Behind the Scenes

Mar 06
Q&A with a Library Student Assistant & Graduate Assistant

As the Student Coordinator for Access Services, prospective employees often have questions about the Student/Graduate Assistant positions we offer. I figured I’d take the time to interview a current Student/Graduate Assistant so that they can provide some insight about their positions here with Access Services. For this interview, I interviewed Alexandra (Lexy) Tomes (Student Assistant) and Kevin Wong (Graduate Assistant). Can you describe your position and what it entails? AT: I am a...

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By: Nick Rodriguez

Category: Behind the Scenes Hello, from the Staff

Mar 03
Open Education Week 2020 – Getting Involved!

Over the years, open education – the use of free, openly-licensed educational materials and the teaching practices that have developed around them -- has continued to grow in impact and importance. Last February, OpenStax, a publisher of open textbooks based at Rice University, reported that free OpenStax textbooks had saved students $177 million dollars in 2018. In North Dakota, the state auditor’s office reported that a statewide OER initiative had resulted in savings of over $1...

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By: Lisa Louis

Category: Behind the Scenes Things to Do News @ Your Library

Feb 18
And the Winner Is...: Service Excellence Awards in the Library

Here at Bell Library we strive to offer excellent service and as part of that initiative we developed an award titled the Golden Pineapple Award.  We came up with 12 themes to promote service excellence with-in the library and each month we take nominations of who best embodies that month’s ideal.  We then put all the nominee’s names in a cup and draw a name. That person is awarded the “Golden Pineapple” that month.  The golden pineapple is a 3-D printed...

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By: Amie Cuvelier

Category: Behind the Scenes Library Randomness

Jan 28
Welcome Back, Islanders: Reflections and Looking Forward to Spring 2020

Greetings everyone and welcome to a brand-new semester. The momentum and energy of our campus continue to thrive, and each new semester continues to promise new endeavors. Before jumping into what is new, I would like to take a minute to reflect on the Fall 2019 semester. The library is proud of several accomplishments, three of which I would like to highlight as representative of our vision and our future. First, the library has been heavily involved, along with many other campus partners,...

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By: Dr. Catherine Rudowsky

Category: Behind the Scenes Hello, from the Staff Dean's Corner

Jan 21
Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe: Selecting Your Next Leisure Read

Raise your hands, how many of you turn into a kid in a candy store when you walk into a bookstore? Now, how many of you believe the following statement to be true: “Despite the fact that I have a table, shelf, floor, etc., full of books I’ve purchased and have yet to read, I still need more?” My own hand is way up because I love books (so typical of a librarian, I know). As a matter of fact, I’ve reached the point where if I’m purchasing a book as a gift, I have...

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By: Trisha Hernandez

Category: Behind the Scenes Books & More Library Hacks

Dec 06
What's in a Name: Getting to Know Library Jargon

We here in the library, like many other occupations, have specific jargon we use in our day-to-day work. We do realize this can be confusing and do our best to make things easy to understand. For example, we renamed the reference desk and now call it the Ask-Us Desk. However, some other areas or words are not so easily interchangeable. Below I’ll go over a few of those to try and help you out. Archives Archives at TAMU-CC refers to the collecting, sorting, and cataloging of all papers...

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By: Amie Cuvelier

Category: Library Hacks Behind the Scenes Services for You

Nov 12
Student Employee Appreciation

As I was thinking about something to write this blog about. I was having a really hard time thinking about something that would be both interesting and informative. Naturally, I was trying to bounce ideas off anyone who would listen. I approached the student workers in our department and they easily came up with a few ideas. However, while they were talking, I couldn’t help but realize how much I rely on our student employees. Then it occurred to me, “I wonder if everyone is aware...

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By: Joe Hernandez

Category: Hello, from the Staff Behind the Scenes

Oct 18
Some of The Lesser Known Collections held by TAMU-CC Special Collections and Archives

We have wonderful resources here in the Special Collections and Archives Department at Bell Library.  There are the Dr. Hector P. Garcia Papers, Dr. Clotilde P. Garcia Papers, the Dan E. Kilgore Collection, the wonderful Fuentes home films, the Blucher maps of surveyors of Corpus Christi back in the day, a photo collection from Doc McGregor and the Galvan family music collection. Besides these stellar, awesome collections, we have just as interesting and unique smaller collections that...

