Virtual Stress Busting for Finals Week

The Alfred University Libraries have a long tradition of sponsoring a variety of activities to help relieve finals week stress.  This year we’ve adjusted to remote delivery.

In the past, the Libraries have provided coloring pages and puzzles, a Lego table, massage night, and therapy dogs, in addition to free cookies and coffee.

Although we are all spread far and wide right now, we can still enjoy some free, virtual finals week study breaks together.  Here is a collection of some stress-busting ideas:

Remember, Librarians and staff are still reachable at for questions if you need help during finals week.

You can also follow AU Libraries on Instagram or Facebook.


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Welcome Laura!

Alfred University Libraries is pleased to announce the recent hiring of Laura Habecker for the position of Digital Projects and Archives Assistant. You can find Laura in Scholes, in the digitization lab near the Mac Lab, or on the 3rd floor in the College Archives.  We are very happy to add Laura to the Library family. habecker

AU Libraries Apex Intern Haleigh Youll asked Laura some questions to help Alfred students and staff get to know what a great addition she truely is.

What was your background before Alfred University?

I came from Houghton College where I was the College’s Archivist for 3 years, my husband has worked therein ITS for 6 years. Before that we were missionaries in Alaska for 9 years in a small town of 500 people called Glennallen, 4 hours east of Anchorage.

What is your educational background?  

I have a BS in Communications (Major: Mass Communications, Minor: Interpersonal Communications) from Ohio University and a MA in Christian Thought (Theology and Church History) from Biblical Theological Seminary

 What are you excited to accomplish in your new role? 

I love how inclusive the archival philosophy is here. All Faculty and Students can end up having their work included in the College of Ceramic’s story. I also want to learn more about digitizing those works.

 What areyou most proud of?

My boys. Chris is 16 and Jon is 12, or the fact that we are still together as a family after we crossed this continent 3 times in our mini van starting when the boys were 2 and 5 1/2 years old. 2 weeks of driving 9-5, then a hotel with a pool, repeat. I don’t go anywhere without duct tape, toilet paper and hand sanitizer. Ever.

Who is your biggest supporter?


 Do you have any pets?

Wrangell (named after a volcano in Alaska, the name means “weather stopper”). He is probably 10-11 years old, was abused and rescued. It took him 2 years to bark (though he is part chihuahua) and we had to teach him to eat dog food. His favorite food is pizza and veggies.

 One thing you wish you knew when you were 20?

At 20, I had been a Christian for 2 years. Life as an adult can get really really hard. I wish I had understood how much better life is with Jesus at the center of my life, not just on Sundays.

 What do you do to relax?

Read, garden, fiber arts, family time (often spent watching one of my boys in soccer, basketball, band, art exhibits…)

 What is a skill or hobby you’d like to learn?


 What is your favorite place in the libraries?

Libraries are my happy place…I have to choose one spot?!

Is there anything about you that others would be surprised to know?

My time in Alaska is chuck full of crazy stuff.  I’ve eaten roadkill (moose, caribou and salmon). Come ask me and I’ll tell you how you get roadkill salmon. The coldest we lived through was -56F. The scariest earthquake we had scored a 5.6. My kids didn’t get a snow day until is was -50F…but they could have outdoor recess until -20F. My son Chris’s nickname is Eagle Bait. Our first spring there he was 15 months old and sitting in the driveway while I was in the garage. I looked over and saw a bald eagle flying right at him. I realized he weighed less than a salmon! and had to chase it off like a momma bear. I had no weapon. Just my voice and my waving arms. It was only afterwards that I realized I had taken on a bird of prey with a 7.5 foot wing span, and nothing to fight with.

Beginning a New Role

Alfred University Libraries welcomes Rebecca (Becky) Stewart as Technical Services Assistant.  Becky is learning cataloging and other specialized skills that help get library materials into students’ hands.  Becky is not new to AU, but we are celebrating her new role with the libraries.

AU Library Apex intern, Haleigh Youll, collected some fun facts about Becky and her life!

What was your background before Alfred University?  stewartr

Retail that led into being a general manager for 8 years.  I decided to take on a slower role shortly after the birth of my twins. Most recently before coming to AU, I worked as a pre-school teacher. 

What is your educational background?  

I graduated Hornell High School, Class of 1999. Wildwood Education Center – Automated Office Practice -1999. Olean Business Institute – Business Management 2006. Eastern Gateway Community College – Accounting, Currently enrolled. Several Trainings for Child care safety, First Aid, Food/Nutrition classes. Currently enrolled in ALCTS – Fundamentals of Cataloging online course.

