2012 Mina Rees Library Year in Review


With months of interesting happenings in and around the library, we’ve compiled this list of short notations from the Library News Feed with hopes to promote this resource.  The Library Newsfeed is a great place to stay up to date with events, workshops, job openings, announcements, new trials, and all other library functions.  Here’s a snapshot of Newsfeed events, a month-by-month overview, bullet-pointed and so short it’s virtually tweetable.

This year in review is our way of ending 2012 in summation, and saying welcome to the new 2013 semester!


  • CUNY faculty and doctoral students were invited to apply for borrowing from the research collections at NYPL, NYU, and Columbia with a program called MaRLI: Manhattan Libraries Research Initiative.
  • Library Reserves moved to BlackBoard.
  • Student Technology Fee funding, allowed for the arrival of the new high speed KIC Bookeye 4 Bookscanner
  • Dissertations and Thesis Library Guide was updated to accommodate questions on how to deposit your dissertation, and additional information on whether to make it open access.


Screen Shot 2013-01-30 at 1.30.09 AMKonica Minolta Bizhub 350 copiers were configured to allow for high speed scan capabilities and paper feeding with scans directly to GC email accounts, then placed near the helpdesk.

A Trial of 9120 Electronic books was offered, in addition to the 300 electronic books the Graduate Center receives through Palgrave Connect. The trial included the Statesman’s Yearbook Archive 1864-2004.




  • The Graduate Center Mina Rees Library and Staff published its Open Access Statement and an Open Access Meetup was held in the Grad Center Library.
  • Mendeley training was offered as a free reference manager alternative and academic social network.


  • Screen Shot 2013-01-30 at 1.27.36 AMA month of training! A Blackboard 9.1 training was offered CUNY-wide to prepare students and professors to use the new reserves system.  Online training was also available.
  • Ann Thornton, the Andrew W. Mellon Director of The New York Public Libraries, went to the Doctoral Students Council meeting to discuss the NYPL’s Central Library Plan and celebrate their move to the 9th floor.


  • NYPL announced that the MaRLI program would be extended.
  • Software designed by the Academic Technology Department at Brooklyn College was introduced on campus with the deployment of a new Book Scanner.


Screen Shot 2013-01-30 at 1.23.15 AMGraduate Center faculty were given their final warnings that the EReserve files were to disappear from eRes.

Student Tech Fee funds were successfully put toward a New ViewScan Microfilm Scanner.




  • Polly Thistlethwaite, Chief Librarian

    Professor Polly Thistlethwaite’s appointment as Chief Librarian of the Mina Rees Library at the CUNY Graduate Center, effective July 1, 2012, was approved by the CUNY Board of Trustees at its September 24 meeting. She has served as Acting Chief Librarian since August 2011.

  • NYPL research libraries launched their Scan & Deliver Service.  An improved delivery service for books and journals stored offsite at the RECAP facility.  NYPL offsite staff scan a journal article, a book chapter, or up to 50 cited pages of a book (whichever is shorter) and either deliver it free via email or post it online.
  • The Reference Desk moved to the 2nd floor opposite the library elevator!  Before this, it was located on the first floor, near circulation.
  • Inter-Library Loan (ILLIAD) changed so that login was a breeze!  The Graduate Center network username and password was instituted as the only necessary info to log on.



  • Screen Shot 2013-01-30 at 1.03.11 AMLibrarians Amy Ballmer and Shawn Smith began offering 30min webinars.  Webinars covered Library Orientation, Articles and Databases, Inter-Library Loan, Citation Managers, and more. There is a circulating Feedback form which can be completed online or in person at the reference desk (archived webinar videos can be found in the Video Help tab of your subject libguide, or here on the commons!


  • Due to severe wind, rain, and flooding conditions expected from Hurricane Sandy all scheduled day and evening classes and all other functions/activities at ALL CUNY campuses were canceled for Monday October 29, 2012.  Although much of Manhattan lost power during Hurricane Sandy, and many bordering blocks of 34th & 5th avenues, the Graduate Center was unharmed and requested that essential and emergency personnel report to work by the 31st of October.  Staff of the Mina Rees Library traveled from all boroughs and New Jersey.  Some experienced home damage and minor injuries, but generally, recovery was swift.



Dália M. Leonardo

  • The Mina Rees Library suffered a grand loss. Although the Graduate Center was physically untouched by the tropical storm, while the city was experiencing turmoil from Hurricane Sandy, Mina Rees Library announced the passing of Dália M. Leonardo.  A service was held in her honor at Fordham University on December 13th, 2012.  Prior to this ceremony, the Library staff with IT, had Dália’s favorite Paris Baguette with tea and shared memories of her stay here at the GC on November 20th.  Gifts in Dália’s memory may be made to The Loomie Prize, the Fordham University History Department prize for which she was first-ever recipient in 1994.


Nancy Seda and Jane Fitzpatrick in holiday cheer!


The end of the year holiday party was a great way to say good bye to the 2012 storm-filled year.  This list was generated by the library newsfeed as a tribute to library news, but didn’t include these Holiday party pics, filled with DSC student representatives, our favorite circulation staff, librarians, technical staff, and administrators, all in the same room, eating cookies over the grab bag.


Remain up-to-date with happenings at the Mina Rees Library this semester and subscribe to the library Newsfeed by email here.


About the Author

Shawn(ta) Smith-Cruz is an Assistant Professor and Head of Reference at the Graduate Center Library.