Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Profile of Deborah J. Woodfin: Ball State University Libraries’ Lead Acquisitions Assistant

Deborah J. Woodfin, Lead Acquisitions Assistant, who likes to be called Debbie by her friends, has seen many changes in the Ball State University Libraries over the past 30 years as a staff member.

Debbie began her employment April, 1977 as Acquisitions Clerk, responsible for monographs and went on to supervise the monograph receiving area where she was also responsible for standing order materials. In 1980, she was promoted to Lead Acquisitions Assistant. In her current position, she supervises the serials and periodicals receiving area, which includes two other staff members.

“The biggest change was moving to an automated system in 1986,” Debbie said. “Prior to that, I typed a packet of receiving slips for every single serial, monographic series, and set book that arrived, first on a manual typewriter, then, later, on an electric one.”

Employees used the tools of the time, which included sharp pencils, loads of paper forms, and approximately 50 typewriters in the area. “You can’t imagine the noise those typewriters made all day!” she adds.

Another notable change was migrating from print materials to digital, which Debbie recalls became a whole new world for libraries, scholars, and students – opening new opportunities for research, learning, and discovery for students and faculty.

In her job, Debbie enjoys the constant variety of work and the people with whom she works in the University Libraries and sees around campus.

Debbie stays on top of changes going on in acquisitions by reading vendor announcements and newsletters, checking the news on various publisher Web sites, and talking to customer service representatives.

“Our own librarians are an essential source of information for me, especially concerning digital resources,” Debbie said.

Debbie’s husband, Professor Dan Woodfin, teaches at Ball State’s College of Architecture and Planning in the Department of Architecture.

“We love to travel and manage to get to our place in the Utah desert each summer, plus some weekend jaunts around the Midwest,” said Debbie.

In her spare time, Debbie enjoys gardening, cooking, reading non-fiction, and entertaining for family, friends, and her husband’s students. Debbie is honorary housemother for Ball State’s Phi Gamma Delta (ΦΓΔ) fraternity. She helps chapter members with entertaining, teaches etiquette, and serves as “mom.” She and her husband are involved in several Ball State student organizations as advisors and help with Ball State’s Homecoming each year. Debbie also volunteers for the Delaware County Historical Society and at Oakhurst at Muncie’s Minnetrista Cultural Center.

One day when she retires, Debbie says she will work on a project close to her heart, which is organizing and transcribing a sizeable collection of letters from World War II exchanged between her dad and mom while her dad was in the U.S. Navy serving in the Solomon Islands.

This newsletter article first appeared in The Library Insider 5(3): 12; March 2007.

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