AU’s Newest Librarian: Maria Planansky

Alfred University Libraries welcomes Maria Planansky to the position of Collection Management Librarian.

In this role, Maria will oversee acquisitions, cataloging, serials, donations, and electronic resources management across Samuel R. Scholes Library and Herrick Memorial Library and coordinate on State University of New York consortia-wide initiatives for collection management.

Maria will also work as the liaison to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences with the Sociology, Criminal Justice and Political Science programs.

What was your background before Alfred University?

For undergrad, I went to Beloit College, which is similar in a lot of ways to Alfred. Both are smaller schools very focused on experiential learning. At Beloit I studied Political Science and Philosophy and continued with that after graduation: I worked at a social science research organization for many years and later taught high school social studies and humanities. More recently, I earned a Master’s in Library and Information Science from Dominican University. While in school, I worked at Dominican University’s Crown Library and the Pritzker Military Museum & Library in Chicago.

What interests you about your current position?

So much! The heart of the Collection Management Librarian role is making sure library resources serve students. That means ensuring that students are active participants when it comes to choosing what we include in our library collections.

What social media platforms do you use?

Instagram is my favorite, but Twitter is a close second. I’m not on TikTok, but this basset hound has me rethinking that decision.

Do you have a favorite research or tech tool?

I have favorite research advice.

Earlier this year, sociologist Tressie McMillan Cottom wrote an essay on Dolly Parton, called The Dolly Moment. It is really, really good. A week or so after that essay was published, she wrote about her research approach: read around the subject. In McMillan Cottom’s words, “Reading around a subject is about going beyond the object of study to unpack, examine, or pick apart what the person or the object of study represents. That is usually where the good stuff is.”

For straight-up research tools, though, I use Primo’s citation generator. It makes everything so much easier! Citations can be tricky, and Alfred has a great Citation Help LibGuide that’s full of resources.

What are you reading or listening to?

Earlier this summer a friend recommended the novel Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters. It was fantastic! I’ve also been reading novels by Louise Erdrich, one of my favorite authors, and I’m pretty excited for Sally Rooney’s Beautiful World, Where Are You. This past weekend we had the Otis Redding and Carla Thomas album King & Queen on repeat. It was a good weekend.

Pinch Pots, Plants, and Putt Putt!

Alfred University Libraries encouraged new students to explore Herrick Memorial Library and Samuel R. Scholes Library during Welcome Week Event.

A recent open house event Saturday, August 21st drew over 150 new and returning students. The open house featured a self-guided mini-golf “tour” of both Herrick Memorial Library and Samuel R. Scholes Library, free pinch pots and plants as well as an introduction to the Personal Librarian Program.

Putt-Putt Golf Library “Tour”

The putt-putt mini golf course took students through each floor of the building highlighting individual and group study spaces, the library “stacks”, the NYSCC and University Archives, and other key offices such as Information Technology Services (ITS) and The Center for Academic Success (CAS).

Ten participating students won a raffle for a free AU t-shirt from the Alfred University Bookstore.

Pinch Pots and Plants

Another big draw for students was the free pinch pots and plant cuttings. In the spring of 2020, the Clay Collective organized AU students to make pinch pots as a welcome gift to incoming students this fall semester. Students at the Welcome Week open house event chose one of these pinch pots as a new home for their plant cutting. The plant cuttings came from “mother plants” around Herrick and Scholes Libraries. They are started in used K-Cups from the libraries’ Keurig machine in an effort to reduce plastic waste.

Watch out for another opportunity to pick up your pinch pot…coming soon!

Personal Librarian Program

Students in Herrick Library learning about the Personal Librarian Program

As a part of the event, students met AU Librarians and learned about the Personal Librarian Program. All new students are assigned their very own Personal Librarian to be their initial contact for all their research needs as they start out at Alfred University. 

The Personal Librarian Program is a great tool for making contact with the Libraries and learning about resources and services.

If you don’t know the name of your personal librarian, contact us at libraries@alfred.edu, or visit: https://libguides.alfred.edu/mylibrarian

Here are some of the things that your Personal Librarian can do:

Assist you with your research by helping you choose a topic, articulate research questions, identify credible and reliable sources and formulate effective search strategies

Help you navigate the libraries’ print and online resources.

