Author Archives: kayiwa

Three Resident Librarians Join UIC

The Richard J. Daley Library at UIC has opened its doors to three post-grads as part of the Academic Resident Librarian Program. The residents joined the library on January 2 and will stay for one year.

Annie Ford, Program Coordinator, said the program will “offer a challenging, solid foundation for a career in research librarianship and provide significant opportunities for professional development and mentoring.” The duties of the residents include tasks in their respective departments, attending seminars and conferences, giving presentations, and writing for professional publications.

University of Illinois alumna Isabel Gonzalez views the residency program as, “a great opportunity to give back to the institution that gave me so much.” After receiving her B.A. in English from UIC, Gonzalez moved on to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for her master’s degree in Library and Information Science. Her impressive resume includes two positions at the University of Chicago Special Collections Research Center. She has also worked as Assistant Manager/Antiquarian Bibliographer at Printer’s Row Fine and Rare Books and has completed an internship at Alternative Spring Break at George Washington University. Gonzalez looks forward to “working with different types of people with a myriad of experiences and to learn from everyone’s contribution.” She is interested in many areas of library work, including marketing, communications, special collections, and archives. Ultimately, she would like to be a library administrator, saying, “I’d like to be in a position where I can try out new ideas, and make sure I’m still helping people.”

Resident Annie Pho joins UIC from Indiana University, where she received her Master of Library Science. Pho looks forward to her time here, saying, “I chose the UIC Residency Program because I felt like it was a great place to start my career. It’s not often that you see programs in academic libraries that are geared specifically towards new graduates.” Though she may be a new graduate, Pho has outstanding experience and has been working in libraries for more than four years. After completing her B.A. in Art History at San Francisco State University, Pho moved to Indianapolis to begin her graduate program. During her time there she worked the IUPUI University Library and the library at Ivy Tech Community College. She also completed internships at IUPUI University Library and Stout Library. As for her future career plans, Pho said, “I’m really interested in reference and instruction, outreach, and technology. My hope is to be able to combine all of these interests and help make library services even better for our patrons.”

Kate Flynn is most interested in working with digital collections and preservation, as well as special collections. She received her Master of Science in Information from University of Michigan in April 2011 with a specialization in archives and records management and preservation of information. She also graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Japanese and a minor in Political Science from the University of Pittsburgh. Flynn said, “I chose the UIC Residency Program because of potential focus on digital programs…the opportunity to work with digital collections appealed to me and the collections at UIC were varied and interesting.” Flynn previously worked as an intern at the Library’s Digital Preservation department at the University of Michigan as well as at the Interlochen Center for the Arts. Flynn looks forward to helping create new digitized collections and to making resources available to those who may not otherwise have the opportunity to use them.

The Resident Librarians are certainly destined for great things. Ford said of the program, “it brings into the library and the profession an ethnic and cultural diversity as well as the fresh enthusiasm and skills of recent library graduates.” Both the residents and the library have a lot to gain from the Academic Resident Program.

Cleo Pappas promoted to associate professor

Cleo Pappas’ favorite aspect of working for UIC is the diversity and the resulting opportunities to interact with people from all parts of the world. Pappas said, “I feel like a citizen of the world here, not just a resident of Illinois.”

Pappas’ devotion to people has lead to a thriving career at the Library of the Health Sciences. As of August 16, 2012 she will assume the title of Associate Professor and Assistant Information Services Librarian.

What Pappas most looks forward to about her new promotion is her role as mentor to two colleagues at the Library of the Health Sciences. Pappas said, “each of them opens my eyes to new perspectives and insights. Being a mentor allows me to grow by sharing my experience and tempering that experience to the needs of a new generation.”

Working with others is certainly a central aspect of Pappas’ research. She began performing medical reference ten years ago and took an interest in evidence-based medicine (EBM) and the impact it would have on the medical practice. When she began working at UIC and was given the opportunity to perform her own research, she decided to learn more about other librarians who practice EBM. Along with her colleague Holly Burt, Pappas is, “investigating who is practicing clinical librarianship, what their experience is like, and in what institutions they are practicing.” She has also been invited to join the research teams of medical faculty and clinicians.

Pappas thoroughly enjoys working at UIC. She said, “I am struck by how people who are so different can present a united front when caring for a patient, tackling a tough diagnosis or therapy question, or researching a scientific problem. I am humbled by the wonderful minds I meet here.”

For Pappas, what it comes down to is this: “I love coming to work each day. How many people can say that?”

Felicia Barrett promoted to associate professor

As changes the field of library science progress, those who observe and adapt to the change are in high demand. Felicia Barrett is doing just that.

