Our beloved Milstein, Millie, Milbob, Millie Bobby Brown, we love you and all the BLAIS staff <3.

Welcome week whatever! WOW, we wuv words with W!  

This week, SGA took on BLAIS (Barnard Library & Academic Information Services) and its incredibly helpful services! At this meeting, SGA wanted to share information on increasing digital access materials for FLI students and the larger Barnard community. The meeting also included a discussion on how to continue cultivating a positive learning environment while ensuring space for Barnard students. 

The meeting started at 8 pm with external announcements, then a fifteen-minute presentation by Monica McCormick, Barnard’s Dean of BLAIS; Kristen Hogan, Director of Collection Strategies; and Quincy Williams, Student Engagement Librarian. The meeting then concluded with thirty minutes of Q&A. 

External Announcements: 

  • SGA funds are open! These funds are SGA and joint CU funds that accept applications to fund student initiatives for dynamic programming! There is a wide range of options for clubs, so make sure you check your Barnard email for more information on how to get a fund! You can find more information about them on the SGA Linktree as well. Kennedy
  • Make sure you fill out the dining satisfaction survey for a chance to win a $10 Starbucks gift card! Bannon Beall (BC ’22)
  • Follow the SGA Twitter. Tiffany Vo (BC ’23)
  • FLI Awareness Day was this past Monday! Myesha Choudhury (BC ’23)
  • The DAD survey, otherwise known as Desserts After Dark, comes out this week, so keep an eye out for that! Miso Kim (BC ’22)
  • Get your booster/flu shot from Barnard PCHS—call +1(212) 854-2091. Booster shot appointments are filling up fast so make sure you get those ASAP. Emily Lan (BC ’24)
  • Support grad students and the strike! Parker Watts (BC ’22)
  • Beyond Barnard, a job search tip event is happening in one month, so keep an eye out for that as well! Melody Chen (BC ’23)

BLAIS Presentation: 

After welcoming our BLAIS director, Monica McCormick, who was hired this past August, we were excited to learn more about Barnard’s Libraries and her role in new events! There are already some amazing library services available which EVERYONE should take advantage of! 

  • Personal Librarians: all have subject area specialty and are super helpful with any library related needs.
  • IMATS: IMATS (Instructional Media and Technology Services) is Barnard’s home for all AV services and technology needs! Borrowing equipment is easy! If you’re interested in learning about filmmaking or media production check out the media center production studio. From Monday to Friday 10 to 5 pm, you can reserve this studio to record any audio or video. 
  • Archives and Special Collections: These archives collect the history of feminism and dance which are the roots of Barnard. There’s also a new collection of first generation low income student stories to check out. 

Q&A Section: 

  • How has COVID made the library and other materials more accessible? Parker Watts (BC ’22) 
    • COVID showed everyone many ways to work differently when everyone is available virtually or in person. Resources and materials are a little more complicated because of licensing which causes problems since different owners have different ways of accessing materials. During COVID, library services also had to fight to hold onto many resources by going back to the past system which was definitely not satisfactory. Now, films can be streamed by buying or renting the licenses to stream certain films. Reach out to Kristen Hogan if you want to download films for streaming. During COVID the ebook collection also expanded through HathiTrust which was super helpful. 
    • Quincy Williams shared how COVID has made the team look at how they’re doing things. Through new initiatives like a virtual chat room, flexible check-out options, and many new electronic items, Barnard can continue to expand digitally while maintaining our print collection. 
    • Barnard wants to help: if there is anything you want that Barnard doesn’t have, please reach out! They would be more than happy to get the things you need! 
  • For the FLI library, how does BLAIS work with academic departments to expand and access books/codes for textbooks? Emily Marie Tagle (BC ’24)
    • By working with BLAIS student staff associate Christina Juste, Barnard has worked to coordinate a mailing program that grows the number of copies of commonly used textbooks. The FLI library works to help everyone by asking students to self-identify as FLI. From there, access codes can be accessed, but it’s still very difficult. However, students and administration are encouraging professors to share access codes with everyone without students having to ask. 
  • How does BLAIS respond to student feedback? What strategies does BLAIS use that other Barnard offices can use? Kennedy Yeager (BC ’22)
    • Lots of students don’t have all their needs met which is why BLIAS believes that foundation is rooted in equity, diversity and inclusion. By being available virtually, through email, and in-person, students can always have conversations with staff and utilize student staff to help bridge the gap between students and staff. 
    • The personal librarian team is focused on meeting the needs of students and they pay a lot of attention to feedback from students. 
  • There seems to be an unequal balance with Columbia and Barnard student usage, how can we prioritize Barnard students without excluding Columbia students? Emily Marie Tagle (BC ’24)
    • By stocking items and services for Barnard students and courses and offering Barnard-specific personal librarians, we can ensure Barnard students get the most out of their library services. 

And that puts an end to this week’s meeting!  Lots of super important information came out, and we found even more reasons to LOVE Barnard library services. (They’re awesome.) See you next week ;) 

SGA illustration via Ava Morouse