Let’s shine the Member Spotlight on Nancy Story from Ohio University Libraries!
What is your role(s) in academic libraries?
My role is to provide a welcoming face and safe space for our campus community to ask “the dumb question” or even the hard question so we can work to figure it out together. I have served in four different departments here at Alden Library—overnight supervisor at the reference desk; support staff in the Center for International Collections; support staff for the Fine Arts Library and support staff for our current two service points in the building. My current position is a mix of public service and finding creative ways to provide collection maintenance and promote our materials in the Fine Arts Library.
What do you like most about academic library work?
What I like most is helping students learn how to navigate the physical space and resources of the library. It is a rewarding aspect of my work to see the sense of accomplishment on someone’s face when they are able to master the maze of call numbers and find the book they needed. Or see the amazement on someone’s face as they discover the wealth of resources available at their fingertips.
What are some interesting projects you’ve been involved with lately?
We are always looking for ways to promote and raise awareness of our print resources in the Fine Arts Library. Recently (when we still had patrons in our physical space) a student and I worked on a rotating display near our print journals. We called it “Trending Topics.” When I found an article on an artist or movement or theme that I wanted to highlight I then: pulled the journal and added a “flag” with some basic information about the topic; searched our catalog for 2 or 3 books related to the topic; set up the display on top of our current periodicals shelves. By staging a connection between our newest print journals and the print monograph collection we hope to improve engagement with both areas.
I was recently invited to participate in the Libraries’ Strategic Planning Coordinating Committee. This experience has given me new insight as I work with team members from a mix of departments and staff.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself.
My mother created her own puppet troupe, the Voyageur Puppets that ran for almost 40 years. Whenever I was living in the Dayton area I performed in her marionette shows as a member of her troupe.
Why did you join ALAO?
I joined ALAO in 2019 at the encouragement of my supervisor. I was looking for more professional development opportunities and working as support staff felt that I needed to broaden my horizons. Although, this organization seemed most relevant to professional staff, I have benefitted by the content of many of the sessions. It links me to the work of staff in libraries around the state that I might not otherwise encounter.
–Maureen Barry, Membership Chair, Bowling Green State University