Barry McNamara  |   Published July 21, 2016

Check it out

Hewes Library welcomes Giffey, continues to upgrade access
  • Monmouth College welcomed Anne Giffey, public services librarian, on July 1.
The newest face at the Monmouth College Hewes Library is Anne Giffey, who began her position as public services librarian on July 1.   Giffey, who received her master’s degree in library and information studies from the University of Wisconsin, said she is eager to work with the new faces who will soon follow her to campus. The fall semester begins Aug. 23. “I’m looking forward to seeing a lot of the new freshman faces and making sure they get off to a successful start,” said Giffey, who previously served on the library staff at Knox College. “I’m excited to reinvent my position here at Monmouth. I’m really enjoying the team atmosphere.” As public services librarian, Giffey is tasked in part with “making sure our library has access to the resources the faculty, staff and students need to be successful.”   Giffey also completed her undergraduate work in Madison, Wis., studying English literature at Edgewood College, where she minored in computer science.   Library director Rick Sayre said he is pleased to welcome Giffey to his staff. He also had glowing praise for another somewhat recent addition – Monmouth’s membership in the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois, also known as CARLI.   Since 2007, Monmouth has been part of CARLI, which has 86 member libraries. Sayre said it is probably the most significant development at Hewes Library since the $4 million renovation that was completed in 2002.   “CARLI is a great consortial experiment,” said Sayre, who has served as director since 1998. “Our students have access to all the collections of the other 85 libraries. You lose a little autonomy that way, but what you gain is insurmountable.”   Sayre said the previous interlibrary loan system promised delivery in seven to 14 days; CARLI has lowered turnaround time to three to five days.   It’s all part of the continued improvements that libraries like Monmouth’s are making in providing their patrons with more and better access.   “I feel like I’ve been a part of it all,” said Sayre, who noted that OCLC (the Online Computer Library Center) was just getting its start when he was a library science student in the 1970s.   “When I started at Monmouth, we had 500 subscriptions for periodicals, and full access to 500 more,” he said. “Now, electronically, we have access to 30,000 unique journal titles.”   Access to videos, such as History Channel, Arts & Entertainment and PBS programs, as well as independent films, foreign films and documentaries, has also grown exponentially and is “one of the most exciting developments,” Sayre said. The library also has improved access to e-books, e-journals, streaming audio and government documents.   Access to government documents has long been a strong suit of the Monmouth College library, which became a Federal Depository Library in 1860. That makes Hewes Library the oldest FDL in the state and the fourth-oldest in the nation.   Technical services librarian Lynn Daw called the value of the FDL collection “almost priceless,” for the way it “puts history in the hands” of library patrons.   “We have maps of Yellowstone, since it’s a national park, and we have census information, in print, dating back to 1860,” she said. “We also have information on the explorations before the transcontinental railroad went through, so we have John Wesley Powell’s maps of the Colorado River. We just keep discovering things like that.”   The Rare Book Room is now open to the public, and the library also houses the James Christie Shields ’49 Collection of Art & Antiquities and an impressive collection of Native American artifacts, managed by faculty and students who oversee the Archaeology Lab in the building.   Other historical information is virtually in the hands of library patrons. For example, an online diary kept by 19th-century Presbyterian missionary Alexander Blaikie and dance cards from 1940s campus socials are among the items that have been digitized for the archives through the efforts of Daw and Monmouth history students.   Sayre said since it was opened several years ago, Einstein’s Brothers Bagels has become “THE place to meet for people on campus and for a number of members of our community. Some just come to grab a bagel or grab some lunch, but once they’re in here, they see we have a lot of other things going on.”   That includes “Scots Read,” a section of 300 titles of popular and bestselling works that “rotate over time,” he said. “It’s an alternative for people who want to have some recreational books to read.”
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