Promoted as of August 16, 2012, Barrett is now Associate Professor and Interim Regional Head Librarian at the Crawford Library of the Health Sciences – Rockford.

With thirty years of experience working in academic health sciences libraries, Barrett has seen many changes. Her first area of research focused on comparing the use of print and electronic resources within a small regional health sciences library. She also researches issues that are specific to rural libraries. Most recently, she has studied reference service trends.

Barrett is looking forward to her new role at the Library of the Health Sciences – Rockford. She said, “I look forward to reshaping the direction of the Crawford Library into the digital age. The library is acquiring so much of its materials electronically…being involved in the decision-making process for those materials is important for the preservation and integrity of our collection.” She also anticipates mentoring the new Visiting Regional Assistant Librarian and imparting her knowledge and experience to younger colleagues.

Barrett also expressed how much she enjoys working for UIC, from helping patrons access the information they require to making sure that needed services and resources are available to guests. She said, “I have had the privilege of working in an academic library for my entire career and I couldn’t be happier.”

UIC Library of the Health Sciences Hosts Two High School Interns

This summer the Library of the Health Sciences (LHS) at UIC will host two student interns from UIC College Prep High School (UICCP).

The internship program at LHS is an excellent opportunity for students from UICCP to get experience in the health sciences. The two students, Claritza Salgado and Alexis Gonzalez, have an interest in the health sciences and librarianship. Salgado will be a senior this fall and Gonzalez will begin her sophomore year. They will complete their internship from July 16-27.

The interns will complete tasks such as designing and developing online materials, scanning and sending articles for the Interlibrary Loan department, shelving books, and job shadowing. They will be involved in several phases of work at the library to gain an idea of how the departments interact and the various careers available at the library.

Lisa Massengale, creator and coordinator of the program and Associate Information Services Librarian, said, “The interns are able to see how the departments within the library work together and affect one another. All activities will support the goal of introducing students to the fields of health sciences librarianship and/or informatics.”

UICCP was founded in August 2008 as one of the ten campuses of the Noble Network of Charter Schools. The school’s curriculum focuses on the health sciences and students are required to complete four years of mathematics and science. The most distinctive trait of the school is that it offers a four-year health science program. Massengale noted the uniqueness of UICCP and said, “I believe that it is important to show students that other non-clinical careers exist in health sciences.” The interns will be exposed a line of work about which many students in the health sciences are unaware.

Massengale said, “LHS is committed to providing a broad and diverse exposure to academic health sciences librarianship for interested high school students.”

LAMP Lights the Way for Future Librarians

This summer the UIC Library is giving two graduate students the chance to gain experience in the field of library and information science (LIS). The library is hosting two student interns through the LIS Access Midwest Program (LAMP).

LAMP’s mission is to promote careers in the field of LIS. The organization hosts summer institutes, internships, peer and professional mentorship and guidance, and financial assistance for students seeking a master’s degree. LAMP particularly encourages students from underrepresented backgrounds to apply.

Mary Case, University Librarian at the UIC Library, said, “UIC needs more librarians that help us understand the needs of our diverse student body.  The pool of librarians from underrepresented minorities is very small.  It is important for us to support programs that will help attract more diverse students to library school.”

Alyne Connie was selected to complete a summer internship at the Daley Library. She said that it was a “great opportunity for any novice LIS student,” and since she currently works as a Library Aide at the Daley Library, it was especially convenient.

Connie explained her interest in library science, “I’ve always been fascinated with systems of knowledge and how human beings interpret information. I also enjoy creative problem-solving and public service.” Her ultimate goal is to work as an academic librarian in the Chicagoland area.

As part of her two-week internship experience, Connie learned about working at the reference desk and observed different departments and how they work together. Specific projects included filing old psychological tests from the Curriculum section, editing a bibliography, and completing a research guide about graphic novels. Fifi Logan, Head Reference Librarian and Connie’s sponsor, said, “She did a wonderful job.”

Logan also gave her perspective on LAMP, emphasizing that the program is an opportunity to, “give back to the profession and to expose future librarians to what an academic institution is like.”

Miguel Ruiz will be completing his LAMP internship this August at the UIC Library of the Health Sciences. Ruiz, a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, said “this opportunity provides the prospect of gaining real-world and hands-on experiences within librarianship and public service, an opportunity to work with a large and diverse urban population, and provides perspectives into the urban culture where I can gain a perspective of working in a large academic library.”

Ruiz is interested in the user experience within information institutions as well as public service. He said that he hopes to gain, “a foundation to develop some strategies and tools useful within the academic library world, which I can take with me and integrate into my professional career.” He plans to use the knowledge acquired during his internship in his future career in library science.

