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Librarian V Promotion 2006

 

Biographic Sketch

 

AECT & Examples of Work

 

Sabbatical Report 2005-2006

 

Last update: Oct 14, 2006

 

Pulelehua RuthMarie Quirk MLS, MEd

rmq@hawaii.edu

Manager of Operations Sinclair Library

University of Hawaii at Manoa

Full Document (.doc, .pdf)  

Endeavors Qualificaitons
Professional Activities
Service Activities
Support Materials

 

Aspects of Librarianship
Since 1992 I have served as a public services/reference librarian in UHM’s Sinclair Library (SL), where since 1995 I have also served in a managerial role. As noted above, throughout my career I have performed technical services work, including Head of library automation services. My career includes management experience in all areas of library services. As highlighted in the “Professional Activities” section, I have worked, administered, and managed in the areas of information technology, access services, collection development, public and reference service, and instructional services. As a Librarian IV, my foci have been

 

As noted, I have served as a Librarian IV at UHM since 1990, working at SL since 1992. To appreciate fully the scope of my activities as a Librarian IV, it is helpful to understand Sinclair Library’s unique characteristics and position within UH library services.

UHM Libraries: Sinclair Library
The University of Hawai‘i at Manoa Libraries include Hamilton Library and Sinclair Library. Together they comprise the largest research library in the Pacific, with over three million titles now accessible to UH researchers and faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, and the general public and researchers throughout Hawai‘i and the world in person or by phone, mail, electronic mail, electronic chat, websites, and interlibrary loan.

SL is a welcome place to study and easily find materials that enrich the University experience. SL contains UHM’s music collection, with books, scores, and audio recordings; the Wong Audiovisual Center; bound periodicals; and print, electronic, and media reserves, thus providing the video recording, sound recording, and reserves requirements for most disciplines at UHM.

Š          SL Reference Services
This department answers general reference questions and specializes in the music and audiovisual collection. We maintain 51.5 hours of reference services per week, including early morning, and weekend hours. Reference Services answers more than 5,000 questions annually, many of which require extensive research, thus extending our individual reference services hours into our non-scheduled hours (http://www.sinclair.hawaii.edu/HTML/about/as_reports/rp0405.htm#stat) (see “Professional Activities: Reference Services”).

Š          SL Collection Development and Management
SL collections are selected and maintained by three librarians and a library technician. I have been responsible for the selection of the general reference collection since 1994, and for the reserve collections from 1994-2005 (see “Professional Activities: Administration and Management”).

Š          Instruction in Music and General Research
Commonly referred to as bibliographic instruction, this service introduces university affiliated groups or individuals to, among other resources, web-based databases, the Library’s online catalog, the Internet, searching techniques for music and media, and library orientation. I regularly teach, “Using the Internet for research,” and tutorials in the use of the Library’s online catalog (http://www2.hawaii.edu/~rmq/ResearchSearching2005.pps) (see “Professional Activities: Instructional Services).

  • Staff Training in Media and Resource Scheduling

Using instructional tools that I have created and tested, I teach library staff throughout the UH system how to use the highly specialized and complex media scheduling and reserve software, so that there are standardized ways to input and use the reserve system.

  • Access Services: Circulation of Library Materials, Media Scheduling, and Reserves

These services are a library’s primary direct interface with its patrons. At SL, where I administer and manage these functions, more than 125,000 items were circulated in the 2005–2006 fiscal year. I also staff the public circulation desk myself on a regular basis so I can continually stay in touch with user needs and expectations, as well as staff experiences and performance, enabling me to instigate change as needed to better serve the public and streamline staff procedures (http://www.sinclair.hawaii.edu/HTML/about/as_reports/index.html) (see “Professional Activities: Access Services”).

  • Relocated HL Departments due to the 2004 Flood

Government documents staff and part of the collection has been housed in SL since the 2004 flood, this will continue until approximately 2009.  UHM is a full depository and provides public access to Federal and International documents. http://library.manoa.hawaii.edu/departments/govdocs/index.html Systems office operations staff and library management software servers have also been at SL since the 2004 flood, this will continue until approximately 2008. http://assist.hawaii.edu


Professional Activities: Technology Services

Technology Services is probably the area of librarianship for which I am most recognized. I have been doing this work since 1982, when I was hired to automate library systems, which at that time were totally manual. My intimate, unparalleled knowledge of the history, development, and capabilities of library automation at UH has enabled SL to become a state leader in such areas as electronic reserves and instructional media.

