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Personal Statement for University Libraries Faculty Public Service Award Nomination by Roxanne Myers Spencer A library outranks

any other one thing a community can do to benefit its people. It is a never-failing spring in the desert. ~Andrew Carnegie I believe public service librarians support the mission and goals of Western Kentucky University through our daily interaction with students, staff, and faculty. The library is often a familiar first stop for international or first-year students as they adjust to a new academic culture. The faculty we serve rely on us to familiarize them and their students with our ever-evolving resources. Staff and students seek us out for recommendations on leisure as well as research resources. Each of these interactions is an opportunity to be welcoming, helpful, reliable, and vital to the WKU experience. There is a tremendous amount of personal and professional satisfaction in the relieved, emphatic thank you! from an education student struggling to find the right sources for a paper or in receiving repeat requests for instruction sessions from supportive and grateful teaching colleagues. To me, library service is a type of personal ministrynot life-changing, perhaps, but a way of paying it forwardsharing my expertise and skills to help improve anothers knowledge and information literacy skills. Our mission to provide excellent service extends beyond the library doors. Public venues, professional presentations, and other forms of community involvement offer more opportunities for what I consider a callingthe deep determination, knowledge, desire, and skill to help meet an information need. Our exchange of information with our colleagues and patrons builds relationships and strengthens our role in society in small ways every day. When the going gets tough, the tough get a librarian. ~Joan Bauer When a sheepish student comes into the Educational Resources Center (ERC) for last-minute research help, a new faculty member seeks me out for a research session, or I receive an invitation to present to a new community, then true public service spirit triumphs. These services build positive momentum, raising the profile of the library and the services we provide. We enhance our reputation for reliability in our service community when we emphasize public service. Our patrons respond positively when we emphasize our relevance and dependability with visible, consistent, high quality public service. The most important asset of any library goes home at nightthe library staff. ~Timothy Healy An essential characteristic of public service is collaboration and teamwork. As partners in the educational mission of WKU, my staff and I are interdependent. We support each other in the everyday services we provide, striving for excellent service, so the ERC patrons will return to our library, knowing they will be welcomed and will be given our undivided attention to help meet their information needs. To help our patrons in such immediate ways, no matter how simple the question, is a chance for us to strive, daily, to provide exemplary public service.

R. M. Spencer: Personal Statement 1