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Staff Spotlight: Richard Zwiercan

By Michael Yunkin on July 10, 2013 10:32 AM | Permalink

Staff Spotlight:  Richard Zwiercan

Position:  Access Resource Manager, Logistics and Resources Distribution Services

Length of Service:  Four years

Hometown:  Asheville, North Carolina

What he does: Zwiercan manages the access of the materials in UNLV Libraries’ Interlibrary Loan unit, which acquires books and e-journals from other libraries for students, faculty and staff. If you need research essentials such as a journal or book that we don’t have, even if it’s just a single article or chapter, we borrow a copy from another library. Many of these items can be delivered to you electronically in PDF form, so that you’re able to download and print. Zwiercan oversees this free service, often reaching out to libraries across the United States and all over the world.

He is also responsible for evaluating the frequency of use and relevance of collections housed in Libraries, particularly those on core study subjects like hotel management, architecture and engineering. “It’s of paramount importance to us that UNLV students have access to the latest and most reliable information resources in whatever their area of study,” says Zwiercan.  To this end, he also collaborates with our subject librarians to identify and build these targeted collections as well as research materials on regional interests and other distinct topics.

The way here: Zwiercan’s career began at Leatherby Libraries at Chapman University in California, where he served as the reserves desk manager. It was at Chapman that he received a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s in counseling.

Three years later he was drawn to UNLV to fill the role of Library Technician for both the Interlibrary Loan and Circulation departments. A reflection of his dedication and leadership skills, Zwiercan soon advanced to positions that included the supervision of Libraries student assistants, and later to the role of Interlibrary Operations supervisor. Last fall, Zwiercan was promoted to his current post as Access Resource Manager.

What he loves about his job: Zwiercan says that partnering with other staff members to provide a system of value for both the user and the Libraries is one of the most rewarding aspects of his job. An example of this was a recent project that identified and resolved a backlog of materials in need of repair in a significantly more efficient manner.

“I strive in my daily efforts to provide the highest value for our users and the libraries. The term value cannot be separated from the user or library. This is because value is an integration of what the user needs to succeed and how UNLV Libraries provides and delivers on those needs,” he explains.

Highlights: Zwiercan is currently immersed in an initiative to evaluate the concept of interlibrary loan and all access points of library resources. He is asking library users why the resources are relevant and how having access is of value to them. Although this is no small task, Zwiercan says, “I find enrichment throughout the process—not to mention identifying ways to collaborate with the users in aims of finding newer possibilities.”

For fun: An active outdoors man, Zwiercan enjoys adventurous activities with his wife and dogs that include hiking, camping, fishing, and bike riding. He attributes the analytical skills he employs everyday at Libraries to his mother; but perhaps he inherited a creative gene from his architect father because he is also passionate about the arts, woodworking, designing, and writing.