Back when we were all younger and in elementary school, our first task when we returned to school was to write an essay entitled “What I Did On My Summer Vacation.” Those days are long gone for us now, but I hope you will indulge me while I relate what we did in the library during the summer. Summer is a time when we try to work on projects that we cannot spend time on during the academic year. It also if often a time of surprise. This year it was both for us in the library.
During the 2013-14 academic year the decision was made to move the Solution Center into Thomas Library. The Solution Center is the computer and technology help center operated by Wittenberg’s Information Technology Services. It had been located in the lower level of Synod Hall; now they are located on the main floor of Thomas Library in the area formerly occupied by Audio-Visual Services. You can find them by going through the openings in the brick wall in the Library atrium, turn left and go past the restrooms.
Another change is that the Audio-Visual Services department has been dissolved by a number of staff changes. Lyn McCurdy, Director of A/V Services, retired at the end of June 2014 and he will not be replaced. Other retirements in Thomas Library, Sandy Smith-Spencer and Wendy Rank, necessitated changes as well, so the staff members of the Audio-Visual Services department have been absorbed into other Library departments.
Betsy Dean is now located at the main library circulation desk. She still has responsibility for the media library (DVD/VHS/CD) and the circulation of equipment to users. Betsy is also still the main person for requests to purchase media such as DVDs, CDs and the like. Linn Bobo is now in the Technical Services department of Thomas Library. She handles our journals and periodicals and still manages the wide-format printing operation. Ray Jones, Audio-Visual Technician, now reports to IT’s as a member of the classroom technology support operation.
The Curriculum Resource Center, located on the third floor of Thomas Library, has been undergoing a major change this summer. Led by two education majors, Maggie Huffman and Kara Snyder, the project has been very extensive with changes in how the collection is organized and shelved. You will notice the large, over-sized materials are now on wall shelving and a range of tall shelves has been removed; new short shelving will be installed in their place. Finally, Carly Sparrow, a 2014 graduate, has spent much of her summer painting a mural on a wall that will provide a more welcoming entry point to the CRC.
As if those changes would not be enough for a normal summer, on June 22, 2014, Thomas Library suffered its second catastrophic flood in six months. Following on the heels of the January 2014 inundation library staff arrived at work on Sunday afternoon and found two to three inches of water on the third floor of the part of the library under the chapel. Water flowed down to the second floor and ultimately to the first floor where the Group Study Lab was waterlogged. Thousands of books were water-damaged and destroyed. With a lot of help from Physical Plant and WFF (housekeeping staff), the water was removed and we were able to get the carpet dried out. Many ceiling tiles are still missing, but those damaged areas of the library are now open for business (with the exception of the Group Study Lab).
It has been an exciting summer. I did actually get away for a few days up in Michigan and spent three days playing some very bad golf. We fed a lot golf balls to the woods and water golf gods up there.
So, if you are a first-year student, welcome! If you are a returning student, welcome back to Wittenberg! We are glad you are here and we look forward to seeing you in the Library.