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Library Updates: Home

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We're hiring!

The College Libraries are hiring, and excited to welcome two librarians to our team.

The College Libraries at SUNY Potsdam are reorganizing our research, access, and information literacy functions, and hiring two librarians: A Coordinator of Research and Access Services to help integrate our services into the college's academic core, and an Information Literacy Librarian to support information literacy skills in our general education program and beyond.

The projects these librarians are likely to work on may include:

Coordinator of Research and Access Services

  • Integrate into a single service point for user assistance in the Lougheed Learning Commons
  • Achieve Certification as an Alma administrator with responsibility for public-facing resource sharing functions
  • Develop and implement borrowing and lending policies and services for SUNYPotsdam as part of SUNY’s universal borrowing environment.
  • Expand the reach of online research help services
  • Support the Information Literacy Librarian in building new information literacy services
  • Support faculty in upgrading their scholarship and research foundations. 
  • Engage with ongoing Open Educational Resources, Textbook Affordability, Open Access, and SUNY Resource Sharing projects as advocates for user experience and access. 
  • Maintain and grow relationships with and integrations in the academic Schools, and will serve as liaison to academic units with research focus areas, such as the Honors program and the Center for Creative Instruction.

Information Literacy Librarian

  • Development and instruction of credit-bearing courses

  • Evolving and refining our tradition of one-shot in-course information literacy instruction

  • Development of library skills workshops and learning activities to support a new information and media literacy microcredential 

  • Refinement and implementation of Information literacy outcomes for the Potsdam Pathways general education program.

The position ads and applications can be found here:

Research and Access Services

Information Literacy

~J. Rogers, 10/23/18

Staff changes in the College Libraries, 2018

In 2017, we welcomed new team members, and in 2018, we'll be saying goodbye to several.

  • Nancy Alzo, Associate Librarian Emerita, retired in May after 32 years of service. We miss her! We are beginning a search for a Coordinator of Research Services, and plan to have that new librarian in place for Fall 2019. We are also searching for a temporary adjunct to backfill some research services now, with hopes for a hire in September. See this post for information on how our research services will be impacted.
  • Jessica Ramey, Senior Assistant Librarian, is leaving SUNY Potsdam after 3 years of service as our Information Literacy Coordinator. She will be joining the library team at the College of William & Mary, and we are proud of what she's accomplished here, but sorry to see her go. We are hoping to hire a new Info Lit Coordinator in the same cycle as our Research Services librarian, but are waiting on President's Council approval to do so. See this post for information on how our information literacy program will be impacted.
  • Tammy Gore, Acquisitions Clerk (Library Clerk 2), is retiring after 22 years of service to the Libraries, in November. Her work in library purchasing will be taken up by Nichole Wilson, currently our Interlibrary Loan Clerk, when she returns from her maternity leave in December -- leaving only a one month gap in purchasing. We hope that Interlibrary Loan service will be uninterrupted until we can hire a clerk for that role, and plan to cover the work in the interim through added student employees and thoughtful use of automation options available in ILLiad.

~J. Rogers, 8/23/18

Research Services changes at Crumb Library, Fall 2018

Given the staffing changes detailed here, we are taking an opportunity in Fall 2018 to experiment with new approaches to research assistance for students at Crumb Library. We have seen an increase in use of our one-on-one consultation service, and a decrease in interactions at the traditional reference desk, and we suspect that changing our marketing for our 24/7 online research help service will change how it is used as well. 

We're putting those ideas and trends to the test.

  • We are giving prime real estate to Ask Us 24/7 on our website, putting it on our front page right next to the search box, and plan to advertise it significantly to our students.
  • Librarians will be offering drop-in research help at the Research Help Desk in the Learning Commons on Mondays and Thursdays, from 11-5.
  • Librarians will be increasing our consultations to over 40 weekly appointments available to students -- more than 500 over the course of the semester -- and encouraging students to come meet with a librarian to get started on their research at a time that works best for them.

We plan to watch how this works, learn from the results, and make changes as our staffing picture shifts and student needs emerge. Watch for updates as we approach Spring 2019!

(We do not expect to see changes in Crane Library; please contact Ed Komara with any questions about services in Crane.)

~J. Rogers, 8/23/18

Information Literacy changes for Fall 2018

Due to staffing changes detailed here, we are not able to accommodate further non-Crane information literacy session requests during Fall 2018.

