December Library Office Notes





ANNOUNCEMENTS: University Librarian Note 
I’ve temporarily suspended my Dean’s note for LON in light of the communications surrounding our response to COVID-19. Please see for the full list of notes that have come out. We will continue to adjust and respond to circumstances as they change, and I will send out notes on changes in the way we deploy our services and budget implications for the University and Library as the implications become clearer. I am ever grateful for the ways that you have all adapted and contributed to our engagement with the campus during the stay-at-home period, and I look forward to our being back in our library buildings with all of you.
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ANNOUNCEMENTS: Library Building Project Update – 12/1/2020
Tom Teper, Associate Dean for Collections and Technical Services

Phase One Architect/Engineer Selection
Representatives from the Library continue working with representatives from F&S to advance planning associated with the first phase of the Library Building Project. As outlined in our conceptual planning process, that first phase is the initial construction of a facility to support special collections and archives within the existing Undergraduate Library footprint.

F&S posted the program statement on the State of Illinois’ procurement portal on Thursday, October 22, 2020. The posting remained active until 4:00 PM on Thursday, November 12, 2020. The posting resulted in twenty-five (25) bids from firms interested in competing to secure the contract. Representatives of the Library met to discuss the proposals. Our collective evaluation was brought together with the evaluations from F&S, the Provost’s Office, University Administration, and Capital Programs. The insights gained from the presentation materials helped identify seven firms who will present to the selection committee in December. The proposals and presentations will be used to identify an Architect/Engineer to help translate the conceptual design work into a more concrete reality.

Communications – Website
With the initial steps in discussing the project with the campus community well-advanced, communication and outreach efforts will increasingly pivot toward communicating the vision to potential donors. John Laskowski, Heather Murphy, Tom Teper, Kathrine Risor-Heise, and Wendy Wolter discussed options for developing a new, donor-focused website for the next project phase. Wireframes are in process with a goal of posting a final site by January 16, 2021.

Committees and Working Groups – Special Collections Research Center (SCRC)
The Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) Working Group continues to meet. The working group staffed out subgroups to focus on particular aspects of the project.

The framework under which these and other working groups directly associated with this project will work is posted here:


  • Monthly Updates – Monthly updates about the Library Building Project are distributed via LON. The intent is to ensure open communication of specific information related to the Library Building Project.
  • Website – The Library Building Project has a website located at Here you can read about the vision behind this program, seek answers to many of the Frequently Asked Questions that might arise, and read about upcoming events or project news. You can also submit additional questions to the project team at

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ANNOUNCEMENTS: Alma Squad Report
Michael Norman, Discovery Services Librarian and ILS Coordinator

We are continuing to refine and improve both Alma and Primo systems each month. Ex Libris pushes out upgrades to both systems the first weekend of each month. We do get access to the upgrades and changes in the UIUC Sandbox versions two weeks before the eventual roll out to our Production versions.  To see the new changes,

Ex Libris posts release notes in their Knowledge Center documenting the changes and fixes coming in the next release. You can see Alma Release Notes here: and for Primo VE:

With the latest upgrade in November, we encountered problems occurring with the Request functionality working properly in Primo. We did encounter a similar occurrence of requesting problems back in July 2020 as well. The Alma Squad will work to test all upcoming changes prior to new upgrades occurring in our Alma and Primo production instances. 

Alma/Primo Open Office Hours each month

To help inform about upcoming changes to Alma and the Primo Catalog, the Alma Squad will have Open Office Hours the first Monday of the 4th week of each month. Watch for an email to LIBNEWS to announce the dates and Zoom session information for these Open Office Hours on Alma/Primo. 