Because I combine an in-depth technical and administrative understanding of the library software for circulation, interlibrary loans, and online catalog and request forms, with an intimate understanding of the indexes and matrix that control access, I bridge the gaps among automated systems/networks, public service, and technical services to help all sides understand each other. In particular, I have spearheaded the development and use of information technology to improve access services and the public catalog. At SL, I have managed and maintained the computer hardware, software, and networks since 1992. To insure that our patrons have better access to information, I have designed and administered the conversion to electronic reserves, which include print, music, and images. As an example of how I have adopted technology services for the specific betterment of all SL stakeholders, I implemented the self-checkout of library materials by patrons, facilitating maximum public access with the most prudent use of staff, especially during extended library hours when minimum staff is available.

Recognizing my expertise in information technology, I regularly am asked to serve on committees reviewing changes and impacts of automation systems. In fact, I have been closely involved in the selection of every Library management system purchased between 1982 and 2000. I have been invited to serve on many committees, including the Indexing task force, UH Web Voyage Steering Committee, the UH Circulation Steering Committee, the UH Interlibrary Loan Steering Committee, and the Web Weavers (see “Service Activities: Professional Activities”).

By serving on UH systemwide committees, I have been able to provide leadership in the development of technological services. For example, I was selected to chair the committee that developed the public access interface for the library’s first graphical user interface online catalog, and served on the committee that chose the current library management software. I also regularly make recommendations when we need to maintain system currency and compatibility by discarding, upgrading, or making new microcomputer purchases (hardware and software). When appropriate I work with Hamilton Library’s Data Network Services (DNS) (http://libweb.hawaii.edu/libdept/dns/welcome.html) and Systems Department (http://assist.hawaii.edu), and the UH Information Technology Services (ITS) department (http://www.hawaii.edu/infotech). My work on the Manoa Distant Education Committee has allowed me to improve connections between library services and programs so that students and faculty are better served. Recently I have worked with UH libraries and the East-West Center to implement online training for the public and library staff. I often am called upon to represent the library to the University community in matters relating to information technology and technology services, and I have served as a technical expert to Voyager libraries on the mainland.

Information technology is notoriously a rapidly changing area, and it is essential to remain current with industry developments—it is also time-consuming and work intensive. I keep up with the field by reading computer serials and software documentation and reviews, education technology literature, and experimenting with new software and hardware. I completed a Master’s degree in educational technology in 2006, developing a series of online tutorials to enhance public use of the library catalog, and a series of tutorials for training student workers in libraries. Keeping current in information technology is clearly a constant demand, but the payoff is a practical expertise that translates to more efficient knowledge management of the library.

Information Technology: Webmaster for Sinclair Library
In 1995, Sinclair Library acquired the UH libraries’ first web server, when the Internet and World Wide Web were just beginning and library administration was not sure our library should have a webpage. Initially we used it to mount internal training and policy documents. Over time we created pages that provided simple library information, such as hours and fines and fee policies. University researchers found us and asked for more information. Our first website was thus completely user request oriented—we posted what people asked for. Gradually we became proactive, providing what we knew would be helpful.

A couple of years later, Hamilton Library’s decision to create websites for its various departments again followed an organic process, driven by what the users requested and what the librarians wanted them to know. I helped various departments with technical issues as they first started publishing on the WWW, and founded and chaired Web Weavers, a users group whose members shared ideas and strategies, offered expertise to departments without technologically savvy staff, and supported each other in developing our Web presence.

Information Technology: Library Automation
In 1998 I served on the Review of Library Systems (ROLS) Committee to evaluate integrated library systems suitable for the University of Hawai‘i libraries. The impetus for this review was twofold: 1) to have a system in place that was Y2K (Year 2000) compatible, and 2) to find a suitable server-client based system. Subcommittees were formed to develop criteria for the selection and testing of each of the major components of an integrated system: access services, which incorporates circulation, inter-library loan, booking, and reserves; technical services, which includes serials, acquisitions, and cataloging; system technology and operation, which includes the operation of the telecommunications and computerized components of the system; and public interface, which includes how patrons interact (logon/out, utilize, query, etc.) with the system.

