Kudos to staff receiving rewards!


I'm delighted to announce a number of awards received recently by members of Library staff. The first set are staff who received a SPOT award from the Library this winter. Following that, announcement of a Berkeley Staff Assembly award to Elise Woods.

SPOT awards

The SPOT Awards, a component of the Staff Appreciation and Recognition program, recognize special contributions of individuals and groups working on a specific project or task that advances the mission of the Library and showcases the behaviors and values that are important to UC Berkeley. The Library generally calls for nominations twice each year; the next call will be later this spring.

The recipients in the most recent round:

Timothy Converse
Library Supervisor I, Northern Regional Library Facility
We recognize Tim for exemplary performance and remarkable services. During a six-month period when NRLF had several vacancies, Tim stepped up to increased responsibilities, independently handling most of the issues and problems that arose from daily ILL and circulation services; assisting with building-related issues; and handling workflows involved with the Google digitization project at NRLF. (Tim recently took a new position as Head of Deposit Services at NRLF.)

Janice Cripe
Serials Processing & Circulation Assistant, Life & Health Sciences Division
We recognize Janice for her contributions in addressing three challenges facing the Bioscience & Natural Resources Library. When the library experienced an unexpected staffing shortage, Janice took over the training and daily supervision for student employees of the unit, successfully orienting them to new positions and shadowing their work as they continued to develop. As the library responded to a shortage of shelf space, Janice assisted with the unit's monograph record maintenance to help meet the additional NRLF allocation; this work was managed in a way that avoided creating any backlogs. On her own initiative, she developed more effective workflows and record keeping practices to aid subject librarians in evaluating their print serials collection of more than 2000 titles, making the unit's transition from print to electronic more manageable.

Gabrielle "Gigi" Gillard
Stewardship & Events Coordinator, Library Development We recognize Gigi for her work with this year's UC Berkeley BIG GIVE program where she channeled the enthusiasm and caring she has for colleagues and our library users and friends. She coordinated all the Library's activities in cooperation with central campus Development & Alumni Relations and other campus units, with particular focus on boosting the Library's presence on social media. This proved valuable, helping the Library raise over $75,000 from over 200 donors. We appreciate Gigi's extraordinary efforts she made in encouraging and securing contributions from alumni, Library staff, and Library friends.

Sheehan Grant
Brian Light
Peter Soriano
Brice Sullivan

Chief Operations Managers for the Arts & Humanities Division, Social Sciences Division, Engineering & Physical Sciences Division, and Life & Health Sciences Division
Through their individual contributions and their exemplary collaboration, Peter, Brice, Brian, and Sheehan have had a powerfully positive impact on the University Library. Each is the Chief Operations Manager for a Division - new positions that fill an important leadership role in building the framework for a strong organization. Each has worked closely with their librarian division head in the development of policies, budgets, and goals as their new division takes shape; managed the physical operations and coordination of services in their division including dealing with campus reduction of custodial services, implementing operational efficiencies, and improving their support for student library employees; coordinated the work of career staff in their division including addressing performance issues, redesigning position responsibilities in light of organizational changes, and successfully filling vacancies; adapted services and projects to meet user needs effectively such as implementing laptop loans, sharing ideas to improve local technical processing, and organizing educational events to the benefit of all libraries; and encouraging collaboration, innovation, and teamwork within and across their divisions.

Lisa Hong
Interlibrary Lending Unit Student Supervisor, Interlibrary Services
Lisa stepped up as the new Google project manager. Her leadership has been instrumental in the success of the project over the last year, helping the Library digitize over 40,000 items. She evaluated the procedures then in place and made several changes that resulted in greater efficiency. Lisa demonstrated exceptional leadership in taking ownership of the Google project outcomes, marshaling resources to help accomplish these objectives and providing growth opportunities for temporary staff and students working on the project so that they could take on increasingly complex roles as they learned. She has dealt with internal stakeholders in a positive and professional manner. Her efforts helped us fulfill our commitments and safeguarding Berkeley's reputation as a reliable partner.

