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News from York College Library

Return to In-person Work

We present our Spring 2022 issue of LibWire, where we emphasize on returning to in-person work after almost two years of remote work.

Greetings from the Chief Librarian

York College Library in 2021-2022
Chief Librarian Njoki Kinyatti

The Library supports the educational mission of York College by providing quality resources and services fostering a learning environment that meets the research needs of students, faculty and the college community. The Library plays a central role in the life of students and faculty as an indispensable place of learning, teaching, and research. Our commitment to meet the research needs of our diverse population of graduate and undergraduate students and faculty remains strong and ongoing. The York Library team are determined to continue supporting the educational mission of York College and the evolving curricula.

To the York College students, faculty, and the college community, we are happy to welcome you back to the Library. Over the past two years, the pandemic changed the way we provided information to our valuable clients, but this did not deter the team from delivering quality Library services to our users. During the past academic year (2021-2022), Library personnel worked diligently and provided access for both online and on-site research services. The dedicated team of faculty and staff kept the Library functioning and made sure reference services were available through chat, email, and one-on-one research consultations. While we continued to offer information literacy instruction remotely, it was wonderful in the spring semester to resume offering in-person classes as well.

Over the past year, the Library was focused on expanding digital resources, such as e-books, electronic journals, and a constantly evolving OneSearch to better meet the research needs of our students. It is imperative to note that expanding collections, both print and digital, while delivering services both in-person and online, was a significant challenge made even harder amid shrinking allocations and fewer faculty. However, the Library continues to function as the heart of the college, and we are so grateful to see everyone returning and taking advantage of the physical space in addition to expanded online services.

I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and extend my upmost gratitude to an amazing team of faculty and staff for their invaluable and tireless commitment during the past year. Thank you all for your enthusiasm and hard work. Your dedication helped the Library to accomplish its goal of supporting

students’ success by demonstrating how to master information seeking skills, how to use scholarly resources, and discern valuable research. Thank you for ensuring that our users received the research assistance they deserve. I sincerely appreciate every member of this team for showing resilient effort during these trying times.

My sincere gratitude to all the departments that continue to support and help us to serve the college community better, including Information Technology, Academic Affairs, Public Safety and Buildings and Grounds. I appreciate your continued support.

Congratulations and good luck to the class of 2022! I look forward to welcoming back returning students and meeting new freshmen in fall 2022. I wish everyone a safe and restful summer holiday.

York College Library Graduate

- Stefka Tzanova, Assistant Professor/Science Librarian  and OER Coordinator

Congratulations to the Library’s graduating staff: Ms. Meredith Powers, M.S. in Data Analytics and Applied Social Research, Queens College!

This Spring Meredith Powers graduated with a Master’s in Data Analytics and Applied Social Research degree from Queens College (CUNY). This program focuses on research and advanced analytic skills, including data handling, manipulation, and interpretation in research projects and decision-making. Overall, the program is grounded in sociology but the focus is on conducting independent projects using a variety of research methods and designs. Meredith plans to apply her newly acquired expertise towards evaluating and improving library services in York College Library. Meredith holds a B.A. in Psychology from City College of New York. After getting her bachelor degree in 2013 she continued to work at the CCNY Library while taking classes at Pratt Institute where she enrolled in the Library & Information Science program. While studying at Pratt Meredith took full advantage of the partnerships with museums and cultural institutions and gained valuable experience working as an archivist on a grant-funded project at the Frick Art Reference Library. Later she worked at Gottesman Libraries, Teachers College where she learned about administering acquisitions, eResources and interlibrary loan. After graduating from Pratt Institute in 2015 Meredith took a job as a Young Adult Librarian at Clinton Hill branch of Brooklyn Public Library where she was heavily involved in developing programs for teens and teaching technology workshops. There she realized that she valued public service and teaching, but also research and scholarship, so two years later a book she co-authored with Laura Costello was published – “Developing In-house Digital Tools in Library Spaces”. The editors’ duo published another book in 2019 – “Reaching Diverse Audiences with Virtual Reference & Instruction: a Practical Guide for Librarians”. We are looking forward the next one, Meredith!