Case explained why she feels it is important to encourage students to pursue a career in library science, “Many of us in the library field are a bit more mature and will be retiring in the next decade.  We need fresh perspectives from new professionals who are more reflective of the diverse communities we serve.  And we need colleagues born in the digital world who can work with students and faculty to understand and evaluate the enormous wealth of information produced today.”

Both Connie and Ruiz will pursue a master’s degree in Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign beginning this summer.

A Valuable Acquisition: Gwen Gregory Joins the Library as Head of RAM

Gwen Gregory is no rookie when it comes to libraries: she has worked at over ten of them in locations all over the country.

Gwen joined the UIC Library on May 16 as the Head of Resource Acquisition and Management (RAM). She graduated from the University of New Mexico with a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology, received a master’s in Library Science from the University of Arizona, and earned a master’s in Public Administration from New Mexico State University.

Gwen’s work history is extensive. Before joining UIC, she worked at the library at John Marshall Law School as Associate Director for Access and Organization. Before that, she worked at Colorado College and New Mexico State University as Head of Bibliographic Services.

A native of New Mexico, Gwen moved to Chicago five years ago to take up her position at John Marshall.

Gwen says she has had “similar duties at very different schools” and mainly worked on supervising cataloguing, acquisitions, and serials operations at John Marshall, Colorado College, and New Mexico State University. She ensured that patrons had access to the information resources they required and interacted with all areas of the library so that her department was meeting the needs of the library in general. These duties prepared her well for her position as Head of RAM, which is very similar.

Gwen notes that the UIC library is a considerable contrast from the other libraries where she has worked because of the emphasis on research as well as the extent of our collection.

Gwen explained what compelled her to work in libraries, “I like being an important part of the education and research process.  Libraries are vital to the creation and preservation of knowledge, and I get to be part of that.  I also enjoy all the interesting people who work in and use libraries.”

Gwen’s first few weeks have been filled with meetings and introductions, as she gets acquainted with her role and her new colleagues. Since this is the first time the Library has hired for this position, Gwen says she is still determining what it will mean to be Head of RAM.

For now, she plans to focus on meeting all of her fellow library colleagues face-to-face, even if it means making the drive to Peoria, Rockford, or Urbana. She stresses that she will spend her energy on listening to others in order to better understand her role and the needs of RAM.

In the long run, Gwen is excited to focus her energy on research projects and to collaborate with colleagues. She looks forward to working at a research library, especially one of our size. She views UIC as “a campus that provides knowledge for the world” and hopes to contribute to that knowledge, especially in the area of health science.

Minnie Chaney Retires June 29, 2012

Minnie Chaney knows the secret to success at a job interview. On her first visit to the Richard J. Daley Library in January 1985, she began her interview with, “I’m here for my job, when do I start?” Her confidence has brought her a long way: not only did she land the job, but she also began a 27-year-long career.

A Chicagoan for her entire life, Minnie got her start as a graduate of Kennedy-King College. She then worked at the Chicago Housing Authority and the Chicago Defender before finding her place at the library, which was then called the Main Library. Her first job here was in Government Documents, where she worked for 13 years. Minnie liked this position the best, she says, because it allowed her to interact with patrons. She then worked in Acquisitions in the Serials Section before moving to her current position as Library Assistant two years ago.  The transition from Acquisitions was a strange one, for Minnie went from adding books to the system to withdrawing books.

Though she enjoys her work, Minnie derives the most pleasure from interacting with her coworkers. Scratch that: Minnie considers them family. She has worked with many of the same people since she started and notes that they fight, tease, and laugh just as any family would.

Fellow library workers will certainly miss Minnie’s sense of humor, easygoing nature, and pleasant attitude. Her presence will also be missed in Daley’s second floor comfortable seating area, or the “living room,” where she likes to sit and crochet during her breaks.

Many people are surprised that Minnie is sad to be leaving. Minnie says of her departure, “I’m going to miss my job because I love it.”

Nonetheless, she is looking forward to retirement. Much of her time will be taken up by caring for her four grandchildren, though she has made it clear to her children that she is most certainly not the new babysitter. Minnie also plans to face her fear of flying so that she can spend some time traveling. The rest of her time she might be found crocheting, playing with her cat Jojo, or eating at Nueva Leon, one of her favorite restaurants. She looks forward to her retirement/birthday party, which is planned for September. Minnie says of the library that she will “try not to visit every day,” but her coworkers certainly would not mind.

The library will celebrate Minnie’s retirement on Friday, June 22 from 2-4 p.m. in the Daley Room 1-470.

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.



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.