What our Safety and Ergonomics Committee and its members do for Libraries and Purdue


PILLAR: Infrastructure

We should all be aware that Purdue Libraries has a Safety and Ergonomics Committee (SEC). And each of us should know which one of our co-workers is the SEC representative for our particular library, department, or area.  (If you aren’t sure, check out the SEC site on the intranet.)  We see our SEC reps in action as they correct unsafe situations like trip hazards, provide us information on safety and ergonomic issues, or adjust our chairs and other equipment to help us work more ergonomically. They also monitor the products we use in our work environments. (Do you know where your SEC rep files the Material Safety Data Sheets, or MSDS’es, which support employees’ right-to-know about the chemical ingredients in these products?)

What’s not so obvious is that SEC is one of a network of safety committees formed across campus for the purpose of promoting a culture of safety through a safety program called Integrated Safety Plan (ISP) administered by Radiological and Environmental Management (REM). Purdue faculty, staff, and students are required to comply with environmental, health, safety and preparedness laws and regulations issued by federal, state and local agencies, as well as with Purdue policies, procedures, and instructions. ISP assists Purdue units in doing so and, in the process, provides a mechanism for indemnification from regulatory fines for units which have a certified safety program. At the direction of the Dean, and under the guidance of Nancy Hewison and Brad Heiss, SEC is responsible for the specific steps which lead to indemnification for Libraries. It is the actions of individual SEC representatives, and the coordination by the committee as a whole, which keep Libraries in compliance with safety-related laws and regulations administered by agencies such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Environmental Protection Agency and Indiana State Department of Health, and, most importantly, help all of us to create and maintain a safer workplace.

The SEC began its work on our behalf as the Libraries Safety Committee, which was formed in January 2007 with a representative from each library, department, or area; and Kristi Evans, an occupational safety specialist, as SEC’s contact person from REM. Each SEC member monitors the workplace continuously, keeps MSDS sheets updated and conducts self-audits and walk-throughs with REM staff to achieve ISP annual certification for the particular library, department or area. (For example, the Administrative Offices and other Libraries offices on Stewart second floor make up one area sharing an SEC rep.) Currently, 16 Libraries locations hold ISP certifications or are working toward certification renewal. When SEC responsibilities were expanded in 2010 to include the work of the former Ergonomics Action Team, the name of the committee was changed to reflect this addition and an experienced ergo team member was added to SEC as ergonomics adviser. As well as providing us with information about workplace ergonomics and assistance in contacting REM, SEC members are trained by REM to ergonomically assess coworkers at their work stations.

Our SEC representatives are Libraries leaders in safety and ergonomics, and they join members of other safety committees and safety-related departments in working toward a campus free of injuries for all of us: faculty, staff and students. They ask and encourage all of us to join them through our own safety-conscious actions. As individuals and as a committee, SEC members promote a culture of safety. As co-workers, we must join them in creating it.

Libraries Safety and Ergonomics Committee (SEC) intranet site (includes members, minutes, and links to the ISP site, REM forms,  and information on ergonomics, safety, and emergency preparedness)

REM Integrated Safety Plan (ISP) web site

Purdue “Environmental Health and Safety Compliance” policy (I.2.4, issued May 1, 2011)

Dania Remaly is the current chair of the Libraries Safety & Ergonomics Committee (SEC).


Common Reading Program in action

BY SHARON WEINER, co-chair of the Common Reading Committee

PILLAR: Scholarly Communication

Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks book coverPurdue’s Common Reading Program is organized by Purdue Libraries and Student Access, Transition, and Success Programs (SATS). The book selected to read this year was “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot. All new students were required to read the book during the summer. Residence hall advisors and others discussed issues raised in the book during Boiler Gold Rush (BGR). On Sunday, August 21 (the day before classes started), 5,500 students heard the author speak in Elliott Hall. Skloot talked about times when she refused to conform and her persistence in writing the book, which was a 10-year process. She talked about the importance of asking questions and being curious. She told the students how she decided to become a writer: While studying to be a veterinarian, she was required to take a creative writing course, which fulfilled a foreign language requirement at her school. She learned that she had a talent for expressing scientific concepts in language that lay people could understand and decided to change career paths.

Her presentation was engaging and relevant. The students asked questions about topics such as:

Q. Why the book wasn’t more didactic, rather than just presenting information?
A. There were many complex issues that evolved as she researched and wrote the book, and there were no clear right-and-wrong answers

Q. How she handle failures?
A. She looked at them as turns in the road — not roadblocks.

Q. Does she have a boyfriend?
A. She does!

The Common Reading Program is funded by the Office of the Provost. Catherine Fraser Riehle is also a member of the Common Reading Committee.


New Faculty and Staff

Patricia IrvinPATRICE E. IRVIN
University Copyright Office

I began working as a secretary in the University Copyright Office (UCO) at the beginning of August. My primary duty is as support staff for Donna L. Ferullo, Director of the UCO.