Retirement of Vickitoy Meyers

Over the last 27 years, Mrs. Vickitoy Meyers was a tremendous asset to the York College Community.  After having worked in the College’s Public Safety office for three years, she joined the Library’s Circulation & Reserve section in April 1997.  Mrs. Meyers was such a valued member of the Library staff that she became the Chief Librarian’s secretary in 2003, and held this position until her retirement in December 2021. She was an integral part of the department for 24 years – a reliable and hardworking employee who was always willing to go the extra mile to help other people.  Faculty, staff, and students were in good hands with her.  She was kind, patient, and sensitive to our customers’ needs and went above and beyond what was expected to ensure that they received the services they deserved.  We knew that Mrs. Meyers could be trusted to pitch in and help with additional assignments when needed.  Her loyalty to the Library Department is acknowledged and appreciated.  Mrs. Meyers’ commitment to excellence has left a lasting mark on each of us.  We thank Mrs. Meyers for touching our lives in such a positive and meaningful way.  Her contributions will be valued and remembered.

The Library team wish Mrs. Meyers a happy and fulfilling retirement.  She is greatly missed.

From the Library Team!!!

The New Normal

The New Normal

— Di Su, Professor/Head of Information Literacy, Interlibrary Loan Librarian and Assessment Coordinator 

I am used to routines. I somewhat like routines because they make my life easier and work predictable. But then, routines were interrupted. All of a sudden, I had to work from home, completely. It was not planned, nor was it my preference. It was in March 2020 when the deadly Covid-19 pandemic hit New York. I had no choice but to cope with the abrupt change.

The most fundamental change was in the work environment and the way we used to work because we were not able to see clients and colleagues face-to-face. Everything and everyone were virtual. We lost real human interaction.

All of us rushed to learn new skills and familiarize distance learning and teaching software in an effort to resume services. We learned how to use Springshare’s LibAnswers in order to provide online reference service. The areas I was responsible for included Information Literacy and interlibrary Loan. I learned how to use Blackboard Collaborate Ultra and Zoom for conducting Information Literacy workshops online, and how to connect my home computer to my office workstation where the interlibrary loan software, ILLiad, was installed. this is a test

As time went by, it turned out that things were not so bad. In fact, on the bright side, virtual operation had its advantages. Some examples are:

  • We didn’t worry about traffic and we saved hours of commute time.
  • We didn’t care about weather conditions.
  • We could teach larger classes which had been limited by the physical classroom capacity.  
  • We could jump from one meeting (say, in Queens) to another (in Manhattan) in no time.

The lesson I have learned from this unexpected change is that we should be always ready for changes and have a positive and curious attitude toward learning new knowledge and skills. Routines may change, but the ultimate routine remains. That is lifelong learning.


All you need for a virtual operation       

Printing at Home During the Pandemic: A memoir

Printing at home during the pandemic: A memoir

Junli Diao, Assistant Professor/Head of Cataloging & Serials

CUNY post-cutover clean up slide, 20 pages. CUNY cataloging committee meeting Alma data review slides 18 pages. Alma for data review and migration slides, 58 pages. CUNY cut-over migration data review and acceptance slides, 11 pages. Problem-based learning and information literacy, 15 articles. Wikipedia and library instruction, 18 articles. Constructivism and information literacy, 11 articles. Hard and soft science, 7 articles. Readability macro and micro structure, 8 articles. Titlelogy and syntactic structure, 25 articles. There were more I had to print and read. Long focusing on the computer screen made my eyes dry and hurt. Constant measuring body temperature and going to Staples for printing were the ways to get away from it for a change. Standing in the waiting line outside of Staples and overlooking the empty end of Lexington Avenue, I felt I was stepping into Will Smith’s post-apocalyptic thriller film I Am Legend by accident. One person out. One person in. In and out. Out and in. When I put all the printing receipts together, I realized that the money I spent on Staples’ printing for work and readings could be used to buy two brand new printers.

