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Towers Newsletter of the Library Associates of the University of Idaho Library Winter 2013

Volume 16, Issue 4

Inside this issue:

Student library job is catalyst for career success

Student Success........................... 1

The University of Idaho Library’s mission has always been student success, and for more than a century the library has provided jobs to countless students to help them achieve their goals.

Library Briefs............................ ..3 Dean’s Corner.............................. 4

Last spring, when UI Law School Dean Don Burnett took over as interim president of the university, we learned that his mother once worked in the UI Library. Burnett, citing his lifelong devotion as a Vandal, often mentions his mother’s 35 cents an hour library job that helped Burnett’s young University of Idaho sophomore Mary Ortman parents survive the Great Depression. Back assists a student at the circulation desk. then, the library was housed on the second floor of the Administration Building, where it remained until a new facility was completed in 1957.

Ways to Give.............................. 4

Library Colleagues....................... .2

Important Gift Processing Deadlines - Year End uidahofoundation/giftadministration/ yearendgiftdeadlines

Today, the library is still a place where students can work to supplement their incomes and reduce loan debt. But according to many past and present library student workers, their jobs provide them with much more. In addition to the opportunity to build a resume for employment after graduation, the benefits they often receive are habits for a lifetime — time management skills, a strong work ethic, and self confidence. Skills for the future Mary Ortman and Dan Geidl, two of the 37 students in the library’s current workforce, know they are gaining more than a paycheck. Ortman, a sophomore from Post Falls, Idaho, began shelving books last year as a freshman and has since been promoted to the circulation desk. “I spent a lot of time in the library growing up, so this is where I wanted to work on campus. It’s a pretty cool place,” she said. “My job here has taught me a lot about how to balance school and work, because I can’t do my school work until all my tasks at the circulation desk are complete.” Geidl, a junior from Troy, Idaho, sees another benefit of his library job. “This job is an important stepping stone to my career,” said the aspiring filmmaker. “I’ve learned to interact with lots of different types of people, which has really improved my communication skills.” 875 Perimeter Dr. 2350 Moscow, ID 83844-2350 Phone: (208) 885-6534 Email:

Workplace success Brian Henry ‘11, an architectural specifier for a Seattle firm, is one of many former student workers who have been successful in the workplace after graduation. continued on page two


“Student Library Job,” continued from page one

Library was being part of a team that supports a community. I really believe that people make the difference in whether and how libraries will continue to be relevant,” he said.

Henry found that his library job experience improved his chances with potential employers. “Because I was surrounded by the library’s resources every day I had a better chance than most students to become familiar using them,” he said. “Things like interlibrary loan and online access to periodicals became essential to research projects throughout my education,” he said.

Love of public service Other student workers have chosen to continue working in the library after graduation and say they jumped at the chance to apply when a more permanent job became available. All credit their library jobs for fostering a love of public service.

“When I interviewed for my current position at the architecture firm, they asked about my library job and the research methods I was exposed to there. Many of my current duties focus on researching architectural materials and construction means and methods. My library job experience has helped me succeed.”

“I had been disenchanted by my prospects for not only finding a job in the field of my degree but finding one that I would really enjoy, so I consider myself extremely fortunate that a staff position opened up,” said Amy Thompson ‘04, an assistant in Special Collections. Thompson says she loves assisting students. “It’s a great feeling when you can help a student find the perfect resource for their project,” she said.

Stacy Rauch ‘08 said her library experience, plus the solid references she acquired while working there, paved the way for her current job in the UI Electrical and Computer Engineering department. The self-identified “proud Vandal” said, “I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity that working in the library as a student employee afforded me.”

Zanna Schultz ‘08 agrees. “My experiences as a student worker definitely helped me develop a passion for helping people, which led me to apply for the job I have now in Interlibrary Loan,” she said.

Library careers Some student workers have made the library profession their careers. They include Gary Strong, Ben Hunter ‘00, Richard Counsil ‘11, and many more.

Future impact “Working in the library instilled a heightened sense of responsibility,” said Jesse Thomas ‘03, who now heads the library’s Interlibrary Loan department. “A lot has changed in libraries over the past ten years. It has been exciting to witness those changes firsthand. I look forward to seeing what’s around the next corner.”

Strong, chairman of UI Library Advisory Board, says he knew growing up in the small town of Potlatch, Idaho that he wanted to be a librarian, so he sought library work as a UI undergrad and as a University of Michigan grad student. Highlights from Strong’s career include serving as State Librarian of California and then as Dean of the UCLA Libraries until his retirement last year.

Regardless of the changes, two things are certain: the library will continue to provide jobs and internships that help students acheive their goals, and this dynamic student workforce will continue to make an impact on the library.

Hunter, head of the library’s Cataloging and Collections department, had already completed a master’s degree in music when he decided to pursue a career as a music librarian. He says the idea would never have occurred to him had it not been for his student job. “Working here introduced me to the public service aspect of , and that’s why I decided to be a librarian,” he said.

“These students are vital to our team and the effectiveness of our entire operation,” said Judy Bielenberg, the library’s student coordinator. “We simply could not function without them.”

Counsil, a librarian at the Seattle Public Library, said that “without a doubt” his student library job experience influenced his career choice. “The greatest value of my work in the UI

Editor’s Note: Were you part of the library team as a student? If so, please let us know. We’d love to stay in touch!

