Category Archives: Personnel

Information on personnel announcements for USMA Library Staff.

USMA Library Retires and Hires

By Michael Arden
Audiovisual Librarian – DSOC Liasion

Mr. Alan Aimone retired in June 2013 after 45 years on the staff of the USMA Library.  He joked that when he began his career he was the youngest librarian on staff and by the time he retired, he was the eldest.  Alan was from Chicago, and during his long career he was Head of Reference, later worked in Special Collections & Archives before resuming as a reference and liaison librarian for the Department of History with the library’s Information Gateway Division.  Widely considered an expert on local history, Alan published numerous historic articles during his years at the Library.  As an expert on West Point lore, he was interviewed by David Lipsky, the author of Absolutely American: Four Years at West Point, who credited Alan in his acknowledgments.  Alan and his wife retired to Las Vegas, where he runs a book appraisal business.

Mr. Paul Nergelovic retired in July 2013 after 30 years on the staff of the USMA Library.  He served as the library’s Government Documents Librarian, at which he excelled.  An outstanding researcher, Paul was sought out by faculty for his expertise, especially by his liaison departments, Social Sciences and Law.  Given his mastery of the esoteric world of government documents, Paul left big boots to fill in the Information Gateway Division.  Paul hails from and currently resides in New Windsor, New York, and hopes to travel far and wide in retirement. 

Two currently employed librarians, Ms. Karen Shea and Mr. Darrel Hankins, were recently promoted to fill vacancies in the Information Gateway Division.  Both were recruited in 2011 and 2012 respectively to fill GS-9 positions in the Access Services Division as circulation librarians, doubling as reference librarians.  Now newly minted GS-11 reference librarians, they have been warmly welcomed by their colleagues in their new division.  Karen is the liaison librarian with the Department of Mathematics and Darrell works with the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership.

Finally, Mr. Thomas Lynch was recently recruited to fill yet another reference librarian vacancy in the Information Gateway Division.  When Thomas was in the area recently he stopped by the Library to meet with the staff, where he left a very good impression.  Thomas’ prior federal positions were at the Library of the Marine Corps – Marine Corps University in Quantico, VA, and the Marshall Center Research Library in Garmisch, Germany.  He is currently employed at the Smithsonian Institution in the position of Technical Information Specialist in the History and Culture Department, Readers Services Division, of the Smithsonian Institution Libraries, where he provides collections management support services to the Museum Support Center Library, the National Museum of the American Indian Library, and other departmental libraries.  Thomas will join the library staff this fall.





Week in Review – 6 September 2013

New Information Gateway Librarians Hired

We are pleased to be bringing on three librarians into our Information Gateway division in the next several weeks. Karen Shea and Darrell Hankins will be transitioning from their current positions in Access Services into Information Gateway where they will continue providing reference and liaison support. They will continue to provide some support in Access Services as well through the transition and as we work to announce and hire two new librarians for Access Services to replace them.

Also joining us will be Mr. Thomas Lynch, who currently works as a Technical Information Specialist at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.

Once the new staff is in place we will revisit our liaison assignments to accommodate our personnel changes.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the recruitment process, especially Dan Pritchard and Laura Mosher who helped with telephone interviews.

USMA Library Events

The events below will likely affect USMA Library and Jefferson Hall operations in the coming week.

Date USMA O/DEAN USMA Library Jefferson Hall Hours
6 September 2013
Week in Review 0700-1630
7 September 2013
Cadets Against Sexual Harassment and Assault 0900-1700
8 September 2013
Branch Week 1100-2245
9 September 2013
 Branch Week  Dean’s Brief to Faculty and Staff Branch Week Social 0700-2245
10 September 2013
Branch Week Division Heads 0700-2245
11 September 2013
 Branch Week / Nininger Award 0700-2245
12 September 2013
 Branch Week  Dean’s Staff Meeting 0700-2245
13 September 2013
Branch Week / Modified Class Day / Beat Stanford / ’73 & ’83 Reunions  Week in Review  Army Film Crew in Jefferson Hall 0700-1530

USMA Library Metrics

USMA Library tracks a number of key statistics to measure service levels. These are their stories …

Access Services
Items Charged Out 221 197 268 445
Gate Count N/A N/A N/A 3,927
Administrative Services
DV Tours 0 0 0 0
Significant Events Hosted 0 2 0 1
Events/Meetings Attended 18 22 22 14
Information Gateway
Reference Questions 8 8 30 31
Library Instruction Sessions 0 0 1 10
Cadets Attending Sessions 0 0 20 195
Materials Processing
Items Added – Books 17 26 36 145
Items Added – Digital 0 0 1,816 1
Items Added – GovDocs 112 62 40 177
Items Added – Other 0 40 238 2
Continuing Resource Check-Ins 152 58 63 74
Special Collections & Archives
Reference Inquiries 0 0 3 29
Research Visits < 1 hour 0 0 4 7
Research Visits < 1 day 0 0 1 1
Research Visits > 1 day 0 0 0 0
Instruction Sessions 0 0 2 7
Cadets Taught 0 0 41 114
Systems Management
Library Home Page Visits 822 1,589 2,426 2,770
LibGuides Visits 184 247 262 482
Digital Collections Visits 105 114 295 262
Facebook Visits 16 19 16 31
Public Printer Prints 0 6,448 13,373 6,510
Public Printer Copies 0 75 330 336
Public Printer Scans 4 14 129 173

Food for Thought

A few quotations from the past week about libraries, information, technology, and the future

