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Library Quarterly Report FY19 Q1: July-Sept 2018


 

T

his quarter was uneventful for the library, though we saw above average activity in cataloging, in database use, in Interlibrary Loans and Document Delivery, and addition to the circulation of print materials.
 

We saw across-the-board growth in library activity this quarter as our new staffer Becky Ernest continued her training to advance overall library productivity. Becky trained on proceedures for working with circulation and the print collection with assistance from Barb Neyman. It was good as library collection use was higher than normal again this quarter, with document deliveries (81 in all) almost double what they normally are. Barb Neyman had a particularly busy quarter again with document deliveries (with a total of 81), which have been on an upward trajectory of about 50/quarter for the past several years.

Becky also spent a considerable amount of time in training with Ken Winter to learn the process of conducting literature searches, a process that will last for many quarters to come.
 

Gil Kenner made big strides in a project to digitize the VDOT Bulletin. Gil has located scanable copies of the entire run of the Bulletin and is simultaneously: 1. Working with student assistants to digitize those; 2. Developing the structure for his first digitized collection; 3. Configuring the CONTENTdm search interface (which Gil helped procure through OCLC); 4. Perfoming quality assurance; 5. Testing the end result.


The library's goal is to make the VDOT Bulletin archive available in approximately one year, and to use the knowledge gained from the process to scan and add other materials as part of a larger plan to establish a publicly accessible digital archive.

 

OTHER NEWS: Aside from obvious trends (like decreased activity on days when the library is closed) is hard to tell what collections or services might be most popular on any given quarter. We are often surprised by what we see.  Here were a few details from this quarter:
 

  • We continue to be contacted by other state DOT and other transportation libraries on a regular basis for advice and in some cases we seek advice from our peers at transportation libraries. This quarter alone we had consultations with library staff at: Minnesota DOT, Louisiana DOT, Wisconsin DOT, Illinois DOT, Missouri DOT, Arkansas DOT, Montana DOT, Oklahoma DOT, U.S. DOT, the TRB Library, the National Transportation Library, Sound Transit (in Seattle) and even the Department of Main Roads in Queensland Australia.
  • The library has been busy with day-to-day requests, but managed to produce two new research guides this quarter: Understanding ORCID and Literature Searches, Surveys and Reviews. Note: This the guide on literature searches references and excerpts advice presented in the TRB e-Circular "Literature Searches and Literature Reviews for Transportation Research Projects: How to Search, Where to Search, and How to Put It All Together: Current Practices", which co-authored by staffer Ken Winter.
  • This quarter we continued to market "Connections" the library's E-newsletter. Unfortunately, we continue to see modest growth in subscribers. We hope that in time with enough subscribers Connections can become a key way we keep customers informed of new collections and services.

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