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DiPietro Library Newsletter

News and notes from the DiPietro Library

A note from the University Librarian

Picture of Paul Jenkins, University LibrarianAristotle wrote that “Education is an ornament in prosperity, and a refuge in adversity.”  Allow me to amend the sage’s statement by hoping that you will find the library a refuge in the adversity that is COVID-19.  We have comfortable study spaces and resources aplenty in the DiPietro Library.  These are certainly challenging times, but the entire Pierce community seems to be rising to meet them head on and with admirable spirit.  The library staff is no exception.  We are working both in the facility and from home, but are on hand to help you find the resources you need.  I'm happy to report that our reference and database usage statistics are both trending ahead of last year's figures. 

Library Updates

In order to keep everyone safe, we have instituted a seat reservation system.  Anyone who plans to work in the library for more than five minutes is required to use it. For details on how to make a reservation,see


This Fall we welcome two new staff members.  Lydia Hurley began work on October 5 as our new Circulation Supervisor.  Lydia is currently working on her Master’s in History and Archives from Keene State.  She received her B.A. (English and History) from Keene State in 2020. Lydia has been working as an intern at the Keene Public Library for the last nine months. 


Todd Niemi joined us on October 19 as the new Library Technical Services Associate. He earned a BA in English and a BS in Art from Atlantic Union College.  Todd’s daughter, Isabella, currently attends Pierce as a member of the class of 2022.  His father, Paul, was an adjunct instructor at Pierce from 2003-2016. In his spare time, Todd enjoys writing screenplays.


We look forward to welcoming you to a safe and friendly facility. Do stop by!

Orange and red fall leaves, attractively swirling

New Services

Starting on October 12 you can check out a laptop from the Circulation Desk for in-library use, limited to 4 hours. You will need to read and sign a user agreement (for details, see before checking out the laptop with your FPU ID card. Also remember that you will need to use our reservation system to book a seat within the library when you utilize the laptop.  Please contact us with questions at 

Another new service to announce is our Self-Service Hold Pick-Up.  In our catalog you can find a title you'd like us to hold and check out for you.  Then all you need to do is pick up the book on the bookshelf located near the Supplies table.  See attached document below for details or contact the Circulation Desk at 603-899-4140, or

Faculty Research Spotlight

Dr. Robert Goodby, Professor of Anthropology, is using his sabbatical year to write a book on 13,000 years of Native American history in the Monadnock region. The book is modeled on talks he presents for New Hampshire Humanities and focuses on twenty years of archaeological excavations by Franklin Pierce students under Goodby’s direction.  While the results of these excavations have already been published in professional journals, this book is intended for a general audience and is written in a narrative, first-person format. Sites include the Swanzey Fish Dam, a stone dam in the Ashuelot River used to catch migratory fish, constructed some 4,000 years ago and still in use when the first Europeans arrived in the early 18th century; the Wantastiquet Mountain site in Hinsdale, where timber rattlesnakes were hunted for 5,000 years; the Raft Bridge site, a camp on a knoll overlooking Nubanusit Brook in Peterborough occupied repeatedly for over 3,000 years; and the 12,600-year-old Tenant Swamp site in Keene, one of the oldest sites in New England where the remains of four houses occupied during the bitter winters of the Younger Dryas period were discovered

The book will also include a discussion of Abenaki history in the region after European contact, and Goodby’s work with contemporary Abenaki people to protect their sites and return the remains of their ancestors unearthed by earlier generations of archaeologists.

Highlighted Resource

Did you know that the DiPietro Library staff has created more than 150 research guides?  These range from course-specific pages to guides for academic disciplines (History, Physical Therapy, and many others) to areas of personal interest, such as Mary Anne Blauert's page that studies the artists and illustrators of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.  Think of them as one-stop shopping for your research needs in all manner of fields. Guides are available in alphabetical order and grouped by subject.  Why not take some time to visit both pages and see what we have to offer?

If you would like a guide created to support your class or to support a specific assignment, please contact Katie Beth Ryan,  Guides can be added to the Library Resources tab in Canvas.

One Desk, Many Services

DiPietro Library Service Desk

One opportunity remote work presented the DiPietro Library staff was the chance to evaluate our operations. In recent years, the number of reference questions has decreased, and we considered whether the location of the reference desk – tucked away from the circulation desk behind the library doors, often passed without a glance by people entering or exiting the library – was ideal for serving our community. The visibility and greater amount of traffic at the circulation desk prompted us to implement a new “One Desk” operation for the library this fall.

In addition to visiting the desk to check out materials, visitors to DiPietro Library can now get reference help from a librarian at the same desk. ”Our move to the one-desk service model is convenient for the user because both circulation services and reference services are available,” said Jill Wixom, Access Services Manager in DiPietro Library. “The student, faculty or staff member should feel confident that they will get an answer to their question, or assistance.”

In the age of social distancing, it may seem counterintuitive to have more people in a small area. After measuring the distance between the new reference area, the circulation supervisor’s desk and the student assistant’s seat, we found there was sufficient room for each person to work safely and independently. Arrows on the floor have established the traffic patterns for the area behind the desk, and the reference librarians spray and clean the desk and chair after each shift.

The reference side of the desk is equipped with two monitors. When a user approaches the desk for reference help, the reference librarian can demonstrate what they’re doing on their screen by mirroring it on the second monitor. “The duplicate screen is extremely helpful when assisting students,” said Mary Anne Blauert, Evening Reference and Instruction Librarian. “It is a great teaching and learning tool for the students to follow along.”  

Between Aug 20., when classes started, and Mon. October 12, library staff recorded 66 reference interactions, compared to 49 during the same time period in 2019. Though the increase can’t be attributed to the move alone, we feel the One Desk operation gives us greater visibility and more opportunities to serve our community. 

A Personal Librarian for Center Scholars

To help first year-students make connections with a librarian, DiPietro Library and the Center for Academic Excellence have piloted a Personal Librarian program for CAE Scholars this fall. It’s intended to help first-year Scholars learn about library resources, and ease the transition from high school to college-level research.

The Personal Librarian program is about forging connections between students and the people at Franklin Pierce who are there to support their success,” said Tracy Mendham, Learning Specialist in the Center for Academic Excellence. 

This fall, University Librarian Paul Jenkins and Reference and Instruction Librarian Katie Beth Ryan are each working with the 51 Scholars in the Class of 2024. Librarians have also attended CAE study halls and sent Scholars emails with tips about using library resources.  

Initial contact with the Scholars is made via email, with follow up on Raven Nation. Scholars are not required to meet with their Personal Librarian, but if they do, it will count as one of their five required events for the Center for Academic Excellence each semester. 

Meeting one-on-one with students allows us to talk in depth about their topics and show them library resources in a personalized way,” said Ryan. “More than anything, we want them to feel comfortable asking us questions, and to reduce any library anxiety they may have.