Friday, February 09, 2007

Elaine Nelson Enjoys Challenges, Changes in Interlibrary Loan Services

When Elaine S. Nelson, Interlibrary Loan Supervisor, began working for Ball State University Libraries in October 2000, articles were printed out by personnel, and students and faculty would come to the Interlibrary Loan Services desk for them.

Elaine says that interlibrary loans continued to be handled this way until Dr. Arthur W. Hafner came to Ball State University as Dean of University Libraries.

“One of the first things the Dean did when he came to the Libraries was to upgrade our equipment and software and he began the steps for implementing electronic delivery so that articles could be downloaded directly to the requestor’s desktop computer at home or work,” Elaine said. “It made a very positive impact on staff work flow.”

“I love my job, helping students and faculty to find what they need for their research and learning,” she said. “I like using new technology related to my job.”

Elaine also enjoys the challenge of locating a difficult-to-find item and being able to obtain it through interlibrary loan for the customer.

Before coming to Ball State, Elaine worked in manufacturing in a variety of positions including sales, accounting, and payroll. When her daughter was small, she chose to stay at home, and then re-entered the work force part-time at the local school system when her daughter enrolled in school. Eventually, Elaine began working full time in the school’s office until she took a position at Earlham College Library (Richmond, Indiana) where she worked in Interlibrary Loan Services for 10 years. About library work, Elaine says, “I got hooked. I loved it.”

Elaine continues to learn more about changes in interlibrary loan services by attending workshops and participating in online seminars. She monitors three listservs, ILLiad, ILL and INCOLSA and converses with colleagues in various institutions on job-related issues and stays in contact with students who have obtained MLS degrees and are working in libraries.

Elaine likes to visit used books stores and antique shops looking for items to add to her various collections at home.

“You never know when you will find that treasured title you’ve been looking for,” Elaine said.


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