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West Library adapts to continue serving students

08.06.2021 | By:

The TXWES team in the Eunice & James L. West Library have been hard at work over the past year! While the past year has presented some challenges for the faculty and staff, including temporarily relocating their offices to the Martin Center, the librarians have continued to serve the Texas Wesleyan community in excellence. Through whatever came their way, the team resiliently continued their work efforts and are now in the preparation stages of the library’s reopening! It’s an exciting time for our campus as our students return and the library will be ready to serve our campus community when the time comes.

Claudine Myles, circulation assistant, said during the time where most aspects of campus life moved to a virtual modality, the library faculty and staff continued to provide services such as parking, IDs and providing material to check out to TXWES students and employees. They relocated the reserve collection to the Martin Center and assisted students in locating and utilizing the STC computer labs and printers. Myles praised the adaptability of the circulation staff during this time, saying that they were “flexible and patient.”

Collection management librarian Natasha Zinsou gave us a behind-the-scenes look at some of the steps to the West Library’s reopening. Because parts of the library sustained water damage resulting from the winter storm in February, Zinsou is mainly focused on the recovery of the shelves located on the library’s third floor, which houses the General Collection. The entirety of the faculty librarians and the majority of the staff have been involved in the recovery process at some stage. Staff have been tasked with what Zinsou described as “shelf-reading,” which involves placing the books back on the shelves in the correct order. The process takes a lot of time, patience and attention to detail”because the librarians must get the books back on the shelves in a specific order, as defined by their call numbers. Without this process, students would not be able to locate the books they need in the Library.

Faculty librarians are starting the next aspect of the recovery process, which involves conducting a book-by-book account of the collection on the third floor. Inventory is essential, according to Zinsou, as it “helps keep our library catalog accurate by identifying which books are physically confirmed to be on the shelf, and which books may come up as Lost/Missing.” To ensure an accurate count of the books remaining in the General Collection, the faculty librarians take each book off of the shelves and individually scan it into their inventory system. As each book is individually handled, the faculty librarians are also assessing the book’s relevance to the current needs of the students and will be removing books that will not be as useful to the population. The assessment is a worthwhile endeavor for the future of Texas Wesleyan as it assists library faculty and staff in keeping up with the current needs of the student population and caring for the existing collection of books in the library.

The incredible faculty and staff are engaged in this restoration project all the while continuing to provide stellar service to students. Their resilience in the face of challenges and difficulties showcases the spirit of Texas Wesleyan in such a tangible way. We look forward to the reopening of the West Library and getting to see the fruits of all of the librarians’ incredible labors!