Category Archives: Personnel

Information on personnel announcements for USMA Library Staff.

Staff Profile – Mark Danley

MarkDanleyThe USMA Library Staff would like to belatedly welcome Mark Danley, who joined us in August 2015. He serves in the capacity of Cataloging Librarian and has begun additional duties as Library Liaison to the Military History Division of the History Department. He will also become a member of the teaching staff in the Department of History, beginning in fall semester 2016.

Mark grew up in Virginia, and stayed there for his education through his MA degree in History at Virginia Tech. After enlisting in the Army in July 1991, he served as an airborne parachute rigger from March 1992-December 1993. He got his Ph.D. in History at Kansas State, then his MLIS at Louisiana State. He has taught military history in Norwich University’s online graduate program.

Mark is a self-proclaimed “soldier scholar,” incorporating his love for the Army with the study of history, and brings the “Airborne Spirit” into everything he does. His enlistment in the Army–almost 25 years ago–makes West Point’s mission all the more meaningful to him.

When asked what his most challenging experience has ever been, he quickly replied that it was getting through Airborne School. According to Mark, he was not very coordinated back then, so it look him longer than most to learn the necessary skills. However, he was super motivated and had great instructors who took the time to train him.

On the other hand, maybe finishing his Ph.D. was more difficult? He states that every single scholarly work he has ever produced or published has been HARD (note the caps). Mark is a tedious and labor-intensive researcher, a trait which he says is the nature of his specialty. Self-deprecatingly, he states that he is a bad writer, revising numerous times to get his work into an academically publishable form. I seriously doubt that is true, but his refuse-to-give-up attitude has served him well. He has 4 scholarly articles to his credit. He is also a strong contributor to Name Authority Cooperative of Program for Cooperative Cataloging (NACO) and recently gave a presentation on Problems and Solutions in Name Authority Work for Military-Related Materials at the American Library Association’s Midwinter Conference in January, 2016.

In his spare time, Mark likes to work out at a CrossFit gym and practices hot yoga. His following of NCAA football–especially Army and all his Alma Maters–has diminished this past fall due to his move here, but he intends to pick up on that later this year.

Mark’s enthusiasm for librarianship and zeal for the Army will greatly enrich his interactions with our staff and cadets. Welcome, Mark!

Contents contributed by Manja Yirka,  Continuing Resources Librarian, and Lauren Hall, Access Services Librarian

Staff Profile – Corey Harmon

CoreyPhotoCorey Harmon is the newest member of the USMA Library Staff, joining the Access Services team as Circulation Librarian. He comes to us from Barr Memorial Library at Ft. Knox, Kentucky, where his official title was Electronic Services Librarian. In MWR libraries, everyone wears several hats; in addition to his duties in electronic services, Corey staffed the reference desk, researched new technologies for the library, updated the library website, taught instructional classes on Google and Overdrive, and more.

Before his time at Ft. Knox, Corey held various positions at different types of libraries, including Mauney Memorial Library and the US Environmental Protection Agency Library, both in North Carolina; Southern Crescent Technical College in Georgia; and the Leyburn Library at Washington and Lee University in Virginia.

Corey was born in Houston, Texas, but raised in Royal Oak, Michigan. He lived there until he moved away for college, and he still has many family members in Michigan, including his parents, brother, sister-in-law, and nieces. Corey received an undergraduate degree in History and Russian Area Studies from Washington and Lee University in Virginia, an MA in Contemporary Russian Studies from the University of Virginia, and his MSLS degree from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Corey has a wife, Miranda, and a son, Wyatt, age 2. They will be joining him in the Hudson Valley in April.

On behalf of the entire USMA Library staff, we would like to say welcome, Corey!

A few questions for Corey:

What was your path from Russian studies to librarianship?

I pursued my MA in Russian Studies with the goal of going to work in the intelligence community, ideally the CIA. That didn’t really pan out, so I evaluated what I wanted to do and what I thought I’d be good at. I had enjoyed working in the library as an undergrad, and thought it would be a good fit as a way to share my knowledge with others and help them with their own studies. It’s also not that far of a stretch to go from intelligence analyst to librarianship, as they’re both about information and getting it to the people who need it. I talked to the librarians at my undergrad alma mater about their jobs and librarianship, and decided to apply to library school.

