Creativity and Collaboration at UH Libraries

UH Libraries announces the 2015-2016 Microgrant Program winners.

UH Libraries announces the 2015-2016 Microgrant Program winners.

The University of Houston Libraries announces the winners of the 2015-2016 Microgrant Program.

The program, now in its 7th year, was created to foster new and innovative ideas in support of the Libraries’ Strategic Directions and the University’s Strategic Initiatives.

Librarians and staff submitted proposals for new services and programs which would benefit teaching, learning and research objectives of the UH community, and will work in cross-departmental teams to implement their ideas.

The UH Libraries Microgrant Program winners for 2015-2016 are:

Project title: LinkedIn at the Library
Esmeralda Fisher (project lead), Mauricio Lazo, Kelsey Brett, Alex Simons

LinkedIn is a powerful career and networking tool, yet many students who are seeking internship or full time job opportunities do not use it properly or at all. LinkedIn at the Library will give students a chance to improve their LinkedIn profile, and learn ways to build professional connections in the online space. Staff volunteers from the Libraries and University Career Services will assess students’ LinkedIn profiles and offer suggestions on ways to improve it. Professional portraits will be offered, which students can upload to their profile. Career Services and Libraries information will be distributed, and there will be opportunities for students to sign up for career-related tech training offered at the Libraries.

Project title: Walk and Learn for Wellness
Kelsey Brett (project lead), Marissa Aiello, Melody Condron, Lisa Martin, Porcia Vaughn

The project will consist of two parts. Part one is a walking challenge to be held in the fall. Part two is a wellness discussion series to be held in the spring.

An eight-week wellness program, Walk Across Texas, will be used in fall 2015 to motivate library employees to explore wellness in their work environment. The Walk Across Texas program, from Texas A&M Extension, focuses on team-based walking challenges.

The microgrant project for the walking challenge involves publicizing the walking challenge, signing teams up, holding a kickoff event, monitoring the challenges and providing feedback to teams, announcing winners, and hosting a final event to celebrate participants. Pedometers will be provided for every staff member and student worker. In spring 2016, the project team will hold approximately four Lunch and Learn workshops focused on wellness. Targeted discussion topics include nutrition, ergonomics, stress reduction for student workers, healthy activities, and other work-life balance topics.

Project title: Information and Access Services Student Empowerment Project
Margaret Dunn (project lead), Lee Hilyer, Nora Dethloff

This project will consist of hosting various events for the student workers employed in the Libraries’ Information and Access Services department. The students will be invited to events featuring an employee of other Libraries departments in order to learn more about how the Libraries functions.

Project title: African American Read-In
Rachel Vacek (project lead), Jesse Sharpe, Julie Grob, Andrea Malone

Since 1989, the Black Caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English has sponsored the National African American Read-In. UH Libraries will host a Read-In for which students, staff and faculty can sign up to read self-selected book passages, articles, poetry, speeches, and other works written by African Americans. The Libraries will identify unique materials from Special Collections and the stacks to inspire those in search of reading material.

Posted on June 15th, 2015 by Esmeralda Fisher and filed under Announcements | Comments Off on Creativity and Collaboration at UH Libraries

UH Libraries Welcomes Resource Management Coordinator

Melody Condron

Melody Condron

The University of Houston Libraries provides access to four million volumes of books and e-books, manuscripts, journals and other resources that support the teaching, learning and research activities of our students and scholars.

The care and maintenance of the catalog’s records fall under the purview of the Libraries’ resource management unit, led by Melody Condron.

Condron recently joined the UH Libraries as the new resource management coordinator. In this role, Condron and her team are responsible for quality control of the four million records in the Libraries’ database that represent a range of scholarly resources. Quality control involves activities that ensure records of catalogued materials are properly identified, described and linked for ease of discoverability.

Along with providing practical expertise in bibliographic resources management, Condron’s professional interests include libraries’ management of physical materials in a digital age. While students and scholars are using more and more digital resources, the conservation of print or physical collections in the stacks remains a priority to ensure users can access the best of both worlds.

Condron also studies personal archiving, the capture and preservation of an individual’s digital content, such as social media posts, photos and other ephemera. “We have a lot of data in our personal lives, and most people don’t think about what will happen to that if they pass away,” Condron said. “There’s been a big push in librarianship on how to make that data accessible in a meaningful way.”

Prior to arriving in Houston, Condron helped manage a consortium of 171 libraries in Montana that included K-12 school, law, public, and college and university libraries. Before that, she managed the collection for three public libraries, also in Montana. These experiences helped her gain broad knowledge of the larger issues in librarianship, and a strong desire to make connections with librarians across multiple areas of the profession.

Condron was excited to find a culture of collaboration and focus on innovation at UH Libraries. As a new member of the team, Condron brings fresh perspective, and has discovered that colleagues support suggestions for improvements to existing processes. “Everyone is really open to new ideas,” she said.

She has embraced the University’s focus on student success, and the Libraries’ commitment to provide enhanced services and resources in support of our students and scholars. This common goal, she says, has a positive impact on the engagement of librarians and staff as well. “Everyone seems to be excited about being at the University of Houston,” she said.

Miscellany about Melody

  • An avid vegetable gardener and former resident of beautiful but chilly Montana, she is thrilled at the fact that she can now garden year-round.
  • Her top nonfiction go-to is The Seven Sins of Memory: How the Mind Forgets and Remembers. “This is a fantastic book that identifies the seven different ways that your brain tricks you on purpose. Each time I read it, I learn new things, and I think ‘I forgot that,’ which is funny because it’s a book about memory.”
  • Favorite fiction: “I’m a fan of anything by Terry Pratchett.”
  • Favorite cuisine: Indian, Thai, Vietnamese. “Houston is a fantastic place for food.”
  • Favorite films: Hot Fuzz and Tombstone.
Posted on February 17th, 2015 by Esmeralda Fisher and filed under Announcements | Comments Off on UH Libraries Welcomes Resource Management Coordinator