Every spring, three K-State Libraries awards honor individuals who have made outstanding contributions to our organization. Since so many folks went above and beyond the call of duty following the fire, the employee awards ceremony this spring will be especially meaningful.
The recipient of these awards—one each for a faculty member, a professional staff member, and an university support staff member—has their name added to a plaque and is presented with $1,000.
The University Support Staff of the Year award, which has been presented since 1983, is generously sponsored by the Friends of the K-State Libraries. We are proud to introduce our three nominees for the University Support Staff of the Year. All three of them experienced big changes in their jobs after the fire, and all three remain resilient, patient and hard-working.
Jesica Sellers works in building services. When we were located in Hale Library, her work included addressing building maintenance issues, setting up rooms for events and meetings and coordinating mail delivery.
Without Hale, Jesica’s job has changed a lot, and tasks like mail delivery have become more complicated. For example, she works with half a dozen students and their shifting schedules to make sure the Libraries’ staff receives mail in ten different buildings spread across the K-State campus.
Her nominator said, “Jes listens to others’ ideas and problems and tries to find solutions that work for everyone. When it came to figuring out the new mail delivery schedule, she was patient and made sure we understood the limitations the Libraries were facing due to the fire, but she also listened to what we needed. Jes consistently performs her job efficiently and well.”
The process of keeping track of millions of items in a library collection falls to the folks who manage the metadata, including copy catalogers like Raymond Deiser. Raymond has several cataloging specializations at K-State Libraries, including government documents and maps. He also helps with music cataloging.
Like all of the other copy catalogers post-fire, Raymond spends at least two days each week at the K-State Libraries Annex, which is located near the Manhattan Regional Airport. As our books and other items that were in the fire are cleaned, as many as possible are being ingested into the Annex so they can be checked out again. First, though, the catalogers have to prepare each item’s catalog record, which is a big job when you’re processing thousands of items.
Raymond is also the unit’s in-house expert on Alma, the cloud-based library services platform we use to manage our collection and the way our users find what they need through our website.
“Raymond’s knowledge is indispensable for all of us,” his nominator said. “He is also very polite, gracious, and kind. Since he joined the library, I’ve been impressed by his work every day.”
Marcia Eaton works in interlibrary loan services (ILS), and they have been even more in-demand than usual following the fire. When K-State Libraries doesn’t own the materials our community members need, ILS borrows the materials for them from other libraries around the country.
Since most of our physical collection is boxed up and in storage, it’s unsurprising that the number of borrowing requests has skyrocketed. Marcia’s hard work, diligence, and positive attitude greatly contributed to Interlibrary Services being able to handle the increased demand for loans and articles after the fire.
Marcia began the year as the sole lender in Interlibrary Services. After the fire she switched to working full-time in borrowing.
Her nominator said, “Marcia jumped in with both feet and a great attitude, quickly learning the basics and then taking on other duties. She is an extremely dedicated worker who always strives to provide excellent service to other libraries and to K-State patrons. Marcia leaves no stone unturned in attempting to locate requested materials.”
Congratulations, Jes, Raymond and Marcia!
We look forward to introducing the other award nominees and announcing the winners in the coming weeks.