A New Face

This week I had a meeting with Shawn, my supervisor, and a Read Residence Assistant named Kyle. In this meeting, Shawn introduced Kyle as a new Student Assistant. However, his role is very different than the Student Assistants I am in charge of. Instead of completing the usual Student Assistant tasks (discharging items, shelf-reading, checking out items to patrons, etc.) Kyle would be promoting the MMM to the residents of Read. Kyle is enthusiastic, friendly, and well-connected in the Read community and I was eager to hear how he could help.

Shawn suggested that Kyle give tours of the MMM to residents. This would help physically bring people into the space, as well as raise awareness of our existence in the basement. I thought this suggestion would be really beneficial for all–it would encourage patrons to visit and use this wonderful service that is free, which would increase check-out and patron count statistics, and finally it would help build relations and community between Kyle and a variety of residents.

We also discussed how the MMM could host programs in conjunction with other RAs or organizations within Read. The libraries within Residential Programs and Services have access to movie licenses, which allow people to host movie nights with newer titles (often times before the movie is released on DVD). Kyle suggested working with another RA who has been brainstorming a Study Buddies group that would meet every other week to work on homework. Shawn said that the MMM could offer snacks or even some small study supplies and introducing the event with help from the MMM would allow yet another opportunity to promote the materials and services that we offer.

Kyle and I are planning on meeting at least every other week, if not every week to plan, advertise, and implement programs for the residents of Read. I am eager to see how this inside connection will foster symbiotic relationship for all of the stakeholders involved.

Opening Day

Opening day was a success! I was really lucky as a CS because I had seven returning staff members. I conducted one interview before I trained my staff and after meeting with the returning staff, it became very clear that seven was the magic number. Since all of the SAs were returners, the staff training was mostly a refresher about policies and procedures and a brainstorming session about programming and preference for scheduling. It was great meeting face-to-face with the SAs and they all seemed very bright, eager, and full of ideas! Since many of them had worked at the MMM before, they had valuable information to someone who had not worked in the MMM before (me). I spent the week before opening getting ready the center ready. I created a display, “Find Your Niche at Read” which showcased various DVDs accompanied by a little tag with the name of the genre that the film belonged to. The residential libraries have a check-out promotion where renters can get a full-sized candy bar when they check out 5 items; I created a “Renter’s Rewards” bulletin board for renters to write their name on an IU trident and add stickers, which denote each time an item is checked out, to. I also dusted the space, organized the cabinets, and became familiar with the materials in the collection. I adorned a few of the utility poles in the middle of the MMM with cream and crimson streamers to add a welcoming flair to the space. We had a few patrons trickle in and check out the space. One issue with the MMM is visibility. The MMM is located in the basement of the Read Residence Hall and it is a labyrinth down there. One goal is to create a solid presence of the MMM within Read so residents can find us!

Training and Preparation

The past week has been filled with an overload of information about a range of topics that include hiring and training staff to ordering materials into the collection. As a manager of a Music, Media, and More at a residence hall on on-campus, I am in charge of many elements that keep these types of centers up and running. The training was 5 days; the first few days mainly involved presentations and tutorials about procedures and instructions for administrative duties as a manager. This includes information about how to hire, train, and communicate with our staff. We also learned how to track our employee’s hours, approve their time sheets, and submit reporting for payroll. Collection development, ordering office supplies, and receiving new items were very practical skills that happen behind the scenes within libraries and information centers, but are important functions to know. However, I found the sessions about programming and marketing to be the most interesting. There is a large network within the Residential Programs and Services that I had no idea about. Reaching out to various members and planning programs for patrons and residence is what draws people in and creates a sense of community for students in their home away from home. I am excited to take this new knowledge and brainstorm programs and displays that will draw patrons in to check out the impressive collection of movies, CDs, TV series, board games, and video games available to them for free!

About Me

Hi all! My name is Amy Minix and I am a second year master’s student studying information and library science. I am a graduate assistant at the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning and I recently accepted a position as a Center Supervisor (CS) at a Music, Media, and More (MMM) at a residence hall here on-campus. My role as a CS is to manage a staff of undergraduate student assistants (SAs), maintain and grow a collection, and plan programs for patrons and residents. Managing the MMM will provide me with first-hand experiences that librarians deal with on a day-to-day basis, which is invaluable as a graduate student. I’m hoping the skills and knowledge I gain here will establish a strong foundation as a leader within libraries and information centers. Besides attending classes and working, I also enjoy reading (surprise!), collecting vinyl records, and attending concerts.