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Happy New Fiscal Year!

July 5, 2019

Every July 1st brings with it the dawn of a new fiscal year. It is a season of change, when those deciding to retire from academia often do so at this time and new positions take effect. Refrigerators are crammed with left-over cakes, sweets and punch from farewell celebrations. Outstanding invoices and requests for expense reimbursements must be submitted to the Financial Department by June 30th. The classrooms and hallways are empty, with few summer courses in session. Hours of operation are reduced throughout the campus in facilities such as the cafeteria and gym. The parking lots are empty, about which I will never complain. Offices are being cleaned up for new personnel. Faculty, administration, and staff take advantage of the holiday week and head off for vacation, furthering contributing to the ghost town atmosphere on the premises. I remain huddled at the Information Desk on the lower level of our library, where a majority of our physical collections reside, and I freeze. Industrial-strength central air conditioning forces me to never retire my winter wardrobe during these summer months, and I often wear layers to keep my arms from turning blue! (How anyone wears sandals in this building is beyond my comprehension.) And so begins yet another fiscal year!

This year, July 1st had the honor of falling on a Monday, that most joyous and celebrated day of the week. (Said sardonically, of course.) As I have only been in my recent position since October of last year, this my first time witnessing the beginning of a new fiscal year and wrapping up the former one at this particular college. It is my responsibility to prepare the statistics of our interlibrary loaning and borrowing procedures for the 2018-2019 fiscal year. I was not here for July, August, September, and half of October of last year, so it might prove somewhat challenging to dig around for some of this information. But considering I have a prototype of what the annual report should look like based on looking at previous years’ reports, as well as access to the statistics through OCLC and Access PA, I am thinking that it should not be too hard to accomplish. I am  hoping to see an increase in the number of borrowing and lending which our library has done.

We are also undergoing a change in staff and administrators as well. A newly created position of Dean of Regional and Distance Education took over our former supervisor, who is still Director of Learning Support and Educational Support Services. Our new supervisor just started this week, and as she oversees several other departments in addition to our library, I know she will have a lot on her plate. I am still waiting eagerly for the full-time position of Systems and Emerging Technologies Librarian to be filled, for which I applied back in April and was briefly interviewed last month. (To be honest, I do not think I am computer-savvy enough to be a Systems Librarian, but my fingers are crossed that I will be given the opportunity to prove myself as competent when it comes to SQL and the likes.)

So while everyone else is on vacation, I and a few other library assistants remain on faithful watch at the circulation and reference desk. It is a very quiet time of year and a good opportunity to regroup and restore one’s psyche. I am blessed to have magnificent views of the incredible rural scenery which makes up our campus. When I need to get up and walk to warmer parts of the building that have more windows (and to get more steps in on my FitBit!), I sometimes catch a glimpse of a deer nibbling in the backyard of one of our neighboring residents. It is serene for someone who lives in a far more urban setting. And so I get a few hundred steps in, warm myself up with a cardigan and some coffee, and get back to the little odds and ends of my job.

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