Library staff member updates services


Students and faculty members who have enjoyed various new programs at Sims Memorial Library such as “Films on Demand: Digital Education Video”, and “Patron Driven Acquisitions” can thank Paul Kelsey, Head of Acquisitions.

Kelsey brought “Films on Demand” to Sims Memorial Library in June of 2015. The program streams over 21,000 digital education videos, which are available to both faculty and students both on and off campus.

“We were starting to get requests for streaming video,” said Kelsey. “I wanted a resource for faculty members to use video in their classrooms without licensing them.”

According to Kelsey, it is expensive to lease each film, so Films on Demand is a resource for educational videos that is designed to support the faculty’s curriculum.

Patron Driven Acquisitions, is used to keep a record of the titles that the library receives after subscribing to databases. A record is kept of the titles that users have selected, so that the library only pays when a title gets used. This saves money by not having to purchase books that only get used once or twice, said Kelsey.

“For me personally, we want to be careful with ‘Patron Driven Acquisitions’ and make sure it doesn’t exceed a certain percent of the budget,” said Kelsey.Kelsey also began to order books using EDI, Electronic Data Interchange, which makes it easier to place orders.

“Paul Kelsey has adjusted extremely well to working at Sims after coming from a much larger academic library [LSU] and a public library [East Baton Rouge Parish],” stated Library Director Eric Johnson in an email interview with the Southeastern U Reporter. “Paul has brought our acquisitions department into the twenty-first century.”

According to Johnson, Kelsey has increased the library’s e-book collections, which has made ordering books a much faster and easier process for the staff. Kelsey who previously lived in Grand Junction, Colorado, moved to Louisiana when his wife began working at Louisiana State University. He also worked at LSU’s library for six years as a Collection Development Coordinator. According to Kelsey, his duties included buying books and journals, renewing databases, paying invoices and signing licensing agreements. Kelsey also served as a liaison for the College of Agriculture at LSU, and taught forestry, fishery and wildlife under library instruction.

“At the LSU Libraries, we had large numbers of librarians, so my duties were more specialized,” stated Kelsey in an email interview with the Southeastern U Reporter. “At Sims, we have a small staff, so I am involved in more general projects. Having a smaller staff presents a challenge on occasion, but it also provides more opportunities to pursue certain projects.”

After working at LSU, Kelsey worked at the East Baton Rouge Parish Library in Baton Rouge. According to Kelsey, he was still interested in academic librarianship, so he applied to be Head of Acquisitions at Sims Memorial Library in 2012. Kelsey praises the staff and students at Sims Memorial Library for the support of implementing his new projects.

“I have greatly enjoyed working at Sims Library for several reasons,” said Kelsey in an email interview with the Southeastern U Reporter. “First, my colleagues are exceptionally supportive and friendly, and also highly competent. The faculty and students at Southeastern are genuinely nice people, and it makes it a pleasure to work in the library. Finally, I have been able to implement a number of new projects for the library in large part because of our supportive library administration, and my colleagues’ willingness to work on new, and innovative projects.”

Here at Southeastern, Kelsey began processing books for the library and increasing the use of e-books since the serials department already existed. It’s a little more technical than collection development, said Kelsey.

According to Kelsey, he receives a budget from Johnson, which varies, and decides how much to spend on a certain amount of books. Kelsey estimates that about $110,000 was spent on books this year. I want to spend all of the money that we budget for books, said Kelsey.

He also accepts book donations from the community. Depending on the condition, and subject areas that the books are categorized under, they might be contributed to the annual book sale in April. The book sale, which takes place during National Library Week, usually generates about $2,000.

“If someone donates a really rare book, a first edition or famous novel, it would be easier to determine the value. The library does not get a lot of rare books, so when he receives one, he contacts the owner and offers them a chance to come back and get it”, said Kelsety.

Kelsey urges the community to use the library’s resources. Any community member can get a library card to check out books.“Films on Demand” and “Patron Driven Acquisitions” are expected to undergo changes in January and February of 2016. More titles are expected to be brought to the programs and the collection is expected to grow. According to Kelsey, the older content is expected to be replaced, and the pricing structure may be adjusted.

Kelsey emphasized the importance of having a good relationship with the faculty and staff, as well as the university overall.

“We really try to serve the university in the best way that we can,” said Kelsey. “We’re very service oriented and open to requests. If you’re not serving the university, students and professors you’re not doing a good job.”


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