Based on my information technology expertise and experience with circulation, interlibrary loan, media scheduling, and reserves, I was invited to serve on the Access Services Committee, which was comprised of thirteen members representing the access service departments of Sinclair Library, Hamilton Library, and the UH Community Colleges. ASC developed a list of requirements for features that a circulation, interlibrary loan, reserves, and media schedule module must have, and a series of scenarios by which to test these features. I took the lead in developing the media scheduling and reserves criteria. Since I had written the specifications for the first library automation system implemented in 1984 (ALOHA), I also took the lead in writing the initial specifications We developed functional specifications for each module, and created a hierarchical evaluation tool based on our criteria—a weighted evaluation plan that was easy for members to score, tally, and grade by categories, with an overall commentary section. We then developed a set of scenarios that each vendor would enact, thus showing us how many of our functional specifications each automation system could address.

The ROLS committee reviewed five vendors, evaluating all aspects of their product. The initial first phase of creating a hierarchy of functional specifications with scenarios that could pragmatically test these specifications involved frequent meetings (sometimes three to five meetings per week) over a five-week period. When the purchase of a new library management system was put on hold due to time and fiscal restrictions, the Library decided to update the existing CARL software with the company’s Y2K “fix” and upgraded hardware as an interim alternative.

The review project was restarted in June 1999, when a Request for Proposals (RFP) for an integrated online system was released. From the five vendors responding, the ROLS committees reviewed three. Again because of time constraints, the PIC committee [first use of this abbreviation] met together as a unit and with vendors seven times a week for three weeks. Pre- and post-review planning sessions assured the acquisition of the best system the library could purchase with its allotted $1.3 million. My participation on these teams allowed me to share my knowledge of how to evaluate an automation system with systemwide concerns, and especially how to evaluate a program not only for its functionalities but also in light of the integrity of a company. (For the previous two library system purchases—ALOHA and UHCARL—we had to build into the contract a schedule of future developments against payments, For this third system I found it crucial to base our final review on existing features, not promises.) A new vendor was selected in November 1999.

Information Technology: ADA Working Committee
Early on in designing the SL website, I had worked with a blind student and a screen reader to ensure that text-only portions of the site were easily accessible. Thus when HL recognized the need to have standards for assisting differently abled library users, I was asked to serve on a task force charged with creating a webpage that outlined our policies. This work was done by a group of three librarians working with KOKUA services on the Manoa campus (http://libweb.hawaii.edu/uhmlib/ada/ada_index.html).

Information Technology: Indexing Working Group
Because of my knowledge of MARC tags, cataloging rules, and the public catalog, I was asked to serve on the Indexing Working Group, which was tasked with determining exactly what information would be included in which indexes, and what specialized indexes would be built. My experience with the first two rounds of automation made me realize how absolutely critical this process is to the future success of the library catalog. Only the library staff uses most of the indexes, but they are fundamental to providing efficient, effective workflows. The most important indexes for the public at large are the various keyword indexes. These allow users to search for the words they remember regardless of word order or proximity. In 1999 this was still a radical idea for most librarians, who were accustomed to thinking in terms of known entry searching.

My understanding of indexing technology and user needs allows me to provide a unique insight on the WebVoyage committee, which continues to work to improve public access to the catalog.

Circulation Steering Committee
Due to my expertise in automated systems, and development such specialized aspects of circulation services as media scheduling and reserves, I was appointed to the Circulation Steering Committee. The University of Hawai‘i had purchased a system—to be implemented in all the UH libraries, plus the Business Research Library on Maui, the Bishop Museum, Hawai‘i Medical Library, the Hawai‘i State Archives, and later the Kamehameha Schools—that included table-driven software for circulation, media scheduling, interlibrary loan, and reserves. Along with the other committee members, I learned to configure these tables and matrixes, and to understand the ramifications of this work. Initially each library wanted to configure the software to replicate existing policies. Working together, we came to see the advantages of new ways of doing things, and learned that some things were not possible in the new system. So we agreed to start with a fresh look, and I took a leadership role in personally configuring the tables that control the circulation, media scheduling, and reserves modules used by Sinclair Library, allowing me easily to fix problems or implement improved services. This capability has become especially important of late because of the extensive staff turnover in the library systems office in charge of providing this support. Because I understand the system at an expert level, I can now train the library systems office staff to support these modules.

Media Scheduling Enhancement Committee
I serve on the international committee to recommend enhancements for the media-scheduling module, and work with all areas of circulation services to prepare the enhancement requests that will shape future releases of the library management software, service that requires not just analytical skills, but in-depth knowledge—based on listening, observing, and hands-on experience—of how staff and patrons actually interact with the system.

