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Archive for the ‘University Libraries’ Category

“Books remain one of the strongest bulwarks we have against tyranny – but only as long as people are free to read all different kinds of books, and only as long as they actually do so.”

Books for Living by Will Schwalbe, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2017, p.257.

National Library Week is April 9 – 15, 2017 .

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It is a fun day in the Archives and Special Collections when we get a batch of Mahoney Music Collection books back from the catalogers.

The library at the University of South Dakota is in the process of creating catalog records for all the books in the Mahoney Music Collection. Having catalog records in the library catalog and in OCLC will make the books in this collection more findable for readers. Most of the oversize books and the regular-size books are done, and the catalogers have begun on the thinner, floppier books that we store in file folders. This is such a great project, and we send a big thank you to the catalogers for doing this.

Don’t forget that select items have been digitized and placed on the Digital Library of South Dakota.

ML 155 .W5 G469 1926

ML 155 .W5 G469 1926

 

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During the 1980s and 1990s, University of South Dakota commencement program covers often presented brief descriptions of USD buildings.

 

 

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Irma Margaret Falck, circulation librarian, with unidentified library patron.

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Before the online catalog and the advent of computers, searching for books and library items happened via little drawers full of magical cards, diligently typed by library staff, and sorted by author or title.

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IMG_0300Well, this is it.

It’s my last day.

Today I get to turn in my key, submit my last time sheet, and clean up all my files on the computer, and I have to take home my sweater, wrist warmers, blanket, and refillable Einstein Bros. coffee mug . . .  plus say goodbye to probably the coolest job ever and all the wonderful people I’ve worked with.

The Archives and Special Collections has been an oasis for me through the grueling voyage of undergrad – tucked in the corner of the library, above the crowded sidewalks and away from the drama and stress of school.

I started here the summer after my sophomore year, after miserably spending the previous summer as a waitress. I began as a temporary hire for Sarah, allotted 120 hours to put in basically whenever, doing a lot of photo identification and negative-sleeve making. But I also got to work with Jim Legg’s collection of slides from Wounded Knee during the volatility of the 1970s (wow!).

When the fall semester started, Doris adopted me from Sarah. I began to make box labels instead of negative sleeves, pull boxes for patrons, make inventory lists of incoming collections, take the recycling down, and pick up the mail. Sure, a lot of my job involved removing rusty staples (yes, my tetanus shots are up-to-date), spending hours at the temperamental photocopy machine, and leafing through old Volante newspapers or yearbooks for an answer to a patron’s question.

 

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However, I did some pretty amazing things here, too. Simply working with the Mahoney Music Collection was a dream! – how did my two favorite things in the world, books and music, end up combined in the back of the USD library? Though I couldn’t work exclusively with this collection, there was almost always a little project with it to satiate me. Writing press releases, creating a LibGuide, managing the website records, creating little exhibits, helping patrons, and writing blog posts were just a few things. I was invited to just go back and browse the stacks if I wanted, to get to know the books, and I got to correspond with the donor, Dr. John P. Mahoney, and even meet him this summer! I met a lot of great books, too. And who knows?  – maybe I’ll be back in a few years to do my own research with the collection.

 

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The archives have forever changed me. Now I can’t bring myself to use staples or tape on anything, and I have a mission to preserve all my photos in acid-free paper. I learned so much that I don’t think I can fit it all on a résumé. And, thanks to Sarah, I’ll never be able to listen to Kishi Bashi or Van Morrison without nostalgia of the archives. I will sorely miss everything and everyone here – how did I get so lucky?

So what’s next? I have a couple more days in sunny Vermillion, then it’s off to Ohio, where I’ll be attending grad school for my master’s degree in music performance at Kent State (they have an Einstein Bros. too, so the mug comes with!).

 

 

P.S. For the record: I never got the lights turned off on me in the back room. Once the power went out when I was back there, though, and the terrifying flickering before tipped me off.

 

 

P.P.S. And my desk piggy’s coming, too! 🙂

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