Not only are we thankful to have access to a wonderful public library, but we are especially thankful for the staff and all that they do for our community. We are going to take time during the next few months to introduce each of the staff members at Kilgore Memorial Library.
The first library staff member we interviewed is Rachel Mayfield. Rachel is the technical services/acquisitions coordinator at our library. Rachel moved to York 20 years ago from Lexington. She is an alum of York College, is married to Jim and they have one daughter, Lily who is in the sixth grade at YMS. Rachel has worked at Kilgore Memorial Library for 5 1/2 years.
Professionally, Rachel is a member of the Nebraska Library Association and its Technical Services Round Table. Through classes offered by the Nebraska Library Commission Rachel has obtained Public Library Certification, Cataloging Certification, and is currently working to reach Advanced Cataloging Certification status. Since becoming a full-time staff member in 2013, Rachel has established a formal Technical Services Department and is working on procedures for each of the duties that encompasses. She is a member of the hiring committee, the policy review committee and is the safety officer for the library.
What exactly does a Technical Services/Acquisitions Coordinator do at a library?
“You may not see me out front very much but you can see my work anywhere you look in the library.”
At our library it boils down to everything that has anything to do with our collections. Rachel determines what items will be purchased, which includes managing the library’s materials budget. When selections have been made, she uses the acquisitions module of our automation system that has been integrated with the online ordering systems from each vendor we work with. This allows items on order to appear in our local catalog so that patrons will know what is coming and can place holds on items before they arrive. Once the orders arrive, Rachel reconciles the invoices for payment and begins processing items into the library catalog. Utilizing nationally recognized standards, Rachel fully catalogs our holdings into our local automated catalog and the international library catalog that shares what we have with other libraries for interlibrary loan services. Once the items are cataloged, she processes them with spine labels and barcodes and puts them into service for circulation. She is also responsible for repair and maintenance of the entire collection. The Friends of the Library recently purchased a rebinding machine that makes this process a whole lot easier and helps extend the life of books longer than the tape and glue we used to use. Rachel also leads our weeding and deaccession process for items no longer relevant or deteriorated to the point of no return.
Rachel has been working on relabeling every item in the collection.
“It’s a big undertaking but the new labels are much easier to read and will provide consistency throughout the collection.” If anyone has looked at the spine labels in our nonfiction collection and compared that to the labels in our Large Print fiction collection, you will understand how awesome this project is and how sorely this project is needed!
Rachel handles vendor relations for all aspects of purchasing, sales calls from book and library supply vendors, and technical issues with online services provided to the library. Rachel works closely with a volunteer from the Friends of the Library who processes the book donations. Rachel selects donated items for the library collections first and then they go to the Friends for fundraising at the year round book sale shelf in the library or online sales through Better World Books.
Another important part of her job is reviewing the list of titles requested by patrons each month.
“I enjoy filling patron requests. It’s a great feeling to know that I am buying something that someone really wants, which will be valued and appreciated. The number of requests I receive each month has risen greatly in the last year, which I think is wonderful. I love that the patrons are comfortable enough to tell me what they want in the collection. But with budget cuts it has become extremely challenging for me to fill all of the requests.”
Rachel is also the Systems Administrator for our Integrated Library System, Apollo. This is the system that houses our patron database, collection records, acquisitions management, and the public catalog that we all use. She trains staff on software updates as they are provided by the vendor, maintains Authority Control on all of the catalog records and manages the inventory process through Apollo. When the library staff has issues or have questions for the vendor, it is usually Rachel who will reach out to them.
Additionally, Rachel also helps with Readers Advisory, works at the front desk, provides patron technology support and has taken on some of the programming responsibilities. She works on special projects with outside school groups and other community groups such as the Friends of the Library and their Giving Tree project which will be at the annual Super Soup sale.
“It’s an honor to be trusted with the growth and care of the collection for this wonderful library. I’ve worked very hard to build a strong Technical Services department devoted to its continued organization and development. I feel very fortunate to have a job I truly enjoy.”
This year we are adding a Giving Tree decorated with gift tags labeled with popular titles the current materials budget will not cover. Rachel will purchase the title on each of the tags that are sold as soon as they are available from the publisher.