Friends of the Old Dominion University Libraries


Summer 2005 Newsletter

Diehn Composers Room

In March, the Diehn Composers Room Team presented “A Taste of Contemporary Music” featuring music students performing a selection of original compositions from the New Music Performance Collection of the Diehn Composers Room. The works of composers Allan Blank, Allen Brings, Greg Brown, Adolphus Hailstork, and Vernon Perdue-Davis were performed under the direction of Agnes Mobley-Wynne. The concert, scheduled during activity hour, was well attended by students, faculty, and the local community.

Annual Author Dinner

The Friends of the Old Dominion University Annual Author Dinner, featuring John A. Adam, University Professor and Professor of Mathematics speaking on the topic of "Innumeracy: A Light-hearted Look at a Serious Problem", was held on April 12.

The Friends of the Library Outstanding Achievement Award was presented to Karl H. Schoenbach, Eminent Scholar and Director of the Center for Bioelectics. Mary Daniel, President of the Friends, also reported on the Year in Review for the Friends. Fifty-seven guests attended the dinner.

Library Stories

Each year, our Reference staff collect "library stories" about our users, students, and faculty. These stories are public interest pieces and the stories are used in speeches and presentations. Some of this year's stories debuted at the Author Dinner, included in remarks by University Librarian Virginia S. O'Herron:

Every library staff member treasures the phrase “that's exactly what I needed”. But what is particularly noteworthy here at Perry Library Is how often the staff performs above and beyond the expected – going beyond the initial request and giving that extra effort our patrons so appreciate.

These are just a few stories about library staff that make that extra effort. I call this first story Serendipitous Find :

Dr. Bochdansky of the Department of Oceanography needed to identify some videos, either to borrow or to purchase, on the topic of viscous flow or flow at low Reynolds numbers. However, Renee Davis, our Science Reference Librarian, was able to locate only one video available for purchase, so Dr. Bochdansky decided to request an interlibrary loan of the item before committing $300 to purchase the video. Renee discovered from Stuart Frazer, the Interlibrary Loan Services Librarian that Dr. Bochdansky's interest in the viscous flow regime had to do with the plankton environments that he and his graduate students study. In the course of looking for videos, Renee came across a website called "Life at Low Reynolds Numbers." This web site turned out to be the text of a famous lecture by a Harvard professor from June 1976. Along with the text were reproductions of the diagrams the professor had presented on transparencies during his talk. According to the introductory remarks on the Web site, the entire lecture had been reproduced on the page except for the arm waving! Renee sent Dr. Bochdansky the link to the website and he was very pleased and said, "What a find! I will use it in my lectures on Wednesday and Thursday." Renee says she learned from this experience that if you are a very small critter having to swim in a low-Reynolds-numbers fluid, it doesn't really matter what shape your body is.

Our next story is titled Chinese Visitors Learn about the Library.

Assured that a group of 14 senior executives from Hunan, China, visiting the university for a program sponsored by the Executive Development Center had a good command of the English language, Steve Litherland, Library Specialist in Reference Services, planned a tour for the guests that would not only show them the collections and features of the building, but would also focus on business resources. After greeting the group and launching into his explanations, Steve soon realized that the group did not seem to understand much of what he was saying. Luckily one person in the group could interpret for the rest. However, Steve also realized that he was demonstrating business resources of American companies, and that the executives also were not recognizing the names of these companies. When he used the Factiva and ABI/Inform databases and changed the interface language option to Chinese, eyes lit up, and there was much appreciation for both the resources and for Steve, who had come up with a wonderful solution to bridging the cultural language barrier.

Ann Pettingill, our new Associate University Librarian, shared this last story with me:

In November, the Economics Club luncheon featured an Indian economist as the speaker and as part of the events of the India Forum. As I went into the luncheon, I met Dean DeSilva and mentioned to him that the Library had put together a small lobby exhibit about the authors speaking at the various Forum events. We had earlier obtained a list of titles from Dr. De Silva and had added some additional titles to the list. The Library already owned some of the books, but the majority of the titles would have to be ordered. Tracey Bowry, our Acquisitions Coordinator, did an exceptional job on extremely short notice of placing orders to both used and new booksellers; those books had arrived just in time. Karen Vaughan, from Digital Services, put together an incredible exhibit displaying the books and a creative montage of author photographs from the Web, with the event schedules, invitations printed by the university, and other event information displayed.