After having worked for many years as a secretary/paralegal in the private sector, I retired in May of 2010. I soon discovered that retirement was not as enjoyable as I had anticipated. I am very happy to be working at Purdue University Libraries UCO.

I was born and raised in Maryland and moved to Indiana many, many, many years ago, originally to continue my education and then to raise my family. I live in West Lafayette with my dog, a Chesapeake Bay retriever named Toby. During non-working hours, I volunteer with Chesapeake Bay Retriever Relief & Rescue, Inc., a breed specific dog rescue, and love spending time with family and friends.

You can find me in Purdue University UCO, STEW 264A, or reach me at pirvin@purdue.edu or 49-63864.


Library Assistant
Life Sciences Library

I started at the Purdue Life Science Library (LIFE) in March of this year as the Reference and Government Document assistant. I earned my Bachelors of Science degree in Public Horticulture in 2008 right here at Purdue University.

I started working in a library at the age of 13, where I was the librarian for the Chalmers library. The library was a small private library which was forced to close when I was 16 due to lack of funding. I then started working as a library assistant at the Brookston library until I graduated from high school and went off to college.

Outside of work I enjoy reading, playing the piano, traveling hanging out with friends and taking care of my house in the small rural town of Chalmers.

I am happy to be back at Purdue and look forward to working with everyone.

My office is located in Lily room 2400 of the library and I can be reached at 496-1883 or Aresert@purdue.edu.


Successful staff transition

PILLAR: Infrastructure

Amanda Gill 2011AMANDA GILL
Operations Coordinator
Physical Sciences, Engineering and Technology Libraries

In September 2009, I joined the Purdue Libraries Team as the Operations Coordinator for the Engineering and Aviation Technology Libraries. I supervised six staff members, oversaw the operations of two library locations and assisted the librarians in any way needed.

Over the following 15 months, I found my way, sometimes stumbling, through the entirely new experience of working in an academic library system. Who knew so many acronyms existed?! I quickly came to enjoy my job. Helping patrons find resources they need, working with staff to accomplish common goals, assisting the librarians in creating instructional materials, and more filled my days.

In December 2010, I was approached with the possibility of becoming the Operations Coordinator for all Physical Sciences, Engineering and Technology libraries (PSET). I put on a big smile and confidently said, “Sure! I can do that!” But inside, I was nervous. Well, maybe scared stiff would be a better way to put it.

I went from supervising six staff in two locations to supervising 12 staff in six locations. It was quite a transition. Some aspects were easy, and others were much more challenging. Part of me was excited about this new challenge, but I also had some trepidation. Would the librarians in the other PSET libraries be willing to give up their supervisory duties? Would the staff respect me and transition easily into accepting me as their supervisor? And how in the world would I keep track of everything that’s going on?

In spite of my concerns, January 1 arrived, and my new duties began. I was surprised to realize that, in general, the librarians were quite happy to shed their supervisory duties. This release from operations freed them to do more instruction and outreach to departments and faculty. Several of our librarians were going through transitions of their own: Carolyn Laffoon was preparing for retirement, Jane Yatcilla was moving to the Health and Life Sciences libraries, and Stewart Saunders and Mike Witt were joining PSET to take on Jane’s former duties in the Mathematical Sciences library.

The staff were also willing and happy to work through the transition. They made me feel welcome and helped me create a space to work in each of the libraries. Were there some challenges? Absolutely!  I spent a lot of time reminding people that they needed to come to me when they had a supervisor/operations question. Several of the staff members I supervised were also going through transitions: Jim Derringer became half time at AVTE and half time at MATH while Dania Remaly became half time at ENGR and half time at AVTE; Donna Slone split her time between PHYS and EAS. These changes have turned out to be excellent, but in the beginning, we definitely had some issues to work through; mostly communications issues that we resolved easily.

In time, I found my own way as well. I spend at least two hours in each library every week. This gives the staff members time to catch me up on what’s happening, but it also gives me time to work in each library and get a feel for how things are going. After much trial and error, I also figured out a method for keeping track of everything. Paper was out; it’s too easy to lose. Instead, I use a wonderful (and FREE) tool called Evernote (evernote.com). It allows me to take notes on my computer, laptop, phone, etc., and have them with me everywhere. I keep track of all of my to-do lists, meeting notes and more in Evernote. Fabulous! 

I think the biggest thing I’ve learned since January — and really since I started working here in September 2009 — is to be nimble (thanks to Monica Kirkwood for this perfect word). We can’t prevent change from coming, so we have to be willing to roll with it. Many thanks to the wonderful staff and faculty in the PSET division for working with me as we try to be nimble together.


POTR 141 and HIKS B848 providing new teaching and learning opportunities

PILLAR: Reconfigured, Relevant, Strategic Space

Hicks B848 classroom 2011

Students in an IMPACT class in the newly renovated Hicks B848 watch one of the mobile Smart Boards. Also shown is the circular desk arrangement that encourages collaborative learning.

