Q&A with Library Staff: Johanna Krogh

Jo Krogh joins the SPU Library staff as our new Budget Manager and Administrative Assistant. Learn a little bit about her below in our Q & A interview:

What are some things you are responsible for in your new position?

I am responsible for managing the library’s budget, which can range from counting cash in the cash registers to making sure we are all squared away financially for any major projects we have coming. I absolutely love working with numbers so although I am up in a cave crunching away- I’m happy!

What is your favorite thing about living in Seattle?

I love how each neighborhood in Seattle has its own unique identity. The MOHAI (Museum of History and Industry) is one of my favorite places to visit. It is right next to The Center for Wooden Boats where you can take sailing lessons. There are old retired boats parked that you can take tours through, and the museum itself is full of Seattle history. There is also a little park surrounding that area that is full on any given weekend, with the growing neighborhood of South Lake Union just a 5 minute walk away.

One of my favorite things about Seattle is the weather! I do enjoy the sun but I also like cloudy days and the light rain that Seattle is known for. I want to get good use out of my new raincoat, so wouldn’t mind if it was rainy all the time!

Any new book recommendations?

I mostly read fiction novels, and right now I’m bouncing around 5 different genres. I just finished reading ‘A Natural History of Dragons’, by Marie Brennan and really enjoyed it! It’s a fictional (dragons aren’t real, disappointingly) but relatable tale about a young woman trying to study a relatively new form of science that has always been a man’s subject. As a woman in mathematics, I can definitely relate to her struggles. I’m currently reading ‘The Good Lord Bird’ by James McBride, on pre-civil war social issues. For a much lighter suggestion, I recommend ‘Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?’ by Mindy Kaling, one of my favorite people in comedy right now. The book is great, but the audio book is even better since Mindy reads it herself!

Jo is located on the second floor of the Library in the Administrative offices. Drop by and say hi!

 

 

Q&A with Library Staff: Zach McNay

FaceZach McNay joins the SPU Library staff as our new Access Services Specialist. Learn a little bit about him below in our Q & A interview:

What are some things you are responsible for in your new position?

I am the weekend opener. It is a committed and tired crew of patrons that drag their bodies out of bed and into the library on the weekend. I say crew: let’s be nice to each other, and drink our coffee before we meet at the front desk.

I help with various tasks throughout the library, be it updating the library’s website, working to keep the Summit loan program working smoothly, or contributing to an odd post here and there on this very blog.

I’m also responsible for overseeing and training student workers. I want to help them have a positive and memorable job experience—library work can be fun!

What’s your favorite thing about living in Seattle?

I love the neighborhoods of Seattle, and travelling through them, and it’s fun to snap pictures of interesting things one runs across. Usually I begin at my favorite nook, “The Crumpet Shop”, down at the Pike Place Market. If you visit (and you should), try the crumpet with almond butter, marmalade, and blue cheese—simply the best. From there it’s easy to hop a bus to another neighborhood – walking around Capitol Hill I’ve found what is now my favorite music store in the city (Wall of Sound Records). I also stumbled across the Northwest Film Forum cinema and home office (a smaller cousin to the more well known SIFF cinema in lower Queen Anne), which has become a favorite spot of mine for viewing classic and foreign films on the big screen.

I just like knowing where things are in the city. As the years go by my mental map keeps expanding, and that is immensely satisfying. One thing I’ve learned though on my hikes: always bring an umbrella!

Any new book or movie recommendations?

I would recommend anything directed by Whit Stillman. His films are modern comedies of manners (a la Jane Austen), set in the elitist yet charming world of youthful old-money American preppies. We have his first three films, “Metropolitan”, “Barcelona” and “The Last Days of Disco” here at the library so check all of them out and have a marathon. If you’re in a more austere frame of mind, check out “Lancelot of the Lake” directed by Robert Bresson or “Stalker” directed by Andrei Tarkovsky.

When it comes to books, some of my favorites concern the lives and philosophies of particular filmmakers. I am currently re-reading Andrei Tarkovsky’s filmic autobiography “Sculpting in Time”, but you should certainly check it out once I’m done. Another to devour is the excellent “The Kubrick Façade” by Jason Sperb, an impassioned investigation of the meaning of the films of Stanley Kubrick (my own favorite director). Our collection of books about film at the library is rich and varied so dive in deep!

Q&A with Library Staff: Christina Nofziger

ChristinaChristina Nofziger joins the SPU Library staff as our new Access Services Specialist. Learn a little bit about her below in our Q & A interview:

Tell us a little about working at a Public Library and living in Kitsap County?

