Julia Corrice to Join the Staff of Cornell University Library
Julia has accepted a position at Cornell University Library as a metadata librarian. It is a wonderful opportunity for her, but we are going to miss working with her at the Council, as will many of you.
During her 5 years at SCRLC, Julia has been responsible for many cultural heritage members and public libraries joining the Council to participate in New York Heritage and NYS Historic Newspapers. She has taken the digitization program to new heights not only in terms of participants, but in the quality and consistency of our records in New York Heritage.
Julia plans to remain involved with the Council--particularly in the area of digitization/Digitization Advisory Committee, so you have not seen the last of her!
Julia will be at the Council through March 10. If you are working on a digitization project, she will be in touch with you. Uploads into New York Heritage will continue throughout this period of transition.
Davis College Downsizing
by Shelley Byron, Director of Library Services at Davis College
In November 2018, a colleague and I were in Philadelphia attending the Middle States Commission on Higher Education's (MSCHE) 2020 Self Study Institute. As Self Study co-chairs, we spent a few happy evenings eating tacos and cheesesteaks, excited to play guiding roles in the future of Davis College. But by the end of January 2019, the future of Davis College was looking like nothing my colleague or I had imagined weeks earlier.
As the spring 2019 semester started, a buyer was found for the campus at 400 Riverside Drive in Johnson City, since the main campus would be relocated to Pottersville, NY. All employees in student affairs, student development, athletics, admissions, and enrollment management were laid off the week after Graduation 2019, with more layoffs occurring throughout May and June. Others left as opportunities came along. For the 19-20 academic year, Davis College moved to another Davis-owned property a few blocks away from the main campus. The buildings on the main property have been emptied, and sale of the property closed in December 2019.
I am one of five full-time employees at this smaller campus. We have a classroom, a room for lockable storage, and four of us share a room in an open office setup. One colleague has his office in the room that also houses our 2500 volume library and computer lab. It is strange for me not to be in the library, but the arrangement is working well since I am taking on other administrative duties. We are teaching out about 15 juniors and seniors at this smaller campus. Some of our students opted to complete their degrees through Davis Online. Many have transferred to other schools. In addition, Davis College has opened a teaching site at the Word of Life Bible Institute (WOLBI) campus in Pottersville, NY. We are pursuing a shared-services agreement with WOLBI and are waiting for approval from NYSED and MSCHE to relocate Davis College to WOLBI's campus. A merger is not currently under consideration.
I met with WOLBI's librarian and IT director when details about the possible shared-services agreement and relocation started to come together. Combining libraries was going to take communication and trust, and I wanted to start early. My goals were to compare resources, get our databases and access to them on the IT director's radar, and to assure the librarian that I was not interested in his job. Taking the time to travel to see their facility for myself was a huge step in building a relationship. Their librarian and I talked for hours and came away with mutual trust and a workable plan. It turns out that WOLBI's library can accommodate about the same linear shelf feet that I was able to fit into our room at the smaller campus. Only 75 boxes of books will be making the trip north in May 2020.
I used to enjoy commiserating about students with my father-in-law, a retired professor, and I'd chuckle when he'd respond that college would be so much easier without students. It was silly then, but reality now. If everything goes according to plan, my four colleagues and I will become redundant this May, and there is a strong possibility that no one from the Johnson City campus, employees or students, will be relocating to Pottersville. Writing this has been a challenge. The facts still seem ephemeral after nearly a year of hurry-up-and-waiting, and sharing these facts with the library community exposes professional vulnerabilities: Have I done the right thing? Have I done it the best way? Have I honored my professional commitments? Have I honored my various campus constituents? I wish I could say that the guilt and shame have remained proportional to the 2.2% of the budget for which I was responsible, but they haven't.
No institution is perfect, but despite what scuttlebutt I manage to overhear when I am out and about, Davis's selling and relocating involves nothing sensational. There is no scandal. Just another small, specialized, private college doing what it takes to survive.
Big Talk From Small Libraries Conference 2020- ft. SUNY Delhi
Binghamton University Librarian Named Emerging Leader
Congratulations to Jennifer Embree, Subject Librarian for Biology and Psychology at Binghamton University Libraries for being named an American Library Association Emerging Leader for the class of 2020. Full press release here
OhioLINK and ITHAKA S+R release white paper on the future of the ILS
"While great progress has been made in the shift to the cloud, we are concerned that vendor innovation is not keeping pace with the needs of libraries and their parent institutions. This paper talks about those needs and the resulting gaps."