Access Services UH System Standards Committee
One of the key decisions in converting to the new library management software was to load all the library data from all campuses into one database, requiring collaboration on a new level. UH system steering committees were created for all the major modules. I served on the Circulation Steering Committee, which sought to normalize library-borrowing policies so that students, faculty, and staff on any campus could receive similar services, such as standardized loan periods and fines and fees. This goal led to new ways of doing many ordinary things. Fines, for example, could only be collected at the library where they were incurred, but with the new technology and policies, they can now be paid at any UH library.

We stressed the need for standardization to the UH Library Council, consisting of the heads of all the UH libraries, and in 2001 they appointed the UH Library Council’s Task Force on Circulation & Intersystem Loan Policy & Procedures, a select group representing the diverse policies of the UH libraries statewide, but charged with finding a common ground (http://libweb.hawaii.edu/uhmlib/libinfo/policies_circ.html). Our first step was to inventory existing policies and procedures, to find similarities, and then work on compromises in the very diverse areas. After meeting regularly for almost a year, the task force recommended a wide range of system standards (http://www.sinclair.hawaii.edu/HTML/pdf/NonUHChart.pdf).

My analytical and technical skills were a mainstay to this group, but more important was my ability to help people see each other’s viewpoints, and to seek and find similarities that may not have been obvious. My experience with this systemwide group of exceptional librarians not only provided invaluable tests of my negotiating skills and patience, but realized my vision of almost twenty years standing of having a UH library system that works with a common set of values toward the goal of providing seamless, excellent library services statewide.

WebVoyage Coordinating Committee
This committee is charged with maintaining and improving the user interface for the statewide web-based public catalog. Because of all the different patron bases being affected by this single interface, this committee is also comprised of representatives from the thirteen campuses of the UH system, and when appropriate the Hawai‘i State Archives, Kamehameha Schools, and Bishop Museum, and all decisions were reached by consensus—a task made even more challenging with the addition of cataloging and systems representatives.

On this committee I serve as the expert on request forms available through WebVoyage, the public access catalog. We use several types. Callslips are used to request materials to be pulled from the shelves and held for patrons. Bibliographic-level forms allow users to pull bibliographic information from a library record directly onto the form, as when requesting Intralibrary loans or media for classroom showing, placing items on reserve, or reporting catalog errors. I help visualize, create, and maintain how to use these forms so that the library is responsive to the needs of its users.

Copyright Working Committee
Automation and electronic resources have made the issue of copyright compliance much more than a matter of what can be photocopied. A working committee was formed to create a website that would provide sufficient information for library staff and faculty to determine whether intellectual property and fair use were being properly respected (http://libweb.hawaii.edu/uhmlib/copyright/atUH.html). My work with electronic reserves, and my up-to-date training in the College of Education, made me an invaluable member of this team of three librarians.

