Tag Archives: Elizabeth Shulman

Year in the Life: Elizabeth Shulman, Pt. 8

Elizabeth Shulman is one of our participants in our Year in the Life series, which follows new archivists in their first professional position. We will be following Elizabeth for a year. You can read her previous posts here.

Earlier this month, I attended a day-and-a-half Local History Librarian conference hosted at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The conference was generously sponsored by the North Caroliniana Society which made it free to all attendees. As soon as I learned about the conference through the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center’s partners list-serv, I knew I had to attend. I figured this was at the very least a good way to meet colleagues doing similar work from across the state. The majority of attendees work for public library systems across North Carolina.

The vast majority of the speakers either worked at Wilson Library at UNC or worked for the state government at either the State Library or State Archives. The first two sessions were the type of work being done at Wilson Library and the state agencies. The third was an open forum for participants to discuss their collections and ask questions of other librarians in the room. The question we spent the most time discussing was “How do I get more people to learn about and use my collection?” I ended up talking about my Archival Petting Zoo as well as my efforts to promote the collection on social media. That wrapped up the morning. In the afternoon there were sessions about demographic of users in North Carolina, conservation (which is a struggle for us public librarians), state-level grant applications, and free North Carolina oriented reference resources. The last session was particularly interesting to me as I learned about several digital map resources. I have been getting a lot of map questions lately so it was definitely a helpful resource I’ve passed along to my patrons. The first day of the conference ended with a lovely dinner at the Carolina Inn and a dinner talk about the story food can tell in the archives by the head of the American Studies department at UNC.

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Year in the Life: Elizabeth Shulman, Pt. 7

Elizabeth Shulman is one of our participants in our Year in the Life series, which follows new archivists in their first professional position. We will be following Elizabeth for a year. You can read her previous posts here.

Wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles, I can officially share that the North Carolina Collection has a new head of its collection. I have been wanting to write about the process of hiring the new head but decided to wait until it was actually official. As I said in an earlier post, the North Carolina Collection has been without a head since November 2016, or two weeks after I started working there. I have been filling the shoes of a vacant head for the past year and keeping the collection afloat through its move to the mall but I am relieved that someone will soon take over the helm. The new head starts in early December.

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Year in the Life: Elizabeth Shulman, Pt. 6

Elizabeth Shulman is one of our participants in our Year in the Life series, which follows new archivists in their first professional position. We will be following Elizabeth for a year. You can read her previous posts here.

Greetings from the Mallbrary! The past several weeks have been an interesting time to be in Durham, North Carolina. As many of you are aware, on August 14th, protesters in downtown Durham toppled the Confederate monument outside the Old Courthouse which is now the County Administration building. This has led to protests around the Research Triangle and fears of reprisals from white supremacists. On the evening on the 14th, my co-workers and I were actually at work as we are open to the public every Monday night. Our adult services librarian was browsing Facebook when he saw images of the monument posted by friends at the protest. My immediate reaction to the event was shock and a lot of “HOLY [EXPLETIVE]!” After recovering from the shock and sharing the news with my friends and family, my second reaction was “how can we archive this?”

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Year in the Life: Elizabeth Shulman, Pt. 5

Elizabeth Shulman is one of our participants in our Year in the Life series, which follows new archivists in their first professional position. We will be following Elizabeth for a year. You can read her previous posts here.

Greetings from the Mallbrary! In my earlier posts, I addressed some of the issues that exist in my space as a result of the move. The biggest issue we had was how our books were initially shelved in our new reading room. Back when we were planning for the move, the previous head of the North Carolina Collection measured the linear footage we would need in the new space. We sent all of our poetry books and biographies into storage to make the footage work. Unfortunately, she forgot to take into account the height of the shelves when calculating the footage. As most of the shelving we got was used for fiction books, they were much shorter than the books in our collection as well as the previous shelving. The result was that at least half of the collection was sitting on its spines. This made it very difficult for my fellow staff members and I to find books for patrons, especially books that have the same call number (we have a lot of those in the government section). It was even more challenging for patrons. This was a problem that we knew had to be rectified and we calculated we needed to remove a minimum 48 shelves to have the space we needed to get the books off their spines. Weeding the collection was a decision way above my pay grade but needed to get done as fast as we could.

