Compass is an archive of Library news from 2005 - 2008. For the latest Library news check the Library Blogs.
Compass Newsletter Masthead
   Volume III, Issue 4
April 2007   

Access and User Assistance

Teresa Bowden and Luisa Cywinski
The recent implementation of a new organizational model meant moving away from the traditional model of compartmentalized library departments to a team-oriented structure. The result is new management roles for some and new job descriptions for most!

Teresa Bowden and Luisa Cywinski are the new team leaders of Access and User Assistance (AUA). They are striving to cross-train a team of full-time, part-time and student staff members in all areas of the teamís purview. They are fortunate to have an excellent group of people who can incorporate new expectations and services into their already impressive repertoire. Many AUA team members were brought together from various library public service areas and have learned about and improved upon their new areas of responsibility.

The Interlibrary Loan, Course Reserves, Information Desk and Circulation services are now combined to form a single service point near Falvey's front entrance. Circulation includes the retrieval and lending of books, periodicals, videos, DVDs, laptops, laptop peripherals and course reserves, as well as managing the group study rooms.

Interlibrary loan requests continue to challenge the AUA staff who find books, articles, videos, and dissertations from all over the world to satisfy the research needs of Villanova University patrons. In addition, ILL also provides a valuable service to faculty who need photocopied articles from the Falvey collection delivered to their University doorstep.

Course Reserves has worked closely with UNIT to streamline the processing of electronic reserve requests.

The Information Desk is the first visual point of service that patrons encounter. AUA staff are scheduled there for two or three hour shifts on weekdays, evenings and weekends. If the staff at the Information Desk canít assist the patron adequately within the first few minutes, they will refer the patron to a librarian on duty at the Research Desk, just steps away.

Each team member has a primary responsibility to one of these services but also has time assigned to another library team, such as Publications, the Digital Library or Resource Management. Three key AUA people, supervisors of part-time and student staff, are Gerald Dierkes, Domenick Liberato and Donna Kern, who are often present to provide help at the Information Desk. Lee Murphy, the primary contact for faculty placing materials on reserve for their courses, also makes a significant contribution to the Information Desk and to the Digital Library team. Bill Greene, with his experience in organizing and maintaining the Periodical collections, is now lending his talents to interlibrary loan. The primary ILL experts are Ann Stango and Joanne Quinn, who also cheerfully contribute some time each week at the Information and Circulation desks.

Other AUA staff members share their skills with other library teams. These commitments range from public service to technical service to graphic and Web design. Library staff who have primary responsibility to AUA are Ward Barnes, Liz Bell, Julia Canonica, Donna Chadderton, Lois Dickinson, Jim Fox, Marie Humbert, Jim McAleer and Phil Mairs.

Contributed by Luisa Cywinski; photograph by Laura Hutelmyer