Friends of the Old Dominion University Libraries

October 2006

November 14: SAVE THE DATE!

The annual Fall Forum sponsored by the Friends of the Library will feature a lecture by Rene Perez-Lopez about the evolving Cuban situation. The lecture is titled, “Post-Castro Cuba: are we there yet?”

Mr. Perez-Lopez was born in Santa Clara, Cuba in 1945 and migrated to the USA in 1961. He is the editor of Cuban Studies, Volumes 22-27. His present work includes teaching courses in Latin American politics and other political science courses at Old Dominion University, Virginia Wesleyan College, and the Joint Forces Staff College.

A reception for members and their guests will be held at 6 p.m. in Library room 151. The lecture will be held in room 101, Mills Goldwin, at 7 p.m.

Support the ODU Literary Festival, October 16 – 20.

COMING SOON: Annual Library Book Sale

The book sale managed by the Library Staff Organization, with help from members of the Friends of the Library, will be held on November 1st – 4th in room 151 of Perry Library. Friends members are offered the opportunity to preview and shop the sale on the evening before the sale opens to the public, October 31, from 5-8 p.m. Show a Friends of the Library membership card for early admission to the sale.

Members wishing to donate books to the sale may drop them off at the circulation desk of the Perry Library in advance of the sale dates.

SPOTLIGHT ON: Stuart Frazer

Stuart Frazer serves as Interlibrary Loan Services Librarian for the University Libraries. The newsletter explored his work directing interlibrary loan services in this interview.

Newsletter: How does interlibrary loan service advance the mission of the university?

Frazer: In the last few years, ODU has become increasingly identified as a research institution and, as a result, more attention has turned to performing funded research. Funded research is a competitive enterprise, and our faculty cannot compete without access to information resources in the collections of other institutions. Interlibrary loan service is an essential element of the infrastructure faculty need to go head to head with faculty at institutions with extensive, established libraries.

Newsletter: What is your personal approach to satisfying these needs?

Frazer: I try to think always about researchers’ needs. It’s a matter of reorienting our minds to keep an appreciation for the competitiveness of the situation and the need for information uppermost in our thinking.

Newsletter: How do the current advances in library service contribute to your ability to serve researchers?

Frazer: 1). The computer databases first and then the Web have made it much easier for everyone to identify the relevant literature that’s out there.
2). The ability now to set up electronic delivery from library to library means that articles can be transmitted much more quickly; the effective access has improved a lot.
3). The growth in computer networks has made it much easier for us in Interlibrary Loan to communicate with users of our services.

Newsletter: Are there any obstacles to providing the kind of service you would like to offer?

Frazer: One is the ability to effectively recruit the people with the skill sets that are needed because the necessary skills have changed. Among the most essential skills is a high comfort level with technology that changes frequently. We need people who can retrain themselves.

Other obstacles include intellectual property rules that can stand in the way, costs for electronic infrastructure, and the proliferation of new, costly journals.

Newsletter: What in your background and experiences prepared you for this work?

Frazer: My mother was a librarian at Princeton University and then at a research institute in Princeton, so I grew up in a university-related life and with a consistent framework of library work. Before going to library school, I worked for three years as a library assistant in the Princeton University library system. There I encountered a strong customer service orientation toward faculty researchers that has stayed with me.

After finishing library school, I worked in the library of a small undergraduate institution and did many different jobs. This exposure to the range of work in libraries has benefited me, too. I have had a neat variety of jobs.

Newsletter: What accomplishments are you most proud of?

Frazer: Interlibrary loan service has made big strides in reducing turn-around time for handling information requests. When we had the opportunity to convert from a paper to a digital system for delivering articles, we were able to cut three days off our delivery time! We also have been able to add value by providing the necessary bibliographic expertise to supply difficult-to-identify and hard-to-find materials.

Volunteer Opportunity in the Library

Are you looking to help with a fun project? The library's Digital Services is in need of people to help transcribe recorded interviews. The most recent recordings have been of members of the Virginia Symphony League. The transcription machine is easy to use and the transcriptions are typed into a Microsoft Word format document. If you enjoy listening to what interesting and "famous" people in the Hampton Roads' community have to say and you can type, we need your help. For further information about this project e-mail Karen Vaughan, Digital Services Coordinator, at or call 683-4184.

Joe Jackson Up for Writing Award

A World on Fire: A Heretic, an Aristocrat, and the Race to Discover Oxygen, a book by Friends board member Joe Jackson, is in contention for the Annual Library of Virginia Literary Award for non-fiction. Winners are to be announced at a gala on October 21 at the Library of Virginia.

Members-Only Event

Friends of the ODU Library will hold a members-only reception in Perry Library before the Fall Forum featuring Rene Perez-Lopez on November 14.

To receive an invitation, non-members may join now. Just complete and submit the membership form printed at the end of this newsletter.

Friends Host Jules Verne Society

During Memorial Day weekend last spring, the Friends of the Library hosted the annual conference of the North American Jules Verne Society in Perry Library. The conference brought not only Jules Verne experts from around the world to discuss Verne’s works, but also scholars from a wide variety of other fields and disciplines. Keynote speaker Frederic Castel of the European Space Agency spoke about the ATV Jules Verne Spaceship. He was followed by two NASA experts discussing the relevance of Verne’s work in relation to NASA’s own research. Speakers such as Clark Lee Merriam from the Cousteau Society (USA) and Captain Christian Canova of the French Navy further contributed to the inter-disciplinary nature of the two day symposium. The first day’s events culminated in “A Pluri-Disciplinary Approach to The Mysterious Island” as ODU President Roseann Runte, Provost Tom Isenhour and Professor Lytton Musselman, Chair of Biological Sciences, approached the novel from their own areas of expertise: Literature, Chemistry, and Biology. The first day’s events were capped off by a delightful cocktail reception sponsored by the Friends.

Holiday Gifts for Bibliophiles

Some lovely items are available in the library for holiday gift giving, and all are embellished with the Friends of the Library logo, an exceptionally handsome lion. The inventory includes tee shirts ($10), sweat shirts ($15), tote bags ($10), and travel mugs ($5). See Fern McDougal in the library’s administrative office now to purchase these handsome gifts for bibliophiles.

Celebrate National
Friends of the Library Week
October 22 – 28