UCB Libraries

Employee of the Month 2014 October August July June May April March February January November December September

The University Libraries’ Employee of the Month award is intended to recognize the special effort of faculty, staff, or student employees. The award is granted at the discretion of the Associate Director for Administration. To nominate an employee, please email a letter of support to Leslie J. Reynolds.


November 2014 Employee of the Month:
Adam Lisbon, Jennie Gerke, Melissa Harden, Grace Haynes, Jennifer Sanchez

Nominated by Brittany Reed, Erika Klein, Amy Beth Arenson, Jennifer Knievel.

As a library organization, we have been working hard to move toward data-driven decision making and service assessment. At the heart of data-driven decision making, of course, lie good data. Data collection at service points has been gradually expanding over the last five years.  


With their project to redevelop our data collection forms, QUES*TT has moved us into a new level of data collection, enabling opportunities to assess our services and our work in new ways. Their truly inclusive approach to building the data collection forms served to bring tangible value to everyone who might use the forms, which should serve to strengthen participation. Setting up the forms through the Springshare product additionally allows all the interested parties to access the data they need in order to support the organization.


The QUES*TT Team, with this project, has positioned us to make better use of our time and provide higher quality service.  Many thanks to the QUES*TT Team for helping to move our organization forward!

Please join me in congratulating Adam, Jennie, Melissa, Grace, and Jennifer! Thank you for all the great service to the Libraries!


October 2014 Employee of the Month:
Michael Swartz
Nominated by Adam Lisbon, Barb Losoff, Brice Austin

We would like to recognize Michael Swartz for the extensive work he has completed over the past spring and summer, managing the move of various collections within Norlin Library. This was an enormous project, encompassing a variety of rather large tasks:


  • Moving some 60,000 volumes from the Periodicals Collection to Norbase, and prepping those items for shipment to PASCAL

  • Moving 50-60,000 volumes from the Science Collection to Norbase, and prepping those items for shipment to PASCAL

  • Consolidating the remaining Science Collection, another 50-60K items, into S180

  • Consolidating the remaining Periodicals Collection and moving those items into the Research Area, while integrating the unbound periodicals

  • Moving the Asian Reference Collection from the Research Area into S280

In addition to the above (and oh yes, his regular duties) Michael also managed to complete a shift of the Art Collection, putting the finishing touches on a separate project begun earlier in the year.


When the Science/Asian/Periodicals project began it seemed very unlikely that all the different, intertwined parts could possibly be done by the end of the summer, but Michael and his crew managed to complete each of these large and rather complex projects in astonishing time. Thanks to his efforts the Science, Periodicals, and Asian Collections are seated in their new locations and it seems likely that the planned Asian Collection Reading Room will be open as a new study area early in the Fall Semester.


Please join us in applauding Michael for all his fine work!


September 2014 Employee of the Month:
Yawen Zhang, Accounting Tech in Scholarly Resource Development
Nominated by Yem Fong

Yawen’s knowledge of university accounting practices was key to  successful FY14 fiscal close, especially in light of Charlene Kelsey’s retirement.  Yawen is responsible for entering payment information into the campus PeopleSoft system for nearly all invoices for libraries materials purchases (monographs, DVDs, serials, maps, and more), a task which requires dedicated attention to detail and the ability to identify and correct errors before they become bigger problems.  As the fiscal year end approached, Yawen spent countless hours reconciling our internal Sierra accounting system with PeopleSoft, and on a daily basis, reviewed fund balances and  resolved inconsistencies.  Her close monitoring of accounts helped us strategically manage our year end invoices.  In the end were able to match Sierra and PeopleSoft accounts within .31 cents, meaning we did not over spend our $10.4 million materials budget.


Many thanks to Yawen and a strong effort in SRD and serials acquisitions for a successful fiscal close!


August 2014 Employee of the Month:
Leanne Walther
Nominated by Erika Klein

I would like to recognize Leanne Walther for her dedication to reference services on the Research Desk and “Chat with a Librarian” instant messaging. Here are her statistics in detail for the past academic year:


Summer 2014: 94 hours (55 on the Research Desk and 39 hours on IM)
Spring 2014: 161 hours (126 on the Research Desk and 35 hours on IM)
Fall 2013: 172 hours (112 hours on the Research Desk and 60 hours on IM)


And those numbers do not represent the time she spent in classrooms and during individual consultations with our users. Students and faculty have also recognized her significant contributions to their research efforts. Her dedication to our customers and reference services in general is a true inspiration to all of us and I feel very privileged to work with Leanne.


July 2014 Employee of the Month:
Jane Zumwalt, Cynthia Hardey, and Crystal Falconer
Submitted by Michael Dulock

Jane Zumwalt, Cynthia Hardey, and Crystal Falconer performed exceptional  work on the Colorado Coal Project Collection. The collection documents the history of coal mining in the West, especially Colorado, and covers topics ranging from immigration and social life to labor conditions and strikes.


