From the Dean
From the return of Game Night at ZSR to our largest in-person event (Dr. Wilson’s birthday celebration) since February 2020, the past academic year offered more engagement with our students, faculty, and community. The past academic year also saw a return to pre-pandemic levels of service and beyond. We were able to offer expanded services and programs that included launching a new inclusive student life documentation initiative, opening a new multi-use space, implementing space occupancy monitoring, and offering new checkout services.
Thanks to a leadership gift from a ZSR Board of Visitors member, we launched the ZSR Student Employees Scholarship fund and made our five awards for the 2023-2024 academic year. Of the over 75 students who work at ZSR, approximately 80% are on some form of need-based financial aid. This is our opportunity to give back to the terrific students who make ZSR a special place.
New Services & Spaces
- Realtime Space Occupancy Monitoring
- Beyond the Book Checkouts
- “More Than A Library” Podcast
To promote awareness of ZSR and its program, we launched the “More Than A Library” podcast as part of National Library Week.
- Shifting Spaces
We shifted our DVD collection out of Room 403 to create a new study and events space next to our auditorium.
- LibQual+ National Survey Tool
In March we conducted a survey of students and faculty using LibQUAL+, a national survey tool that allows us to compare our data with those of other academic libraries. We have conducted this survey six times prior, most recently in 2019. Overall the 2023 survey indicated very little change in the satisfaction of our users from this survey to the one we had conducted in 2019. This was a relief to us as we continue trying new methods to meet user needs in a changed higher education landscape post-COVID restrictions.
- Harold W. Tribble Professor Emerita Margaret (Peggy) Supplee Smith (Department of Art) spoke about her new book, Great Houses and Their Stories: Winston-Salem’s Era of Success, 1912-1940, as the inaugural presenter for the Sam Gladding Wake Author Series.
- At the Fall meeting of the Board of Visitors, we hosted a screening of I’m a Woman, Phenomenally: A History of Wake Forest Women, a documentary by Wake student, Parker Beverly, ‘23.
- In partnership with the Yadkin Cultural Arts Center, Special Collections student curator Tsing Lui installed the exhibit What Happened? Houck Medford’s Photographic Witness for Floyd County, Virginia which was on display at the Center in January and February.
- In February we celebrated the 100th birthday of Dr. Ed Wilson in the historic 4th floor Reynolds wing reading room with over 250 attendees. An exhibit based on Dr. Wilson’s Songs of Wake Forest was also installed in his former office (now the Graduate Student Lounge) to acknowledge his illustrious career.
- The ZSR Board of Visitors also launched a Summer Book Club in 2021 that continued this summer. They held two online discussions:
- Portrait of a Thief. Grace D. Li (June 22)
- ArtCurious. Jennifer Desal (July 27 with the author joining the discussion)
ZSR Library plays an important role in promoting and supporting student success. Some examples of the ways we support our students include:
- Student Employee Scholarships
ZSR is one of a handful of academic libraries that offer scholarships for their student employees. These scholarships reward our student workers, reduce financial stress, and help with student retention.
- Advising & More
Six ZSR faculty served as student advisers for first-year and sophomore students with more than 70 advisees. One ZSR faculty member served as a Faculty Fellow last year.
- ZSR Ambassadors
The Library offers this student leadership opportunity annually that allows a group of students (17 in AY23) to make a lasting impact on campus. They help with programming and also provide advice on changes and enhancements to library services.
- Graduate Research Retreat
On Thursday, October 13th, the ZSR Library teamed up with the Wake Forest University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and Biomedical Graduate Programs to offer our 6th annual Graduate Student Thesis Research Retreat. Five workshops were offered on topics ranging from citation management to addressing writer’s block and getting past it.
- Wake the Library
We offered a variation of our popular final exam support for students with grab-and-go snacks as well as exam survival kits during finals in both the fall and spring semesters.
ZSR Innovation Grants (funded by the Dean’s Discretionary Fund)
Summer Krstevska received a ZSR Innovation Grant of $600 to support and enhance her library course, Creating Social Change Here and There. The grant funded the registration fees and transportation for 10 students and Summer to attend the UNC-Chapel Hill Cleantech Summit on March 27, 2023. This experience allowed the students to more critically and thoroughly consider/compare the impact the energy industry has on driving social change here and abroad.
We also awarded a ZSR Innovation Grant of $1,450 to a group of library employees led by Director of Public Services Rodrigo Castro to create a circulating “Wellness Collection” that will include resources on topics such as mindfulness, meditation, stress reduction, physical exercise, nutrition, sleep, hygiene, and other wellness-related subjects. The grant funds will support the purchase of new materials for the collection, including books, technology, and peripherals, among other resources.
We also made progress on several donor-funded initiatives this year, all of which are projects launched by our Special Collections & Archives:
- Inclusive Student Life Project: Senior Parker Beverly has been conducting oral history interviews from under-represented student groups to add to our Special Collections and Archives. This includes the interviews she conducted for her documentary on Wake Forest women called I’m a Woman, Phenomenally which was screened at Homecoming and at ZSR during the ZSR Board of Visitors meeting.
- Wilson Processing Project: We are making great progress on processing the extensive papers of Dr. Ed Wilson, which documents his lengthy Wake Forest career.
- Medford Collection: Curatorial associate and Wake student Tsing Liu curated two donor-funded exhibits using materials from the collection of documentary photographer Houck Medford.
- Senator Richard Burr Collection: Our Burr Collection Archivist has sorted the 453 boxes into five series based on record type: constituent files, legislative and subject files, memorabilia, personal and administrative files, and press files. The next step is to go through boxes, rearrange files, label folders, and make folder lists to make the collection usable for researchers. We anticipate this will be a two-year project.
ZSR by the Numbers
The rapid shift to electronic resources is occurring throughout academic libraries and ZSR is no exception. The charts below illustrate the transformation of information acquired over the last five years.
Help us support and further the education of one of ZSR’s greatest assets, our student workers. Your support will reward exceptional student workers for their dedication and contribution to ZSR Library’s above-and-beyond spirit.
A gift to the ZSR Annual Fund supports the overall academic mission of the library. Gifts to the annual fund have allowed us to add smart lockers for after hours pick-ups to our 24/7 study room, refresh technology, and upgrade furniture in study areas.