Alma and Primo Analytics work sessions

We gained access to the New Alma and Primo Analytics suite on November 8th and are in the process of learning the new system. We will have weekly information sessions on working in Alma Analytics each week starting on December 2nd. The weekly schedule will be each Wednesday at 1 pm:

Topic: Alma Analytics Work Sessions

Join Zoom Meeting 
Meeting ID: 898 9982 8282
Password: 531383

Recording of Session on Advanced Searching and List Making in Alma

The Alma Squad held information sessions on producing lists and sets of titles/items in Alma for collection development work. In Alma, we can do some advanced and very detailed searches and then export those searches out as Excel spreadsheets (see image below for sample search). We did highlight these advanced search functionalities and exporting results. The recording of one session is accessible here:
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ANNOUNCEMENTS: Grants: Open Office Hours & SPA Holiday Closure and Proposal Submission Deadlines
First, I want to say thank you to everyone who has welcomed me as well as those I have already had the pleasure to work with as the new Grants Coordinator in the Library’s Business and Human Resources Service Center.

Second, I will be holding Open Office Hours for Grants and Contacts on December 7, 2020, from 11:00 am – 12:00 pm, I welcome you to join me via Zoom.

Join Zoom Meeting:
Meeting ID: 825 4352 0136
Password: 828389

Finally, please note that SPA will be closed for the Christmas holiday break starting at 5 pm Wednesday, December 23rd through and including Friday, January 1st.  They will reopen for business on Monday, January 4th at 8:00 am. All proposals that require submission between the dates of December 17th and January 1st will need to be submitted to SPA by Wednesday, December 16th at 5:00 p.m. to allow sufficient time for review and submission.  If you are planning to submit a proposal anytime between now and January 15, 2021, please contact me by Monday, December 7, 2020, to discuss the details.

Thank you – Wendy (
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ANNOUNCEMENTS: Illinois Open Publishing Network (IOPN) New Releases 
IOPN has released its first print-on-demand option for a title! The textbook, Instruction in Libraries and Information Centers: An Introduction, was published online in August and is already adopted in fall courses.

IOPN is now the publisher of the open access journal Vivliofika: E-Journal of Eighteenth-Century Russian Studies. The back issues are now available, with the first issue published through IOPN to be released shortly.
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ANNOUNCEMENTS: Did You Know? A Monthly Factoid from Library Assessment
From the first day of class to the start of fall break, the Ask a Librarian (LibChat) virtual reference service has answered 3,791 questions from students, faculty, and the broader user community. In those conversations over LibChat, there were feelings of frustration, encouragement, gratitude, and more – and they were sometimes expressed with the use of emojis. Using emojis during a live chat can add a human touch to online conversations, help patrons feel more at ease, and improve the overall user experience. Take the September chats as an example – 615 emojis were found in the chat transcripts and 64% of the emojis were sent by the Library staff. 🙂

Image by Library Assessment Graduate Assistant Lindsay Taylor.
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ANNOUNCEMENTS: Library Tip of the Month
The Library sends a monthly email to new faculty at Illinois during the fall and spring semesters. These emails introduce many of our services and resources to this important audience.

You can view the November LTOTM at

If you have ideas for future emails, please feel free to share them with Heather Murphy.
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ANNOUNCEMENTS: Collection Development Committee Notes
The most recent meetings minutes of the CDC are posted at:
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ANNOUNCEMENTS: Content Access Policy & Technology Meeting Minutes
The meetings minutes of CAPT (including workgroup reports) are posted at:
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ANNOUNCEMENTS: Recognizing Excellence
Please share your award, recognition, or grant! To initiate a request for publicity, employees (or their supervisors) should submit this Awards/Recognitions/Grants Publicity Request Form.
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For a complete list of projects in planning and construction, please see
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HR NEWS: Filled Positions

  • Genevieve Schmitt – SCaRS Software Developer – Started 11/16/2020
  • Tabby Garbutt – Digital Imaging Specialist I – Preservation – Starts 12/1/2020

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HR NEWS: Vacancies

  • Student Success Librarian – Undergraduate Library – Open Ranked Faculty – Closes 12/11/2020

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HR NEWS: Departures

  • Tim Cole – Mathematics Library – Retires 12/15/2020

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HR NEWS: Searches Completed

Undergraduate Teaching and Learning Library – Undergraduate Library – Sara Holder, Chair 
Kick-off meeting scheduled for February 25, 2020.  EC approved position. Live on job board with a closing date of April 10, 2020. The closing date extended to May 15, 2020. Phone screenings held June 1, June 2, June 3, June 4 & June 8. Virtual interviews scheduled July 17, July 20, July 22 & July 23. Offer extended to Alex Deeke. Started on November 16, 2020.

