Previous Employees of the Quarter
Texas State Library and Archives Commission Employees of the Quarter are nominated by their TSLAC colleagues and are selected by the TSLAC Employee Recognition Committee. Employees of the Quarter are presented with a Certificate of Merit and eight hours administrative leave at the TSLAC Quarterly Awards Ceremony.
Our Employees of the Quarter for the First Quarter of Fiscal Year 2005
Jack Moore - Prior to joining TSLAC, Jack, who has a Master of Library Science from Columbia University, spent 38 years working as a freelance commercial animator, producing film and video animation and graphics. He then worked in computer support for four years before joining the TSLAC staff, in November 2002
Jack’s duties, as library assistant include, providing information to patrons, processing acquisitions, retrieving specific titles from the collection’s holdings of almost 2 million items, and the duplication of recordings of hearings created by the Texas State Senate, which serve as an essential part of research of state legislation. It is in the duplication of hearing recordings that Jack became concerned with the longevity of the tapes that they are stored on, and began to research the most effective, long lasting ways to preserve these recordings which feature the voices of many historical Texans and span over thirty years.
The Senate tapes project began with Jack using his own experience with audiovisual technology to research and develop a format that might preserve the Senate recordings for future generations. The result was the implementation of a project that will digitize the Senate hearing recordings working to simultaneously preserve them and keep them available to patrons.
Within this process, Jack converts the sound to digital data, which can then be written to CDs. The content information that has been written on the cassette labels, cases, or case inserts is transcribed and the data is integrated to create user interface files, providing a simple, yet effective, guide to accessing the information on these important state records.
The Senate Tape project is a huge feat. At this time, there are approximately 16,000 cassette tapes in our collection, with more than 2,400 pulled for review and 1,200 duplicated for people all over the country every year.
A coworker wrote, “I admire Jack for seeing work that needs to be done and taking on the challenge of doing it. Whether it is something small (but necessary) like making signs for the microfilm shelves, so we can locate materials more efficiently, to taking on the Senate Tape project.” Jack is currently working on the third of our 14 legislative sessions.
Allison Burch - Allison launched her tenure with the reference department in November 2001 and recently celebrated her three-year service mark. As reference librarian, Allison’s primary responsibility is to respond to reference and genealogy questions via email, mail, telephone, and for patrons who come to the library in person. Other duties include, but are not limited to, management of the general reference, periodical and vertical file collections, working with the cataloging department to insure that TSLAC non-document holdings are accurately shown in the catalog, and creating and managing the Archives and Information Services files posted on Angelina.
One of Allison’s great gifts is her ability to work well with patrons and she has a special proficiency for providing diplomatic answers to questions for which there is no viable answer; for example, “Can you tell me where to locate a time portal so I can go back and help my friend?” Each person that comes into Reference has a different background and need; however, she tackles all with genuine enthusiasm, treating patrons with a warm and friendly manner.
Her positive attitude does not go unnoticed. One coworker described Allison as, “…invariably friendly, eager to help, and knowledgeable about our collections and other resources available to patrons,” going on to say that, “Moreover, she is always patient and very professional in her efforts to determine exactly what a patron is looking for.”
Allison has been keeping busy in her personal life, too! She and her husband, Robert, live in Northwest Austin with their dog and cats. Her Angelina profile reports that she enjoys hiking, working out, yoga, genealogy, cooking and eating, and going to shows at the Alamo Drafthouse downtown.
A glowing comment from another of the reference staff summed Allison up saying, “…plain and simply, she’s good at what she does. She is truly a top-notch reference librarian. She provides excellent customer service, and delights in making our patrons happy. Throw any reference question at her - - obscure, strange, even in another language, and she can figure it out! She has extensive knowledge of the basic reference sources, as well as the sources that are more unique to our collections. To top it all off, she’s fun to work with.”