Where in the World is Shared User Services?

Nearly a year ago, the Libraries reorganized to form a central user services unit, Shared User Services. While we are still building, major structures are coming together. Here’s a progress report to let you know who we are, where you can find us, and some of the things we are up to.

SUS began with several people in the former Scholarly Communication Center department: Isaiah Beard (Digital Data Curator), Ron Jantz (Digital Library Architect), Peter Konin (Digital Project Coordinator), and Rhonda Marker (Director of Shared User Services). Marty Barnett (Digital Library Applications Specialist) moved from IIS to join us. This summer, Joseph Deodado (Digital User Services Librarian) and Amy Kimura (Web Services Librarian) came on board. We are currently recruiting for a new Virtual Reference Services Librarian.

Our physical work home is in Alexander Library on the 4th floor. Our online home is on the Staff Resources pages of the Libraries website. We have an up to date SUS Contacts list where you can see who to contact, from digital curation and digital file questions (Isaiah Beard) to virtual reference services (currently, Joseph Deodato and Natalie Borisovets). No, Natalie has not moved to SUS. She is still at Dana Library, where she has been the glue holding together the chat reference schedule across all of RUL. When we hire the new Virtual Reference Services Librarian, we’ll update our contacts list.

SUS coordinates discovery, the shared components of reference (chat, email), and the public-facing libraries website. We also have a coordinating role for digital projects – but that story will have to wait for a future issue of The Agenda. Two working groups that support improvements to discovery of library resources, the Discovery Working Group and the Library Catalog Committee, report to the Head of Shared User Services. Their minutes and other useful information are now located on the SUS web pages of Staff Resources. Cabinet recently charged the Web Improvement Team, which is ambitiously meeting on the first day of the fall semester. We are all looking forward to seeing the fruits of their labors – and you will be able to read all about it on the SUS web pages.

From time to time, the Libraries identify other services that call for a central user services role. This was the case for the modernization of our library hours information. Staff in SUS and IIS collaborated on configuring the information in LibCal (from SpringShare) and worked with many people in all our library locations to assemble the details of buildings, service points, and shifting calendars. We could not have done it without you. We are still adding details and features so that this new way of presenting our library hours gives our users the information they need. Ongoing support for library hours resides in SUS (Marty Barnett).

There is a lot more that we are doing, and we are excited about the work ahead of us. Most of all we look forward to working with all of you in the Libraries. If you ever want to chat, now you know where to find us!


Rhonda Marker