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HR NEWS:  Searches in Progress or Pre-announcement

Head, Scholarly Commons – Scholarly Commons, FAC – Kyle Rimkus, Chair 
Kick-off meeting scheduled for March 24, 2020.  Interim Head position offered to Sara Benson: Phone screenings held 9/9 & 9/10. Virtual interviews held Sept 30, Oct 1, Oct 2 & Oct 6. Offer Pending.

Asst. Dean of Business and Human Resources, AP – Mary Laskowski, Chair
Kick-off meeting scheduled for May 19, 2020. On Hold. Live on job board with a closing date of August 28, 2020. Phone screenings held Oct 1, Oct 5, Oct 9 & Oct 15. Virtual interviews scheduled Nov 18, Nov 24, Dec 3, Dec 8, and Dec 9.

ACS Cataloguing Coordinator, AP – Mara Thacker, Chair
Kick-off meeting scheduled for May 13, 2020.  EC approved position. IHR approved JD Oct 7, 2020. Live on job board. Closed Nov 6, 2020. 

ACS Electronic Resources, FAC – Tom Teper, Chair 
Kick-off meeting scheduled for May 20, 2020.  EC approved position. IHR approved JD on July 1, 2020. Live on job board with a closing date of August 21, 2020. Phone screenings held Sept 30, Oct 5, Oct 6 & Oct 7. Virtual interviews scheduled for Nov 11, 16, and 17. Fourth candidate withdrew.

Student Success Librarian – Undergraduate Library, FAC – Sara Williams, Chair 
Kick-off meeting scheduled for February 19, 2020.  EC approved position. Live on job board with a closing date of March 27, 2020. Closing date extended to May 1, 2020: Vacancy Suspended until further notice. Kick-off meeting held 10/29/2020. Live on job board with a closing date of Dec 11, 2020

Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility – Business and Human Resources Services, AP – Cindy Ingold, Chair 
Kick-off meeting scheduled for March 5, 2020.  Position description pending approval. Vacancy Suspended until further notice. Kick-off meeting held Oct 28, 2020

Visiting Design and Materials Research Librarian – Ricker Library, FAC – Kirstin Dougan Johnson, Chair 
Kick-off meeting scheduled for April 14, 2020.  Vacancy Suspended until further notice. Kick-off meeting held Nov 2, 2020

Library Assessment Specialist, AP – Sara Benson, Chair
Kick-off meeting scheduled for May 4, 2020.  Vacancy Suspended until further notice. Kick-off meeting held Nov 4, 2020

Visiting Conservator – Paula Carns, Chair 
Kick-off meeting held Nov 5, 2020. 

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HR NEWS: In Memoriam

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EVENTS AND TRAINING: Staff Events Calendar
To see the most up-to-date staff events calendar, please visit
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September 8 – December 4

On behalf of the Reference Management Team, I would like to invite you to attend Fall 2020 Hub Training. The sessions are included in the Staff Calendar and on the Hub Wiki Training Schedule page (login with your NetID and password).

Sessions will be held on Tuesdays from 2-3 p.m. and Fridays from 3-4 p.m. via Zoom. You can attend either the Tuesday or the Friday session. If you are new to working at one of the Hubs – please attend one session for each of the topics. Others who will be working at a Hub during the 2020-21 academic year – please attend as many sessions as you can. Even if you have learned this material before, your knowledge and experience are essential to making the most of this opportunity to learn from each other. If you are not working at one of the Hubs but are interested in the training topics being presented, you are more than welcome to attend.

