With the start of a new school year, we frequently hear: “So, I have a question for Special Collections & Archives, who should I contact first?”
The first, best place to start is email@example.com, your go-to for anything e-mail and for referring reference questions, faculty requesting instruction for classes, or donations. Messages sent to this email go to Megan, Rebecca, and Tanya’s inboxes, so we can make sure something is handled even if one of us is out of the office. If you’re asked for directions to Special Collections & Archives and are wondering where to send students, faculty, or visitors, the answer is ZSR Room 625. ZSR 625 is the SCA Research Room (west side, Reynolds Wing) the only public service research desk for all visitors and researchers to SCA. Our reference desk is constantly staffed during our regular business hours of 9-5, Monday-Friday and is the only public destination in the department. Adjacent to the Research Room is our classroom, ZSR 624. This classroom is utilized by SCA during our open hours of 9-5, Monday-Friday, but it is available for booking by anyone in the WFU community for events after 5 p.m. or on weekends. Requests to use the classroom are submitted via the EMS system and are reviewed and approved by SCA.
Each SCA staff member has an area in which they focus their attention, although we all multitask. Stephanie Bennett (Collections Archivist) processes collections (including born-digital), supervises students working with collections, and oversees the creation of collection finding aids, which are then made available online. Craig Fansler (Preservation Librarian) rehouses our archives materials, creates boxes for rare books, completes minor repairs on both SCA and General Collection materials, and provides exhibit support for SCA. While we prepared for Hurricane Florence, Craig handled the distribution and installation of plastic sheeting to cover prioritized collections. Rebecca Petersen May (Public Services Archivist) coordinates our introductory instruction efforts (Lib100), answers reference questions, coordinates the reference desk and 624 classroom, and organizes other outreach activities, such as Hop into History. Megan Mulder (Special Collections Librarian) does in-depth instruction and works closely with faculty to integrate our rare books into their curriculum, curates exhibits, and creates original catalog records. Beth Tedford (Cataloging Assistant) creates copy catalog records for SCA materials and is currently working on records review and cleanup in preparation for a future ILS migration. Finally, in addition to managing the department, Tanya Zanish-Belcher (Director) interacts with on-campus and external donors about collection donations or transfers and develops outreach events and projects with campus and external partners.
As the number of our responsibilities has expanded, SCA has added several Part-Time positions to help us. They include Peter Badalemente (WFU ’16) who shifts our collections as needed; Finley Trent (WFU MA ’16, UNCG MLS ’18) who serves on the Reference desk; Weihua Wang (UWM MLS ’13) who is a Metadata Assistant and creates metadata for the digitized Photograph Collection; and Ashelee Gerald Hill (UNCG MLS ’19), Visiting Librarian, who assists in developing procedures and policies for born-digital records. Finally, we could not do everything we do without our 11 student assistants, Mel Rutledge as Digital Collections Librarian, and the Digitization Lab students!