The NMSU Library started the digitization of the Clyde W. Tombaugh Collection. Tombaugh, best known for his discovery of Pluto, spent the majority of his career in New Mexico and helped establish the astronomy program at NMSU. The digitization project, supported by a generous NMSU Library donor, will be done in three phases – personal and professional papers, oversize materials (including maps and charts), and photographs. This summer NMSU Library’s Ingrid Schneider, Meta Data Librarian, and Nathan Brown, Digital Projects Librarian will tackle the personal and professional papers which will highlight Tombaugh’s observation notes, writings, and global correspondence.
“As with any digitization project, this opens up a whole other world of options for researchers,” said Brown. “Now anyone will be able to access selected portions of this collection from a computer anywhere in the world, whereas before researchers had to come here to use it.” The digitation project happily coincidences with the NASA flyby of Pluto on July 14, which has shown a worldwide rekindling of interest in what Tombaugh formerly dubbed as “Planet X.” Brown continued, “Not only do the papers offer a glimpse into his life, but also into his astronomical work as a whole, and shows that there’s much more to Tombaugh than Pluto.”
Are you curious what happens in a Technical Services department at a library? A new book written by two NMSU Librarians, lays out the basics of the backend of library work. “Fundamentals of Technical Services” by John Sandstrom, Acquisitions Librarian, and Liz Miller, Cataloging Librarian, gives a brief history of the field and delves into collection development, metadata, physical processing, workflows, and even useful analysis on trends.
“It’s a book for if you’ve ever wondered what we do up here,” said Sandstrom, who was inspired to write the book after teaching to new librarians and not finding a book that succinctly served his students’ needs.
Bringing on Miller after arriving at NMSU, Sandstrom found her help invaluable as a balance to a conversational approach while fleshing out some of the more technical aspects of the profession, such as authority work and database maintenance. Sandstrom believes that this book is perfect for those entering the profession and even current library staff in need for a brush up and the book is full of practical tips. “For example, in vendor relations,” said Sandstrom, “Know that they are partners and not enemies; they’d much rather work with you.”
Year Published: 2015. Available at Alastore.ala.org. $64.00. ISBN-13: 978-1-55570-966-2
Trying to curate a small church library to serve its patrons is a small niche market that the Church and Synagogue Library Association seeks to fill. NMSU Librarian and Department Head of Technical Services, Ellen Bosman, has waded into the vast slew of religious books to research the best material for small, large, and new church libraries.
“A Basic Media List for Church Libraries: an annotated bibliography” details resources for libraries getting a foothold and those libraries who want to have help having the best and most relevant books for their collections. “One of the selection criteria is to have a representative work, such as a compilation or anthology,” said Bosman. “It helps smaller churches make the best use out of their budgets.”
A former church librarian, Bosman is a frequent speaker at congregational library conferences. Her interest in religious literature and libraries has manifested itself in articles in “Great Lives from History: Jewish Americans”, “Masterplots II: Christian Literature” and a published study of church libraries in Australia. She has previously created for CSLA “Resources for Congregational Libraries and Librarians, an annotated bibliography” in 2012.
Year Published: 2015. Available through cslainfo.org/publications. $14. ISBN 978-0-915324-61-3.
Digging into the depths of past NMSU presidents, one president was both engineer and military commander. Martha Andrews, NMSU University Archivist, co-authored a book with Walter Hines, titled “Hugh Milton: A Life Beyond Duty.” Milton began as an engineering professor in 1924, rose to the rank of college president in 1938, and in 1940 was recalled to service by the U.S. Army to fight in the Pacific Theatre. Brigadier General Milton even ended up as Undersecretary of the Army.
“Milton served as a professor and dean in the NMSU’s College of Engineering during a crucial time when the discipline was transitioning from traditional, mechanical applications to the use of more modern theory and principles based on math, physics and chemistry,” said Garrey Carruthers, President of NMSU. “As university president, Milton led NMSU through one of its most trying periods, during an accreditation crisis fueled by 1930 politics that could have driven the university out of existence.”
