and Goals 2006-2007
Philip F. McEldowney
May 2005 - May 2006
[Annual Report 2005-2006 animated gif]
Goal 1 Collections with Goals 3 Electronic
Initiatives and Data ||
Goal 2 Funds and Data ||
Goal 3 Electronic Initiatives and Data ||
Goal 4 The Move and Data ||
Goal 5 Middle East Collections and Data ||
Goal 6 Professional Opportunities and Data ||
More Data and other activities
Summary of top three activities.
*Highest priority: Fulfilling Goals 1 and 3. Continue to develop collections
and my involvement with electronic initiatives working with others to provide
access, as especially shown with Tibetan, Buddhist, and Arabic materials
*Second priority: Fulfilling Goal #2. Manage funds to purchase material for
Goal 1. Continue to develop collections and information
resources in my areas of responsibilities, providing easy access, and
evaluating and strengthening service to meet customer needs, and Goal
3. Continue strong involvement with electronic initiatives,
developing skills and collaborating with others to create sources and to
develop ways to provide easy access to digital materials which will
Goal 2. Manage departmental, program, and special funds
for the purchase of materials, working with researchers and other
librarians, reviewing, evaluating, and selecting materials to add to the
collection in a way that will surpass user expectations.<
Goal 2 Data.
2A. Managed Anthropology and Religious Studies (eastern religions)
and History (South Asia) departmental funds, 4 Middle East and South Asia
Library of Congress Overseas Acquisitions program funds, and 3 special
2B. I roughly estimate that I selected around 1263 individual
titles during the year. Express Purchased about 17 titles each month
(about 187 this year) from email and other requests. 109 titles were
ordered for Anthropology (as of 12 May 2006), 514 for Religious Studies,
1690 for AMELC, and 691 for History. For the Middle East's Library of
Congress Overseas Acquisitions Program in Cairo, using 889 email lists,
selected 455 titles from those requested by Middle East professors and
librarians. (total of these four is 3004). Reviewed 2 sets of South Asia
shipments of monographs arriving on an 'approval plan' profile, assisted in
the selection of about 621 titles and deselected about 35 titles. Nawang
reports 180 Tibetan titles from these shipments were also added.
- 2C. In discussions with my supervisor about time-sensitive
selection of materials, I agreed to take steps and focus on ensuring quick
responsiveness. I met with George Crafts to review and learn from
him how he handled these selections and I have discussed these issues also
with the Acquisitions Department.
[Goal 3 and Data 3- See Goals 1 and 3 together above]
Goal 4. Cultivate community and diversity by relocating the
physical spaces of the offices of the Tibetan specialist and my own
from the Fifth Floor to the Second Floor of Alderman library; as well as
assisting the new East Asian librarian in his job to integrate his
contributions into the library services; and working with him and others to
build and reconfigure the Barrett Room to become the Asian Reading,
developing superb services for that diverse group of scholars so as to
encourage collaboration and make every individual scholar welcome.
4A. Because of good planning, the move was carried out with
minimal disruption, especially with mutual help from Nawang Thokmey.
Further improvements from several requests has meant the purchase of a
white board which indicates to others our work schedule and location, the
modification of desktop height, and the configuration of a scanner and
purchase and installation of OCR software.
- 4B. I met with the new East Asian librarian, Calvin
Hsu, to explain my library work and responsibilities, and to answer his
questions. I continue to work with him, both in my selection of materials
using the AMELC fund which he manages, and in my discussions with him on
the development of the Asian Reading Room.
Goal 5. Evaluate and improve the library services for the Middle East
collections so as to provide easy access and encourage scholarship.
5. Examples and Data.
- 5A. Helped in the arrangement and the scheduling for the
evaluation of our library's Middle East collection by David Hirsh,
librarian from the University of California-LA, in November 2005. At his
request I wrote a background overview about our Middle East collection and
discussed it with him. When his final report is produced and available, I
will discuss its recommendations with other librarians and faculty and work
toward implementation of some of those recommendations to further improve
the Middle East collection and services.
5B. Helped to identify a graduate student with good knowledge of
Arabic language and literature and he was hired in Cataloging; worked
with him throughout the year, as he was trained and supervised by K.
Suthar, to add Arabic monographs, serials, and microfilm. This was
especially important and useful since a large number of monographs,
serials, and microfilms, arrived in the summer and fall of 2005, as a
result of the $20,000 grant of 2004/2005 for the purchase of Middle East
materials. This grant and the library's work with university professors has
resulted in enhancing our Middle East collections with some core materials
which the professors expect to use as primary and secondary source
materials through their classes and research./P>
Goal 6. Identify and pursue appropriate professional opportunities
to develop new skills or improve on them and to keep abreast with changing
technologies to better serve library customers
Attended 9 classes: 2 Reference classes, 4 media classes (photo and
video production) and 3 classes on digital and web management. Attended
about 14 academic seminars and panels on topics in my subject areas.