Answer your questions about library policies, procedures, and services.

Your Personal Librarian can also connect you to the right people on campus for computer issues, writing assistance, tutoring, and other support services.

For in-depth questions, it is recommended that you make an appointment ahead of time to ensure someone is available to assist you. Librarians are also available via phone or video conferencing such as Zoom. If there is anything research or library-related that you need, feel free to contact your Personal Librarian in person, by phone, or by email. 

Contact us at libraries@alfred.edu, or visit: https://libguides.alfred.edu/mylibrarian

Promoting Climate Resilience through the Library

Librarians Kevin Adams and John Hosford applied and won funding for the American Library Association grant: Resilient Communities – Libraries Respond to Climate Change.

The grant comes with funding as well as film screening rights to support Alfred University Libraries as we design resources and programs that will create educational opportunities and public forums for community members to come together to learn, build connections, and grow toward a more sustainable and prepared future.

Alfred University Libraries are happy to present the new virtual Climate Resilience Information Hub. The virtual information hub includes movies, books, databases and articles, and open web resources. Due to COVID-19, not all materials in this hub are available to the broader community. If you need help accessing specific items, please contact Kevin Adams at adamska@alfred.edu.

Over the course of the 2021 Spring semester, Alfred University Libraries will host virtual film screenings for the broader Alfred community, which will be paired with programming to allow film viewers to come together and discuss topics like climate change and community preparedness. Details on film screenings and programming are forthcoming.

Information Literacy & Library Instruction

The Libraries are offering Information Literacy and Library Instruction sessions for all courses at Alfred University. We can provide anything from a basic library orientation to an advanced information literacy sessions.

We are happy to work with you to create a customized session that fits your learning objectives and the needs of your students. For more on the options available to you, check out this menu: Information Literacy Instruction Menu.

To request a library instruction session, please contact your liaison librarian or use this form: Information Literacy Instruction Registration Form.

Image: Two classroom participants consulting information.

Where Can I Study?


In an effort to support student learning while maintaining social distancing, numerous spaces around campus have been made available for studying or participating in classes online.


Herrick and Scholes Libraries both have study spaces and computers available. A limited number of reservable spaces are available for commuters or students taking courses online.
Email libraries@alfred.edu for more information.

Library hours can be found here:
Herrick
Scholes

Campus Computer Labs are available when not in use for scheduled classes. A list of spaces and hours can be found here.

There are additional spaces around campus such as Powell Campus Center, The Science Center, Miller and Seidlin. Some of these spaces are available for students studying specific subjects or require a reservation.
More details can be found here.

Link: https://alfred.libapps.com/libguides/admin_c.php?g=1013274&p=7837589

Scholes Library Student Employee VanRenselaar ’22 competes in KCACTF Auditions

Alfred University News

Kirstin VanRenselaar
Kirstin VanRenselaar

Kirstin VanRenselaar ’22 (Education, History, Theater major and Scholes Library student employee) was chosen to compete in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre (KCACTF) Festival Irene Ryan Auditions, performing two monologues on Zoom for the national selection team.

She was part of a group of 16 actors screened from an original pool of 220 actors from the seven states that make up KCACTF Region 2.

VanRenselaar was nominated for her work in UnBound: A Loose-Leaf Theater project on Racial and Social Justice, produced at Alfred University Nov. 6, 7, 8 via Zoom, guided by Alfred University Performing Arts faculty Becky Prophet, Maureen Weiss, Zachary Hamm, and Debra MacCrea.

Unbound was a first for the Performing Arts Division at Alfred University.  The entire creative process was engaged to stream the live performance.  Every actor, designer, crew member, as well as faculty and staff engaged in Unbound seized the opportunity to tackle a new means of performance by learning the Zoom platform and experimenting with the ever-increasing options of digital theater, which became a major medium for Alfred University in March when classes moved on-online. 

In addition to her role in Unbound, VanRenselaar also performed multiple roles in Annie Jump in the Library of Heaven. Both plays were produced the fall in Alfred University’s Fall semester.  