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By: Lori Atkins

Category: Services for You Behind the Scenes

Oct 11
Do Islanders still read books?

The question In a recent librarians’ meeting, a question came up about the way the library buys books. The Bell Library, like many academic libraries, has traditionally purchased books through two main methods—title-by-title selection, and auto-shipments from a book vendor, based on a profile we set up with them. This second method, called an “approval plan,” would be sort of like setting up your Amazon account to automatically send you any new books that match your...

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By: Derrik Hiatt

Category: Services for You Behind the Scenes Books & More

Oct 04
What is with all those library locations?

You have your research topic all picked out (Good for you! I think that might be the hardest part). Your instructor says you have to use 3 physical resources in the library, so you’ve gone to the Library’s Quick Search, searched your topic, limited your search to just the “Library Catalog” (found under the “Refine Your Search” menu on the left side of the page) and now you’ve found the perfect source, but the location says… microfilm????? What...

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By: Amie Cuvelier

Category: Library Hacks Behind the Scenes

Sep 06
The Most Requested Interlibrary Loans: The 2018-2019 Academic Year

In the 2018-2019 Academic Year, Interlibrary Loan (ILL) filled just shy of 10,000 requests! To put this in perspective, this is almost double the number of requests filled just 5 years ago in 2013-2014. And we did it all with less staff! That said, we thought it would be fun to share with you the year's most borrowed journals and books, as requested by TAMU-CC students, faculty, and staff, then follow up with a few observations. Top 11 most borrowed journals through...

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By: Brent Day

Category: Books & More Services for You Behind the Scenes

Aug 06
Why We Cancelled Lexis-Nexis (and How We Made the Decision)

This summer, Bell Library was faced with a choice. The database Lexis-Nexis, long a mainstay among library online resources, was coming up for renewal. We could have just renewed it automatically. Lexis Nexis seems foundational. Essential, even. But some concerns brought us up short. Usage was way down over previous years. The price has gone up over the same time span. And there were some problems with the contract that the company wanted us to sign. The TAMU system has a Contracts Office,...

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By: Lisa Louis

Category: Behind the Scenes News @ Your Library

Aug 02
Access Services: Prospective Student Assistant FAQ

As the Student Coordinator for Access Services (or as many know it as the Circulation Desk), I typically work with 12–13 students assistants every semester. Throughout the semester, a student assistant may need to resign, and it is up to me to fill this position. So, has it ever crossed your mind what one (or myself) looks for in a student employee? What qualities should one have? What experience should one have? If you are one who has wondered about these questions, I am glad to...

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By: Nick Rodriguez

Category: Behind the Scenes

Jul 26
Wherefore “Arch” Thou?: Finding the Archival Collections You Need

Have you ever been interested in doing archival research, but you’re not sure where to start? Unlike most other library resources, archival collections are generally unique materials which only exist in one place. This is why they can be so valuable to research, since the information and perspective they contain often can’t be found anywhere else. But it also presents a problem: How to locate the collections which might be useful to you. Here are some tips and tricks on tracking...

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By: Kimberly Gianfrancesco

Category: Behind the Scenes Library Hacks

Jun 07
Does the library have my textbook? A student’s guide to Course Reserves

What are Course Reserves? Reserves are books held at the Circulation Desk under course numbers and/or professors' names. Usually the books are on 3-hour reserve and must remain in the library. This allows more students access to the book. Books are put on reserve by the request of the professor. Tip: If you would like one of your course books to be on reserve at the library, talk to your professor. They might they have an extra copy available that they can put on reserve for your class. How...

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By: Amie Cuvelier

Category: Services for You Behind the Scenes

May 31
Service Excellence in Your Campus Library

Recently the faculty and staff at the Bell Library have embarked upon a service excellence initiative. We hear about service excellence more and more often lately – we’ve even mentioned it a few times in our blog. What does “service excellence” mean? Perhaps more importantly, what will it mean for you? A simple Google search will give us some starting points…service excellence is an organization’s ability to meet and manage customer expectations. Lots of...