In 1961 Milton retired to his adopted state of New Mexico where he resisted recruitment to run for governor but remained active as a prolific and much coveted speaker, writer, and historian. His qualities of heroism, wisdom, vision, uncompromised integrity, public service, and eclectic interests combine to reveal a New Mexican of incomparable stature.
Year Published: 2015. Available at the NMSU Library. ISBN: 978-1936744442.
“Most church libraries go after an honor system,” said Ellen Bosman, head of NMSU Library’s Technical Services department, “They figure, if you can’t go by an honor system at a church – where can you?”
Bosman would know; she was a church librarian in Illinois before heading into library school. Bosman said that smaller churches tend to let patrons come and go to pull material off their shelves by themselves. Perhaps once a week a volunteer librarian does an accounting on what has been taken out and what has been returned. Many church libraries operate on a very small scale, and with even smaller budgets.
However, it wasn’t the church library that inspired her into library school – it was remembering her school’s librarian when she was little. “I loved that when I asked them how many books I could check out, they told me, as many as I could carry,” laughed Bosman. “Plus, they got to sit behind a huge desk and play with stamps. I wanted to do the same thing.”
Now, with the technology shifted far away from the old stamp system, Bosman leads the Technical Services department the NMSU Library which catalogs thousands of new books and e-books into an online-accessible system. However, her affinity for church libraries carried into her academic research and Bosman is a frequent speaker at congregational library conferences. Her interest in religious literature and libraries has manifested itself in articles like “Great Lives from History: Jewish Americans”, “Masterplots II: Christian Literature” and a published study of church libraries in Australia.
She previously created “Resources for Congregational Libraries and Librarians, an annotated bibliography” for Church and Synagogue Library Association in 2012. Her most recent work “A Basic Media List for Church Libraries: an annotated bibliography” was published in August 2015 by CSLA.
Trying to curate a small church library is a small niche market that the CSLA seeks to fill. Bosman, has waded into the vast slew of religious books to research the best material for small, large, and new church libraries. “One of the selection criteria is to have a representative work, such as a compilation or anthology,” said Bosman. “For example, C.S. Lewis is a very popular Christian author. The guide recommends compilations and anthologies of Lewis’s work instead of individual titles; it helps smaller churches make the best use out of their budgets.”
Her guide is partially structured as an “opening day collection” – something for those churches just getting started. It is also structured as a checklist for those church librarians wanting to gauge the caliber and relevance of their holdings. The selection criteria focused on a couple of other key items: availability, were authors theological scholars, were authors martyrs of their faith, are the books classics, and also, that there was emphasis placed on the diversity of faiths in the guide.
Bosman wanted her guide to reach out to both a novices and professional librarians. “Usually someone volunteers to run the church library; there is always someone who likes to read,” said Bosman. “However, I’ve come across many people who do have professional library experience who end up running church libraries as well.”
Bosman, now the new media review editor for CSLA’s quarterly publication, is currently surveying those running church libraries. Since June, she has received more than 135 responses. Her more than 20 question survey seeks to identify the basics of these libraries: their size physically and in collection, what their budget is, what their patrons are like, and what organizational structure they use for call numbers. But, the survey also tries to dig a little deeper. “It asks about there had ever been any challenges to the titles,” said Bosman. “With a follow-up question to explain what the ultimate outcome was.”
Bosman is looking to wrap up the survey at the end of August and proceed to write about the information she collected. She understands that her research seems obscure, but her survey may clarify how many church libraries would benefit from more scholarly work with them in mind.
Report from Doña Ana Community College Library
The Doña Ana Community College Library staff had a very busy time last semester and look forward to even more activities this fall. Spring brought a celebration for National Library week and even story time. We look forward to a repeat during the 2016 National Library week. We also visited our satellite campuses weekly and have grown to an entire shelf of materials on-hand for students and faculty at both the Gadsden and Sunland Park campuses. We welcomed new staff from librarians to an administrative assistant.