Professional Activities: Access Services
Sinclair Library is the only library in the state that provides all six types of access services: reserves, media scheduling, circulation, online paging, business services, and stacks maintenance. I manage these operations with a hands-on approach combining technical and humanistic skills.
Reserves may be the area that best demonstrates my professional growth. When I was in Library School in 1980, the first computer program I wrote on punch cards was to automate the SL reserve collection. The automation of reserves has come a long way technologically, but its goal is essentially the same. Faculty want students to read material that either is not available for purchase, like slides, or is cost prohibitive. For example, they may want their students to read a single chapter in several books, or they may want to provide copies of supplemental readings excerpted from books owned by the library. Often classes need to watch a film, which they can do by coming to the library to watch it as a group. The film can then be put on reserve for those students who missed class or who want to give it more study. In essence, the goal of reserves is to support instruction by holding materials in the library for students to use there. The loan periods for these materials are usually hourly, so that the whole class can share one copy.
Electronic reserve is the process of providing online access to all types of reserve materials. This online access is critical for online or hybrid courses, but it also makes access to the materials more convenient for traditional courses. I investigated, implemented, and am continually streamlining electronic reserves. I began by approaching a few faculty who regularly put sample exams and course notes on reserve, and got permission to scan these materials and convert them to Acrobat PDF format for posting through the online catalog. The PDF format was selected because it has a free, easily available reader that works on all computer platforms, and it allows for the scanned items to be printed so they look like the original material. We gradually added copyrighted materials, with faculty members responsible for determining fair use or acquiring permission. We then expanded into images for the art and architecture courses, and in 2006 I began working with music faculty to mount music files through University iTunes. Currently we can link through the reserves module to streaming videos that are on video servers maintained by other departments and institutions, and I am now planning how UHM libraries can have their own video server in the next couple of years, so that we can digitally mount videos for reserves.
Media Scheduling is the process by which faculty and students can schedule a video recording to show in class on a specific date. This procedure directly supports classroom instruction, and is a high priority for our staff. SL accepts requests online directly from UH Manoa faculty, staff, graduate students, and undergraduate students, and from the libraries of other UH campuses. Although very important to instructional faculty, these processes have always been very labor intensive for the library. Most university libraries only allow recorded media to be borrowed for classes, or to be used in the library. At UH we allow our recorded media (videotapes, DVDs, CDs, etc) to be borrowed for four-day loans by any member of the UH system. This means sometimes it is difficult to get things back for a faculty member to use in class, but since class showings are a high priority, I have worked with staff to devise many different systems to “guarantee” that the item will be ready and available when it has been scheduled. Our current software has an “integrated” module for media scheduling that alerts the library staff when circulating an item that it has been scheduled in the future. Scheduled items are put on reserve two weeks before needed, and fines for an overdue reserve item are $1 an hour—as motivation for timely returns.
Like all complicated systems, ours is not prefect. For it to work well, faculty members need to plan well in advance when they will be using an item. Because we lend throughout the state, sometimes a faculty member wants a title that has been shipped and is being used on another campus. One solution to this would be to own multiple copies of titles; a better, long-term solution would be to have digital online delivery of the titles. We are working toward that end, and in the meantime the faculty who can plan recorded media use in advance are extremely happy with our system.
Circulation includes the charging and discharging of library materials for library users, and producing fine/fee and courtesy notices. SL charges more than 150,000 items annually—approximately 25 percent of all materials charged/renewed statewide. I serve at the circulation desk weekly to keep in touch with how things are working, and to interact with both staff and patrons so that I can witness changes in expectations and needs. Because I am in charge of the matrix that controls circulation, I can often streamline processes and make mid-course corrections easily and quickly for staff. The use of an automated library management system is a dynamic process, and usually the changes that I make simply adjust things to the way people thought it should work. The only way this can happen is by my staying current with the library software updates and changes, and by actually doing the work so I can see what needs to be adjusted. When I visit other libraries around the state, I meet with the circulation staff, if they are willing, and see what I can do to help them make the system work more efficiently. I see this as both good management—working with staff with minimum interruption to smooth services—and as enjoyable, as I can adjust the computer systems to work for the staff, instead of demanding that they conform to the technology.
One simple but telling example of my managerial style involved a conversion I initiated from printed to emailed notices. It took several months for staff to get used to this idea. To facilitate the change, I investigated other libraries’ practices, and shared that information with the systemwide steering committee for circulation services. UH had recently changed to a registration and grade posting system that required all students and faculty to have a @hawaii.edu address. The expectation in the University had changed to one where email replaced many print practices. The time was right, yet the committee struggled with the idea, worried about complaints and claims that emails were never received. Initially we made email notices an option, and found most students preferred it. As people got used to the idea, it seemed increasingly natural. The transition went smoothly, and saved the library money and time because print notices no longer needed to be produced and mailed.
 Online paging is the process by which patrons request material from either the closed or open stacks, and it is retrieved and placed on hold for pickup. After attending training at the Endeavor national headquarters, where I recognized the potential of the call slip software that drives this system, I spearheaded the development of online paging at UH. We discussed introducing this process with staff and student workers, and then implemented it in a trial mode, during which I worked with graduate students from the Library School, and conducted a user survey that indicated online paging would definitely be an advantage for users who searched the catalog remotely and saw what they wanted. The question was whether it would be a problem for the people who come into the library to find materials. The survey showed that users responded positively, and that the turn around time was actually faster for in-house patrons since there are fewer errors and less time waiting in line. Conducting such surveys, and paying attention to their results, is keys to expanding the responsiveness of the library to its users.
We are now three years into this program, and have had a great deal of positive feedback. Initially we only allowed people to request materials from the closed stacks, but as of October 30, 2006, all materials from SL can be requested, and they will be pulled and held for pickup when and where it is convenient for the patron. We plan to inaugurate a delivery system to campus faculty, thereby making the library an even better supporter of campus needs.
Business services include accepting payments for fines/fees, selling debit cards, and maintaining the copy and printer equipment in the library. Because all the libraries of the University of Hawai‘i share the same database, it is critical that library users can take care of all financial transactions at any library location. I was on the committee that worked out the details of these financial agreements. Initially libraries would only take money for their own fines, but as practices were standardized, and library workers became more familiar with the new procedures, it became natural to allow library users from any UH campus to pay fines at any UH library. This process demonstrates the patience needed to create a responsive library that collaboratively builds trust to best serve the user. I could visualize how this change should happen long before it did, but I realized that it was best to introduce the new system gradually until almost everyone saw it as the natural way to do things.
Stacks maintenance is the system of keeping library materials in order, re-shelving returned materials, purchasing shelving—both compact and traditional—and labeling the stacks and shifting them when needed to accommodate uneven growth. I find that I regularly need to work with our stacks staff to concentrate on searching for missing materials. I also work on planning the shifting movement of the stacks, especially the media compact shelving closed stacks. Currently, for example, I am working on the overfilled music book closed-stacks area, revising the criteria for being in closed stacks, and then moving appropriate items to the regular stacks.
The media collection is primarily made up of videotapes, laser discs, DVDs, and compact disks. These materials are kept in staff only areas, and retrieved for the library user. This collection has grown very rapidly, and in the late 1990s it was obvious it was going to outgrow our staff only space. We had no place to grow, so I investigated alternatives, and advocated the move to compact shelving, which was done gradually over several years, a few sections at a time, until now the majority of the collection is housed in this shelving. I predicted growth, and mapped out the arrangement of the shelves that would best accommodate the workflow. I then worked with engineers, to certify that the floors at SL could support the load, and with staff and librarians to select the appropriate shelving to best accommodate the videotape, compact disc, and DVD collections.

