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Scholes Library kicks off anniversary year
8/22/12

 Fang Wan, emerging technology and engineering assistant librarian in Alfred University’s Scholes Library of Ceramics, says she hopes the upcoming celebrations of the library’s 20th and 65th anniversaries promote its role within the campus community. The library plans several activities throughout the 2012-13 academic year to remember 20 years in its current, modern, facility and to mark a 65-year presence on campus providing information services in support of research in art and engineering.

 “It is a very good opportunity for people on campus to know the existence of the library,” says Wan. “It’s a friend of the University.”

Mark Smith, library director, says he wants the celebrations to honor the library’s past and begin its journey into the future.

“We wish to celebrate the contributions of our faculty, those who’ve contributed much of the important content we hold,” says Smith. “We (also) want to hear from our constituents about how we can be better and how we can serve them in new ways.”   

The anniversary events will be designed to recognize the library as a unique center for art and engineering on the Alfred University campus; educate and remind students, faculty, and alumni of its contributions to local, national, and international research; celebrate the work of Alfred faculty and scholars preserved within the library; and honor the past and look forward to the future, say Scholes personnel.   

The yearlong celebrations begin on Wednesday, Oct. 3 from 3 p.m.-5 p.m. with a program featuring speakers from administration and faculty focusing on the historic exhibitions within Scholes. (Details on upcoming events will be released throughout the 2012-13 academic year.)

“There’s a rich history here,” notes Beverly Crowell, public services librarian. “We’re a vital organization and an important piece of the ceramics community.”

 In 1947, the late Dr. Samuel R. Scholes formally established the library that now bears his name. The library began operating from its current facility in 1992.

Scholes Library evolved from an office collection of 1,200 items managed by the first librarian, Emily C. Van Schoick, who was lured away from the American Ceramics Society Editorial Board. The library’s first catalogs were in “list form” and there was a “Monthly List of New Books.”

 Sandra Jones, the library’s interlibrary loan assistant, plans on creating showcases throughout the academic year illustrating the library’s technological evolution.

“It used to be two weeks before you’d get an article” through the interlibrary loan system, says Jones. “Now, we’re talking two hours. I’m anxious to talk to some of the former employees and faculty members. I’m very interested to hear what their thoughts are on the new technology.”

Jones points out more technological advancements.

“I don’t have to have somebody come into the office to make out a request,” says Jones. “They can sit in their residence hall rooms or faculty offices, put in a request, and in two hours - or sometimes 10 minutes - have it (the requested material) in their inbox.”

 Elizabeth Gulacsy came to Scholes as a part-time reference librarian in 1983.

 “When I started, we used a card catalogue,” says Gulacsy. “Now everything is online.”

Gulacsy says the library’s unique services make it helpful to students. She hopes the library continues to improve its technology and services.

“We’re always thinking about what’s best for the students,” says Crowell. “Our staff is very talented, loyal, and invested in providing services. I think sometimes students don’t realize what the library can offer them.”

Jones says she hopes library usage increases among students and faculty.

 “I hope that they come into this environment that’s friendly and very up-to- date,” says Jones. “I hope to see more students and faculty browsing and coming in to see the new technology.”  

 Wan, new to Alfred, adds she hopes the yearlong celebrations allow her to learn more about the library and the University.

“I think this event is also a good opportunity for me to learn the history of the library and to learn about the people on campus.”