Potter 141 classroom 2011

Students in a Great Issues course take advantage of the new classroom in the Engineering Library. Students listen to a lecture before class and then spend class time working on problems and presenting solutions to their peers using the active learning technologies that the room provides.


Archives and Special Collections exhibit celebrates 125 years of Purdue Bands

Purdue Golden girlFrom its humble origins as a drum unit for the student army training corps to the 2010 appearance of the “All-American” Marching Band in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, this exhibit highlights the lives of the organization’s members and legendary directors and icons, such as the “World’s Largest Drum” and the “Golden Girl,” along with the department’s many highly respected concert, jazz and orchestral ensembles.

The exhibit is in collaboration with Purdue University Bands and the upcoming release of The Heartbeat of the University:125 Years of Purdue Bands published Purdue University Press.

The exhibit is currently on display until December 22 in the Virginia Kelly Karnes Archives and Special Collections Research Center located in the Humanities, Social Sciences and Education Library (HSSE), fourth floor.


  • What our Safety and Ergonomics Committee and its members do for Libraries and Purdue
  • Common Reading Program in action
  • New Faculty and Staff
  • Successful staff transitions-Amanda Gill
  • POTR 144 and HIKS B848 providing new teaching and learning opportunities
  • Archives and Special Collections exhibit celebrates 125 years of Purdue Bands
  • Off the Shelf
  • Staff Anniversaries
  • Kudos
  • Announcements
  • Libraries in the News
  • Libraries Staff A - Z
  • What's Cooking?


Off the shelf

Continuing Vacancies

To view all Purdue job postings visit the Purdue employment page. If you have additional questions, contact Julie Hillgrove, 494-2903.



Emily Branson, Humanities, Social Science and Education, is celebrating 25 years at Purdue.

Vicki Killion, Pharmacy, Nursing, and Health Sciences, is celebrating 20 years at Purdue.

Paul Bracke, Libraries Administration, is celebrating 5 years at Purdue.

Marianne Stowell Bracke, Life Sciences, is celebrating 5 years at Purdue.



Libraries staff members were given special acknowledgement by Professors Jill P. and Robert E. May in the introduction to their new book, Howard Pyle: Imagining an American School of Art, Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2011.

“We have benefited immeasurably, during our research, from the generous assistance of so many archivists and librarians that it is difficult to know where to begin. We began this project, naturally, at our home institution, Purdue University, and have drawn repeatedly on the wisdom of the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Education Library’s excellent reference staff, especially Larry Mykytiuk, Bert Chapman and Emily Branson. Likewise, we owe much to the energies of the HSSE Library’s interlibrary loan department, which fielded our constant requests not only with graciousness but often with helpful advice.”



LCSSAC Fall Picnic 2011
Thursday, September 15
5:30 p.m.-8 p.m.
Happy Hollow Park, Shelter #3

Heartbeat of the University
125 Years of Purdue Bands

Archives and Special Collections Exhibit
September 6-December22
HSSE 4th floor

Libraries Distinguished Lecture Series
Featuring Ruth Reichl
"Eating Our Words"
October 18
7 p.m.
Fowler Hall

Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature Exhibit
October 25-December 3
Hicks Undergraduate Library


Libraries in the news

Inside Purdue, Fall 2011
2011-12 CSSAC Committee members; includes Betty Kroll, Terry Wade, and Pat Walkup, pg. 8-9

New Faculty at West Lafayette; includes Jacob Carlson, Eugenia Kim, Alaina Morales and Sammie Morris, pg. 13-14 (also in New Faculty supplement, pg. 4-5)

Purdue Today, August 29
Common Reading Program invites book suggestions for 2012-13


Libraries Staff a - Z

Jessie Morefield 2011JESSIE MOREFIELD
(Soon to be Jessie Arnold)
Business Office
Account Assistant

Q. What do you enjoy most about your job and why?
A. I like my job because I have a wide array of duties. I am constantly learning new processes and applications.

Q. How long have you worked in the Libraries and at Purdue?
A. I have been at the Libraries for three years and at Purdue for eleven.

Q. What is one unforgettable experience that has happened to you or your coworkers while working in the library?
A. My office has a tradition every April fool's day. For one reason or another Heather (Oakley) is out of the office. Instead of playing a cruel joke, we like to decorate and randomly rearrange her office. We don't fess up to it — we just blame it on the frogs.

Q. What’s your favorite book, website, movie or database?
A. Favorite author is Nicholas Sparks.

Q. Coffee, tea, water or soft drink?
A. Coffee with double sugar and double cream.

Q. What do you like to do for fun?
A. I like to stay active with my family. I go to my daughter's soccer games, hiking, biking and disk golfing. Currently I am being creative with crafts while planning for my September wedding.


What's Cooking?

Baked Acorn Squash Rings
Visit the Libraries Intranet site for directions for this recipe.





Copy Deadline

Copy for the September 21 issue is due by September 20. Send to tmabrown@purdue.edu