Can you describe some of your favorite past projects?

I was responsible for getting a video game lending collection put in place at Ft. Knox that was an instant hit with our patrons; it was really fun to spend $3000 on video games with my boss. I was also involved in researching how we could roll out Roku lending at Ft. Knox by talking to other libraries, finding out how they did it and what we could use. As a result of these and other projects that I eventually became the subject matter expert on, I was able to share how we at Ft. Knox (which, frankly, is the cutting edge of the Army MWR library system) did things with other military libraries and got a nice shout out on the Army Library Listserv. Another fun project was from a summer internship during library school where I had to evaluate the condition of a nineteenth century collection of science books and prepare them for sale or donation. I got to talk to some booksellers, as well as consult with the head of special collections from the Library of Virginia.

What do you like to do when you’re not at work?

I have a 2 year old, so I spend a lot of time playing with and just generally being with him. My wife will come up with things she wants to do as a family, and those are usually pretty fun. When I have personal time for myself (Wyatt’s napping and Miranda’s either napping or doing something else and says I can do what I want), I like to play video/computer games, watch TV, and, occasionally, I’ll even read.

Any fun facts about yourself to share?

Miranda and I met on eHarmony, had a 9 hour first date, and were married on the one year anniversary of our first date (almost to the minute of our first meeting).

Contents contributed by Lauren Dodd Hall, Circulation Librarian

 

 

Staff Profile: Travis Schaben

TravTravisSchaben2is Schaben recently joined the library staff as Associate Director for Library Systems. He arrived here from Ramstein Air Base in Germany, where he was librarian for both the Vogelweh and Ramstein Base libraries for the last four years.

I recognized his last name as being of German origin, and couldn’t help but ask what Schaben means in German. He explained that it is an unusual last name, which the Germans usually pronounced “schäben” (with the umlaut), which means wood shavings, or shives. (A shive, I have learned, is a wooden fitting used to plug an ale cask, or in New Orleans slang it means “cool.”) Schaben (without the umlaut) is a slang term for cockroach. In leaving all but the last slang term out of the discussion, we’ll just say Travis is “cool.”

Travis grew up in the small town of Holbrook, Nebraska (pop. 300), where he was one of only three children who attended school together from kindergarten to 8th grade. As a result, he says it was really hard to get away with anything. He enlisted in the Air Force directly from high school, serving at Ramstein AFB.

After returning to the states, Travis completed his BA in literature from Webster University in St. Louis, MO. His introduction to library work was at University of Florida (Gainesville), where he was assigned to Acquisitions and Licensing, but took on IT work as a side job because of his interest in it and the fact that the library contained a branch of the University IT Department. From there it was a logical segue to library school, and he attended Florida State University (Tallahassee) for his MLIS.

Upon his “re-arrival” in Germany in 2010, his first experience working as a DOD civilian brought several challenges. Unexpectedly, within his first few months, he was told he would be singlehandedly responsible for not just the opening of a new library, but also the closing of an existing library and the move of another library collection from a temporary location.

Though Travis has not before held the title of “systems” librarian, he is a self-proclaimed techie and has gravitated to the IT role in each of his past positions. He has a passion for researching, learning and evaluating new technologies and exploring different ways technology can be used in libraries.

In his spare time, Travis likes hiking, biking, climbing and skiing­­—pretty much any outdoor activity. In addition, he reads Russian classic literature and techie stuff.

He and his partner, Alison, live in Cold Spring with their two rabbits, Turnip and Belle, who travelled here with them from Germany. I asked Travis , “Why rabbits?” He explained that about 15 years ago he and Ali adopted a rabbit that needed a home. That rabbit lived for about 12 years and moved to Germany with them. When it passed away, they rescued Turnip, a rabbit who had been in the shelter for five years because everyone found unfriendly. Later, Belle joined the family, also as a rescue. Although the locals loved these furry creatures, most Germans would think of them as a meal, rather than the family they are to Travis. The real question, then is, “Why NOT rabbits?”

