By Pete Toporzycki
For the past four years, I have worked on the second floor of O'Neill Library in the End Processing Center. The center is a little hole in the wall located in the Technical Services Department across from the Media Center. I am mainly responsible for processing every book that goes to all of the Boston College Libraries.
I grew up in Woburn, Massachusetts, about 20 minutes north from Boston College. I am an accounting major, hoping to be CPA certified. Ever since I was young, I have had a tremendous interest in music production and composition. As opposite as those two passions might sound, I can thank my work at the library for being able to further my interest in music. Working in the End Processing Center has allowed me access to all of the new books ordered by the library. I still remember freshman year, about three weeks after I started working, a book about various recording techniques came through for me to process. After I had delivered the book to the Circulation Department, I was the first person to check it out of the library.
After working in End Processing my entire freshman year (12 hours per week), I decided to return for the next two summers. Working during the summers at O'Neill Library certainly helped me adjust to the feeling of a 9 to 5 job along with providing me with a sense of responsibility. I have been introduced to a wonderful group of people and great experiences that have shaped my Boston College career for the better.
What is End Processing?
Enough about me; let's get down to what exactly goes on in End Processing. Simply put End Processing is a vital part of the Boston College Libraries. Whenever O'Neill, Bapst, Burns, Social Work, and Theology & Ministry orders new books, they are delivered to the second floor of O'Neill for cataloging. After that has been completed we use a library database called Aleph to assign and link a Boston College barcode and call number to each book. Next, the books are prepared for their respective libraries.
In preparing books for their respective libraries, we have to stamp, strip and label each book. We stamp the books according to their library location, place security strips inside the books to discourage theft, and then iron on the call numbers. Of these three tasks, my favorite would have to be ironing on the labels. In fact, freshman year, I was given the distinguished honor of "Labeler of the Year." On a different note, perhaps my least favorite job is working with the Weston Observatory books and in Room 150. Room 150, also known to some as "the dungeon", is a dark, desolate storage facility where thousands of old and dusty books are kept while awaiting processing. The books are quite interesting, as they date back centuries, but the lack of windows in Room 150 gives it a gloomy feeling. It is all part of the job, however, that needs to be done to provide more resources to the students of Boston College. None of these resources would be available if it was not for the entire End Processing team.
Diane Baden is responsible for the entire Monographic Services Department of which End Processing is a section, but my direct supervisors are Roderick Williams and Pam Perry. Rod has been my supervisor ever since I started in End Processing, and he has done a great job of educating me on all of the various functions of the library. He does an exceptional job of managing a handful of students and maintaining an enjoyable work environment. My other supervisor, Pam, is great with any technical questions and in my opinion, has a great knowledge of art. I always learn something new whenever I am processing Bapst art books and Pam walks by to comment on the artistic style and genre.
Frances Bates is the head of the Book Lab which focuses on restoring damaged books. You would be amazed at how many library books are casualties of spilled coffee or mishandling, and Frances does a tremendous job of repairing them for re-circulation. She also takes periodicals and journals that the library subscribes to and binds them together in hardcover. If you are ever doing a research project, be sure to check out the bound periodicals by subject throughout the library.
Before continuing on, I don't want to leave anyone out, so I would just like to give a shout out to the entire End Processing team. Personally, I would like to thank Megan Ritter (who was a senior when I was a freshman) for taking me under her wing and showing me the ropes of End Processing. There are so many people, in so many locations that work to provide thousands of resources to all of the students. You may play a sport or have a class with someone that works in the library. Next time you see them, be sure to thank them.
For Here All Are One
Although End Processing is comprised of individuals from all different backgrounds and departments, all are needed for the library to function successfully. I am sure that at some point or another any student has had a professor that has put a book on Course Reserve. The Acquisitions Department and End Processing Department coordinate to order those books as soon as a professor submits his or her requests to the BC Bookstore. There is a tremendous amount of effort to make sure that these books make it in before classes start and are available for use. The Circulation Department helps to shelf all of the books in O'Neill Library after they have been processed. Interlibrary Loan (ILL) helps to bring in books from other libraries that are currently not in circulation at Boston College. The Media Center has a large collection of DVDs and CDs. Whether full-time or part-time employee, the entire library staff works together to provide the best academic resources for each and every member of the Boston College community. For here all are one.
Pete Toporzycki, Accounting, CSOM, '11
Cover photo by Kevin Tringale