Bibliomation welcomed Melissa Ceraso as Evergreen System Specialist in October 2013. She has worked in libraries for seven years, and earned her MLS from Southern in 2010. This is her most “techie” job with libraries so far, and she’s quickly becoming an Evergreen expert. Melissa was kind enough to answer a few questions so our members could get to know her. Everyone at Bibliomation is thrilled to welcome Melissa to HQ and we know our members will enjoy working with her.
How long have you worked in libraries and what made you go to library school?
I have worked in various libraries and library organizations for about seven years. The biggest factor in my decision to go to library school was that I wanted to be involved with a profession that helped the community at large. Throughout my life, I have always surrounded myself with books. Librarianship seemed like the best opportunity to marry the want of providing assistance to others and my passion for books.
What have you found most interesting at Biblio so far?
I’m fascinated by how eager and willing Biblio was to embrace Open Source software. I find Open Source software to be one of the coolest and most effective options, as it really gives its users the ability to shape and create their working environment (and who doesn’t want to have a say in something that is utilized day in and day out?). The fact that Biblio is participating in Open Source software opportunities has really illustrated to me, as a total newbie, how we are really looking out for the best interests of our libraries and that we are willing to implement true change in the software.
Did anything surprise you about our libraries?
I’m really impressed by the fact that our libraries are incredibly passionate about Evergreen. I attended two circulation meetings in the fall and was thoroughly surprised by how vocal many of those in attendance were regarding the ILS. They freely shared their experiences with the software and weren’t afraid to be candid about any issues that they or their colleagues were facing. It’s really refreshing to see that our libraries are so willing to be so actively involved with Evergreen and its future.
What do you do for fun when Ben’s not making you reinstall Evergreen on a server?
I’m a major movie fan, so I always try and check out the newest movies that hit the theaters. I also really enjoy venturing into New York City and seeing shows, visiting museums, and simply just walking around and soaking up all that the city has to offer. Last year, I also started take a tap dancing class, which I plan on continuing to take until I can no longer stand up–it’s that fun!
Do you have any surprisingly non-techie habits/tendencies?
Actually, I still prefer reading the newspaper! Most people would say, “Why not just download the app!” But there’s something so awesome about physically holding the paper and getting the ink on your fingers.
What’s your favorite thing about Evergreen? What would you change if you had a magic wand?
I really enjoy the vast community collaboration; that is, the daily communication that happens between the Evergreen developers as well as the users. I’m a huge fan of the versatility of Evergreen. If I could change anything, I would flick away any and all holds issues. The developers are actively trying to discover a remedy for various holds issues…so, as always, it is a work in progress. But that magic wand does sound nice!
Bibliomation’s OverDrive libraries recently decided to start purchasing HarperCollins titles. There was some soul-searching, some serious contemplation, and some discussion. More than that, there was Jessica Venturo’s analysis. Jessica looked at the cost per circulation of ebooks by various publishers, comparing bestsellers and taking their predicted future popularity into account. A must-view!
Download the Powerpoint: HarperCollinsRedux
Bibliomation is fortunate to have Debbie Daiss on board as our Business Manager/CFO. Debbie holds a degree in Accounting and Marketing from Georgia Southern University and has worked in finance at both businesses and nonprofits.
- You’ve been in business and accounting for 21 years. What sorts of organizations have you worked for and what have been some of your more interesting jobs?
I have worked for non-profits, property management and retail/wholesale companies. I was the Business Manager for Illinois Park and Recreation Association – not just a numbers job. I helped run events at Chicago Bears, White Sox, Cubs, and Bulls games. It was a great job for a sports fan
- Accounting, like librarianship, has a very specific public image that’s not always…shall we say, glamorous. What do you wish people knew about accounting that they usually don’t?
Accounting is often like solving a puzzle- you have to put the pieces together to come up with the complete picture. When the numbers don’t balance you have to keep trying the pieces to see what fits.
- A lot of librarians profess to being math-phobic. Were you always good with numbers?
I have always loved playing with numbers and solving math problems.
- You’ve been on board for a few months – have you discovered anything that surprised you about libraries?
Yes, libraries require a great deal of information sharing to keep current with our ever changing society. They have to keep up with current events in healthcare, technology, and tax changes, to just name a few. They offer lectures, history lessons, social events, and book clubs all on limited budgets. In order to do this I have seen how they share information and I have been amazed at the number of responses to questions and offers of advice.
Bibliomation is sad to bid farewell to Melissa Lefebvre, our Evergreen Systems Manager. Melissa came to Biblio in 2004 as the Web Services Administrator. She was the project manager for the BibliOak project and oversaw our migration to Evergreen. She is leaving to join ByWater Solutions as Operations Manager. Melissa will be working with their Migrations Manager on project management for migrations (something we know she’s awfully good at), as well as overseeing support and their ticketing system. She’ll continue her reign as Queen of the Spreadsheets and project manager extraordinaire. ByWater was founded by another Biblio alum, Brendan Gallagher, and is based in Santa Barbara, CA. Melissa will be learning the Koha (another open source ILS) ropes in her new role and we know she will do great things. She will be missed!
Headquarters staff meet weekly to discuss all things Evergreen. Our member libraries should already see one of the results of a recent Evergreen meeting. Connecticut’s Nutmeg Awards now include a High School category and the Nutmeg committee plans to add an elementary school category next year, so things were getting tight in our catalog link bar. Melissa made a Nutmeg Awards page, so all of the Nutmeg award could be accounted for from a single link in the catalog navigation. A small change that makes a big difference!