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By: Jennifer Anderson

Category: Services for You Behind the Scenes

May 24
A Sea of Maps: A Collaborative Project with the Conrad Blucher Institute

Every morning the lights of the Archives Workroom come on at 8:00 am, and every morning the first thing (or should I say things) that greet me as I walk in are land surveying records. Not just a few, not just a couple hundred, but thousands of maps waiting to be processed, preserved and prepared for digitization. As Library Specialist II, in the Special Collections and Archives department, my job is to serve as point of contact with the Conrad Blucher Institute on a massive map digitization...

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By: Shelby Gonzalez

Category: Behind the Scenes

May 14
An In-depth Look at How Bell Library Acquires New Databases

Have you ever been browsing our online databases and wondered how we here at Bell Library decide which ones to purchase and make available to you? Well wonder no more because I am about to lay it all out for you! The first step in the e-resource lifecycle begins when we become aware of a new database. This can happen several different ways. Sometimes there is a resource that a professor has been wanting or has used at a prior point in their academic career. Other times there is a new exciting...

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By: Rachel Bennett

Category: Services for You Behind the Scenes

May 07
Frame of the Day: Information Creation as a Process

In our April 2nd post, we discussed the Information Literacy Frame, Authority is Constructed and Contextual. Today, we'll focus on the second frame: Information Creation as a Process.  So first of all, let's get this out of the way: Everyone is a creator of information. When you write an essay, you're creating information. When you log the temperature of the lizard tank, you're creating information. Every Word doc, Google Doc, survey, spreadsheet, Tweet, and PowerPoint that you've ever...

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By: Emily Metcalf

Category: Library Hacks Behind the Scenes

Apr 26
Come work with us in Special Collections!

You might think working in a library would be boring and all you would do is shelve books. However, modern libraries are bustling centers of traditional collection management and next level technology solutions. Working at Bell Library Special Collections offers something for everyone. Students interested in History can apply their skills researching and describing archival collections while being exposed to data management and networked systems. Students who are more technology oriented can...

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By: Ed Warga

Category: Hello, from the Staff Behind the Scenes Tech in the Library

Mar 29
What's a QEP?

A QEP you say? Information and digital literacy you say? What the what? What’s a QEP? QEP is an acronym for Quality Enhancement Plan and is part of the SACSCOC reaffirmation process. According to SACSCOC, “the Quality Enhancement Plan is an integral component of the reaffirmation of accreditation process and is derived from an institution’s ongoing comprehensive planning and evaluation process. It reflects and affirms a commitment to enhance overall institutional quality and...

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By: Cate Rudowsky

Category: Behind the Scenes Dean's Corner

Mar 08
Are you a Sean or a Joe? Re-shelving Books in the Library

Why do we ask you to put the books back on the cart instead of re-shelving them yourself? This is an excellent question. You're thinking, "If I re-shelve it myself, it will be right where I need it tomorrow; or, it'll be available for the next person." You obviously know where you pulled it from. You can see the gap right there. Also, maybe you’re saving the staff from having to do the work of putting it back; so really, you're just being extra helpful. We get it; and, while we...

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By: Amie Cuvelier

Category: Behind the Scenes

Feb 05
Behind the Scenes

The construction area next to the Ask Us Desk isn't the only big change happening at the library right now. Library staff are gearing up for a “behind the scenes” change that you probably won't notice, but that we hope will help us deliver even better service to all of you. The software we use to manage library operations—checking books in and out, the library catalog, journal holdings, tracking orders for new books and other materials, etc.—was designed with print...

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By: Derrik Hiatt

Category: Tech in the Library Services for You Behind the Scenes News @ Your Library

Jan 29
Your Popular Reading Collection

Do you hear it; the whispers calling out to you from our shelves? Tendrils of word clouds with themes like dragons, mystery murders, battles, and more wrap around and embrace you, enticing you to read. THIS is Popular Reading! Nestled beside the Circulation desk, the library has three blue shelves full of your popular reading desires. Before we talk more about the collection, however, how about a bit of history…. For years, despite all the amazing services the Bell Library has offered,...

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By: Trisha Hernandez

Category: Books & More Things to Do Hello, from the Staff Behind the Scenes Services for You