Booth adds over 500 new items

Kennedy Nolen, Multicultural Reporter

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Booth Library added over 500 items to its collection last month, including books, videos, DVDs, e-books and movies, which are all available to stream.

Karen Whisler, head of collection management services, said the staff of Booth puts out a notice of new items in each month’s newsletter, because the library is constantly receiving new books and items.

“This month, it was over 500. It can be more,” Whisler said. “We are still a little bit in the shadow of the budget crisis, and we are not quite back up to speed ordering materials.”

Booth also has government documents available.

“We have a federal depository and a state depository. So that means we get shipments of documents from the state of Illinois or the federal government in Washington, D.C. Those also require cataloging,” Whisler said.

She said the release of classified John F. Kennedy documents this week might be available in Booth, depending on how they are released.

The documents, which are about the investigation into Kennedy’s assassination, are set to be released to the public on Thursday according to USA Today.

Whisler said it might be something the staff in Booth pursues in making sure there was a link available.

Books for a Kindle or iPad are also available to download on Booth’s website.

Videos are available to stream from Alexander Street Video or Kanopy on Booth’s site as well.

“We try to anticipate what we know or what we think students might be working on, current history, politics, research of all kinds,” Whisler said.

She said there are multiple streams of materials coming into the library, whether it is items that are purchased or donated. When faculty members retire or downsize their collections, some tend to donate books, Whisler said.

The staff in the library then processes the items to see if they are something that can be put in the collection or put in the book sale. The money from the book sale is used to purchase specific items for the library.

“We get new things every day,” Whisler said.

A lot of the items are electronic. Whisler said most of the journals are electronic, and they also pass through cataloging to get added.

“We also are buying more electronic books, as we have more online classes where students don’t actually come to campus, so the book is available to them,” Whisler said.

The acquisitions department handles the purchase orders and receive the new materials as they come in, including gifted materials.

Whisler said the staff members in the acquisitions department are also in charge of taking the purchase order to the business office so everything is paid for.

Twelve bibliographers, who specialize in subject areas, go through the gifted material to sort them, she said.

As the new items come in, they need to be put into the system. The staff in cataloging services does the actual cataloging of each item.

“It is like a long queue or pipeline,” Whisler said. “Things come from acquisitions, then get into the cataloging pipeline. They (catalog) them as they come in the department, unless there is a rush on them.”

Whisler said depending on how many items are in the queue, the staff working in cataloging services can catalog items all day. Three people work in that office, and one other is split between working in the acquisitions department and cataloging services.

Students are able to fill out request forms to give input on what they are interested in.

“We read review journals, newspapers,” Whisler said. “We look for things that we think would be appealing.”

The new bookshelf is located by the reference desk and the books are in call number order by subject.

“We collect and curate information for students to use now, and for students to use in the future,” Whisler said. “Because 50 years from now, they are going to be going back and (asking) ‘what was all this about?’ (on) climate change or something.”

Kennedy Nolen can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]