Jitka Horavova
Academic Human Resources Analyst, Library Human Resources
Jitka was nominated by a librarian who worked in a library that needed to fill several vacant positions all at one time. We recognize Jitka for being instrumental in the successful recruitment, helping the search committee chair learn the processes and work with the new AP Recruit site. We applaud her excellent communication skills, responsiveness and patience with all questions, and close assistance to ensure an efficient process. "She is truly a loyal, respectful team player committed to providing excellent service."

Dirk Kennedy
Gift & De-Accessioning Specialist, Acquisitions Department
We recognize Dirk for surmounting significant challenges to complete the processing of more than 12,000 books donated by Professor Armistead's household. In collaboration with three selectors, Dirk worked with titles in multiple subject areas and in tens of different languages. He demonstrated a strong service focus and excelled in process management, coordinating the work of temporary staff and students, successfully ingesting a large volume of books despite time and space constraints.

Excellence in Management Award

Elise Woods
Library Chief Financial Officer
The Berkeley Staff Assembly is awarding the Excellence in Management Award to Elise Woods. Elise's direct reports nominated her for this honor, a warm sign of the high regard in which they hold her. The BSA says the award "seeks to improve the quality of life in the workplace by identifying and publicly recognizing outstanding managers and supervisors....This year's theme, "Equity and Inclusion That Works" recognizes supervisors who are supporting the efforts of their staff to live by the Berkeley Operating Principle "We include and excel, together." Her staff, in nominating her, wrote that "Elise's management style epitomizes this year's theme, 'Equity and Inclusion that Works'. By following this principle, we cultivate trust, treat one another with respect and assume good intentions."

Please join me in congratulating all of the above, and in admiring their commitment to our mission to serve students, faculty and the broader public.

Jeff MacKie-Mason
University Librarian

Apr 11, 2016 | Categories: CU News | admin

New Native American Studies Librarian, Melissa Stoner

I am very happy to announce that Melissa Stoner will be the new Native American Studies Librarian in the Ethnic Studies Library. Her appointment begins on June 6. Many thanks go out to my fellow Search Committee members: Carmen Foghorn, Corliss Lee, and Sine Hwang Jensen. They were tireless in their efforts to find the best candidate and they succeeded. My thanks also go out to the members of CAPA who met with all the candidates, and to the LAUC-B Executive Committee for arranging the candidate lunches. To those of you who helped send the job announcement out far and wide: thank you! Also, thanks to all who attended the talks given by the candidates. As you may recall, Melissa has a strong background working on digital archive projects, which will help our library move toward preserving and making accessible our precious archival materials. Below is a short bio. When Melissa arrives, please stop by the library and say hello. Thank you! Lily

Melissa Stoner has a Master's degree in Library and Information Science from San Jose State University with an emphasis on emerging technologies and digital services. She also has a B.A. in Criminal Justice from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She is currently Workflow Manager/Metadata Librarian for the National Digital Newspaper Project, funded by NEH and hosted by the Library of Congress on the Chronicling America website. Previously, she served as Digital Projects Manager for an Institute of Museum and Library Services project to digitize and preserve oral histories, photographs, born digital materials and ephemera for Nevada State College. During this assignment, she created the digital portal for the college's oral history collection. She also served as Reference and Government Documents Assistant at the Farmington, New Mexico Public Library, which serves a large portion of the Navajo Nation. She used her education in Criminal Justice in her work as a residential facilitator, assisting women fleeing domestic violence and also worked as a Legal/Victim Advocate, which included organizing webinars for staff professional development.

Lillian Castillo-Speed, Head Librarian
Ethnic Studies Library

Apr 11, 2016 | Categories: CU News | admin

On the move to Catalog & Metadata Services, Mark Takaro

I write, with mixed feelings, to announce that after fifteen years of service at the Institute of Governmental Studies Library (IGSL), chief cataloger Mark Takaro has accepted a position in the Catalog & Metadata Services Department of the Library.

A Cal alum with a BA in Conservation of Natural Resources and an MLIS from the School of Library and Information Studies, Mark joined the staff of the IGS Library with advanced technical and public services skills gained from prior employment at the Bancroft, the Bioscience and Natural Resources Library, CSU Chico Library, and the Graduate Theological Union Library.

