Greetings from the Chief Librarian

Greetings All!

As we all return to campus after experiencing one of the worst storms (Hurricane Sandy) to hit Staten Island in over 100 years, I hope all is well and safe with you, family, and friends. Our hearts and prayers go out to all who experienced loss and damage. For those who might want to assist with relief efforts, below is a short list of web sites that may be of use to you:

In this issue, I am pleased to bring you updates from last academic year and highlights of future activities and new resources in the CSI Library. First and foremost, I am happy to report that we successfully recruited two library faculty members for the positions of First Year Experience Librarian and Evening/Weekend Instruction Librarian. A biographical sketch of each are included in an article in this newsletter. Second, the weekly introductory workshops initiated last fall was evaluated and tweaked during the summer 2012, and self-enrollment per session continues to be high. These weekly workshops which were designed for 100 level courses without a research component, also offer a self-assessment quiz at the end of the session that students can print out and share with their instructors.

Highlights of other new initiatives in 2011/2012 include: the streamlining of the Chat reference to enable librarians to answer questions quickly and effectively; embedding library instruction into several courses on Blackboard; installing eight (8) stand up computer workstations to facilitate quick access to information; the addition of 20 more laptops to better meet the high demands; and the implementation of web-based printing system for laptop use in the Library to enable users to print to the printer within closest proximity.

Of note, the Papers of Dr. William Birenbaum were donated to the Archives & Special Collections unit. Dr. Birenbaum was President of the Staten Island Community College (SICC) from 1968-1976.  After the merge of SICC and Richmond College to form the College of Staten Island in 1976, he went on to be Provost and President of Antioch University for 9 years, and thereafter he retired.  I am pleased to report that the Birenbaum Papers will be available to the public as of November 14, 2012, when we plan to have a small reception to acknowledge the receipt of the papers from his wife, Dr. Helen Birenbaum and family.

As always, I do encourage you to explore some of our databases.  While the following titles are not new to CSI Library, we were able to augment these resources with additional titles. A selection includes Films on Demand (access to 12,000 live streaming full-length videos and 175,000 video clips), SAGE Premier Fulltext Collection (600 journals from SAGE press in all areas including business, humanities, social sciences, technology, and medicine), SALEM History (e-reference online that includes historical eras, events, and figures with titles such as Milestone Documents, The Decades, Great Events from History, Great Lives from History, and Musician and Composers); and Salem Literature (e-reference online which offers biographical essays of authors such as Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Amy Tan, Alice Walker; and critical surveys of literary works such as Canterbury Tales, Grapes of Wrath, The Handmaid’s Tale).

We had several exciting events in the Library during the past academic year, among which included two vibrant panels of CSI faculty at the Author Talk series which focussed on the publication of one’s first book; the Earth Day event that celebrated the various environmental collections at the CSI Archives; and the photographic exhibit entitled “As I see It: Staten Island Through the Lenses of CSI Students.”

This fall, we hope you will grace us with your presence at one or more of our upcoming activities which include: Author Talks scheduled for November 15; the weekly workshops which take place every Tuesday and Thursdays during Club hours; and the travelling exhibit “Remember Willowbrook,” which is currently touring the states at the moment and will end its tour at the College of Staten Island in December.

If you have not discovered our Research Guides, please check them out on the homepage.  Find your discipline and revel in the wealth of resources acquired to support your learning, teaching, and research at CSI.  If there is one you need that is not on the list, do not hesitate to send me the topic so that we can include it immediately.

Here’s to a productive and successful 2012 fall semester!


Wilma L. Jones, Ph.D.
Professor and Chief Librarian