Author Archives: mhandis

Fall 2014 ACRL/NY Graduate Student Discussion Group meeting

Working with Graduate Students in your library? Interested in sharing information about meeting grad student needs in your institution? Wondering what others in the NY metro area are doing to provide services and spaces tailored specifically to these communities?

Join us for our fall 2014 ACRL/NY Graduate Student Discussion Group meeting. The meetings provide an opportunity to discuss ways to serve the graduate student population through instruction, outreach, specialized services, library space design projects, digital initiatives, and more. We mix short lightning talks from service providers, longer presentations, and plenty of time for discussion.

The meeting takes place:

Watson Library, Metropolitan Museum of Art
Friday, December 12, 4:00-5:30pm

RSVP by emailing the GSDG co-chairs, Michael Handis ( or Scott Collard ( And if you’d be interested in doing a short (5-minute) briefing on an aspect of graduate student services at your institution, please tell us!

Find out more about the GSDG at our website, and watch our blog for updates about our program.

Thanks, and hope to see you there!


Supporting Our Graduate Programs–A Successful Event

Yesterday, the GSDG held a regular meeting at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism on 40th Street. It was decided that “lightning talks” would be held where people would talk for 3 minutes about how their library was supporting graduate students. Questions and answers followed each presentation. Representatives from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Manhattan College, the CUNY Journalism School, and New York University spoke.

The highlight was the presentation by Bonnie L. Fong and Krista White from Rutgers University, who talked about the survey they did of their graduate students and what they learned.

A good (and informative) time was had by all.

Next GSDG meeting: April 23rd at the Journalism School

The next meeting of the ACRL/NY Graduate Services Discussion Group will be:

Wednesday, April 23, 2014, 3-5 pm
CUNY Graduate School of Journalism
Room 442
219 West 40th Street
New York, NY 10018

The title of the discussion: Supporting Our Graduate Programs

This meeting of the GSDG begins with lightning talks from members about the services their libraries offer to graduate students. We also hear about the Rutgers University graduate survey. Join co-chairs Michael Handis and Scott Collard for discussion and snacks!

RSVP by April 20th to Michael Handis (
or Scott Collard (

NOTE: Registration is required for security purposes. You must bring a Photo ID to gain access to the building.

Meet and Greet @ Bobst Library

The GSDG’s meet and greet meeting was held at Bobst Library on December 12, 2013 from 4-6. It was a great success, in no small part to Scott Collard, the co-chair who led the discussion.

Scott was able to excite and tease out ideas for what the 13 attendees wanted to see in future meetings. Wine, cheese, soft drinks, and other snacks overflowed as attendees got into the party mood and got down to deciding exactly what the GSDG would do in the near future.


Scott Collard to speak at first meeting

Scott Collard, the Social Sciences Collections Coordinator and Graduate Student Services Coordinator at New York University, will speak about how NYU supports graduate research. Mr. Collard received his MSLIS from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and an MA in General Studies in the Humanities (Early American History and Literature) from the University of Chicago.

Besides graduate outreach, Scott administers the library’s virtual reference services and is the liaison to the Education and Linguistics programs. A member of the Association of College and Research Libraries, Mr. Collard chairs the Membership and Orientation Committee of the Educational and Behavioral Sciences Section. His research interests focus on the graduate student service and space design; the intersection between technology and research services; and user-centered design and customizability.

This meeting is being co-sponsored by the Bibliographic Instruction Special Interest Group of the Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO). It will be held at the METRO offices, 57 East 11th Street, 4th floor in Manhattan on November 9th from 10 am to noon.

If you plan to attend, please email one of the GSDG co-chairs, Michael Handis ( or Amy Ballmer (

Mission Statement

The following is the Mission Statement for the GSDG:

The Graduate Services Discussion Group of ACRL/NY (GSDG) meets to discuss how to customize and do outreach to graduate students in all disciplines.  How does graduate student needs in libraries differ from those of undergraduates?  Services to graduate students is a specialization in academia, particularly in libraries.  This group will provide a forum in which to discuss ways to serve the graduate student population through instruction, specialized services, and digital initiatives.

New Discussion Group for Graduate Services

At the ACRL/NY executive board meeting on June 10, the board voted unanimously to approve a motion by Michael Handis to create a new discussion group for library services for graduate students.  The new group, the Graduate Services Discussion Group, will be co-chaired by Michael Handis (, Associate Librarian for Collection Management at the Mina Rees Library, CUNY Graduate Center, and Amy Balmer (, Senior Assistant Reference Librarian also at the Mina Rees Library.

It was felt that services in libraries to students always focus on undergraduates with graduate students being the “invisible” users who rarely have the same needs as undergraduates.  Also, most literature on student services focuses on the undergraduate population.  It is hoped that the events that the Graduate Services Discussion Group (GSDG) holds will help draw attention to the needs of graduate students as well as facilitate discussion on how to service this diverse population.

The first meeting of the Graduate Services Discussion Group (GSDG) will be held in the fall.