Director’s Reflections…National Library Workers Day

Barbara EpsteinThe American Library Association has declared April 13, 2010 as National Library Workers Day so we can recognize the valuable contributions of our many employees who—together with faculty librarians—maintain our services and resources. HSLS has staff in all departments, some of whom deal directly with our users and others who work behind the scenes.

Staff at the main desks in HSLS libraries and in Falk Library’s CMC check out books, videos and laptops, handle reserve materials and computer questions, help users with photocopy and printing challenges, answer myriad questions, and direct users to resources (as well as the classrooms, the cafeteria and the restrooms). They greet users with a smile early in the morning, and wave good-bye when the library closes at the end of a long day.

Staff in the busy Document Delivery Department provide nearly 3,000 articles every month to libraries around the world, in addition to hundreds of articles monthly for our own users. Staff members in our off-site storage facility oversee 200,000 print volumes, and scan and email requested items within a few hours.

Computer services staff maintain and upgrade dozens of servers, as well as public and staff computers, so that our Web site and resources are available 24×7. It’s not unusual for one of them to be at their desk in the wee hours of the morning to upgrade software or fix a malfunctioning server.

Collections and Technical Services staff order and pay for materials, and manage the metadata so we can keep track of the nearly half a million print items in our collection and provide seamless access to the thousands of e-journals and e-books that we license.

National Library Workers DayAnd last—but certainly not least—are the staff members in my office, who reconcile our budget reports, maintain supplies, manage administrative paperwork, coordinate facilities and maintenance, and make sure everyone gets paid!

Without our dedicated staff, the library couldn’t function. Please join me in saying thank you!