Access Services—Keeping the Common
Instructor: Mandy Henk
Dates: Not currently scheduled
Credits: 1.5 CEUs
This course will take students on a tour of Access Services in the contemporary academic library with a focus on the development of best practices and how to integrate disparate functional units into a cohesive department focused on patron service and accurate processing. We will examine each unit (circulation, stacks management, reserves, and interlibrary loan) individually to identify what kind of work it does, the skills needed to perform that work, and the impact of the academic calendar on the unit’s workload. We will also explore opportunities for cross-training, staff development, and how to identify opportunities for service expansion and improvement. Students will be encouraged to bring their own experiences and stories to class so that we can have lively discussions about what works and what doesn’t. We will also examine common ethical dilemmas that arise in Access Services departments and the underlying challenges related to cross-class communication in the library.
At the end of this class students will be able to:
- Articulate the responsibilities of each unit commonly found in an Access Services department and how their work differs from each other
- Understand how to identify a best practice and how to develop local best practices that meet the needs of patrons, library administrators, and Access Services staff
- Develop a plan for cross-training library staff for the benefit of both staff members themselves and the library
- Identify common challenges faced by each unit and techniques that have worked for others in overcoming these challenges
- Recognize ethical dilemmas faced by Access Services staff
- Understand the complications of cross-class communication and identify resources for overcoming this barrier
Librarian Mandy Henk has been at DePauw since 2006 and was a law librarian at Vanderbilt before that. She specializes in access to physical materials, resource sharing, and personnel management. Her interests include social class and librarian/staff relationships, the development of international resource sharing systems, and copyright in the academy and the library. She recently published her first book, Ecology, Economy, Equity: Building the Carbon Neutral Library, with ALA Editions. Interview with Mandy Henk
This is an online class that is taught asynchronously, meaning that participants do the work on their own time as their schedules allow. The class does not meet together at any particular times, although the instructor may set up optional sychronous chat sessions. Instruction includes readings and assignments in one-week segments. Class participation is in an online forum environment.
Please contact us to arrange a special session of this class for a group of seven or more, with a negotiable discount, or to be notified when it is next scheduled.