The fall semester will bring more campus visits, class time and Banned Books week programming. We will eventually be hiring for an open librarian position, so between all of regular duties and extra events we expect to be quite busy.
– Tammy Powers
Report from NMSU Alamogordo
Townsend Library is still very much a construction zone and is still closed to the public – see attached pictures. The staff and I remain in temporary quarters and there is no indication as to when we might be moving back in.
At the end of the spring semester I had lost a total of 2.48 FTE staff leaving me with 1.48 FTE staff. The part time person was increased an additional 9 hours bringing my FTE staff up to 1.7. Unfortunately there is no indication at all that I will be allowed to hire more staff. Consequently I have been obliged to reduce our hours of operation for the upcoming fall semester from 65 hours to 53 hours.
We purchased an overhead scanner system about two weeks ago and have tentatively begun a project to digitize some of the archival material we brought to our temporary offices. Thank you for your attention.
– Sharon D. Jenkins, Ph.D.
Report from NMSU Grants
The library staff is also finally solidified with the hiring of Rose Gingrich as the library assistant. Rose joined Peggy Leslie, the library specialist and Cecilia Stafford, the library director on Monday, July 6.
Rose was already employed on campus as an administrative assistant with the Title V, Native American Serving, Non-Tribal Institution program grant which will end on September 30, 2016. Originally from Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico, Rose has recently become a US citizen and was asked to lead the Pledge of Allegiance at our campus graduation on May 6. While she already has a bachelor’s degree from Mexico, she is completing an associate’s degree at NMSU Grants and plans to continue taking online courses to earn her bachelor’s degree in business from NMSU Las Cruces.
– Cecilia D. Stafford
Report from NMSU Carlsbad
After relocating the library staff and daily work functions of the library (not the collections) in early March 2014 and moving back to the mostly completed renovated space on January 5, 2015, the renovation was finally complete on Tuesday, July 28, 2015 at 7:20pm. The renovation provided a much-needed facelift for the library including a Special Collections Room, a collaborative project room for students, a small group study room and more comfortable and varied seating/work space for users.
Additionally, a large classroom that was constructed during the renovation has become a campus Multi-purpose classroom. Since becoming available for use in October, 2014, the room has been scheduled and used for one-shot library instruction sessions, an NMSU Board of Regents meeting, employment interviews, a two-week dual credit summer academy, a first-responder week-long training room, an emergency Zumba class room and as a polling place during a recent local election.
• Easily locate all four online catalogs
• Group Study Rooms, Reference, Oversized Books and the New Mexico Collections are now designated with large silver lettering. Thanks, Lupe Bernal and RosaLinda Martinez!
• Very Short Introductions by OUP. A collection of about 500 slim books on a multitude of subjects complete with bibliographies.
• Special Thanks to staff member Cheryl Mendez for cataloging the entire collection by the July 31 deadline!
• Mango Languages online language learning for all NMSU Carlsbad students, faculty and staff.
– Akilah Nosakhere
Hello Dr. Pichon,
I submitted my last paper (College Financial Impact on Special Populations) for our ELA 655 Higher Education Finance & Funding course. In the process of writing the paper I was assisted in finding research material related to NMSU through Felipe Castillo (Library Reference and Research Svcs/Branson Hall). He was invaluable in helping me locate the documents I needed to support positions regarding the financial challenges NMSU faces in relation to salaries and the overall goal of the university’s educational mission. Felipe was out one day but made sure I had assistance. Both Lucia Ortiz and Kimberly Limas were quite helpful in helping me capture key data and transmit it via email.
While I utilize Google Scholar, I am thankful for the immense research material at our disposal and hope funding cuts do not further impact NMSU obtaining periodicals as well as keeping intact a library staff. Therefore, I wanted to take a moment to recognize the service I received.
