Monthly Archives: May 2012

Staff promotions and new positions

Adela Nieto was promoted to a Library Specialist in RAM effective May 27, 2012.

Dasheka Whitaker was promoted to a Library Specialist in RAM effective May 27, 2012.

Nancy Malinowski was promoted to a Library Specialist in RAM effective May 27, 2012.

Lisa Massengale is Interim Information Services Librarian effective May 1.

Allison Holton is Assistant Director of Library Administration effective May 16.

Annie Marie Ford Retires May 31st

No one has worked longer at the UIC Library than Annie Marie Ford, and this fact surprises no one more than Annie herself.   In 1973, she began working as a Library Technical Assistant (LTA) at the Library of the Health Sciences (LHS), and she never imagined that job would burgeon into a UIC Library career that spanned decades.

Annie, originally from Yazoo City, Mississippi, moved to Chicago after graduation from Alcorn State University at the behest of a long-time family friend. This friend, who also worked at UIC, prompted Annie’s decision to apply for a position at UIC.

“I was hired right on the spot, before even taking the LTA test. You just can’t do that anymore,” said Annie, who as the current Director of Library Human Resources knows well the latest protocol for hiring new employees. Still, her bachelor’s in Business Administration caught the eye of her interviewer, allowing her to start in the position of LTA I.

After her on-the-spot hire in 1973, Annie, progressed from LTA I to LTA III by 1983, and in 1989 she became Library Operations Assistant (LOA) for LHS Circulation. Though Annie had not expected to stay with the UIC Library, she credits the high quality of her supervisors and coworkers as her biggest reason for deciding to continue working at the UIC Library.

After encouragement from University Librarian Sharon Hogan, Annie decided to pursue her master’s in Library and Information Science (MLIS). “It was extremely difficult. I’d have to start my homework immediately on the weekends,” said Annie, who participated in the University of Illinois Fridays Only program, traveling to Urbana-Champaign every Friday for classes.

While pursuing her master’s degree, Annie balanced her academic responsibilities with overseeing 35 staff members and 3 units as LOA. Upon graduating with her MLIS in 1994, Annie moved from LHS to the Daley Library to become a Professional Library Associate and Visiting Instructor.

In 1995 Annie assumed the Acting Personnel Librarian position and delved into resolving personnel problems and advising employees on procedural and legal issues.  By 1996 she was the Personnel Librarian on a permanent basis, a position she held until 2002 when she became Director of Library Human Resources.

“I really enjoy being detailed and accurate with information, and take pride in my work,” said Annie, a skill set that has helped her extensively as Director of Library Human Resources, where she is responsible for a Human Resources program serving a staff of approximately 200 people.

Annie noted that it has been a wonderful experience to work for the UIC Library for nearly 39 years. “I would keep working if it weren’t for concerns regarding health care. I always told my staff to just tell me if I was senile, and I should stop working,” said Annie jokingly of her long career with the UIC Library.

For Annie, retirement is bittersweet. She could have retired nearly nine years ago, but decided she wasn’t ready. When her original retirement date of April 30th arrived earlier this year, she still wasn’t quite ready, opting to push the day back to May 31st.

Still, for Annie, retirement will not sever her interaction with the friends she has made while working at the UIC Library. After nearly 39 years, Annie acknowledges that the UIC Library has become a large portion of her life. She expects to continue interacting with coworkers, bowling with them at least twice a month on their CDOT league team.

Annie has no immediate plans for retirement, instead opting to redistribute her time to her sorority (Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.), her church, the Chicago Westside branch of NAACP, and Black Caucus of the American Library Association where she is currently running in an election for Treasurer.

Annie’s ice-cream cake retirement celebration takes place on Wednesday, May 30, 2:30 – 4 pm, in Daley Room 1-470.

Alfredia Smith Retires June 30th

Alfredia Smith’s first, and only, full-time job has been with the UIC Library. Outside of two years spent at the Library of the Health Sciences, all of Alfredia’s 34 years with the UIC Library have been spent in the Richard J. Daley Library, working in either the Catalogue or Acquisition departments.

Alfredia first began at the Daley Library as a part-time student worker. As her desire for a car increased, so did Alfredia’s employment, beginning full-time in 1978 as a Typing Clerk III in the Catalogue Department. Eventually, Alfredia was able to buy her desired car (a Ford Mustang), and the foundation had been developed for what would burgeon into a long career at the Daley Library.