We’re grateful to have Travis joining our staff, where he will likely meet many more challenging situations (and tackle them head-on) and update us on the joys and antics of these small mammals in the family Leporidae.

[It is with sadness that we report, with condolences, that Belle has passed on since the time of this writing.]

Contents contributed by Manja Yirka, Continuing Resources Librarian

Staff Profile: Barbara Maroney-French

barbaraBarbara Maroney-French joined the United States Military Academy Library staff in June of this year, as Facility Support Assistant in our Administration Services Division.

This is Barbara’s second “tour” at West Point. Her first tour lasted 23 years, from 1977-2000, during which she progressed from a clerk-typist position in the USCC to Publications Coordinator/Editorial Advisor in Cadet Activities. It seems West Point is in her blood. Her parents met while working in the same office at West Point before getting married. Later, her mother was assigned to the Law Department which was located in the West Academic Building (now Pershing Barracks). Her dad held many supply/maintenance-related positions retiring as maintenance officer at the motor pool. Barbara’s maternal grandparents worked here as well–her grandmother, as a seamstress in the uniform factory and grandfather as a mechanic. She spent summers swimming in Delafield Pond with her best friend, whose father was a retired Air Force officer, and tagged along on trips to the commissary (then housed in Building 667). Her brother currently works on the Garrison side as a management analyst and his two sons were summer employees in DPW. Barbara’s husband of 17 years, Richard, now works at Association of Graduates as Vice President of IT.

In 2000, after the birth of her son, Barbara made a difficult decision to leave West Point, taking time to raise her children and work various jobs closer to home. Once her daughter and son were in school, she volunteered at her church and the kids’ elementary school PTA and worked part-time nearby. She wore many hats at two not-for-profit organizations: from 2005 until 2012 she was the Box Office Assistant and Development Assistant at the Paramount Center for the Arts; from 2007-2014 she worked as Administrative Manager for Copland House, Aaron Copland’s home, located in Westchester County.

During the last 14 years, working jobs outside of the government, Barbara honed her customer service skills and polished her website design and social media skills.

In her free time, Barbara loves doing family activities, working out, cooking and baking, photography, gardening, volunteering at a local animal shelter, and sewing.

Barbara says, “I know I made the right decision to stay home with both my children during the formative years.” And we’re glad she has returned to West Point. You’ll probably see her around the library making sure the Haig Room and collaborative classrooms are in tip-top shape for the next event, camera in hand, with a post on the library blog soon to follow.

Contents contributed by Manja Yirka, Continuing Resources Librarian

Lauren Dodd Hall Hired As Circulation Librarian

laurenIf you’ve noticed a fresh face behind the circulation desk of the Library, then the likely suspect is Ms. Lauren Dodd Hall, who was recently hired as Circulation Librarian for the Access Services Division. Lauren comes to USMA from the Maxwell Air Force Base and Muir S. Fairchild Research Information Center in Alabama, where she worked as an Assistant Systems Librarian. While at Maxwell, Lauren was largely responsible for digitizing material like student papers, rare books, and Air Force speeches that made them accessible through the library catalog. She also provided reference services to students and held the title of Assistant Editor of the Air University Library Index to Military Periodicals.

Prior to Maxwell, Lauren worked as a project manager and instructor for an outreach program affiliated with the University of Alabama, offering computer training for persons with intellectual disabilities. She has also worked at the Bevill State Community College Library in Fayette, Alabama, providing circulation and reference services to students and faculty.

Lauren holds a Master of Library and Information Studies from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa (where she received the Florine Oltman Scholarship Award for Excellence in Special Librarianship in 2011), and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Mississippi University for Women in Columbus, Mississippi.

When she is not working at the circulation desk, Lauren will assist Deborah DiSalvo, the Library’s Associate Director of Access Services, with various projects. Other duties at USMA will include working at the reference desk and acting as a liaison to the Department of Physics and Nuclear Engineering.