What are you excited to accomplish in your new role? 

Order/organization in the various holdings throughout the library.

What are you most proud of?

I started my career at AU as a Janitor. I want to learn as much as possible to support AU all the way around.

Who is your biggest supporter? 

My mom – forever my best friend.

Do you have any pets?

I have several: 2 dogs, 2 cats, 2 goats, 8 ducks, 1 potbellied pig, 1 bearded dragon, and too many chickens to count.

One thing you wish you knew when you were 20?

The importance of developing a personal relationship rather than trying to be strictly professional at all times with coworkers.

What do you do to relax? 

I enjoy reading. Gardening.

What is a skill or hobby you’d like to learn? 

How to sew.

What is your favorite place in the libraries?

1st floor and the various art placed around.

The Ripple Effect

Currently on display in the Scholes Library Project Space

The Ripple Effect: A student curated show in the Scholes Project Space. Available through March 6th, during regular library hours. The show draws from the work created during Stephanie McMahon’s Fall 2019 Water Based Media class.


Artists include:

Lauren Boshart, Clare Stephenson, Brianna Wacenske, Jaclyn Doyle, Angela Childs, Carrie Dugan, Jessica Lake, Brigitte Denome, Cynthia Stasio, Tim Sears ,Ryn Sczudlo, and Paige Wetherwax.


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Winter Break Hours

Changes to Winter Break Dates Announced

President Mark Zupan has announced an extension of Winter Break to include January 2nd and 3rd, 2020.

Alfred University Libraries will be closed, along with the rest of the University, December 21st- January 5th, 2020.

The Libraries will re-open Monday, January 6th according to the hours below.

  Herrick Scholes
Saturday, December 14 – Sunday, December 15 CLOSED CLOSED
Monday, December 16 – Friday, December 20 8:30 am – 4:30 pm 8:00 am-4:00 pm
Saturday, December 21- Sunday, January 5 CLOSED CLOSED
Monday, January 6 –    Friday, January 10 8:30 am – 4:30 pm 8:00 am-4:00 pm
Saturday, January 11 – Sunday, January 12 CLOSED CLOSED
Monday, January 13 –  Friday, January 17 8:30 am – 4:30 pm 8:00 am-4:00 pm
Saturday, January 18 – Sunday, January 19 CLOSED CLOSED
Monday, January 20 8:30 am – 4:30 pm 8:00 am – 4:00 pm
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Hiring: Information Literacy Librarian

The Alfred University Libraries seek an innovative Information Literacy Librarian to join a highly engaged team. We are looking for someone with a passion for instruction and fostering success in students from diverse backgrounds.    Herrick_Scholes

The Information Literacy Librarian is a 10-month, tenure-track faculty position with a focus on instruction and student learning assessment. In addition to teaching library instruction, this librarian will also serve as Team Leader for the Alfred University Libraries Instruction and Liaison Team to successfully implement current, research-based, information literacy instruction in the classroom.  As well as provide overall leadership for the planning, programming, delivery, evaluation, and assessment of the Libraries’ instruction program.

book happyAlfred University houses the New York State College of Ceramics, a Statutory College of the State of New York, creating a unique public-private partnership. One result of this solidworks-computers-webdistinctive arrangement is that Alfred’s students, faculty, and staff are served by two libraries: The Samuel R. Scholes Library, which supports the School of Engineering and the School of Arts and Design, and Herrick Memorial Library, which supports the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the College of Business, and AUNY (External Programs).

Alfred University is a comprehensive university of 2,000 students, located in Western New York.

For further information regarding this position, contact the search co-chairs John Hosford or Mechele Romanchock

A complete application will include: your resume/Curriculum Vitae, a cover letter outlining how your qualifications and experience will prepare you for success in this position, a statement (up to one page) regarding your philosophy of information literacy instruction and contact information for three professional references (address, phone number, and email).  Review of candidates will begin on January 15th 2020, and continue until the position is filled.

Apply or read the full job description

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Val Cushing Glaze Display

Test Tiles Create “Visual Companion”

A collection glaze test tiles, sketchbooks, tools and artifacts of Val Cushing’s Pottery practice are currently on display on the main floor of Scholes Library.  The Test Tiles  represent the painstaking work of the Grinding Room to mix and fire all of the glazes from Cushing’s Handbook, Val Cushing’s 1994 seminal work. The tiles are a visual companion to the recipes in the handbook. The collection of artifacts are loan from Elsie and Eric Cushing.