“In those beginning days, I met many of the people I would continue to work with throughout my time here,” said Alfredia regarding the benefits of her first position. From that position, Alfredia progressed quickly, beginning in 1980 as a Library Technical Assistant (LTA) I, then in 1982 as a LTA II. In 1984, Alfredia begin as a LTA III, a position she held for 17 years before becoming a Library Operations Associate (LOA).

“I just seemed hooked,” said Alfredia regarding her 34-year career with the Daley Library. A part of this attraction can be attributed to the strong relationships Alfredia developed with her fellow co-workers first in Acquisitions, and the Records and Acquisition Management (RAM) Department. A co-worker is godmother to Alfredia’s daughter, and Alfredia is sad to leave the staff she has been a part of for so long.

And her staff is also sad to have her leave. As LOA, Alfredia supervises the staff of RAM. “My staff tells me I can’t leave,” said Alfredia. As a supervisor who describes herself as an understanding and caring manager, and who has developed strong relationships with those she supervises, it is easy to understand why the staff of RAM are reluctant for Alfredia to leave.

“Alfredia will be sorely missed by many people in the library, but particularly by those who have worked directly with her; she has an infectious laugh and a good sense of humor,” said Acquisitions Librarian & Clinical Assistant Professor Stephen Smith who has worked as Alfredia’s supervisor since 2010.

“I know they can do this, though, that this department can still work,” said Alfredia. Still, she feels deeply connected to the department, and placed in her letter of retirement is the phrase that she is always a phone call away if needed. She knows she will continue to keep in touch with her former coworkers even in her retirement.

Indeed, one of Alfredia’s first trips in retirement will be to North Carolina to visit a former co-worker of the Daley Library. She will also visit friends in South Carolina and Colorado before settling into the slower pace of retirement.

Alfredia imagines that she will eventually return to part-time employment. She feels this is a genetic need:  her 84 year old mother continues to work three days a week in a beauty parlor. For now though, Alfredia is excited for her schedule to be a little less busy and to be able to spend more time with friends and family.



Resident Librarian positions posted

The University Library, University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) seeks candidates for its Academic Resident Librarian Program to serve one-year post-graduate appointments with the possibility of renewal for a second year. A goal of the residency program is to increase diversity within the challenging and rewarding profession of academic librarianship, particularly among individuals traditionally underrepresented in the academy. Residents will work closely with library faculty to develop skills and an understanding of academic librarianship as a whole through the introduction to the different functional areas of the library, opportunities to participate on library committees and task forces, and exposure to professional associations.

Two or more resident positions will be available. Candidates with interests in one or more of the following areas are especially encouraged to apply:

  • Technical services, with an emphasis on development and assessment of library discovery tools such as WorldCat Local and Summon
  • Outreach, with an emphasis on initiatives to rural and underserved users (based at the UIC Library of the Health Sciences, Rockford, IL)
  • Reference and instruction, with an emphasis on instructional technology design and the development of multimedia learning objects
  • E-science, with an emphasis on data curation in support of university-wide data management and preservation initiatives
  • Digital preservation, with an emphasis on preservation architectures, standards, and workflows
  • Digital image collections, with an emphasis on mapping using GIS technologies

Minimum Qualifications:  Recent completion of a master’s degree program in library and information science from an ALA accredited program (graduation date Spring 2011 or later). Knowledge of, and interest in academic libraries; and the ability to establish and maintain good working relationships with library staff as well as faculty, students, and other library users.

Preferred qualifications:  Demonstrated interest in one of the Priority Areas mentioned above.

UIC has a strong commitment to serve its highly diverse community. As such, UIC especially welcomes applications from women, underrepresented minority group members, persons with disabilities, members of sexual minority groups and others whose background, education, experience and academic interests would enrich the diversity of the University’s research, teaching, and Great Cities’ mission.

All qualified applicants will receive equal consideration for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, pregnancy, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, physical or mental disability, or covered veteran status.

For fullest consideration, apply by June 15, 2012, with a letter addressing your interest in one or more of the Priority Areas, supporting resume, and names and addresses of at least three references.  All applicants must submit an online application through UIC’s Human Resources’ Web site.  To apply, click here.



Veronica De Kowperlandth Retires June 30th

After following the yellow signs to the back of the Resource Acquisition and Management (RAM) office, a gem appears to students who have completed a master’s or doctoral thesis. This gem, Library Assistant Veronica De Kowperlandth, handles the binding of theses for students and departments.

It was not always Veronica’s job to help students turn their intangible hours of research and work into the tangible form of a book, something that, as Veronica relates, makes most student extraordinarily excited. Rather, it was Veronica’s own desire to learn that helped her attain a position where she assists students in preparing the culmination of their own learning endeavors.

