Ramaker Library, Annual Report 2009-2010


It was with great pleasure and anticipation that I made the transition from Pittsburgh to Orange City to become Director of Ramaker Library this past year. Now that the transition is complete, it is time to assess all the places we as a staff have been and the things we have done over the past year.

2009-2010 represented a transitional year for Ramaker Library and its dedicated staff. Not only did the Learning Commons Task Force transform the previous plans for a new building into an even more exciting concept, a search for a new library director was completed under the steady hand of Dr. Doug Anderson, Interim Library Director and Professor of History. The search concluded successfully in March of 2009 and the Imagine Campaign for a new Learning Commons went public in August.

Amidst all of this activity, Dr. Anderson and the staff found time to enhance both the library's collections and the comfortable seating it offers. Archival documents were digitized, books and journals were added, and more behind-the-scenes changes that improve the overall library experience were made. In response to the 2008-2009 student survey, the director and staff worked hard to improve the quantity and quality of furniture that students find in the library. A study room, study areas, and more than a dozen soft seats were added as part of what we hope is an ongoing effort to improve the comfort and feel of Ramaker Library.

The year ahead holds much promise, as we will mark the beginning of a new cycle of planning to prepare for the transition from Ramaker Library to a new Learning Commons facility. The new building will represent a wonderful opportunity to ask the really hard questions about the role the library plays at NWC, and we are excited to begin the process of envisioning how we can serve our community in a Learning Commons.

In this annual report, you will find information on our efforts to engage in outreach, develop the collections, improve the comfort of the library, understand more about our patrons, and preserve the collections in our care.

Thanks are due to the hard work and special efforts made by all the staff over the past year. Dr. Anderson's excellent leadership helped us move forward through challenging times; Anne Mead's service as Assistant Director was essential to the day-to-day successes of the library; Anita Vogel ensured reference and liaison services were top-notch, as always; Denise Sneller's contributions guaranteed that, among others, knowledgeable and helpful work study students greeted patrons at the Circulation Desk; Sherri Langton's technical expertise was vital to continuing to offer a first-class library database; Heather Sas was up to speed as our new Acquisitions Coordinator in no time and made sure books and media were processed in a timely manner; likewise, Kalie Vanderzyen learned the ins and outs of life as our ILL coordinator in short order and has since kept her work study students busy helping with ILL orders, and; Greta Grond has been instrumental in helping Ramaker make the leap to Web 2.0 library services, and her web design and writing skills are to thank for such an appealing annual report.

Tim Schlak, Library Director