On behalf of the entire USMA Library staff, we would like to say welcome, Lauren!

Let’s get to know Lauren a little better with some questions!

You’ve just moved here from Alabama. How do you like the Hudson Valley so far?

I love it! I moved to Beacon, which is an awesome little city with a lot going on. Between Hudson Valley and NYC happenings, I will never run out of things to do here. I’m also greatly enjoying the weather so far. Alabama has approximately 8 months of 90-100 degree heat and 100% humidity. Yes, I know I moved here just in time to miss winter–but I’ve lived in Canada before, so I think I can handle it (she says naively).

Why did you choose to become a librarian?

While many people come to librarianship as a second career, it has always been on my radar of career choices. My elementary school librarian was such an inspiration to me that I decided to be a librarian while I was still in elementary school. This made perfect sense to everyone who bumped into me while I was reading a book and walking down the hallway at the same time. Of course, sometimes plans/ideas get derailed, and due to some encouragement from my favorite professor, I thought I wanted to be an English teacher or professor….but while pursuing a master’s degree in English, I realized that not only did I not want to specialize and narrow my interests, but I also enjoyed helping others with research (I was a research assistant) more than writing my own papers. Now I get to have the best of both worlds – since I’m a liaison (to the department of Physics and Nuclear Engineering, who hasn’t met me yet – hi!), I get to help with all kinds of research, and learn things I probably wouldn’t have otherwise. Aside from the research aspect of things, I also just really enjoy helping people, so it’s a perfect fit.

Can you describe some of your favorite past projects?

As a library school student, I worked with one of my mentors and fellow graduate assistants on a poster session that we presented at a few different local conferences, and eventually turned into a journal article for Internet Reference Services Quarterly. It’s called “The Web Beyond Google: Innovative Search Tools and Their Implications for Reference Services.”  This past fall, we revisited the topic and a few new free search tools for a presentation at the Mississippi State University eResource and Emerging Technologies Summit. I’m also really proud of my involvement with the Hack Library School blog. I was one of the founding writers, and became an editor/mentor for the blog for a time after I graduated from my MLIS program. It’s become a really robust resource for both current and potential library school students, and the posts continue to be incredibly interesting and insightful.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

My husband, Tim, my puppy, Zelda, and I like to go on long walks/hikes around Beacon and Cold Spring, and we’re hoping to visit many NY state parks with our Empire Pass. I’ve run 3 half marathons this year, but I haven’t run much since I moved here. Oops. I enjoy riding a bike when I have one (I currently don’t – I am accepting free bikes). We are always on the lookout for concerts, plays, and food/drink festivals. I also enjoy a great many TV shows (probably too many) – all TV show discussions are welcome and encouraged.

 

 

 

 

 

Four USMA Library Staff Members Recognized at Dean’s Ceremony

Four USMA Library staff members were among those recognized at the Dean’s Ceremony held on 28 February 2014.

Manja Yirka and Thomas Lynch were welcomed as the Library’s newest employees; Manja as Serials Librarian for the Materials Processing Division and Tom as Reference Librarian for the Information Gateway Division.

Manja1 Tom Lynch (far left) and Manja Yirka (second from left)

Laura Mosher was honored for her ten years of service as a Reference Librarian with the Information Gateway Division.  Along with her regular librarian duties at West Point, Laura serves as a liaison to the Civil and Mechanical Engineering Department, and also volunteers with the Army Nordic Team as one of the Team’s Officers in Charge.

laura2 Laura Mosher receives commemorative plaque and 10 Year Pin from BD Trainor

Associate Director of Systems, Christine Bassett, was recognized for her role in implementing a print management system that has already reduced paper waste by 75% within the Library. For this accomplishment, she was awarded a Dean’s coin. Christine, who is leaving West Point, was also thanked for her two years of service at the USMA Library. She is taking a position as IT Manger with the Tacoma Public Library System.