One Nikon D3500, one Nikon D5600, two standard lenses and one 16-85mm, and two camera bags. Aim at the window. Aim at the ceiling. Empty shots. Empty shots again. Examine the shutter sound. Check the motor sound. Manual focus. Auto focus. Pop up flash. The B&H trade-in professional examined every piece that Dennis and I put on the counter, as methodologically as a chef preparing a dinner without thinking about the recipe, however, never missing a single step. “I give you a quote. 370 dollars.” He wiped his hands with satisfaction and relief, as if a newly-married house wife finished her first grocery for entertaining guests from afar. Dennis and I looked at each other. Sweet bitter smiles. 370 dollars. Deal. Money is good, but a home printer is better.

All of My Academic Heroes Are Fading Away

All of My Academic Heroes Are Fading Away

— John Drobnicki, Professor/Head of Acquisitions, Collection Development and Library Webmaster  

As one progresses from being a “mid-career” faculty member to being a “senior” faculty member, not only must one come to terms with aging parents (or their loss), but one is also faced with the fact that most, if not all, of the scholars you studied under, whether as an undergraduate or in graduate school, have not just become Professors Emeriti, they have departed this life. My heroes are fading away.

Most of the professors I studied history under (and worked under as a Graduate Assistant) at St. John’s University in the 1980s have died. Eugene Kusielewicz (1930-1996), who specialized in Eastern European History, taught me “Peacemaking in the Twentieth Century,” or, as he quipped in the first class of the semester, “Pizzamaking in the Twentieth Century.” With Hugh C. Brooks (1922-2008), the chairperson of the department and a specialist in African history, I took “History of the Modern Middle East and North Africa.” William D. Griffin (1936-2011), taught the Historiography course to graduate students as well as “Renaissance and Reconnaissance” to undergraduates. Thomas J. Curran (1927-2013), when not regaling us with stories about his family, specialized in the history of immigration. With James E. Bunce (1924-2015), I took “The American Revolution” and “The Early National Period.” Gaetano “Tom” Vincitorio (1921-2007), who had just retired when I became a history major, specialized in Modern European History and remembered my grandparents’ bakery in Brooklyn from when he was a child growing up. Frederick Benincasa (1922-2003) pushed me to go on to graduate school and to become a Graduate Assistant. The only two who are still alive (knock wood) are Richard P. Harmond (1929- ), who specialized in the Gilded Age and the history of technology, and Frank Ninkovich (1944- ), a scholar of twentieth century American foreign relations.

And three of my heroes from the Queens College GSLIS have passed away. I took four classes with Virgil L. P. Blake (1940-2016), who taught technical services-related courses – I used to jokingly tell people that I majored in Dr. Blake. Marianne Cooper (1938-2020) was the advisor for my 709 project, and Dr. Cooper became a trusted advisor afterwards as well. And everyone interested in multiculturalism and the freedom to read owes a tremendous debt to the legendary David Cohen (1909-2015).

How does one deal with the fact that one’s heroes are disappearing? In my spare time, I have been writing Wikipedia biographies for several of my former history professors, hoping to make sure that they are not forgotten.