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Images of the tiles, such as the ones above, are available at the Alfred Grinding Room website.

Val Cushing was born in Rochester, New York, on January 28, 1931. He received his BFA in 1952 from the School of Art & Design at the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. He then served two years in the Army during the Korean War. Afterwards, he returned to Alfred to complete his MFA in 1956. After a short stint teaching in Illinois, he again returned to Alfred where he taught until retirement in 1997 when he was designated professor emeritus.

Val Cushing

Cushing was renowned for his utilitarian stoneware vessels, such as the one pictured here, which were included in more than 200 exhibitions over his career. Covered JarHis work can be found in the collections of many public and private museums and galleries, including the Smithsonian, the Brooklyn Museum, the Cooper-Hewitt, and the Everson Museum of Art.

In addition to his studio work, Cushing devoted his life to teaching students at Alfred and various craft schools and schools throughout the world. In 1987 he was named a Fellow of the American Craft Council. Additional awards included an artist grant from the National Endowment of the Arts; a Fulbright grant for teaching and research in Manchester, England, and an artist-in-residence grant at the Archie Bray Foundation as well as at the University of Wolverhampton, England.

The display was made possible by the Grinding Room at Alfred University and Scholes Library.


Photo Credits

Val Cushing:
Covered Jar:

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Library Plant Giveaway is Back!

Back by popular demand, the Alfred University Libraries will be hosting its second annual plant giveaway.

Come down to either Herrick or Scholes Library on Wednesday, October 2nd starting at 10am to learn about library services and receive a free plant for your office or residence hall room.

These are no ordinary plants! succulant

Each plant is a cutting or root division from one of the many plants living in Herrick or Scholes Library.  Each day they plants bring the warmth of nature into our library environment.  Now you can take a small piece of that with you to your daily environment

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The plant cuttings and divisions were started in recycled K-Cups from the libraries’ Keurig coffee machine in an effort to reduce waste.

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Changes to Library Searching

AU Joins SUNY-Wide Roll Out of New Search Interface, Primo

The AU Libraries have migrated to a new search interface called Primo, which will improve library services to the campus. The Library staff will also be using a corresponding new platform, called Alma, which manages all of the libraries’ back-office functions, including circulation, the acquisition and cataloging of print and electronic resources, and resource sharing within SUNY.

Alma/Primo offers library users with several new features, including:

  • Mobile-friendly design
  • An integrated search of physical and print materials at both Scholes and Herrick (videos, articles, books, databases, etc.)
  • Ability to login to your account and renew materials from your home or office.
  • Ability to save favorite searches or articles as well as manage personal accounts for renewals and other circulation functions
  • Ability to search across the collections of all SUNY Libraries (and beyond) with links to request materials for inter-library loan
  • Ability to return AU Library materials to either Herrick or Scholes

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The library staff have been working over the last year to prepare for this transition and ensure only minimal disruptions to our patrons. This transition brings exciting changes, so we appreciate your patience as we expand and improve our services. We are aware of some issues with Primo and are working with SUNY and the vendor, Ex Libris, to improve performance.

If you have any questions, please contact us. If you would like to a walk-through regarding Primo and its new features or if you need to report a problem, please don’t hesitate to contact the libraries directly at or 607-871-2184 (Herrick) or 607-871-2492 (Scholes).

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Mechele Romanchock appointed Director of Libraries

The Alfred University Libraries are pleased to announce that Mechele Romanchock is the new Director of Libraries.

In this role, Mechele will be responsible for managing the internal day-to-day operations of the University Libraries, working alongside Brian Sullivan, romanchockm Dean of Libraries, to lead our talented and dedicated group of staff and librarians at Herrick and Scholes.

Mechele has served as the User Services Librarian at Scholes Library since 2016. Prior to that, she worked in a variety of academic, school, and public libraries, bringing a rich user experience, customer service, and leadership background to this position.

Mechele obtained an M.S. in Library Science from Clarion University in 2010, and is an Alfred alumna who earned a B.A. in Comparative Cultures in 2002.

Mechele will be sharing her time between our two libraries. She can be found either in Scholes 114 or Herrick 110, or contacted at

Please join us in congratulating Mechele on her new role!

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