Christine2 BD Trainor thanks Christine Bassett

Photos provided by Anthony Battista/DPTMS VI

Manja Yirka Hired As Serials Librarian

manja

 

The United States Military Academy Library is pleased   to announce that it has hired Manja Yirka as its new Serials Librarian. A woman of many talents, Manja brings a wealth of experience and interests to USMA. All told, she has worked in six different types of libraries: medical, pharmaceutical, military, engineering, academic and public. As Serials Librarian she will primarily be responsible for the acquisition, collection, organization, cataloging and general management of the Library’s periodicals and continuing resources. She is a welcome member of the Materials Processing Division.

This is Manja’s second time around at West Point, having previously worked at Keller Army Hospital following her family’s returned from a five year tour in Frankfurt, Germany. Croatian by descent but born and raised in Ohio, she is fluent in Croatian, and has a reasonable understanding of Russian and German. Manja worked for many years as a Contract Linguist for the Federal Bureau of Investigation and also as a Medical Librarian for The Dana Medical Library, University of Vermont Medical School in Burlington. She was Engineering Librarian for the US Army Corps of Engineers in Frankfurt, and Senior Librarian for Pfizer Corporation, Pearl River, NY.

Manja attended Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, where she received a BA in Russian Language (with a minor Art History) and a Master of Science degree in Library Science (with a concentration in Medical Librarianship). She studied German at the University of Maryland (Frankfurt, Germany campus), has a Certificate in Systems Analysis and Design from Marist College, attended graduate business classes at Iona College in New Rochelle, NY and studied Historic Preservation, Studio Art and Art History at the University of Vermont. She is currently a member of the Wallkill River School of Art where she has taken classes in pastel and watercolor painting.

Recently married, Manja and her husband Jim (who she met on match.com) produced their own Do-it-Yourself barn wedding with the help of their adult children. They currently reside in Middletown, NY where they enjoy spending time gardening together, and gatherings with their four children, family and friends.

On behalf of the entire UMSA Library staff we would like say welcome, Manja!

A few questions for Manja:

 What inspired you to learn Russian?

I switched to Russian as my major, after doing so poorly in Calculus that I was put on academic probation for a semester. Russian came somewhat easy for me, having grown up speaking Croatian, also a Slavic language. I thought I would teach, following in the footsteps of my father, but my student teaching experience was anything but pleasant. I had to ask myself, “Now what!?”

I chose to get a Masters in Library Science. My sister had gotten her library degree and found interesting employment and that influenced me to do the same. I’ve always been a service-oriented person and I found it fulfilling to help research a topic, locate a book or find a critical piece of information. I also love using technology to improve processes whether at home or at work. My brother is a librarian as well. Three siblings, all librarians.

 You lived abroad for five years – any favorite places you’ve visited or lived?

I loved visiting Croatia, most especially the Adriatic coastline. Happening upon Ronchamp, the famous church designed by le Corbusier, was a delight when out for a ride in the eastern French countryside.

What was one of the toughest challenges you have faced as a librarian?

Facilitating the consolidation of 7 libraries into one. We had six weeks time to do the physical part of this move and we succeeded. In addition to the short time line, there was a frenzy of having to toss all the bound volumes we could neither keep nor give away. As a librarian, I had an emotionally difficult time throwing volume upon volume of bound journals into recycle bins. That which had once held scientific discoveries was now reduced to paper to be tossed.

 What do you like to do when you’re not at work?

In spring and summer I can often be found in the garden, on the bike trail or tennis court with my husband. Having studied Historic Preservation, I love the idea of repurposing old buildings into useful structures and I’m always up for a house project. As soon as weather permits, I’ll be on the roof of my house rebuilding the chimney.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Linda Larsen Accepts New Position in EEO

Linda Larsen, our Library Technician responsible for government documents on our Materials Processing team has accepted a new position at West Point as an EEO Specialist in the Equal Employment Opportunity office. This is an area of work that Linda has long been interested in, and though we are sad to see her leave the library, we are pleased for her to be able to pursue this new opportunity in a field that enjoys. Her final day in the library will be 24 January. More information will be forthcoming about an event to thank her for her service the library.

