Student Nicole Prokop Wins Scholarship to Attend NASIG’s Annual Conference

Community Profile

NASIG is the largest organization for serials librarians and related professionals in North America, and focuses on issues surrounding the creation, production, delivery, management, and access of serial information.

Prokop, a Library Assistant at a small applied arts college in Boston, welcomed the opportunity to attend her first professional library conference. “It was a wonderful feeling to be involved in something with so many like-minded librarians, paraprofessionals, and other students,” she said. As a first-time participant she was paired with a mentor who offered guidance, and she attended sessions where she learned more about current trends and issues in serials management.

The conference session that had the greatest impact on Prokop was a presentation on negotiation for librarians titled “Gateway to Good Negotiation: From Computer Mediated Communication to Playing Hardball.” It covered negotiation of serials prices with publishers and agents, as well as general negotiation skills for librarians. “It was helpful to learn skills for negotiating your salary, or for working with patrons,” Prokop said.

Prokop returned from the conference with other insights into library and serials management, especially how to facilitate the use of electronic collections. She’s working to share those ideas in her own library, where she’s responsible for managing the circulation desk, supervising student employees, and overseeing the library’s course reserves and serials collections.

Many of Prokop’s patrons are eager to use the library’s specialized print serials collection, but also want to be able to access digital copies. Prokop and her colleagues are working to add and update hyperlinks in the Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC) which will allow patrons to locate both the print and electronic version of a title with one search. “We’re going to be adding updated links that take the user straight from the OPAC to the title’s online version in our electronic resources collection, and then promoting this resource to our patrons,” Prokop said.

Although NASIG was Prokop’s first professional library conference, she’s worked in libraries ever since her first job as a summer assistant at an academic library. “I love being a part of providing information services, and being involved in the changes that technology is bringing,” said Prokop, who plans to follow the Digital Services and Emerging Technologies Career Pathway at the iSchool. “I think it’s going to continue to progress and get more and more exciting.”

“I was so grateful to receive the scholarship,” Prokop said. “I really enjoyed attending the conference, and I learned so much.” The $3,000 award includes a one-year membership in NASIG as well as registration, transportation, and lodging for the annual conference.

Prokop enrolled at San José State University School of Information in fall 2010 and hopes to graduate in spring 2013.