Kirstin VanRenselaar has been acting since the third grade and has played many roles over the years, her favorite being Polonious from Hamlet. Since coming to Alfred she has played Orgon in Tartuffe, Mrs. Gomez in Annie Jump and the Library of Heaven, and participated in the most recent production- Unbound. She is currently working on preparing for her future role of high school teacher, in which she hopes to inspire her students as she has been inspired by those who have taught her.

What's Available in the Libraries?

Herrick and Scholes Libraries are here to support the campus with remote services and limited onsite services under COVID safety protocols.

See the Herrick and Scholes Library websites for current hours.

What’s Available?

-Library books and media are circulated through contactless pick up via a request system. Requests can be picked up at either Herrick or Scholes Library. Instructions can be found under the “Request Materials for Pickup” tab found through this link.

-PCs, printers, and scanners are available in both libraries to current AU students, faculty, and staff. The set up includes reduced seating capacity to support distancing.

-Article databases, Kanopy, and ebooks.

-Interlibrary Loan.

-Research assistance with Librarians and Archivists by video conferencing such as Zoom, or email. To check the availability of in-person appointments please contact a Librarian or Archivist directly, or contact libraries@alfred.edu.

-Library Instruction for classes.

-Study rooms can be reserved by commuters and other students who need a dedicated space to participate in online classes. Reservable space is limited. For more information, email: libraries@alfred.edu.

What’s Not Available?

-Shelf browsing materials in the stacks.

-Study rooms and conference rooms for groups.

-24-hour study rooms.

-Reserve Books (email libraries@alfred.edu and we will assist you via scanning or other alternatives).

-Shareable items like headphones, laptops, chargers, and markers.

Questions? Email libraries@alfred.edu

Link: https://libguides.alfred.edu/COVID

Information Literacy Modules for Asynchronous Learning

The Information Literacy Librarian, Kevin Adams, has created a series of Information Literacy modules to support student learning. These modules have been created for AU faculty to easily import into their Canvas courses. If you are interested in using any of these modules in a course, just email Kevin Adams at adamska@alfred.edu.

Each module has clearly stated learning outcomes. Topics currently include library concepts, finding sources, developing research questions, evaluating sources, and providing citations in MLA, Chicago, and APA. You can explore the modules here: Information Literacy Modules.

Sliding image compares two images: 1) Depicts a computer with a book on the screen and 2) depicts a tablet with a book on the screen.

Spring Hours 2021

Library Hours for Herrick and Scholes Libraries

 

  Samuel R. Scholes Library 

  Herrick Memorial Library

Sunday 

      2:00 pm – 9:00 pm     

     2:00 pm – 9:00 pm    

Monday 

      8:00 am – 5:00 pm 

    8:00 am – 9:00 pm 

Tuesday 

     8:00 am – 9:00 pm 

    8:00 am – 5:00 pm 

 Wednesday  

     8:00 am – 5:00 pm 

    8:00 am – 9:00 pm 

Thursday 

      8:00 am – 9:00 pm 

     8:00 am – 5:00 pm 

Friday 

      8:00 am – 5:00 pm 

     8:00 am – 5:00 pm 

Saturday 

Closed 

Closed 

 
 
 

The Invertebrates Scale of Librarianship

Engineering and Scholarly Communication Librarian, Samantha Dannick authors jocose essay in a national library science publication.

“The Invertebrates Scale of Librarianship”, published in the January issue of College & Research Libraries News (C&RL News) , is a playful and “irreverent” guide to finding your niche in librarianship. C&RL News is the official newsmagazine of the Association of College & Research Libraries.

Nudibranch Berghia coerulescens. Photo credit: Parent Gery, Public Domain.

Dannick encourages library professionals to establish their own personal  “policies” and “professional value system” by way of behavior analogies between librarians and jellyfish, nudibranch, and octopus. Dannick writes, “The Invertebrates Scale of Librarianship is intended to help librarians recognize and name their own professional tendencies… There will be times to be an Octopus, a Nudibranch, and a Jellyfish. Most of us will have a form that is more comfortable than the others. What’s appropriate is to recognize what that form is, how it helps and hinders, and whether a different form would be more suitable for a given situation.”   What’s a nudibranch? Learn more here.

The full article can be read here: The Invertebrates Scale of Librarianship