New Supply Technician Starts

Those working last week over the holiday may have noticed a new face as Jesse Quinones began work as Supply Technician in the Administrative office on December 30th. Jesse comes to USMA Library from the Warrior Transition Unit here at West Point where he served as Logistics Management/Supply Technician. He also brings a long history of active duty service as a supply sergeant prior to his time as a civilian Army employee.

Jesse is starting work on some projects and has already spent some time helping to shift the collection. Please join me in welcoming Jesse to the library!

Thomas Lynch Hired as Reference Librarian for USMA Library

Tom Lynch – Reference Librarian

It is highly probable that no one was more  surprised than Thomas Lynch to hear that he had been hired by the USMA Library to work as a reference librarian, given that he had interviewed and presented for an entirely different position within the Library.  On the other hand, those of us who had met with Tom on the day of his interview were not overly surprised by the news, as he appeared well-suited for the reference position.

Prior to coming to West Point, Tom worked as a technical information specialist for the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. and the National Ground Intelligence Center in Charlottesville, VA.  He has also worked as both librarian and technician for the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, as well as the Marine Corps University in Quantico, Virginia.

 Tom hails from the great state of Michigan, where as an undergraduate he studied German Language and Literature at Michigan State University. While serving in the United States Air Force he completed the Russian Basic Course at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey.  He then went on to the Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan, where he worked as an Airborne Cryptologic Linguist.  After leaving the Air Force Tom took advanced Russian language courses at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, graduate courses in Theatre History/Dramatic Literature/Theatre Arts at Michigan State, and Library & Information Science at Drexel University. 

Now that Tom is here, we can confirm that our first observations about him were correct: smart and funny, he is a welcome addition to the USMA Library team. Look for him at the Reference Desk, and when you do be sure to say welcome OR,
in Russian, добро пожаловать!

Some questions for Tom:

What motivated you to learn German and Russian? 

I had a great teacher for German in high school, and continued my studies at MSU. Eventually, I realized I was pretty good with languages, so stuck with it. My uncle tried to get me to go to the Air Force Academy, but when I was 15, I just couldn’t imagine it. Hehe! Then, to the surprise of EVERYONE in my life, I enlisted in the Air Force towards the end of college to go be a linguist. If you study foreign languages, then you know all about Monterey, CA and the Defense Language Institute. Like most things military, you make selections for which languages you’d be interested in learning, but the needs of the service decide what you will get. Hence, the Russian language experience.

Why did you become a librarian? What do you like best about the occupation? 

Like many folks I stumbled into the library and Information profession backwards.  After graduate studies, I started to look for work.  I realized the jobs that interested me, and to which I was applying, were all in libraries, archives, and museums.  I didn’t realize this, but with some stepping back a bit, and looking at it, I realized I love helping people, I like to be a smarty-pants know-it-all and love the challenge of finding information, and helping people find what they are looking for.  The best aspect of librarianship and working with information is that no two days of work are exactly alike, while at the same time, the underlying mechanisms for research, searching databases, the hunt for information are continuous throughout what we do to help the Cadets, faculty, and staff.

 You’ve lived abroad in a number of different places. Do you have a favorite?

I’m extremely fascinated by cultural identity and languages, and travel to see what other cultures are like.  Living in Germany and working at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies Research Library was a pretty amazing opportunity to both serve the mission of the U.S. to promote democracy and peace and stability, but also allowed me to observe the Germans at work and play daily, and a great opportunity to improve my language skills.  Living in Japan was pretty amazing, though, as well.

Any interesting experiences as a Linguist?

I’d tell you, but then I’d have to kill you. And I like you, so I wouldn’t want to have to do that.

What do you like to do when you are not at work?

I spend lots of time walking, some gym and exercise classes, but mostly love to read nonfiction books about human behavior, motivation, cultural identity, and some history. The deeper I’ve gotten into these areas, the more it comes back to the brain, the mind, mindfulness, and the reality of how much power we have over our own happiness and contentment. Ommmmmmmmm…………