Also known as: Why You Should Advocate for Time-Saving Solutions

I arrived at Goldey-Beacom College in November 2010, after working for a short period of time at Widener University as a part-time reference librarian, after moving from Claremont, California to Delaware in February 2010. Not only was the move, culturally, as being a boot wearing, cowboy hat, Zane Grey and Louis L’Armour reading aficionado, Westerner, challenging, but so was the transition to new a discipline challenging as well. At the Claremont University Consortium– a small nationally ranked private college, I served as a Special Collections (Western Americana Manuscripts) librarian.  Upon my employment as the full-time librarian at Goldey-Beacom College–a small regional private college in the mid-Atlantic— I served as a full-time librarian with responsibility for all aspects of the library but without the authority and support of the academic affairs department, which most academic libraries report to, but with the supervision of the Dean of Students, who was put in charge of the library due to her non-traditional supervisory role of student affairs, campus store, food service and athletics.

My first task upon being hired at Goldey-Beacom College was to count by hand the number of print periodicals we owned.  Her reasoning was the other full-time librarian (the serials librarian) had miscounted the volume count two years earlier when the college sought re-accreditation by Middle States.  I asked if we had Serial Solutions—which provides e-resource access and management services to libraries. She said no. I then requested if we could get Serial Solutions so we could use the numbers reported by this tool as a benchmark. She agreed but indicated that she would need to review a proposal. In this proposal I explained the advantages of using a tool that was considered an industry standard and the space we could save by using the overlap analysis tool, which showed the percentage of our e-resources that we owned in-print and we held electronically.  I also met with my supervisor daily explaining the process of using industry standard tools.

As we waited to acquire Serial Solutions at the start of the new fiscal year, my staff and I counted by hand the print periodicals which took a full seven months (on top of other duties) until July.  In July, the library acquired Serial Solutions.  Immediately, we ran the overlap analysis report which showed us our electronic holdings, which took us about half a day.

Because of this report, we started to recycle the print periodicals that we held in duplicate with our electronic holdings.  Five years later, the space we saved by recycling over 90 % of the print periodicals was used to add more computers in the library and a handicap seating table with a computer.

Through this process, I learned that when reporting to a new supervisor (regardless of level) with limited experience working in the library field monthly reports, daily meetings, and patience pays off.  The library was able to acquire the new e-resource and access management tool that saved my staff a lot of time.