I worked for a public library in Kitsap County for seven years before coming to SPU.  Each day, I was privileged to help a variety of people with a variety of different needs. I did everything from baby story time to teaching students how to best use library resources for school projects to helping people track down books they wanted to read with very little information (“The cover was blue and I saw it on the Today Show…”) The library was a community gathering place so I also got to do some fun programming like author readings, Mystery Nights, art programs, and my personal favorite, a Zombie Prom!

I get the most joy in library work helping people find information that could potentially change their life. I’m very excited to be in an academic environment where I can use my passion for research and information to serve students and support SPU’s mission to engage culture and change the world!

Kitsap County is just west of Seattle via a short ferry ride. It’s a really beautiful area with lots of places to hike, camp and kayak. One of my favorite things to do is kayak along the Hood Canal and explore the little coves along the shoreline. For a day trip, Bainbridge Island and Poulsbo are great little cities to explore with lots of quirky shops and fantastic restaurants. Kitsap also gets regular visits from orca and grey whales!

What are some things you are responsible for in your new position?

I am an Access Services Specialist, and will help oversee student workers and the running of the front desk. I will be responsible for inventory and stack maintenance.

Any new book recommendations?

SO MANY! I love to read and I really love helping people find their next book. Feel free to stop by the library and talk to me about what you’ve enjoyed reading and what you would like to read next!

Most recently, I really enjoyed Echoes of Eden: Reflections on Christianity, Literature, and the Arts by Jerram Barrs. Dr. Barrs discusses the importance of culture as part of the human experience and why art appeals to us. Art often reflects what he calls “echoes of Eden” and is part of God’s general revelation: it reflects creation, the fallen world, and the longing for redemption. Creativity is a gift from God, the ultimate Creator, and Barrs makes a wonderful case that imagination and art can be vehicles for truth for image-bearing humans. He presents theoretical and doctrinal issues as they pertain to the arts and then applies these to five authors: C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, Shakespeare, and Jane Austen.

* Photo is courtesy of Camarin Quinn Photography

Interview with a Librarian: Liz Gruchala-Gilbert on USEM and Information Literacy

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What is the Library’s role in the USEM classes?

In the USEM classes, we aim to address the concept of information literacy. Graduates need to be information literate, have critical thinking skills, and be lifelong learners – and the Library works with faculty to make that happen.

USEM is our opportunity to meet all the new students – we probably have interaction with 90% of the first year students through USEM. When they come here we have the opportunity to take them on a tour – it’s a good time for us to introduce the Library to students in a fun way. I like to find out more about their experience with libraries – how they used libraries in high school, or how they use the public library – and then kind of bridge that to how they’re going to use this Library.

That also makes our interaction with new students an introduction to academic culture. They’re spending their first few weeks getting used to being at SPU…but there’s also an academic culture that they’re entering into. When they come here we show them how they’re going to be using more scholarly resources then they ever did before, and some of the nuts and bolts of using the catalog, getting things that are on reserve, and we talk about study habits. We try not to overload them because they’re learning so much in their first few weeks.

What is Information Literacy?

That’s a good question – I don’t know that there’s an agreed upon definition by everybody. First of all, there are different facets to Information Literacy. There’s the technology part where they have to know how to use technology, there’s the tool part where they have to know how to use the catalog, the data bases, and the books. There’s the evaluative part in which students have to know what makes a good source, and why they would be using it. They learn how to make judgments as to when to use the catalog, the databases, google, etc.

Then there’s applying that…how do you take all this data, all this information that you found and actually synthesize it into your paper and then how do you share that. It’s a big process.

Why would you say that Information Literacy is important?

Well on the most fundamental basic level it helps students do their projects and papers better. There are certain requirements that they’re going to have for papers. For example, a student might need five academic journals – so our job is to help the student find those academic journals. Our hope then is that those skills are transferable so that the next assignment the student gets, the student knows where to go and how to get help.

Do you help students figure out which sources are credible and which are not?

Yes. Credibility is incredibly important – sources need to be as credible as possible. Sometimes what I do is I’ll do a google search for a topic and take the first ten results. I divide my class into groups, each group will take one result, look at it, and then report back as to whether they would use it as a source for their paper. Who wrote something, what was their motive for writing it, who published it, is it on the web published by an individual or is it in a book published by a university press, how old is it, does it matter how old it is, who are they citing, are they citing reliable sources, are they citing anyone at all – these questions are all part of the discerning process.

What is your biggest piece of advice from a librarian’s standpoint to freshmen starting classes at college?

It’s so hard, but don’t procrastinate. We all procrastinate, but even little steps of starting early really help. The earlier students start gathering those the better, because it gives them more time to read and understand sources. If someone’s having trouble finding things then, it also gives them time to ask for help.