Library Exhibit

Library Owls: From Athena's owl to Purdue OWL

Stefka Tzanova, Assistant Professor/Science Librarian  and OER Coordinator

It is quite common to have symbols of owls in academia. Owls are universal symbols of wisdom and their facsimiles adorn many libraries. Numerous publishing houses also have owls sitting on books in their logos. As people wearing glasses are often associated with intelligence and academia, thus owls were often perceived to be intelligent, wise and associated with book reading and writing. Owls’ symbolism epitomizes knowledge, wisdom, intuition, independent thinking, and observant listening. Ancient Europe generally associated owls with wisdom and vigilance. This connection goes back to Greece, where Athena, the goddess of wisdom had the owl as a symbol. Ancient Athenians not only made the owl an emblem of wisdom but they also emblazoned its image on their coinage. Many images of Athena show the fabled owl sitting on her blind side to enable her to see “the whole truth”, part of legacy and myth that made both Athena and the owl a symbol of higher wisdom and strategy. Athena is also known as a source of reason, intelligent activity, arts and literature, primary functions of our modern-day library. Owls’ symbolism has changed across cultures and time. In today’s North America, the white owl spirit animal is regarded as an extraordinary insight. The legend has it that the white owls bring prodigious fortune that is the reason why many Native Americans wore owl feathers for  good luck and protection from evil spirits. There are many contradictory folktales that view the owl as an oracle of dark knowledge tough and in some cultures spotting  an  owl is considered a bad omen. Nowadays, one is more likely to see an owl on the screen than in the wild. Even digital natives familiar with Harry Potter’s Hedwig mainly associate the library owl with the online citation tool, because that is the first thing that Google search delivers. Online Writing Labs or book protagonists, we can try to prove that there are more owls in Academia than in the forest. Library Owls exhibit welcomes students, faculty and staff outside of the Library Office 3G05 this spring. The exhibit features a small part of prof. Olga Petkova’s collection, gathered across three continents in the span of thirty years. The showpieces’ medium is as broad as the collection itself – it varies from ceramics to glass, to stone, to wood, to plastic. Olga Petkova is professor emerita in Management Information Systems Department at Central Connecticut State University. Prof. Petkova holds BSc and MSc in Technical Cibernetics from Brno University of Technology, Czechoslovakia and DCom degree in Informatics from University in Pretoria, South Africa.

Information Technology Update

The Story Behind York College (CUNY) and Cisco Partnership

Mohammed Jahed Sarwar,  System Administrator and Liaison to the IT department

During the COVID-19 lockdown students, faculty, and staff were required to embrace online learning and work from home. The technical challenges were caused by the rapid transition to platforms such as Blackboard, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Cisco WebEx in particular. As a result York College saw an unparalleled increase in tech support requests. This led to adopting Jabber as platform for technical support.  Cisco’s Jabber application is a cloud-based collaboration service. It provides  a single interface for instant messaging, voice, video, and voice messaging, desktop sharing, and conferencing. Currently, York College authorized faculty and staff can utilize Jabber in order to execute various operations (video conferencing, online collaboration) to provide services to York community and deliver tech support. Jabber is also being utilized by our Tech Support team to take calls from students and faculty.  Originally regarded as Jabber XCP, which is a commercial product utilizing the Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP), an open-source technology for instant messaging and presence. Cisco Systems acquired Jabber in 2008 in order to provide seamless communication and enhanced productivity into a single client for laptop, desktop, and mobile devices. Jabber requires York login credentials (user name and password). Cisco recommends using broadband Internet connection (minimum of 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload) for stable performance during operation. Jabber App is available on Google Play and Apple App Store. The mobile platform features are very similar to those of Jabber’s desktop counterpart:

Instant message and presence:

Use real-time presence information and instant messaging to reduce delays. View the availability of contacts within and outside of your organization on your Windows desktop.

Business-class voice and video:

Get secure, reliable communications with soft-phone features using Cisco Jabber for Windows, including HD voice and video, plus desktop sharing.

Communicate from Microsoft Office:

Access Cisco Jabber for Windows directly from Microsoft Office applications. Easily click to initiate chat, voice or video calls, or multiparty conferences.


Cisco Jabber Installation Process


Go to York website login with credentials provided by the organization. You need to log in with your York College Network Account, this is the same account used to login to the computers on campus, VPN, or WIFI.


Download the zip file containing the Jabber installation client and extract the installer, then double-click the installation file labeled “CiscoJabber-Install-ffr.14-0-0” to initiate the Cisco Jabber installer. Upon executing the installer, a window will pop up welcoming you. This is where you can read all the terms and conditions (if you prefer), then hit “Accept and Install” to begin the process.

           After the Cisco Jabber installation is complete,  you have to restart your Operating System. Then  you may launch the Cisco Jabber app.

