"The miracle is this – the more we share the more we have."
Leonard Nimoy (20th century American actor, film director, poet, singer and photographer.)
Don't you think this is the perfect quote for a person who works in the library? I currently work in the Access Services department at the library, doing both interlibrary loan and circulation. (See bottom section for an explanation of what that involves.) In the larger library world I participate as Chair of the Resource Sharing Committee for the South Central Regional Library Council and in a variety of activities as part of the IDS Project.
It feels as if I just began yesterday, though I took my first steps on the library services path in 1995. I started out as a student assistant while getting my undergraduate degree, which has been followed by various positions as volunteer and employee in Science, Art and Public libraries. As a volunteer I have helped out at the local Tompkins County Public library, in the circulation department and in running their Game Time program for kids.
Finally a shameless and self-serving plug! It is great working in Access Services at the library, whether you are a staff member like me, or a student employee.
Working in Access Services at the library
My regular circulation duty is in the early part of the day. Want to get into the library first thing Monday morning during the summer, or one of the other breaks? You will see me opening the doors at 7:30. I also am the gatekeeper Tuesday to Friday too. This changes for the Spring and Fall semesters when the library is open 24x5 (24 hours a day 5 days a week). Then, you can enter the library at midnight, or even 3 and 6 am, if you want to.
I also supervise the circ desk. When a student at the circ desk finds they are having difficulty helping a patron between 7:30 and 8:30 am they turn to me. Troubleshooting library equipment (printers, copiers, the microform scanner) and explaining library policies are just two of the ways I can assist. I also step in at other times during the day, as needed.
For interlibrary loan (ILL) I focus on lending. (My co-worker Sarah does ILL borrowing.) Interlibrary loan is the sharing of library materials between libraries. Library materials can be journal articles, audiovisual materials like movies or music, books, and microfilm. We borrow materials from other libraries to support the needs of the Ithaca College community. To help pay for all this borrowing we lend what we own to other libraries. Also, by sharing we end up creating a larger pool of resources for the Ithaca College family. Remember what Leonard Nimoy said about sharing and having? If you don't re-read the quote at the top.
I also help manage the delivery of books to staff/faculty on campus. To assist in this and all other interlibrary loan (ILL) tasks we have several ILL student assistants during the academic semesters. When the ILL students are not around the circulation desk student assistants are very helpful. Access Services works well together as a team.