Baker welcomes new Director of Library Services


Photo courtesy of Baker University Library

Melanie Massey takes on the role of Director of Library Services. The first issue at hand; lack of operation hours.

During the fall semester, the Collins Library has undergone a few changes. Melaney Massey has been hired as the new Director of Library Services during a time where the library’s hours of operation have been reduced.

Massey was hired in September to take over the role. Throughout her career, Massey has had a lot of experience with libraries. In the past, she’s worked for K-12 schools, as well as working as a librarian at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kan.

From her former students and colleagues, Massey had heard of the great reputation Baker has. Accepting this job felt like a no-brainer for her.

“The reputation of Baker was always really good and this is a dream job; just to get an opportunity to still do instruction but also take on a leadership role and do a lot of outreach,” Massey said.

Massey is excited to be able to help with outreach of the library and make students aware of the many resources and references the library has to offer. She will also be working as an instructional librarian, helping students in the different programs at Baker University and offering help to the Baker Core 110 and 120 classes.

“I’ll also be an instructional librarian working a lot with the different programs. The College of Education and the College of Nursing in Topeka and of course all of our campus programs too,” Massey said.

Along with the hiring of Massey, Collins Library has also reduced the hours of operation for both the second and third floor. In the past, the upper two floors stayed open until 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and until 5 p.m. on Friday. This semester, the upper two floors close at 4:30 p.m.

For the past two years, Collins has seen a lower number of employees. Sophomore work study student Nathan Neufeld sees the low staff numbers as the main obstacle the library must tackle in order to increase the operating hours this semester.

“The main reason they’re limited right now is because there isn’t enough staff to keep everything going that long each day, every week. So it wholly depends on that,” Neufeld said.

The hiring of Massey fills one of the positions in the library, but it is still down one position compared to two years ago. Massey currently does not know of any current plans to change the operating hours of the library. Instead, she offers any tips to students who might need access to the library when it is not open.

“Definitely check out at the hours that we are open but we also have if they are needing reference as far as help from us [or] help finding things they can go online and schedule a time with a librarian that can mesh best with their schedule. Whether that’s in the evening or maybe they just need something real quick for thirty minutes and don’t want to physically come into the library,” Massey said.

Massey does sympathize with the students due to the library not being open who are looking for a quiet place to study.

“I get it because I think this is a beautiful library,” Massey said. “So if they’re just wanting the environment, then I think right now the best thing is to find a second-best environment. So I think in the meantime, find a backup place until we can kind of look into that because there are other beautiful areas in this building and on campus.”

Massey is still excited to get to work and help make the library a better more accessible place for students.

“For me, the library is only as good as how the students feel about it and the staff and faculty,” Massey said.

Collins Library is now open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. However, students can still access the lower level with their student ID.