While the bulk of the collection is in the form of images, there are also over eighty video interviews with retired miners and nearly as many transcripts. These materials were truly challenging to catalog. The relationships between interviews, video files, and transcripts were rarely one-to-one. Some videos has no transcript, some transcripts had no corresponding video, and many videos contained whole or partial interviews with more than one person.


Jane, Cyndie, and Crystal tackled these issues with aplomb, working together to untangle the complicated interrelations while creating their own metadata records. In addition, they did substantial research on their own in order to standardize terminology, names, locations, spellings, and even identities. They created documentation which each cataloger consulted and updated regularly to track individual progress, to propagate new or altered information throughout related records, and to prevent stepping on each other’s toes. They read and analyzed transcripts that often neared (and sometimes exceeded) 100 pages, often changing topics from one paragraph to the next, and composed concise abstracts to give users a solid idea of what was contained in a very long text document.


Ron McMahan, the primary material donor and a close collaborator on the project, singled the three of them out for their outstanding work on the abstracts in particular. Forty years after gathering much of the material, he knows it inside and out, and was thoroughly impressed with their efforts to disentangle and interrelate the material, as well as their ability to condense long, sometimes rambling interviews into a couple hundred words.


All of this took place under a stringent time constraint, as they were working on these materials with a strict deadline so that we could publish the collection well ahead of the centenary of the Ludlow Massacre on 20 April. The work was completed ahead of schedule, giving us plenty of time to check for and correct problems, add material, and make the collection as good as possible before publication.


For these phenomenal efforts, Jane, Cyndie, and Crystal are well deserving of the Employee of the Month award.


June 2014 Employees of the Month:
Digital Humanities Task Force:
Leo Arellano, Michael Dulock, Eric Harbeson, Erika Klein, Holley Long, Jacie Moriyama (formerly OIT), Viktoriya Oliynyk (OIT), Elaine Paul (Art & Art History), Esta Tovstiadi, Alex Watkins
Submitted by Thea Lindquist (Chair of the Digital Humanities Task Force)

In December 2013, members of the Digital Humanities Task Force successfully completed a herculean undertaking - to investigate and report on Digital Humanities activities and needs on campus and formulate recommendations for how these might be supported by the Libraries and other campus partners. Among their activities were an investigation of library-associated Digital Humanities initiatives at other institutions, environmental scan of campus facilities and services, campus-wide survey (345 responses!), in-depth interviews with 20 faculty, graduate students and other campus researchers, and the Digital Humanities symposium and workshop held in August 2013 with the support of the Libraries, CHA, ATLAS, OIT and several academic departments on campus. The members of the task force accomplished this work with a great amount of dedication and good humor, for which we are extremely happy to nominate them. Digital scholars on campus are grateful for your efforts as are your colleagues in the Libraries!


May 2014 Employee of the Month:
Naomi Seko
Submitted by Steven Selleck

During the past two years Naomi has overcome significant obstacles to keep the Acquisitions Unit (the “Unit”) functioning and flourishing. In 2012, Naomi was asked to take over the day-to-day supervision of the Acquisitions Unit during the six-month sabbatical of the Unit’s faculty director, Charlene Kellsey. During that six-month period, Naomi assumed many of Charlene’s daily duties while continuing to perform her own job obligations as manager of the Order Fulfillment Team. What complicated the task at hand was the extraordinary turnover Acquisitions encountered during the 2012-2013 fiscal year. In addition to the absence of the Unit’s faculty director, several employees left the Unit or changed positions. First, the manager of the Monographic Ordering Team left to take a position in another department. This individual had been a strong member of Acquisitions for the better part of a decade. Naomi was responsible for training the new manager of the Monographic Ordering Team so that the position was functioning prior to the start of the fall semester.


The person that became the new Monographic Ordering Team manager came from Naomi’s Order Fulfillment Team. Another member of the Order Fulfillment Team, an exceptional employee who had been with Acquisitions for over ten years, left to pursue further education. Consequently, Naomi had to hire and train two new members of the Order Fulfillment Team. In summary, Naomi was responsible for training three new hires during the fall semester while assuming the responsibilities of the faculty head. This all occurred during the time when the University of Colorado Libraries made the switch from Millennium to Sierra.


It should be noted that the Board of Regents did not vote to delay the start of the fall semester in order to give Acquisitions time to get the new staff trained. School started on time in August. Naomi was responsible for making sure Acquisitions was ready to perform as usual at the start of the new academic year.


The 2013-2014 fiscal year has brought additional challenges to the Unit. Soon after the academic year began in the fall, N151, the home of Acquisitions, incurred water damage due to the “500 year” floods that affected much of the state. As a result of the damage, new homes for the Unit’s staff had to be found. Naomi was integral in coordinating the relocation of the staff to ensure the Unit continued to function with minimal interruption.


Attrition has continued to affect the Acquisitions Unit. Soon after the staff was relocated, the Unit’s faculty director, Charlene Kellsey, retired. Once again, Naomi has assumed many of Charlene’s daily duties while continuing to perform her own job obligations as manager of the Order Fulfillment Team. Naomi has performed at the highest level and has dealt with all of the vocational challenges in the most efficient manner.


Employee of the Month: 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013