Professional Activities:         Administration and Management
My philosophy is to work as a walk-about manager, talking to staff where they work, and reserving my office for reviews. I maintain an open door policy for my office, and try to make it a safe and welcoming place for staff to come to me with issues. In my experience, library management succeeds only if the library staff have top priority. Fortunately, I enjoy working directly with staff on all kinds of library work—one of the attractions for me of Sinclair Library is the opportunity to keep active in all aspects of library work, rather than being limited to a specific function. I have worked with this hands-on approach since my first years as Systems Librarian, and this experience has only confirmed my belief that the best way to manage is to know the work well enough to be able to understand the issues, priorities, complications, and concerns. I don’t pretend to be able to do perfectly the many tasks performed by library staff, but I do understand them well enough to be able to streamline processes as needed, and to quickly and accurately review the effect of technological advances on the current workflow.

My background in analysis, and the in-depth knowledge of hardware, software, and network information systems, coupled with a hands-on, supportive managerial philosophy, allows Sinclair Library to operate smoothly, and with a flexibility that accommodates our need to continually adjust while maintaining the highest quality of services and resources.
I schedule myself to work at our circulation and reference service desks on a regular basis to ensure that operations are running smoothly, and to facilitate the continual adjustments in service and procedures needed to stay fresh and responsive to the ever-changing educational world that frames what the library provides.

As Head of Sinclair, for example, I supervised and evaluated staff from four different bargaining units, each with different contractual requirements, converting and upgrading positions as needed. My experience as Head of Library Systems prepared me well to perform these tasks, as I have adjusted to various procedures for staff evaluation over the last twenty-four years. APT positions, for instance, have been converted into a new system with levels or bands and a totally online review process, and to cite just one example, I worked with library administration to convert the Sinclair Library media specialist from band A to band B, and have worked regularly to get merit increases for this outstanding employee.

I remain dedicated to my role as supervisor. When I was on my 2005–2006 sabbatical, instead of delegating this responsibility, I continued to monitor and advise via email, and came into the library to conduct performance reviews on our normal schedule. In addition to supervising full-time employees, I manage the training of the student workers at SL. In fact, I have created interactive tools and handouts to help with training (http://www.sinclair.hawaii.edu/HTML/about/training.html), and meet regularly with staff to review the training process. Sinclair Library regularly hires about forty students to perform duties ranging from stacks maintenance, to working at the business window, to preservation work (mold busters), to updating the website. The majority of the time the public is dealing directly with student employees. They are the face of the library, and to have great library services, you need to have workers who are well trained and who have the support of the staff. I am particularly committed to ensuring the highest quality of student workers, and highest possible support for the staff that train them. My thesis for my Master’s in Educational Technology is, in fact a case study examining the training of student workers at the University of Hawai‘i libraries. I examined techniques used at the UH community college libraries, and then shared what I had learned through my thesis, delivering numerous presentations on this topic. The full text of that work is available at http://www2.hawaii.edu/~rmq, and a hard copy is included in the supplemental material.

