Dancing With My Whiteboards

Whiteboard in Physics Library

I’d rather be dancing with my whiteboards than writing my annual report! Good song lyrics, don’t you think? While our students are away we are re-purposing yet another library space (my 3rd such project in 3 years on the job.) This summer we are transferring serials to storage and adding more flexible study space in our Physic s Library while improving online access and resources. We are trying to find the right balance for our campus community between the physical library and the digital library. Because it is Physics – whiteboards (magnetic and movable and useful as space dividers) are a must for all those endless equations. They make me smile.

It seems as if I am not the only one that struggles during this end-of-semester season with performance evaluations and report writing.  Veronica Wells, from the ACRLog post Reflections on Reflecting suggests we ask the following questions – not just once a year, but more often :

  1. What went well?
  2. What did not go well?
  3. What is something that I should think about for next time?

I like thinking about our campus libraries as small embassies that are remote from the main campus library but ambassadorships of resources and services for all of the campus community. In library parlance it is called embedded librarianship. In this time of financial turmoil, and being good stewards, we will be discussing the feasibility of campus branch libraries. Wherever and however  we serve our campus community we can be rich hubs of information and service as noted in Academic Librarians as Campus Hubs by Joshua Kim.

After all my multitude of statistics duly reported – circulation statistics, reference statistics, instruction statistics – I know that the numbers do not tell the whole story. How do we measure our users own heroic journeys, or our service to them on their quests? As a librarian who serves in multiple buildings on a campus, I really should measure my year in steps between libraries. But instead I tend to take the measure of myself in people I meet on those walks across campus.

How do we measure “the treasure kindness” as Maria Shine Stewart writes about in her essay Every Nook and Cranny of all who serve our campus community? Is that in anyone’s annual report?



About Kimberly Hoffman

Twitter: KMH_nowinVA
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