Zoom details were emailed via LibNews on August 2nd from Sara Holder. Please contact Sara if you have any questions.
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EVENTS AND TRAINING: Assistant Dean for Business and Human Resources Candidate Presentations
November 18 – December 9

The search committee for the Assistant Dean for Business and Human Resources (Skye Arseneau, Susan Edwards, Mary Laskowski, Kathryn Risor-Heise, Suzanne Rinehart) is hosting five candidates for interviews. We have asked each of the candidates to present on the following topic:

Describe how you will use your experience and expertise to ensure trust and engagement as the Library navigates challenges and opportunities in human resource development and budget management issues facing academic libraries in the next few years.

We hope this topic will generate a good discussion, and you are all invited to attend. The names, dates, and times for each presentation are below, the presentation invites are attached to this message, and the candidate information is attached as well.

  • Nichole Hemming. November 24, 2020. 11:00 – 12:00
  • Aaron Darnall. December 3, 2020. 11:00 – 12:00
  • Sonya Chambers. December 8, 2020. 11:00 – 12:00
  • Susan Breakenridge. December 9, 2020. 11:00 – 12:00

Zoom invites for these presentations were sent via a LibNews email from Mary Laskowski on November 10.
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EVENTS AND TRAINING: Live RBML Event: Hindsight 19/20s!
Friday, December 4, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm

Join curator Caroline Szylowicz for a live virtual presentation on some literary happenings during the 1920s. Drawing on collections from the Rare Book & Manuscript Library, we’ll explore ways in which publishers and writers whose writings crossed established cultural boundaries, fostered creative collaborations across borders to foil censors and ensure that their works would reach their readers.

This event is part of a joint initiative of the University of Illinois Library’s Special Collections units celebrating “The Roaring Twenties: Illinois and the World”.

This event is free and public, but PRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED; please register here:
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EVENTS AND TRAINING: NISO Webinar: Change Management Webinar Series – Rethinking Spaces
December 9th at 10 am

Some organizations and institutions in the information community have now started to return to a form of face-to-face operations, requiring even more planning and adaptation on their part in order to safely bring their workforce back to an office setting. How can available spaces be re-allocated in order to accommodate social distancing? Where are plexiglass shields needed? How many workers could or should continue to work remotely and how many will only be in the office part-time? This discussion will look beyond narrow issues such as managing shelving or foot traffic, to focus on how we need to rethink the functional space and shared environments of 21st-century knowledge workers.

Please email for login credentials or recordings.
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EVENTS AND TRAINING: Connecting and Collaborating with Patron Communities
Friday, December 11th, from 2-3 pm

There are many different communities of patrons whose teaching, learning, and research needs overlap with our professional expertise but it can be challenging to make meaningful connections with these groups and to build strong and lasting working relationships. Peg Burnette, Chris Bailey, Carissa Phillips, and Antonio Sotomayor will share examples of how they have developed and grown these relationships. Time for questions and group discussion will follow, including opportunities for those attending to share their own experiences.

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 875 9072 4797
Password: 376953
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EVENTS AND TRAINING: NISO Webinar: Change Management Webinar Series – Moving into the Future
December 16 at 10 am

The impact felt by institutions and organizations in this pandemic — past, present, and future — is impossible to evaluate. In less than a year, the information community has already seen both their budgets and their workforce cut. How do we move forward? How do we plan ahead for the short and longer time frames? All information organizations must re-evaluate their mission, their offerings, and their strategies in order to continue to thrive. In this final webinar of the series, roundtable participants will look to the future. They will discuss how they and their organizations are navigating the changes and the additional adaptations that may be required or made possible as we start to think about a post-COVID world. We’re living through a pandemic, one that has caused an acceleration in community shifts that were already unfolding. How do NISO members and the broader information community navigate those changes and make the most of this opportunity to shape a better future?

Please email for login credentials or recordings.
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If you would like to submit content for the January issue of Library Office Notes, please submit it to Heather Murphy or Tom Teper by December 18, 2020.