Professional Activities: Administration and Management: Serials Linking
Sinclair Library houses older, bound periodical titles from various Hamilton collections, and we hire and manage “preservation students” to keep these materials clean. These periodicals also circulate from SL, and to facilitate circulation we link the periodicals when they are used and as time allows. I worked with the Head of Serials to create online tutorials that train workers to link the titles. An online version of the tutorial is located at http://www.sinclair.hawaii.edu/HTML/about/tutorials.html, and a PDF version is available at http://www.sinclair.hawaii.edu/HTML/pdf/Serials%20Linking.pdf

Professional Activities: Administration and Management: Cataloging
Among other items, the Wong Audiovisual collection houses video recordings about Hawai‘i that are recorded from television, as selected by the Hawaiian Media Librarian, who then pursues copyright permission to retain them in the collection. This librarian works with the media specialist who does the actual recording and copying. My responsibility is to make sure that the technical issues are handled smoothly and efficiently, such as creating templates or transferring files. I have served on the selection committee for this position, and have also served as the day-to-day supervisor when appropriate, and have been instrumental in many of the decisions designed to develop a workflow that allows patrons to access these materials quickly and easily.

Professional Activities: Administration and Management: Flood 2004
On October 30, 2004, a river of water flowed through the basement of Hamilton Library, wiping out collections, materials processing areas, and computer rooms with servers and network hubs, and greatly compromising the air conditioning, electrical, and network infrastructure. Two years later we still have not recovered. The day after the disaster struck, I was on the scene, helping cope with the waters and mud, and keeping Sinclair Library open with expanded services and hours, since we escaped the destruction. On the day after the flood, I met with the Associate University Librarian for Information Technology, and offered him space in Sinclair Library that could reasonably accommodate a computer server room and the displaced system office staff. My position as Sinclair Library Manager of Operations, and background in information systems and library management, allowed me to understand quickly and clearly how to accomplish what was needed—for my library colleagues, and for the University as a whole. When the Head of Sinclair library returned, he fully supported my work and decisions, and encouraged me to ensure that operations continued and prospered.

As the former Head of Library Automated Systems, I was uniquely aware of what would be needed, and the importance of immediately starting the recovery process. With my cooperation, and physical, logistical, and moral support, and shared knowledge of library management and disaster recovery, the Library Systems office was up and running a week after the disaster. The Sinclair Library staff was willing to share all the resources needed to help the displaced staff, equipment, and collections. My technical knowledge, coupled with human concern, management skills, and willingness to work beyond expectations in the face of the unexpected made a huge difference in how well the library handled the problems facing the entire campus when access to research materials was so severely compromised. We recreated the Hamilton Library systems office in the basement of Sinclair, the oldest library on campus, and greatly expanded the ITS CLIC lab in Sinclair, making room for the working library computers from Hamilton’s inaccessible public areas. The goal again was to manage the depleted resources for the betterment of the campus community, since the flood had decommissioned so many computer labs.

One of the most common questions following the flood was why it was taking so long to test the electrical systems and reopen the library. To help understand this dilemma, I worked with a retired librarian to create, and make available electronically, the story “Subbasements” (see supporting material), so people could better understand why it took months for the library to reopen. Taking this initiative is emblematic of one of the most important roles I have assumed throughout my career: helping people from all backgrounds understand complicated or technical issues. It is often difficult for people of diverse backgrounds and skills to understand each other’s viewpoints, and one of the best accomplishments of a successful manager is to learn as much as possible to help others make connections and enable everyone to do more. The work I do individually makes a difference, but the way I try to act with respect and admiration even for those with whom I strongly disagree makes an even more positive difference—reflected in Sinclair Library’s status as a fun place to be, and it’s the new focus to become the Student Success Center.

The computer systems finally came back up to full capacities only after many weeks of using a database without current data. I initiated one way to recover from the lost data by helping to devise a manual system to extend loans. While at first this seems ironically to be the opposite of my career path—using technology to improve the library experience for staff and patrons—it actually reflects my understanding of the meaning and value of technology. At that post-flood moment, the best technology for the tasks at hand were paper and pencil, and as a good manager it was my role to enable that flexible response, suited to that particular time.

