New Librarian to focus on information literacy

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Part of the unification between Johnson State College and Lyndon State College included the coalescence of each campus’ libraries, Willey library and Samuel Read Hall Library respectively. Both libraries are directed as one under Samuel Boss, who was originally hired at Lyndon State College back in 2015.

“I became interim director in July of 2015 at Samuel Read Hall library at Lyndon and served in that capacity for about a year,” said Boss, “and then I went through the application and hiring process to become the permanent full-time director. I think that by August I was full-time director of that library.”

Since the joining of the two libraries changes have been seen at the Willey Library on Johnson’s campus. “The most visible change as far as people coming into the physical library is the Info Desk, which has combined IT and library services at the main service area,” Boss said. “So now students, faculty, staff and community members can come in and get help for research, traditional library needs and also their IT needs.”

Boss continued to explain that anyone having trouble connecting their devices to the school’s Wi-Fi or had any questions concerning their technology should now come to the library for assistance.

There have been unseen changes done at both campuses as well, one being the fact that the library staff and the IT staff are working together more cohesively than they have in the past. Another change comes in the form of a new website. Rather than a Willey Library site and a Samuel Read Hall Library site, there is now only one site under the name Northern Vermont University Libraries. Boss believes this melding of websites will make sharing resources easier between the two campuses.

“All of our electronic resources are now under the NVU libraries umbrella rather than Johnson or Lyndon,” Boss said. “So, it doesn’t matter if you’re a student on this campus or the Lyndon campus, all of our electronic resources: e-books, articles, journals, newspapers, are available to all students.”

There’s more work to be done to revamp the library to where Boss wants it to be, and he and the library staff are currently going through the process of strategic planning.

“As we go through this strategic planning process, a couple of the areas that we’re going to be considering as far as future changes are concerned are our spaces and collections,” said Boss.

Boss is looking forward to continuing this planning process and views any upcoming challenges as opportunities instead.

“I think one of the things that’s most important to me is getting a strong face-to-face information literacy program established,” he said. “So, that means relationship building between the library and the faculty, having the opportunity for librarians to build relationships in the classroom with students and faculty. Getting that off the ground will be challenging, not in a negative way, but just getting the program started and established and making sure relationships are positive and we are offering a service that faculty and students benefit from.”

Overall, Boss is eager to finish perfecting the library and is pleased with the progress made so far.

“I’m excited about building an information literacy program here, I’m excited about the challenges and opportunities of working with faculty to get that program off the ground,” said Boss. “I’m excited about the info desk. We have a great staff here, they really want to work with students, they love it when students come and use our resources, our services and our spaces. Having this info desk model here allows us greater access to students, faculty, staff, and community members.”