Attended two Asian Conferences (South Asia Conference in Madison,
Wisconsin, October 2005 and the Association of Asian Studies Conference,
San Francisco, April 2006), attending library-related meetings (CONSALD,
SAMP, etc.) at both and the meeting of Federally-funded South Asia
universities and their discussion on K-12 textbooks at San Francisco, and
the Middle East Studies Conference in Washington, DC in November
2005 attending 4 librarians meetings and several academic panels on issues
of anthropology, history, and information publishing. I was elected to a
2-year term on the CONSALD executive committee.
More data and other activities.
Conducted Classes, research tutorials, and gave tours: taught 2
introductory library sessions (one for incoming Anthropology graduate students and one with George Crafts for incoming Religious Studies graduate students), 2 sessions
for academic classes (Middle East, Arab 227/5 for Bushra Hamad, and History of South Asia, HISA 401 for Piya Narayen), 3 individual tutorials, and 2 one-hour tours for
prospective faculty. Also taught 3 ENWR sessions (ENWR 210-12 for Andrew Douglas, ENWR 110-27 for Fran Connor, and ENWR 110-26 for Margaret Gardiner). The composite
average score for the rated sessions was 4.1. Online handouts were most appreciated.
See these handouts and URLs:
Anthropology introduction: http://www.lib.virginia.edu/subjects/anthropology/instruct/2005.html
Religious Studies: http://www.lib.virginia.edu/subjects/religiousstudies/instruct/2005.html
Arab Instruction: http://www.lib.virginia.edu/subjects/amlc/class/arab227instructionarabculture.html
Arab Bibliography: http://www.lib.virginia.edu/subjects/amlc/class/arab227bibliography.html
India Empires: http://www.lib.virginia.edu/subjects/history/indiaempire2006.html
Reference Desk: Worked 2 hours each week to provide public service.
Such service keeps me in touch with current and changing needs of library
customers, and helps me develop and evaluate how to best answer customer
questions. Added to my reference role by learning to do online chat,
reference email, and basic circulation of materials. One customer (a
Harvard graduate, who used to be in charge publicity at NASA) was
appreciative of my follow through in helping him to locate a review by
George Orwell of Graham Greene, in the New Yorker because our copy had the
page ripped out.
Reference and research emails: about 10 emails a month or 120 per
year. These ranged from simple location questions to complicated scholarly
Supervise: Evaluated one supervised position (Library Assistant for Tibetan and South Asia materials, Nawang Thokmey).
In working with Nawang I asked his advice in the selection of new monographic titles in his subject area; discussed developing bibliographic information with him; assisted him in some tours of the library for visiting Chinese and Tibetan scholars; helped coordinate his activity in cataloging of the Tibetan digital texts; and arranged for the storage of the Tibetan external drives and DVDs in his office.
Committees: A. Served on the committee reviewing and selecting candidates for the East Asia Librarian position, completing that review, final interviews, and selection in the summer of 2005. B. In late July 2005 participated in David Germano's committee reviewing and selecting a replacement of the manager of materials for the Tibetan and Himalaya Digital Library. C. Continued to serve on the SDS (Sustaining Digital Scholarship) committee, especially concerned with the Tibetan project, until it ended in October 2005, splitting into specialized working groups. D. Served on the committee on the Buddhist donation (see 1B above), discussing issues, as it formed plans to incorporate and integrate selected items into the University of Virginia library collection.
Professional matters: (in addition to already mentioned above)
**Continued to serve as webmaster for CONSALD and was elected as a member of its executive committee, and participated in listserv discussions.
**Maintained websites for the table of contents of some South Asian and
**Worked with other librarians and information specialists on the Tibetan and
Himalayan Digital Library and with the South Asia Digital Library as partially
funded by national grants.
Subject Librarians: http://www.lib.virginia.edu/sublibs.html
Subject Guides listing: http://www.lib.virginia.edu/resguide.html
Religious Studies: http://www.lib.virginia.edu/subjects/religiousstudies/
Area Studies (South Asia, Middle East, Tibetan):
Recognition of contribution in published research: Authors
acknowledged my contribution to their writings in 2 books by Ravinder Khare
(Caste, hierarchy, and individualism : Indian critiques of Louis
Dumont's contributions, 2006) and Mike Dash (Thug: the true story of
India's murderous cult, 2005). The first was for a bibliography on
Louis Dumont's writings and the second was for in reference to my Masters
of Arts thesis (also available on the web).