Another very important job was to comfort the faculty, staff, and students whose lives were disrupted by the flood. HL was closed until January 2005, so we at SL housed the HL books being returned, provided extended hours, and worked with ITS to provide an expanded computer lab. A paging system was set up for HL books, enabling patrons to pick them up at Sinclair. Reserves materials were expanded to accommodate HL reference materials regularly used by classes. We worked long and hard, and with a great sense of camaraderie, to do all we could to provide the campus with library services even though HL was closed. During these months, we provided jobs for displaced HL staffers. HL and SL circulation staff normally work closely together, but during this time HL staff moved on site to help, particularly with the business procedures. Library System staff were provided with office space and a computer server room, and two years later are still in SL. Government Documents staff were also provided with office space and room to start the re-building of the collection. Government documents is still in SL, and will remain for at least three more years. Reflecting its management’s position, the SL Staff all remain on the same page, happy to make room for and support our neighbors.

 

Professional Activities: Collection Development
Since 1994 I have been responsible for the selection and management of general reference materials, including dictionaries, style guides, almanacs, and other general use materials. From 1999 to 2005 I was responsible for purchasing print and electronic reserves—materials requested by faculty to be used by students in direct support of their courses. These materials come from a broad range of disciplines, and may be in almost any format, from DVD to books to digital music or images. I only deal with direct orders. Books requested by faculty and students, as well as titles that librarians identify from society publications or other advertisements, are ordered through BNA or directly from publishers.

Professional Activities:         Reference Service
Sinclair Library provides reference services through scheduled hours at the reference desk, by working one-on-one with patrons, and in response to email and telephone inquiries, and we are currently implementing QuestionPoint, a reference chat service. I am responsible for scheduling the reference desk and training our library interns. I also create finding tools for Sinclair Library.

I continue to enjoy, and value, providing excellent reference service, whether answering questions at our reference desk, through email, or by keeping the website current. Our department averages about 5,000 inquiries per year. Common questions have to do with finding video materials to support a student presentation or faculty instruction, but the variety of specialized reference questions demands a wide-ranging knowledge. Our patrons range from senior auditors to the University of Hawai‘i community of researchers, faculty, graduate, and undergraduate students, and I look forward to bringing all my knowledge and skills to this service for the benefit of our diverse community.

I also greatly value the opportunity to combine my technical expertise and reference experience to provide the library with new services quickly and easily. This year we will inaugurate QuestionPoint, a new reference service that allows UH library patrons to request online chat reference sessions. I will serve as an administrator and librarian participant for this service.
Public service begins with knowing your clientele by direct experience. The more one can share in their experiences, the more one can know their concerns. I have done this by continually taking courses, enrolling as a graduate student, lecturing and working directly with instructors, and meeting patrons’ needs by being there to answer questions in the library, by phone, email, and, in late 2006, via “chat.” Researcher and student expectations are driving us to create better and more diverse ways to provide the needed services across the hours of a student’s study day. As one example of our use of technology to respond to patron needs, one day a patron approached the reference desk and reported that she had tried to request music books to be pulled and held like video/music titles. We did not provide this service, but after discussion with various stakeholders—administration, staff, student workers, other librarians—we could see this as a service we could provide with very little additional burden. Getting things for people when asked can even result in the shelves staying in more accurate sequence. When in the shelves, we scan the area generally, and do not need to disturb things to locate what is needed. Within six weeks of a patron’s question, a new service was available.

Professional Activities:         Instructional Service: Bibliographical Classes
I develop and teach classes on how to use the Internet for research, how to use the library catalog, how to make the most of search engines, website evaluation, and supervision of hands-on practice. I have taught this for all levels from undergraduate to faculty. The increase of digital resources has increased the need to guide users in selecting and using electronic catalogs and databases. I advise students which resources would be appropriate for their research, suggesting criteria for evaluating the quality and usefulness of sources, and explaining the availability of the Library’s resources.

Professional Activities:         Summary
As documented in this application, my professional activities demonstrate increasing productivity, professional maturity, and competent independent judgment in the performance of my duties. I have successfully organized, implemented, and evaluated major programs, services, and technology. Taking the lead, for example, in development and implementation of electronic reserves; in the expansion of patron initialed services such as request forms and self-checkout; and in the training of library employees.  The academic and professional leadership I show as chair and participant on UH, Hawai‘i, national, and international library organizations and committees inspires resource sharing among my library colleagues around the world, and assists non-library professional colleagues in their research and scholarship. In all these activities, I continue to champion technology for the people.