Monday, July 29, 2013

We Wish Kathi Maio the Very Best on Her Retirement

“Let’s consult over books and a piece of paper,”  she earnestly said to a student. (1985)

It is not possible to adequately acknowledge a legacy of 29 years of dedicated service in single blog entry, however, that is what this posting aims to do. At the end of July, 2013, Kathi Maio will be retiring from Suffolk University's Sawyer Library.

Kathi has been instrumental to this Library, and by extension to Suffolk University, in more ways than it is possible to count. Her 29 years here have spanned the transition from dependence on print to dependence on electronic sources, and not surprisingly to those who know her, her knowledge of information sources - regardless of format, is not to be surpassed.

 Kathi's goal has always been to provide Suffolk students and faculty with the highest quality resources (while being ever mindful of the costs that a small university can afford to take on.) By virtue of her (nearly) 3 decades of service, a good portion of the print collection has been selected by Kathi. But it has been during her tenure as Assistant Director, beginning in 2000, that the Sawyer Library has seen a tremendous expansion of the electronic resources that are available to students and faculty.

A search of the Internet Archive ( for a list of the databases at Sawyer Library in 2001, yields a total of 37, as listed by publisher (Internet Archive: June 17, 2001, List of Databases: ( Currently, the library subscribes to over 150 periodical and reference databases. The success of this expansion, and the arduous negotiations which made it possible, are due to Kathi's efforts.

However, it is not enough to just have access to resources. Many of these sources are complicated, and Kathi has always taken (and created) opportunities to instruct library patrons on the best choice for their task, be it in a formal library instruction, at the Reference Desk, via email, via our LibAnswers page (, or through this blog for the Sawyer Library.

We wish Kathi all best of everything, and wish to thank her for her hard work, dedication, concern, and loyalty to her staff. We hope that she very much enjoys her new found free time to pursue and enjoy her wide ranging interests.

 The Staff of the Sawyer Library, July 2013.

Monday, July 22, 2013

UPDATE: Library Systems Down July 24th

UPDATE:  The Suffolk Universities Libraries (Sawyer, Law NESAD, Madrid) are migrating to a new automated platform on July 24th.

Much of Sawyer Library’s online functionality (and the functionality of the Law, NESAD and Madrid Libraries) will be unavailable for most of the day on Wednesday, July 24, 2013.
The Library is migrating our Innovative Millennium System to the new Sierra platform, in order to establish improved functionality in library operations.

What does that mean to users?  The Library systems will be down from 4-6 hours.  This means the catalog will not be accessible.  You cannot look up books in the online catalog, look at your circulation record, or renew books online.   Checking-out a book at the Sawyer Library will be handled manually on the 24th.  Since our off-campus authentication system, our proxy server, is also part of our Innovative Millennium System, you will not be able to access databases from off-campus on much of that day.  If you are ON campus, the database should pick up a Suffolk IP address and let you in, so if you can visit the Boston (or Madrid) Campus--and it doesn't have to be the Library itself--you should still be able to access the databases through non-proxyized links that you can find here. (Just click the tabs on the guide for the alphabetical lists of links to all our databases.)

And here is another work-around.  The free web version of WorldCat allows you to look up a print book and then set your zip code to pinpoint a library that owns it.  Set your zip code as 02108 and Sawyer or the Law Library should come up if we own it.  If you click the link for our book or library, you might get an error but if that happens, just click on a different library on the list and get the call number from their catalog.  Since most academic libraries use the same call number, you can take their call number to our stacks and probably find the book.  If you are ON campus, you can also use this version of WorldCat. Look for the green tag for "Sawyer Library" when you search.  The base call number will be listed in the "Class Descriptors" field following LC:

We are sorry for any inconvenience this service interruption will cause.  But we are doing this to provide a better, more flexible, and more secure library system that will make it easier for us to provide the best library service possible.

Updates will be provided via social media.  So, on the 24th, keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter feeds for when things are back to normal.