Veronica’s career at UIC started three blocks south of where her UIC career will end on June 30th. Veronica began work for UIC in 1979 as a receptionist within the UIC Office of the Vice President. “It has been lovely ever since,” said Veronica regarding her 33 year employment by UIC.

Veronica wanted to learn more than her receptionist position allowed, and when a position as a Typing Clerk opened in the Library of the Health Sciences, Veronica applied, and eventually transferred to the position. “I’ve always enjoyed the learning aspect of the library,” said Veronica. In her time with the UIC Library she has enjoyed learning about the complex process behind the daily services provided through the UIC Library.

Eventually, the greater security guaranteed by a position as a Library Clerk drew Veronica to the Daley Library in 1988 where she began work in Acquisitions. Veronica’s title changed, and her department was combined with cataloging to create RAM, but Veronica continues her work in Acquisitions. There, she binds theses while also rebinding books as needed and completing special projects.

A title change and department merger are not the only changes Veronica has seen in the course of her 33 years at UIC. “I never thought something like [the IDEA Commons] was possible,” stated Veronica. She is still surprised by the changes of the Daley Library that turned the former Acquisitions office into a conference room and study area. Veronica also experienced the change technology has brought to the library, and the transition it prompted from process that were once mostly manual and are now primarily digital.

Veronica enjoys her work, and the people she does it with. “I feel like RAM is the most playful department. We complete our work, and have fun doing so,” said Veronica. This bond with coworkers makes retirement bittersweet for Veronica, though she intends to keep in touch with her coworkers and visit the Daley Library from time to time.

Still, Veronica is excited for her approaching retirement, and to have more time to spend with her friends and family, the people she feels have always been the most important aspect of life. She expects to donate her time to her grandchildren’s school and the food pantry, and continues to consider the idea of working part-time in a clothing store, where a passion for clothes would make her a perfect match, or as a home care provider.

Creating Paths: Linnea Knapp Joins the UIC Library

Linnea Knapp cannot help being a trailblazer. She established the archives program for the University of St. Francis Library and worked as the Library’s first Archives Librarian.  Now, she brings this experience of creating new programs with her into the newly created role of Assistant Director, University Records Information Management Services.

Linnea’s position resulted from a push on the part of the University of Illinois for better records management practices. Her responsibilities helping departments establish the best records keeping and destruction practices for their needs formerly fell under the purview of the University Archivist.

This realignment of duties means that Linnea spends more time consulting and planning thanworking to preserve Special Collections material. “Halfway through Library school, I realized that archiving did not appeal to me as much as records management did,” said Linnea, who is excited about this concentration in her planning.

In this role, Linnea works with counterparts at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Springfield campuses in creating a university-wide records management plan, something that has yet to be implementedat the University of Illinois.

Linnea’s precedent in creating new programs makes her well prepared for defining how her position will interact with the UIC Library and the departments she consults with regarding records management. It also means that Linnea is more excited than concerned regarding the rigors of working in a new and undefined position.

“It can get a little overwhelming when I look too far ahead, but otherwise everything is fine,” said Linnea when discussing her goals for the position. While her long-term goal is maintaining a well-tuned university-wide records management system, Linnea and her compatriots are in the process of creating the foundation that will make such a program possible.

Linnea’s short-term goals are easier to achieve, with a desire to become comfortable in the position a priority. She is also working to become more aware and educated regarding the Daley Library and UIC campus environment, and how her position fits into this environment.

Thanks to her work at the University of St. Francis, Linnea is well-acquainted with the university environment and library. The UIC Library is larger than the University of St. Francis Library, a positive fact for Linnea, which drew her attention to the UIC Library and prompted her to apply. She hopes to flourish in this bigger environmentand further develop professionally.

Libraries in general seem to be a good fit for Linnea. She took a library class in both middle school and high school that allowed her to work as a library aid. “I always enjoyed it, but I never realized there was this opportunity to be a librarian as a profession,” said Linnea.

Linnea worked for five years in retail before realizing that the opportunity did, indeed, exist. Now, after her 2007 graduation from Wayne State University with her Master’s in Library and Information Science and Archival Administration Certificate, Linnea is ready to tackle the challenges of establishing a new system to better organize the retention, destruction, and preservation of records.

The First 25 Days: Rodney Chambers Starts as Business Administrative Associate

For Rodney Chambers there is no such thing as a typical workday. He began work as Business Administrative Associate within the Daley Library Business Office on April 16, and is trying to discern underneath all his time spent in introductory training and building new processes what a typical day at the Daley Library will hold for him.