                     Step 3

Once you have signed in, Cisco Jabber displays the Contacts and Keypads screen if you have been configured for Voice and Video Calling, Instant Messaging and Presence, and Voice and Video Calling.

                     Step 4

After starting the application, enter your York college email and click “Continue”.

Step 5

In Cisco Jabber Client  type your network ID and network password and click “Login”. At last, Jabber is ready for use.


Verify certificate - Security Alert

There are currently several methods of certification validation that can be used. However, you can simply click “Accept” to all certificate popups. This might be the ideal solution for smaller environments. If you click Accept”, certificates are placed into the Enterprise Trust store on the device. After certificates are placed in the Enterprise Trust store, users are no longer prompted when they log into the Jabber Client on that local device.

Please note that in order to use the Cisco Jabber client on your computer or mobile device; you may be first request the IT department for your Cisco Jabber client profile to be registered to be approved by the IT department.

For additional information, please contact the IT Helpdesk at 718-262-5300 or e-mail them at


York Library and IT Services Transforming into Virtual Services

Mohammed Jahed Sarwar,  System Administrator and Liaison to the IT department

The Covid-19 pandemic put significant strain on all CUNY campuses and libraries. Our IT departments are leveraging latest technologies to compensate the fact that that our capacity requirements were determined pre-pandemic and meeting the increased demand for support from students and faculty proved to be very challenging. In 2021 the IT department at York implemented a digital transformation system that made possible moving from local desktop computers to virtual machine environment. These changes considerably improved patron experience and  communication modalities. In most colleges and universities such rapid changes have been mandated because of the  pandemic. It is extremely prominent for administrators and students alike to not just embrace survival strategies, but to adopt the best practices while  adapting to the new ways of operating. Having Virtual Computers & Remote Desktop platform  enables our systems to be seamlessly integrated  and the resulting workflow automation is highly beneficial. Our contact centers will not only operate optimally, but also enable York IT infrastructure with future proofing capabilities against unforeseen disruptions.

York College Network credentials are required to access these computers remotely. To do so, you will have to follow four steps:

  1. Install "GlobalProtect" VPN Access — York College / CUNY, followed by authenticating and ensuring that it is connected.
  2. Go to the Virtual Library page and select one of the Library Zones (i.e., A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K)
  3. Click on “Connect” to select available computer (I.e., LIB-FL3SCIRC-08)
  4. Follow these steps:
    1. Click on “Download” and save the connection file.
    2.  The file will be directed to the location where it should be saved on your computer when you click the "Save" button.
    3. Click on “Open” the connection file and press the 'Connect' button.        Note: You have to enter York College credentials (network username and network password)
    4. Click “OK”. If your credentials are active and authenticated via RD Gateway server, you’ll be able to access Library Virtual Computer.
  5. If the IT Help Desk  on campus is closed, you can create Help Desk case for any technology related issue using YConnect Online. When you fill the form online and submit it, your issue will be added to the YConnect queue and will be addressed by a customer care representative.

Faculty Scholarship

York College Library Faculty Scholarship, AY2021-2022

Book chapters

  Cooney, C., Peach, J., & Thompson J. (2022). Creating Community among Faculty O.E.R. Fellows: COVID-19 Edition. In E. Bakaitis (Ed.), Considerations of Open: Faculty Reflections about Open Educational Resources. New York City College of Technology / CUNY Manifold.

  Diao, J. (2021). The influence of China/Asia on the West. In  S. Stauffer (Ed.), Libraries, Archives, and Museums: An Introduction to Cultural Heritage Institutions through the Ages (81-96). Lanham, ML: Rowman & Littlefield.

  Kinyatti, N. (2022). Williams, Venus Ebony Starr (1980–) and Serena Jameka (1981–).  In C. Goucher (Ed.), Women Who Changed the World: Their Lives, Challenges, and Accomplishments through History (Vol. 4, 1214-1220). Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO.

  Simpson, T.  (2022). Woolf, Virginia (1882–1941).  In C. Goucher (Ed.), Women Who Changed the World: Their Lives, Challenges, and Accomplishments through History (Vol. 4, 1228-1235). Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO.