Former University Library team members remembered fondly by colleagues The lives and work of two former UI Library team members will long be remembered by their University of Idaho Library colleagues, said Dean Lynn Baird. Lily Wai died September 7 in Seattle, nine years after her original lung cancer diagnosis. “Lily pioneered the future of libraries,” said Baird. “Her vision of the library and the importance of making publicly funded research results accessible to all launched INISDE Idaho, the state’s digital geospatial and statistical data clearinghouse. Lily’s leadership and courage to act positioned the University of Idaho Library at the forefront of the exciting world of data management. We are indebted to her.” Harley Wright died October 14 in Moscow after a battle with cancer. Harley joined the library staff in 1983 and advanced to run the cataloging department before her retirement in 2003.


“Harley was an integral member of our staff who, through her graciousness and good humor, helped coordinate important technical service functions for a number of years. A caring colleague, Harley always sought to create and maintain a harmonious workplace,” Baird said. Wai’s family requests that memorial Lily Wai donations go to support INSIDE Idaho through the University of Idaho Foundation at http:// Wright’s family has established the Harley Wright Arboretum Memorial Fund for a special planting project in her honor.

Briefly . . . •

Emerging Leader

• Cathy Merickel

For the fourth consecutive year, a University of Idaho librarian has received national recognition with acceptance into the American Library Association’s (ALA) prestigious Emerging Leaders program. Annie Gaines, Scholarly Communications Librarian, has been selected as one of 56 participants from all over the United States for the ALA’s Class of 2014 Emerging Leaders. Kathleen Monks was selected in 2013, Kristin Henrich in 2012, and Ben Hunter in 2011. Gaines’ participation was sponsored by ALA’s Library and Information Technology Association (LITA).

GIS Librarian Bruce Godfrey is now GIS Librarian. Previously a UI Library Research Associate for INSIDE Idaho, Godfrey recently earned his MLIS from the University of North Texas. “Bruce has been instrumental in the success of INSIDE Idaho, and we are delighted to welcome him to our faculty in this newly created position,” said Dean Lynn Baird.

Cathy Merickel, administrative assistant to Dean Lynn Baird, will retire at the end of this year after more than 33 years of service to the University of Idaho. A UI graduate, Cathy has been an indispensable part of the library’s administration office since 2008 and will be greatly missed. Her retirement will no doubt be active. In addition to spending time with her family, including two grandchildren, Cathy enjoys working with textiles and fiber arts, including quilting, crocheting, spinning and weaving. She and her husband, Frank, a university entomologist, are also avid bee keepers.

• Worldwide GIS/CI Day

Bruce Godfrey Ben Bright (above left), a recent UI graduate who is now a geographer with the U.S. Forest Service, gives a presentation on data visualization using the IQ Station, a virtual reality tool which University of Idaho researchers can use to interact with complex datasets in three dimensions.

Primo Search System At the end of 2013, the library will launch a new search system called Primo. The system will strengthen the library’s ability to serve the research needs of students and faculty. With Primo, UI Library users can search the collections of 36 other academic libraries across the Northwest, including the University of Washington, Washington State University, and the University of Oregon. The new system makes available more than 8.8 million titles and 26 million resources.

More than 50 members of the campus community stopped by the library on November 20 to learn more about geographic information systems (GIS) technology and cyber infrastructure (CI) technology as the University of Idaho Library hosted its fourth annual GIS/CI Day celebration.

Research Colloquium

A dozen students, faculty, and staff from across campus gave presentations covering a wide variety of GIS and CI-related topics, focusing on real world applications that are making a difference in society. Members of the UI Geography Club staffed an interactive display in the library foyer, generating interest in the club’s activities from fellow students. The free event was part of a worldwide celebration to increase understanding and knowledge of GIS and CI technology.

The library’s historical Vandal Athletics resources, including the Vandal Video Collection and the Football Gameday Program Covers Collection,were explored in UI Library Research Colloquium on November 1. Presenters were Devin Becker, Digital Initiatives Librarian, Garth Reese, Head of Special Collections and Archives, and Jordan Wrigley, a researcher for the university’s 125th anniversary committee. 2014 calendars of the gameday program covers, which span the years 1908 to 1967, were sold for $12 following the presentation. If you would like to order one, email

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Dean’s Corner: Ensuring student success This issue of Towers highlights some of our outstanding student workforce, past and present. They are a tremendous source of pride for the library. As we move into the future, we know that in funding student workers, we are impacting lives.

For more information on giving options and ensuring your gift is used exactly the way you want it to be, contact Dean Lynn Baird at (208) 885-6534. • Cash Gifts • Planned Giving

Because we constantly strive to facilitate student success, we offer paid library jobs and internships that position our students for success in the workplace after graduation.

Your contributions to the Dean’s Excellence Fund will help pay for these much needed upgrades. Although we don’t know the exact cost, an estimate for approximately ninety new workstations for the ITS computers, additional scanning stations and technological equipment is around $25,000. These necessary improvements will also provide a face lift for our first floor.

• In-kind Gifts (Materials and Personal Collections) • Tax Benefits Appreciated Assets • Memorial or Honorary Gifts For more information, please visit: Dr. Lynn Baird, Library Dean

This holiday season as we take time to reflect on our blessings, we think of you. We are grateful for the support that your donations provide to the library and its students. Your gifts fund futures. In 2014, the University of Idaho and its library will celebrate 125 years of changing lives. Please give to ensure that another generation of University of Idaho students will have the best library possible.

Contact us at to learn how your donation can sponsor an edition of the Gem of the Mountains Digital Yearbooks.

875 Perimeter Dr., 2350 Moscow, ID 83844-2350 Phone: (208) 885-6534 Email:

Another piece of the library’s contribution to student success is providing University of Idaho students with the best learning environment we can offer. For this reason, ITS and the library are working together to upgrade the first floor computer lab facility, the largest on campus, to provide cutting edge learning resources.

Ways to Give

Towers - University of Idaho Newsletter - Vol. 16, Issue 4 (2013)  

Official newsletter of the University of Idaho Library