About 10 minutes after I returned to the Library from the luncheon, I received a call from Kathryn Boone, in Reference Services, informing me that Dr. DeSilva was in the Library wishing to see the exhibit. Dr. DeSilva brought over a group of 10 people who were involved in the Forum, including a number of the speakers; and all were having their picture taken in front of the exhibit. One of the speakers, Dr. Neelam Sood, was just amazed to see her photograph there – a photograph she did not readily recognize! She was trying to figure out when and where the photograph was taken, and thought it might have been taken in the summer since she had on a cotton sari. Every single one of them approached me to let me know how wonderful the exhibit was, and how wonderful it was to know that we had spent the time to acquire their books. They were so excited and enthusiastic, and exclaimed over and over again how great the exhibit looked.

These are not exceptional stories; although our staff who provide that extra level of service to our patrons are exceptional. Old Dominion University , and we, are lucky to have such a dedicated staff.

Mary Daniel Completes Service as FoL President

The Friends extend their sincere gratitude to Mary H. Daniel, President of the Friends of the Old Dominion University Library, for her exceptional service, both to the Friends and to the Library. Mary has served two terms as President and has worked with the Friends committees on programs such as the Annual Author Dinner and the Friends lecture series, the annual Book Sale and the staff recognition reception. Her gracious leadership has enhanced the Friends programs and has well positioned the Friends in its support of the University Libraries.

We will miss her in her role as President, but we appreciate her service and look forward to working with her on future Friends programs and events.

New Library Staff

Please welcome the University Libraries' new staff members:

Kelly Lennon and Meagan Storey have joined the Reference and Research Services department as part-time librarians in temporary positions while the Library conducts the search for the Business Reference Librarian.

Robert Stone has joined Access Services as the Circulation Services Supervisor.

Librarian of the Year; Staff Member of the Year

The awards for the Librarian of the Year and the Staff Member of the Year were announced at the Friends of the Library Staff Reception on May 1

The 2004 Librarian of the Year is Stuart Frazer, Interlibrary Loan Librarian. Stuart has been with the Library since 1995 when he began as a Social Sciences Reference Librarian. As one of his nominators phrased it, "Stuart has a great depth of understanding of the needs of the faculty and graduate student research and matches this understanding with an equally strong knowledge base. He unfailingly goes beyond the call of duty in providing service to our patrons." In addition to doing a very good job in his primary responsibility, he can always be counted on to take on additional assignments and do them to the best of his ability. He is creative in seeing solutions to problems and does them so well he makes the whole process seem effortless.

The 2004 Staff Member of the Year is Tracey Bowry, Acquisitions Coordinator for Bibliographic Services. Tracey has been with the University Libraries since 1988 when she was hired as an Office Services Assistant in Microforms. As one of her nominators phrased it, "she regularly helps convey the message that library staff is highly motivated, knowledgeable and willing to go the extra mile for our users." In addition to doing a great job , she is also noted for her smile and sense of humor and her commitment to the library. She takes on extra tasks including working at the Reference Desk and assisting the Library Staff Organization, as well as working on numerous committees and task forces. As another nominator said, ''you can always count on Tracey to step up and get the job done."

Friends Merchandise For Sale in Perry Library

Tote bags…sweatshirts...t-shirts...non-spill mugs…all featuring the attractive Friends of the Library lion, are available in the Administrative Office of the University Libraries (room 229 in Perry Library).

These items may be purchased from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Prices are as follows:

  • Tote bags $15
  • Sweatshirts $15
  • T-shirts $10
  • Non-spill mugs $5

Proceeds from the sale of FoL merchandise goes to supports the University Libraries.