Annual Report 2011: Major Activities in Public Services

As a continuation of our series on our 2011 Annual Report, please see a description of our major activities in public services:

In the past year, the staff of the Mudd Manuscript Library served 1,934 patrons, 212 of whom had visited Mudd prior to FY11 and 777 who were new researchers. We circulated 9,586 items (3,141 University Archives boxes/items, 6,350 Public Policy Papers boxes/items, 93 Gest rare books and 2 other items). Staff also filled 398 photocopy orders totaling 45,253 pages, of which 232 orders were delivered as PDF files totaling 28,128 pages and 166 orders were fulfilled on paper, totaling 17,125 pages. This was our first full year offering PDFs in lieu of paper and it is not surprising that it is the preferred method for the majority of our users. Scanning continues to be the default method by which we provide images for patrons and last year we filled 105 orders for 383 scans.
We responded to over 1,795 pieces of correspondence (including 1,214 pertaining to the University Archives and 550 to the Public Policy Papers; 28 requests for permission to quote) which arrived as follows: 1,452 e-mail; 298 telephone; 37 surface mail; 4 via fax, and 4 oral inquiries.
The staff also responded to more than 640 brief telephone calls.
Collectively, the staff worked with 14 different classes relating to junior papers and other research/writing projects with a total of 198 attendees.
In addition, quite a number of visitors took advantage of Mudd’s digital camera program as 262 patrons photographed 5,582 items from our collections, totaling approximately 117,800 images.
It should be noted that while these numbers are on par with other years, the public services operation underwent significant stresses during the year. Amanda Hawk, who, like her last name implies, was fast and keen-eyed in dealing with her reference duties, left us in August to attend graduate school, just before Christie Lutz took an unplanned medical leave. Fortunately, Hawk’s replacement, Amanda Pike, started at just about that time. We were happy with both Pike’s timing as well as the fact that she brought her own thorough and professional nature to the position. Until Christie’s return in January, Amanda ably oversaw the Mudd email account, a sizable task for anyone, but especially for someone new to Mudd’s operations. Throughout the year, we received accolades from patrons for the quality of the reference services we provided.
Stay tuned for further discussion of our 2011 work involving technical services, processing, accessioning, digital projects, records management, collection development, exhibitions, and more.