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Behind door number two you will find…

October 26, 2014

Do you ever wonder what and who is behind “those doors”?  The ones that you pass by as you come in the Library or as you wait for the elevator.  Today we will answer part of that question and introduce you to someone behind door number two.

Many of you have wondered about what exactly goes on behind the locked doors on the First Floor of the Library.  The answer is: a lot goes on back there with several staff members whose duties play key roles in ensuring that you have access to the resources you need. Some work on acquiring books (and e-books), journals (and e-journals), DVDs (and streaming videos) while others work quickly to create the records so you can find what you need when searching U-Search, RamCat, or looking for full-text articles.

We interviewed Janetta Paschal (Head of Technical Services), who oversees much of this work, so that we may share with you a small portion of what happens behind those locked doors.  Janetta has been with the Library many years and, during that time, witnessed many changes that led to the Library you see today.

We hope you enjoy getting a sneak peek of what lies behind those doors and her experiences thus far.

Q.        How long have you worked for the Library:

A.         This time, for 15 years, 3 weeks, 2 days (as of September 16). While I was an ASU student (1973-1978) I worked at the Library from 1974-1978, in the reference and government documents area. After graduating I worked another year (1978-1979) as a full-time staff member before going to Library School (in August 1979).

Q.        What is your title and a brief job description? (Those of us who know Janetta can laugh at the word brief because, aside from a cape and sword, she does it all.)

A.         In March of 2008, after the Acquisitions Librarian retired, I became Head of Library Technical Services, which means I manage the acquisitions/serials and cataloging operations. I prepare statistical reports on the collection for the Director and for various annual reports (institutional, state, and national agencies). I do original cataloging for materials in the Library and the West Texas Collection. I also catalog e-books and streaming videos by processing and loading bibliographic records into RamCat for the video and e-book packages we subscribe to.

Q.        Have you always held that title?

A.         From August 1999 through February 2008, I served as Government Documents/Reference Librarian. I was in charge of the Library’s depository operations for the state and federal government publications programs.

Q.        Where did you attend college?

A.         Angelo State University for my Bachelor’s degree in Art and Texas Woman’s University for my Masters in Library Science.

Q.        What is your favorite thing to do in your free time?

A.         These days it is read, although I also like to write and do needlework (crochet, cross-stitch). The latter activity is difficult to do now because my cats want to attack the yarn and/or the thread.

Q.        What is your favorite book? (We work for the Library……you know we all like to read.)

A.         My current “favorite” book is actually a series: the “In Death” novels by J.D. Robb (i.e.,Nora Roberts). I started reading these novels last year and have requested some of the earlier ones on interlibrary loan.  After a really bad day a few weeks ago I bought … well, let’s just say I bought enough of the novels to keep me reading for a few days.

Q.        Where are you from and where have you lived?

A.         I am a San Angelo girl, born and raised, and a proud Lake View High School graduate. After a year in Denton at TWU I moved to Canyon to work at West Texas State University. After four years or so there, I moved down Highway 87 to San Antonio and St. Mary’s Law Library. In 1990 I left there and moved back up Highway 87 to Lubbock and the Texas Tech Law School Library. In 1999, even after swearing I would not move back to San Angelo, I returned home to Angelo State. (Word of caution: Never say never.)

Q.        What is your most memorable experience while working here at the Library? (She had quite a few but the one chosen was just too wonderful to pass up.)

A.         The Halloween several of us dressed as “Dr. Maurice Fortin” certainly ranks high on the list. We each channeled some aspect of our boss. Nancy Snodgrass, Documents Assistant, used an old cast she had saved from an arm injury and included that in her costume, since the boss had spent several weeks in one earlier that year. We all had to carry coffee mugs around that day, and we also had to include lapel pins of some sort on our shirts. Mustaches were mandatory, as well. We had a blast.

With that last answer you now have the opportunity to see that small piece of our Library past.  Here is the photograph that has become known among the Library staff as “the picture that never dies”.

To the far right you will find Ms. Paschal. Dr. Fortin is in the middle, along with a few other staff members who still work behind those doors. Whether we work behind closed doors or in open view, the staff of the Porter Henderson Library shares one common goal: to provide you with the best possible service and access to the resources you need for your academic and scholarly pursuits.  We work hard behind the staff doors to ensure that you continue to come through the Library’s doors.