staffed hours at the Reference Desk and Circulation Desk by two hours a day, this spring semester.  We continue to adjust to our new circumstances and look forward to a productive semester.

On a lighter note, Chuck’s (the Staten Island Hedgehog) observation continues to remain true as the weeks in February continue to be lovelier with fairly mild weather.  Here’s to the beginnings of Spring!

With best wishes for a successful semester.

Wilma L. Jones, Ph.D.
Professor and Chief Librarian
Wilma.Jones@csi.cuny.edu
http://www.library.csi.cuny.edu/~jones/