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Year in the Life: Elizabeth Shulman, Pt. 4

Elizabeth Shulman is one of our participants in our Year in the Life series, which follows new archivists in their first professional position. We will be following Elizabeth for a year. You can read her previous posts here.

Happy summer time from the Mallbrary! Last weekend was my first Summer Reading Kickoff for Durham County Library and it was an interesting experience. Summer Reading is the program that most public libraries run to encourage people in the community to read books. People can log minutes they have read and earn prizes along the way. Summer Reading also includes a nice positive catchphrase, which is put onto t-shirts the staff has to wear. This year’s theme is “Build A Better World.”

So how does an archivist end up getting involved in Summer Reading? Well first off, it is an all-hands-on-deck program. Theoretically, people can come to the North Carolina Collection to log points and claim prizes for summer reading. It also happens that the Summer Reading Kickoff was held at Northgate Mall, the currently home of the North Carolina Collection. Right outside our doors there were people making balloon animals, two bouncy castles, a fire truck, and a dunking booth. Recognizing that people would be wandering into the North Carolina Collection out of curiosity, I knew we had to have an event of our own. Rather than explain what the North Carolina Collection has in its holdings, I pulled a sample of materials for people to handle. I called it the “Archival Petting Zoo” since people could touch and “pet” the materials.

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Year in the Life: Elizabeth Shulman, Pt. 3

Elizabeth Shulman is one of our participants in our Year in the Life series, which follows new archivists in their first professional position. We will be following Elizabeth for a year. You can read her previous posts here.

Greetings again from the Mallbrary!  I figure with it being graduation time for library students, I want to write a bit about the application and interviewing process from the perspective of someone who both just got a job and someone who was involved with the hiring process. That’s right, I was recently on a small committee to hire a part-time librarian to work in the North Carolina Collection, particularly on weekends and for our evening hours. This will take a lot of weight off of myself and the Adult Services Librarian as our schedules are fairly inflexible at the moment. The Adult Services Librarian does programming every other Monday night and every other Saturday meaning he cannot switch Saturdays with me if I need to switch. It will also be nice not to run the risk of being in the mall space at night by myself on Mondays.

Anyways, back to the job application process! For those of you who are currently applying for jobs or students who just completed their first year and that job bug is crawling into your head, I know how you feel. I applied to a ton of jobs and did not start my job until five months after I graduated from grad school. I remember the annoyance and anger I felt, feeling like my applications were going into an empty void of nothingness where they disappeared and how I never would hear back from that institution. It’s frustrating and stressful and not a lot of fun. While I have very limited experience on the other side, I am happy to give a few pointers.

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Year in the Life: Elizabeth Shulman, Pt. 2

Elizabeth Shulman is one of our participants in our Year in the Life series, which follows new archivists in their first professional position. We will be following Elizabeth for a year. You can read her previous posts here.

Greetings from the Mallbrary! That is what I have taken to calling my new location as the North Carolina Collection at Northgate Mall is a mouthful. When I last wrote, I was finishing packing up the North Carolina Collection to have our belongings brought over to the mall. In early February, I came over to the mall and supervised the movers as they brought over our furniture and put books on the shelves. During that week and a half, I felt more like a construction site foreman than a librarian. Once the books were on the shelves, I unpacked the archival materials and found new homes for them. Most of our archival materials are living on top of filing cabinets or on wire racks along the back walls of the reading room. The North Carolina Collection also became home to a small circulating collection called the Lucky Day Collection. This is a collection of non-renewable popular books that customers can check out for one week. As of March 3rd, we have been serving the public out of the Mallbrary. While I still do not have a supervisor and my part-time librarian took a new job at another branch in the system, I have a wonderful Adult Services Librarian who is working full-time with me. This will hopefully give me more time off of the reference desk so I can process more collections and do some collection development work. Continue reading