Who Are We?

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February 11, 2020

Who Are We?

We are librarians, staff members, and student workers. Together, we keep the library open 83-hours per week for study, research, and collaboration. We are open 7 days per week and have approximately 15,000 visitors each week of the academic year.  Mondays and Wednesdays are the busiest days. The noon hour is by far the busiest time of day when 400-500 students enter the building.

The Luria Library has tens of thousands of books in the library with an even larger portion available online (ebooks). In addition to books, the library provides access to dozens of proprietary databases. These databases offer access to newspapers, journals, magazines, images, videos. A significant portion of the library budget is devoted to paying for these databases so students can research without cost, from anywhere in the world. Another collection we maintain is the Reserves Collection. Here students will find the majority of class textbooks and learning materials (such as bones for anatomy study) plus portable computers, calculators, headphones, charging cables, and more. Students can normally check these out for 3-hours at a time.

What do our librarians do? By far the most satisfying part of the job is working one-on-one with students. We will spend time with you to complete research, find materials, and answer just about any question you can throw at us. In addition to these individual encounters, we also teach classes when invited by instructors. Perhaps you’ve had one of these sessions? We spend an hour or two with a class and tailor our resources to align with your assignment. Beyond these direct instruction opportunities, librarians also work to maintain the collections by reviewing for outdated materials and identifying and adding new materials. This is an ongoing effort. New materials are added by our cataloger by maintaining the Library Catalog (tool used to find materials in our collection). Without this critical step, the materials we have wouldn’t be so easy to find and use in your assignments. Librarians also maintain our website, do outreach to students and faculty, create partnerships across campus, and develop programming that encourages learning and discovery.

What do our staff do? The staff may be most frequently encounterd employees when a student use the library. Working at the Check Out desk, they circulate the Reserves Collection as well the main book collection and periodicals. This is a busy desk with dozens of interactions each hour the library is open. Staff also maintain the magazine and book collections so when you look for a book or magazine it is where it’s expected to be. Without this effort, students wouldn’t be able to find what they are looking for in the library. It is also the staff who know when books are checked out and who will follow-up with students when something is past due. One staff member does all the ordering and processing of new materials for the book collection.

The student workers fill two specific needs. First, they serve as Library Tutors who assist students with computer, printing, and scanning needs. They are the skilled workers to turn to when struggling with a technology need. Second, they serve as backup support at the busy Check Out desk. This helps keep the lines short so you can get right to work on studying or research. We couldn’t be a full-service library without our critically important student workers.

No matter the day or the hour, there is always at least one librarian and one staff member on duty. Librarians are who you turn to when needing to complete research or a class assignment. Staff are who you turn to for checking out materials or using our Reserve Collection. 

And everyone working in the library has one main goal in mind: helping students be successful with their academic goals.