Photography: Took photos at Library and University events and provided
copies, some of which were included in the Center for South Asia newsletters.
Tibetan Digital Resources:
1) Burning DVDs and cataloging in VIRGO. After separate consultations with
Karen Marshall, Leslie Johnston, Guy Mengel, and Melinda Bauman to develop
the best way to provide access to our on-going purchase of digitized
Tibetan texts while ensuring strict authentication for only UVa researchers
to access those materials, it was decided make a back up copy of each
external drive and to transfer a copy of the digitized texts to DVDs, and
then to catalog those and make them available for circulation. The first
two external hard drives from the Tibetan Buddhist Resource center, each
containing around 1000 titles, were copied on to DVDs in the late summer of
2005. K. Suthar and I along with Erin Stalberg considered how best to set
up cataloging procedures. K Suthar supervised the initial steps for Nawang
Thokmey and Cindy Davis to experiment with cataloging these titles and
adding them to VIRGO. The two then established a routine to add each of
these titles, with this activity mainly occurring in January and February
of 2006. They did intense work, and did it very efficiently and well. As
a result these DVDs were cataloged, added to VIRGO, and made available at
the Reference Desk for circulation. Almost immediately some of these DVDs
were checked out and are providing easy access for UVa researchers.
2) Importance for scholarship beyond the University of Virginia: Susan
Meinheit (Tibetan Specialist, Asian Division, Library of Congress) spoke
with me at the San Francisco Conference of the Association of Asian Studies
in early April 2006 and commented about how very pleased the director of
the Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center, Gene Smith, was with the UVa solution
to making these digitized texts available to qualified and authenticated
UVa researchers. Our solution has become a model for other major
universities. In one case the University of Michigan sent an email asking
for details of how we handled these sets of Tibetan digitized texts as they
were trying to find ways to make these available to their authenticated
3) Working together with many librarians and coming up with practical
solutions, creating DVD copies, and supervising the work of catalogers and
others has made these Tibetan digital texts readily available to our
researchers. And they are being used as they are being checked out (5 of 19
DVDs were check out as of 10 May 2006). We are presently going through
another round of making DVD copies of the Third External Drive, and will
catalog those when they become available.
Gift from Taiwan of Buddhist materials, especially multi-volume
sets. This year I have also worked with K. Suthar on gift materials from
the Taiwanese Buddhist Institute. This involved several decisions: 1)
which material to add and not add (since some of it is non-scholarly
popular pamphlet literature), 2) which duplicate copies to add or not, and
3) where to shelve series, sets, or multivolume materials. It was mainly
the last two decisions which K. Suthar and I had to work closely together
over some months. As a result, the scholarly core of this gift has been
added to VIRGO and is available for Buddhist researchers.
Publicity Photo for the cataloging of the India District Gazetteers.
Worked with Suthar to assist Charlotte Morford (Communications and
Publications) in her selection of an appropriate graphic for the library's
annual 2005 library publication announcing the completion of the cataloging
of the India District Gazetteers.
Goals for 2006-2007
Continue to develop collections and information resources in my areas of
responsibilities, providing easy access and use, and evaluating and strengthening
services to meet customer needs which will inspire learning and scholarship.
Manage departmental, program, and special funds for the purchase
of materials, working with researchers and other librarians, reviewing,
evaluating, and selecting materials to add to the collection in a way that
will surpass user expectations. As goals as a Subject Librarian, take
actions in the following areas to ensure responsiveness to library
customers and library colleagues: 1. Purchase Express Requests -- process
the request and let the requester know of the disposition of the request,
both actions within one day after receipt 2. Lost Book decisions - make
decisions of whether to replace and give the decisions and fund information
to Acquisitions within one week of receiving the Lost Book Reports; 3.
Multiple Holds Reports: if the decision is to purchase an additional copy,
treat it as a Purchase Express, and have the patron at the top of the hold
list notified, making decisions on multiple holds within one day after
Evaluate and improve selection procedures, South Asia profiles, and
Overseas Acquisitions Programs, and enhance library services for South Asian and the
Middle East collections so as to use library funds and staff efficiently and provide
easy and sufficient access to materials which will encourage scholarship. Hire a
graduate student with Arabic language skills to assist me with Middle East
materials. To the extent possible, begin implementing recommendations by the Middle
Work with others to develop library spaces, such as the Asian Reading Room,
which will provide basic reference resources and equipment for easy, productive and
Continue with electronic initiatives, learning further skills, and
collaborating with others to create sources or develop ways to provide
ready access to digital materials which will inspire learning and
Identify and pursue appropriate professional opportunities to develop new
skills or improve on them, and to keep abreast with changing technologies to better
serve library customers.
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