Given the complexity of technical services practices at IGSL, Mark's experience with varied collections, his intelligence, and his creativity have been essential to effective stewardship of the collection and to the provision of access. Mark has been a key player in a number of milestone achievements at the IGS Library, including:

  • a UCOP-funded serials upgrade project
  • tech services support for the renovation of the Reading Room
  • procedures for original cataloging of digital objects in the OCLC Digital Archive and CONTENTdm
  • migration of IGSL records into Millennium
  • adoption of LC call numbers
  • circulation of the IGSL collection to campus users
  • the digitization of over 1,000 IGS publications via the Google Books project
  • IGSL's loss of Mark is tempered by the knowledge that we will retain him as a colleague within the broader Berkeley library community. Please join me in congratulating him and wishing him success in his new position.

Nick Robinson
Library Director, Institute of Governmental Studies

Apr 05, 2016 | Categories: CU News | admin

New Head of Deposit Services at NRLF, Tim Converse

I am happy to share the good news with you that, effective April 1, Tim Converse will assume the role of NRLF's Head of Deposit Services. Tim succeeds Ginny Moon, who retired in early 2011, and we are delighted to be able to fill this position again.

Tim graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.A. in Mathematics and began his library career at NRLF as a student employee in 2001. In 2005, he was hired into a career position in the Access Services department, where he is currently responsible for the supervision of NRLF's student employees, for maintaining the stacks as well as serving as workleader for the department's ILL, document delivery, public and circulation services.

Throughout the years, Tim has been a steadfast support in the department, showing a strong commitment to providing excellent public service and demonstrating an aptitude for optimizing and streamlining workflows. He has a keen interest in learning more about information organization and technology, solving problems, and tackling new challenges, all of which will serve him well in his new position. Tim is a valued member of the Circulation Services Group, where he represented NRLF at monthly meetings and readily addressed NRLF related circulation questions as well as issues that concern the larger library community.

As the new Head of Deposit Services, Tim will have his work cut out for him - but I have no doubt that he is ready to take on the challenge, will learn quickly, and approach each assignment judiciously, and with energy and enthusiasm.

Please join me in congratulating Tim on his new position, which he is ready and eager to embrace!

I would like to thank the members of the search committee who participated in the selection process. Their efforts are deeply appreciated.


Mar 29, 2016 | Categories: CU News | admin

New Scholarly Communications Officer, Rachael Samberg


I am delighted to tell you that Rachael Samberg has accepted our offer of the position of scholarly communications officer.  She will be reporting to interim associate university librarian for collections, Jean McKenzie.  Her start date is 27 June.

Rachael comes to us from the Stanford Law Library (where she is currently teaching, hence the delayed start date).  She is completing her sixth year there as a reference librarian and lecturer in law.  Before that she spent seven years as an intellectual property attorney at Fenwick & West LLP in San Francisco.  She has her J.D. from Duke University, an MLIS from the University of Washington, and a BS in Biology and Classics from Tufts University.

From these highlights, you can see that Rachael brings both considerable IP legal experience, librarian experience, and teaching expertise to lead our growing commitment to becoming a leader in the worldwide movement to transform the scholarly communications landscape.  She will put all these skills to great use, as she advises faculty, grad students and other researchers on how to use scholarly materials in their research and publications, how to disseminate their findings in ways that broaden its reach and impact, and how our campus can engage in programs and practices that hasten the transition from a closed-access, subscription based publishing world to one with open access and lower costs.

Another area in which Rachael has developed expertise is not as directly relevant to her new position, but will surely be of interest to a number of our folks: legal archives.  Rachael has been chair of the Archives Committee of the Northern California Association of Law Libraries since 2011, and has published several articles on preserving legal history and collecting state court files.  I'm imagining she'll be spending her lunch breaks noodling around in the basement of Bancroft where we keep the California land case archives.

Please join me in welcoming Rachael to our community.  Indeed, if you are attending the ACRL workshop on scholarly communicationtomorrow, you can welcome Rachael in person, as she'll be attending too.

Jeff MacKie-Mason
University Librarian
Mar 23, 2016 | Categories: CU News | admin

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