Sessions already scheduled and confirmed for this semester will be honored, and requests for support in Crane should be made to Ed Komara as usual. If a faculty member has a pre-existing partnership with a librarian housed in Crumb Library, new requests made of that librarian may be honored, at the librarian's discretion -- please be aware that our workload migrating to Alma may compel us to say no even when we wish we could help.

We realize this is disappointing. We are committed to serving our students as effectively as we can with the resources we have, and we have directed significant staff time and energy to ensuring our Fall 2018 services are as responsive as possible. If students need individual research assistance, please direct them to our updated research services resources or our 24/7 online reference service.

~J. Rogers, 8/23/18

New Proxy Server -- with Moodle impacts

The Libraries have migrated to a new proxy server, hosted by OCLC. It will function the same as the previous service, but as a result of our move to hosted service, you will need to update any links to library resources in Moodle or in your instructional materials to include the new proxy. For more information on how to move these links, see the library website or contact Esta Tovstiadi (

Coming Spring 2019: Alma

In summer of 2019, the College Libraries will be switching from our current library catalog and software (Aleph, host of Bearcat) and discovery tool (EBSCO's EDS) to a new Library Services Platform (LSP), Alma, and a new application, Primo VE, to provide the public interface to our print, electronic, and digital resources.

SUNY’s contract with Aleph -- which serves all 64 libraries in the system via a consortial purchase -- expires in 2020. Ex Libris’s Alma and Primo were chosen as the next software package for SUNY -- and negotiated to a system-wide price which our campus could never match with a local purchase. Workflow changes will be necessary for all library staff, and you our users will need to learn a new system, but we're thrilled by the opportunities for collaboration and cooperation that will emerge in the new system environment. We're looking forward to easier (possibly even one-click!) access to materials you can borrow from other SUNY libraries, better data on what's available throughout the system to help us make smarter local purchasing choices, and a more robust discovery layer that links you to our print, ebook, and online resources nearly seamlessly.

Every staff member in the College Libraries -- from our Secretary to Acquisitions, Cataloging, Circulation, and Information Literacy librarians -- will be impacted by this major systems change. Our data -- patron records for every user in our database, transaction records of loans, lost items, fees, and withdrawn books, MARC records representing every book currently in our collection, electronic subscription data, and purchasing information -- must all be migrated to the new system. We have been learning about Alma since Fall 2017, getting staff certified to work on the back end of Alma all summer, and working on test implementations of Alma since this spring. We are beginning our formal migration this fall, and finishing workflow changes and data testing in spring and summer of 2019. We expect to introduce you, our users, to this new software in Fall 2019. If you are teaching a summer class in 2019,  you can plan on seeing the changes in July (and we will be sharing more on that as it gets nearer).

When this massive undertaking is combined with the staffing changes described here, we recognize that our capacity for regular work and new projects is diminished. While we regret that in the short term, the long term benefit to our campus is well worth the wait and the struggle!

~J. Rogers, 8/23/18

Library Shared Governance Changes, Fall 2018

Changes in staffing, services, and Academic Affairs have led to the need for several changes to Library Shared Governance.

  • Beginning in fall 2018, the librarians at SUNY Potsdam -- who have always been academic faculty on 12 month academic contracts, and have always pursued scholarly continuing appointment alongside their departmental colleagues -- will be represented in Academic Affairs with more parity to those academic colleagues.  Holly Chambers, Senior Assistant Librarian, has been elected as the first Department Chair of the Librarians, and will represent her peers as a member of the Council of Chairs and Program Directors. This role has been created to engage with Academic Affairs in addition to the role of Director of Libraries, Jenica Rogers, who reports to the Provost as part of her Extended Provost's Cabinet.
  • Staffing and service changes have made the Bylaws of the College Libraries impractical. In 2018-2019, the Bylaws will be reviewed, revised, and discussed and voted upon per Article 4 of the current Bylaws, to better reflect the ongoing needs and realities of the Libraries. 
  • Many policies will need to be examined, discussed, and amended as Alma is implemented through 2019. These policies and policy change processes will adhere to appropriate sections of the current and amended Bylaws.

~J. Rogers, 8/23/18

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SUNY Potsdam College Libraries
44 Pierrepont Ave
Potsdam, NY 13617