Thank You to Felipe, Lucia, and Kimberly.
Michael Dougherty, C&I Doctoral Program
Teachers might see their students’ development over the course of a semester, but librarians tend to get a more fleeting chance to see their impact on a student. Perhaps it’s only seen in an hour in a workshop, or in a session of interactions leading up to the due date of a paper in an English class. Recently an NMSU student reported back on the success of workshop and practical training given by the NMSU Library thanks to a grant by the New Mexico Library Foundation.
An email from Megan Miller came into the NMSU Library at the end of the spring semester. “I participated in the NMSU Library organized scientific poster competition last year, and wanted to say thank you,” said Miller. “It was very help to be a part of the workshop and poster competition. Since then I have won an award for a poster presentation at a national meeting and an award for an oral presentation. The advice I was given in the workshop was used to create my poster/presentation.”
The grant from the New Mexico Library Foundation helped the NMSU Library focus on countering a prevalent problem noted by faculty on campus: the ability of STEM students to have outstanding skills in both written and oral communication. First, two sessions of a hands-on workshop was organized in the NMSU Library. Then, two weeks following the workshop, a poster competition was organized in the NMSU Library to showcase the poster the students had designed and allow them to present to an audience of teaching and library faculty members.
“The NMSU Library was key to all of us having successful posters,” said Miller in a conversation later. “It gives us a foundation for future presentations in our field.” She mentioned reusing the template offered in the workshop for later poster presentation and how just being instructed to balance a concrete amount of words with her pictures and data made a difference in its reception. Miller graduated in the spring of 2015 and was heading to the National Institute of Health in Montana to investigate bat immune systems as they relate to human immune system with emerging infections. “I hope to make a difference with my work,” said Miller.
“The poster presentation workshop helped me to earn first place in undergraduate poster presentations at the American Society of Microbiology Tri Branch meeting,” said Meagan Moore, another student who competed with Miller in the NMSU Library poster presentation in another email. “The skills I acquired through poster presentations have allowed me to communicate my research in an effective and personable way. As NMSU sponsors more and more poster and research presentations, the more opportunities students have to get better at presenting their research. The more you present, the better you get, so practice really does make perfect. Also, science is fun, and allowing personality to shine through research presentation just makes it that much more fun!”
The news was also welcomed by one of the organizers of the workshops and poster competition, Dr. Nirmala Gunapala, Assistant Professor and Science Librarian at the NMSU Library. “I was so delighted to hear about Megan Miller’s good news. I felt rewarded for the work I did to organize and conduct that training project last year. This is exactly the outcome that we want to hear,” said Dr. Gunapala. “We need to support our STEM students to do their best. Presenting their research effectively in a poster presentation is an important skill for STEM students. I look forward to continuing this project.”
Since January 2015, the NMSU Library has seen a few shifts in faces – some retiring, some moving on to different pastures, and some being promoted to new positions within the library. Here’s the list:
- Lisa Mendoza retired in January 2015.
- Jennifer Chavez moved on to the Office of the State Engineer in March 2015.
- Lorena Ramos, formerly of the Admin office, is now an Academic Adviser at DACC, as of March 2015.
- Cassie McClure was promoted from Library Specialist, Senior, in the cataloging unit to Communications Specialist in March 2015.
- Veronica Gomez was promoted from Administrative Assistant, Intermediate, to Administrative Assistant, Senior, in April 2015.
- Tiffany Schirmer was promoted from Library Assistant to Library Specialist, Senior, in the metadata unit in May 2015.
- Donna Burkholder retired in June 2015.
- Mardi Mahaffy went to University of Missouri, Kansas City, in July 2015 as Head of Learning and Research Support.
- Susan Beck has taken over the responsibilities of Interim Department Head for Reference alongside her duties as Department Head for Access Services in July 2015.