From the Dean . . .
As the end of the year approaches, life at home gets busier with extra shopping, cooking or travel as we all look forward to special times with family and friends. Our students are busy getting ready for exams and completing projects. As I look at our schedule for the next two months, I see we are going to be busier than ever!
We have all worked hard to ready RBD for the Learning Commons. Most of us have tasted the reward of preparing the space for the Caribou Coffee Shop. Our Student Advisory Council and the undergraduates who responded to our survey were clear that they wanted such an improvement in food in RBD and I’m pleased we have been able to address a direct request from our users. I am grateful to each of you for your hard work, to Auxiliary Services for funding and supporting the project, and to Facilities for their willingness to tackle a complex project on a short timeline.
As we surveyed students, they were clear that they wanted improved study spaces. We were fortunate that the EBSCO Company agreed that this upgrade was a pressing need for the University. Many of us have been working all Fall to make the students’ and EBSCO’s vision a reality. While some of us attended countless meetings, the Circulation and Government Documents departments organized 50 students to move 820,000 books and documents and Cataloging made sure we kept track of all of them. Now that the space is prepared and the furniture is ordered, we will all enjoy watching the area take shape as the students begin to use it. Once again, Facilities has been generous with time and money to make sure the project happens and stays on schedule.
Your hard work has helped us build a reputation as the central place for our students and faculty. I know each of us does this because of our commitment to excellent library service. Over the past few years, we have earned the support of Facilities and several projects have received priority funding. First, all of our public spaces were painted and the public areas on two floors were recarpeted. This holiday break, the third floor and staff areas will be recarpeted. Last year, some of you asked about carpeting for your work areas and I told you we would have to be patient and hope for additional funding. Facilities has only so much money to spend on these sorts of projects each year. I hope you are as grateful as I am that they are targeting some of these funds our way right now.
If you are like me, you have some work to do before we can pack up our office to be ready for the recarpeting crew. The Events Committee has set aside November 20 as a day for us to tackle the job, have some fun and maybe win some prizes. It has been designated Clean and Green Day. At the beginning of the day, we will all get three big plastic bags – One for trash, one for recycling, and one for shredding. I’m pretty sure I’ll have to ask for additional bags and I’ve only been here 4 and a half years! At 2:00, we’ll break for a Libraries Forum with Donny Addison and Lindy Biggs joining us to talk about recycling and sustainability programs at Auburn. The Events Committee will award prizes and we’ll have some snacks as a reward for our hard work. By December 18 when the holidays begin, we will have to have our offices all packed and ready so this will be a good chance to begin to prepare to pack.
As the holidays approach, we all think about those less fortunate. We have much to be grateful for with so many friends and colleagues experiencing layoffs, job loss, and furloughs. It has been hard to go without a raise and to see the funds we have to purchase materials and provide services dwindle as we’ve face prorations but we continue to have our jobs and, thanks to a generous private gift and Facilities support, we are able to undertake some major projects such as the Commons and the carpeting. I continue to be grateful for the opportunity to work with each of you and provide library service to the Auburn academic community. I’m looking forward to celebrating the year and all we’ve accomplished with you at our annual Holiday Party on December 8. I know the Events Committee has planned a delicious menu – I hear rumors of Red Velvet Cake. I hope you will join me in bringing a toy to support Toys for Tots to the party. I know these gifts this year will be especially appreciated by families in our community.
Please mark your calendars for Clean and Green Day and for the Holiday Party. I look forward to the end of a busy year and to seeing you at these two events.