Some may think that when a Director retires, the organization comes to a complete halt. This is definitely not what is happening at the McGoogan Library of Medicine! Due to the compression of the print collection and a move to more online journals, space opened up on the sixth floor of the library. With the campus need for a larger testing center, providing a testing center in the library appeared to be a reasonable idea. A testing center task force was put into place and a survey of campus needs was initiated. A visit to another campus library which housed a testing center further reinforced the viability of this idea. The testing center initiative continues to be at the forefront for possible use of renovated library space. However, the proposed testing center will not fill all the available space. Following a faculty/department head brainstorming session, four library task forces related to space planning were established. The task forces included: 1) Faculty Development Space Production; 2) Collaborative and Flexible Group Space; 3) Writing Center; and 4) Tutoring Center. All groups were given a charge to investigate other library websites of UNMC’s Peer Institutions as well as the Big 10 Universities to ascertain whether they offer similar services from their libraries or institutions. A final summary of all the task forces will be forthcoming.
One task force seeing its efforts completed soon is the implementation of a combined Circulation/ Reference service desk. A pilot was done in 2010 supporting the idea of combining the two desks into one. With the increased workload of the reference librarians, and the limited day staff for the Circulation Department, combining staff and work functions into one location was essential. A task force met to put the plan into action, visited other libraries, researched the literature, and established core competencies for Circulation and Reference staff to acquire after training. The combined service desk will be in place by the end of October 2013.
It has been a busy summer and early fall, but from my viewpoint, I could not be more pleased with the Library faculty and staff. They all stepped up to the plate to work on projects, covered for one another with limited staff in some areas, and have retained a positive outlook toward the future. I have been very pleased to serve as the Interim Director for this brief time and continue to look forward to a bright future ahead under new leadership.