Peer-reviewed journal articles

  Diao, J. (2021). A preliminary investigation of technical services librarians’ contributions to library guides in academic libraries. Technical Services Quarterly, 38(3) : 236-257.

Other articles

  Adeshina, T. & Simpson, T. (2021, Spring). Using Ex Libris Alma to Develop Course Reserves at York College CUNY. LibWire, 15. Retrieved from

  Drobnicki, J. A. (2021, November 24.) Carl F. Huth. Wikipedia. Retrieved from

  Drobnicki, J. A. (2021, November 30.) Elisabeth Joan Doyle. Wikipedia. Retrieved from

  Drobnicki, J. A. (2021, December 9.) Irving G. Williams. Wikipedia. Retrieved from

  Drobnicki, J. A. (2021, December 16.) John J. O’Connor (historian). Wikipedia. Retrieved from'Connor_(historian)

  Kinyatti, N. (2021, Spring). Greetings from the Chief Librarian: York College Library in 2021-2022. LibWire, 15. Retrieved from

  Powers, M. (2021, Spring). What's New in Electronic Resources? LibWire, 15. Retrieved from

  Sarwar, M. (2021, Spring). All CUNY students, faculty, and staff have access to applications and services in the outbreak of a COVID-19 pandemic. LibWire, 15. Retrieved from

  Sarwar, M. (2021, Spring).  Dropbox's app is getting an update—turn your smartphone into a PDF scanner and record screen activity from your desktop. LibWire, 15. Retrieved from

  Sheidlower, S. (2021, Spring). Circulation Update LibWire, 15. Retrieved from

  Su, D. (2021, Spring). Interlibrary Loan Basics. LibWire, 15. Retrieved from


  Diao, J., Drobnicki, J., Kinyatti, N., Sheidlower, S., Simpson, T. & Tzanova, S. (co-presenters). (2022, April 14) Welcome to the York College Library. Presented at York College Professor 101 session [virtual].

   Tzanova, S. (2022, June 9). Bulgarian Libraries After the Fall of Communism: A Tale of Resilience and Growth. Presented at the Eleventh Conference of the Bulgarian Studies Association. Library of Congress, Washington DC.

  Tzanova, S. (2022, February 25). Pirates or Robin Hood of Electronic Libraries: Bulgarian Grassroots Initiatives. Presented at LACUNY Dialogues 2022 [virtual].

  Tzanova, S. (2021, July 23). Open Science in Time of COVID-19: Lessons Learned in an Academic Library (panelist). Presented at 2nd UN Open Science Conference [virtual].

  Tzanova, S. (2021, July 13). New Nursing Students Orientation: Welcome to the York College Library . Presented at New Students’ Orientation, Nursing Department, York College [virtual].

Research guides

  Tzanova, S. (2022). Health Informatics. Retrieved from

  Tzanova, S. (2022). OER by Discipline. Retrieved from

   Tzanova, S. (2022). STEM. Retrieved from

Grants and Awards

  Diao, J. (2022). The Jay Bernstein Scholarship Award, LACUNY.

  Sarwar J. (2022) Unsung Hero Award from Unsung Heroes Awards Program sponsored by the Professional Staff Congress College Laboratory Technicians Chapter.

  Su, D. (2022)Certificate of Appreciation from the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Strategic Planning in recognition of contributions made in the area of assessment.

  Tzanova, S. (2022) Promoting Environmental Literacy in Urban Setting through Exploring Public Gardens Research Resources. PSC-CUNY 53 Research Grant 2022-2023: $3,240 [funded].

Library Exhibits

  Drobnicki, J. A. (2022.) 55 years of library faculty scholarship. [Library exhibit]. York College Library, Jamaica, NY.

  Tzanova, S. (2022, February) Library Owls. [Library exhibit]. York College Library, Jamaica, NY.


  Su, D. (2022). Peer reviewed two articles for the American String Teacher journal.

About LibWire

LibWire 2022 is published on behalf of York Library by Stefka Tzanova and Junli Diao