From previous experience in business administration, Rodney has some sense of what his typical day will be. Within the last ten years, Rodney had worked for the Illinois Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS) as Business Manager & Budget Director, Contract Compliance Auditor and Professional Development Administrator; Chicago Lakeshore Hospital as Business Office Director; and Governors State University as Assistant Director of Purchasing, Procurement and Auxiliary Services.

Rodney recently realized that his career path has led him to frequently working for public institutions in business administration roles. For someone with a passion for numbers, who appreciates exactness, and works to develop positive relations with fellow coworkers, such business positions prove appropriate.

Over the course of his work with these institutions, Rodney has developed the skills necessary to excel at a public institution, and to oversee the business office, as well as represent the Daley Library in fiscal manners to the greater UIC Campus.

The singular focus of the Daley Library is new for Rodney, who manageduniversity-wide responsibilities at Governors State University. “I like the focus, I allows for my entire focus and energy to be on the Daley Library,” said Rodney.

This focus has allowed Rodney to also quickly create specific goals for himself and the Business Office. His short-term goal involves getting a better feel for the unique fiscal aspects of a library, as well as to understand the culture and rhythm of the Daley Library, and he hopesto learn as much as possible in a reasonable time.

“I want to develop the Business Office into a strong right arm for the library,” said Rodney regarding his long-term goal.  Rodney sees the Business Office as a limb to the greater body of the Daley Library, which can, in conjunction with the Administrative Office, deftly handle all the unique aspects of customer service in a library, and make a valuable addition to the Daley Library environment.

Rodney has a history of bettering the community he is a member of. “My wife and I like to have an impact on whatever environment we’re in,” said Rodney. This led Rodney to become extensively involved in Oak Park, the town he lives in, serving as Community Relations Commissioner and volunteering as a track and cross country coach.

Rodney looks forward to a long career at the Daley Library, with his biggest goal to do a good job. As Rodney gets the feel for the Daley Library, and his fourth week draws to a close, he is ready to impact the environment of the Daley Library, and create in the Business Office, a welcoming, vital, customer service-oriented resource for Library staff.

Nora Buczek Retirees May 31st

Nora Buczek frequently performed triage as a resident. Nora’s patients did not ail from a broken arm or abdominal pain. Instead, Nora’s patients suffered from a lack of knowledge on where to find their secondary sources. Twenty-one years later, Nora notes that her need for such diagnostic measures has decreased as time has reshaped the landscape of the library.

After six months in a temporary Reference position with the UIC Library, Nora participated in the two-year UIC Library Residency Program, and jump-started a long-lasting relationship with the UIC Library, specifically with the Richard J. Daley Library, where she has spent the entirety of her 21 years with the UIC Library.

“When I first started here, we called working the reference desk ‘triage.’ You would have three reference librarians, each with lines five-students deep,” said Nora.

Nora notes that one of the biggest changes in her time at the Daley Library has been the shift away from reference librarians acting as an entry point into the collection and performing ‘triage,’ to patrons using the collection database to find sources for themselves.

As an Assistant Reference Librarian and Instructor, Nora knows that the reference librarian’s job did not stop with the introduction of online databases; rather it shifted. Nora spends a considerable portion of her time teaching the students in English 161 (the introductory research course all students must take) how to utilize the database collection and other research tools to find sources for their research papers.

Another large portion of Nora’s time is spent fulfilling her duties as Selector for Business and Economics, ensuring the continued growth of relevant and enriching titles for faculty and students. Nora committed more of her time to tackle the position, but she has not minded. Acting as Selector in concert with Marcia Dellenbach has been, as Nora recounts, a pleasure.

 Nora had a considerable history with the UIC campus before starting at the Daley Library, graduating from UIC after studying Russian language and literature. Nora also worked for a few years within the UIC Chemistry Department as an Administrative Assistant while attending Rosary College (now Dominican University), and before beginning at the Daley Library.

At the time of her graduation from UIC, Nora did not suspect she would return to the UIC Library as a Reference Librarian. A distant relative of Nora’s worked for the UIC Library, and informed her impression of academic librarianship. When Nora began to consider careers, that idea of librarianship stuck out in her mind, and she decided to pursue a Master’s in Library Science.

Now, after 21 years with the Daley Library, Nora has decided to retire. “I’m sad to say goodbye to my colleagues. They have stood out the most in my mind during my time here,” said Nora. Trips to Lithuania, Michigan, and Alaska will keep Nora busy during the summer following her retirement.

Yet, Nora does not think her relationship with the Daley Library will end with her retirement. She hopes to keep in touch with her colleagues and expects to return periodically to utilize the Daley Library collection she has spent the last year and half building.