  • “I’m not saying Google is evil — they’re not,” said Soghoian. “But they’re an advertising company. The wolf is providing the tools to the sheep.” Schneier concurs: “There’s a lot of tech you can bring to bear — but remember, the business model of the Internet is surveillance.” He suggests the solution does not lie in a technological breakthrough or even simple consumer awareness. “This is not a technical problem,” he said. “This is a legal problem.” – ‘Perfect privacy’? In Internet communication, that doesn’t exist – NBC
  • “Confidence is what you have before you understand the problem.” – Woody Allen
  • “Online shopping in general isn’t killing the great American mall, is — singlehandedly so. The Internet retailer sells more stuff online than its 12 biggest competitors combined, all of which move an incredibly tiny amount of stuff through their online storefronts, according to new documents from the Securities and Exchange Commission obtained by The Wall Street Journal’s Shelly Banji and Paul Ziobro. Companies like Target, Wal-Mart, and PetSmart have all reported huge growth rates in their online sales, but only because their businesses are growing from very small figures.” – The Only Place People Shop Online Is Amazon – Rebecca Greenfield – The Atlantic Wire
  • “In the future, e-books are going to explode beyond just containing stories, becoming niche social networks where we discuss our favorite passages with other readers and even authors and publishers buy our data to make more informed decisions. So hold on tight, book lovers. Reading as we know it will soon change, forever.” – E-Books Could Be The Future Of Social Media ⚙ Co.Labs ⚙ code community
  • “According to the proposed policies, Facebook will be able to analyze your profile photo and use it to suggest “tags” of you in other photographs. It’s a change from the current implementation, in which Facebook’s tagging suggestions only can use other photographs in which you’re already tagged — now, it’ll proactively be analyzing your profile picture to help make better suggestions. It’s not a surprising addition, as Facebook has been interested in facial-recognition technology for some time, but we imagine there will be a subset of users who’ll turn this “feature” off immediately.” – Facebook privacy update lets the social network analyze your profile picture | The Verge
  • “If I could change one thing about engineering education — well, actually, all education — it would be to center it around solving real problems and making things. In other words, we ought to be creating innovators and inventors at our engineering schools. They need to be able to do something more than solve theoretical problems when they leave us. In other words, they should learn how to be an applied problem solver, which is not the same thing as being a fantastic book-based equation solver. None of us learned how to do anything well by being talked at — it’s boring. We learn best by doing — getting our hands dirty and making our own mistakes.” – Ideas for Improving Science Education in the U.S. –
  • “Mistakes are the portals of discovery.” – James Joyce
  • “I’ve said no, because I think that it’s an excuse for state legislatures to cut funding to state universities,” Mr. Duneier says. “And I guess that I’m really uncomfortable being part of a movement that’s going to get its revenue in that way. And I also have serious doubts about whether or not using a course like mine in that way would be pedagogically effective.” – A MOOC Star Defects, at Least for Now – Technology – The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • “This is a canny economic move by Bezos and Amazon, of course — it’s not do-good charity meant to incite literacy and save the publishing industry. MatchBook takes advantage of the giant purchase history that Amazon has for all of its customers, and encourages those customers to buy (and, incidentally, to read) more. It also takes advantage of a new and nervous mega-literacy. That mega-literacy, in which driving-while-texting is a common and fatal practice, is predicated on the idea that we must always be reading. This obsession is akin to the delusion (and actively-promoted illusion) of food scarcity that has led, in part, to American overconsumption of food for 40 years. What does it mean to read—and screen—too much? At the biological and ethical level, we’re only now finding out. Hypotheses—alarmist, optimistic and otherwise—abound. At the economic level, it means that we’re buying copies of books we already have—suffusing our screens and bookshelves, along with our pantries, with hopeful redundancies, with stuff we don’t need. Hoarding stuff, both binary and tactile. Increasing the clog, not diminishing it. You know, the American way.” – Jeff Bezos, Kindle Matchbook and the American literacy epidemic – Yahoo! News

Excerpted from Infoneer Pulse, a digital commonplace book curated by Christopher Barth.

Furlough Operations and Service Interruptions


With the start of the furlough, we will now be reducing services to the general public per our plan approved by the Dean. I am including a response below that can be used when responding to requests for research assistance. Please direct all follow-up inquiries to me. You should not need to answer for the policy decisions involved. As noted last Friday, it is also important that we apply this uniformly.

There are several reasons why we are taking these steps:

  • to recognize that we cannot provide the same level of service with a 20% reduction in staffing. Some services like the Museum are closed altogether one day a week. That is not an option for us, but just because we are maintaining most hours of operation does not mean all services will always be available.
  • to preserve staff time for our primary mission of serving cadets, faculty, and staff of USMA.

As librarians I know we all have a strong public service attitude and desire to help when asked, which makes situations like the one we are in now particularly challenging. Sequestration is having a significant negative affect on our ability to provide resources and services. Our reduction in service is a truthful and natural consequence of the decision to reduce both our resource budget and our personnel budget.

We will add a page to our website today that also gives an overview of these changes. It will be linked from the top of the home page. Once that page goes live, there will be a public blog posting along with updates on Facebook and Twitter regarding the service changes.

Please let me know if you have any questions. I appreciate everyone’s commitment to service and our mission, especially at times such as this.



Dear ,

Thank you for your inquiry regarding reference or research assistance from the U.S. Military Academy Library at West Point. Due to reduced staffing levels and the current furlough of all civilian Department of Defense employees, we regret that we are unable to support your request at this time. Please visit our website ( for updates regarding service availability.

If your request is regarding access to our Special Collections and Archives materials, please note that the collections are closed to all researchers through August 2013 while we relocate these materials to their new permanent location in Bartlett Hall North. Once the move is complete, the collections will be available for curricular support only due to staff vacancies and the civilian employee furlough.

Questions regarding library services should be directed to:

Mr. Christopher Barth
Librarian and Associate Dean
U.S. Military Academy Library
758 Cullum Road / Building 758
West Point, NY 10996