Staff profile

Dec 08, 2005
Deb Kester
Reserve and Media Services, Supervisor
Room 2 Parks Library
(515) 294-0413
Debbie Kester


I began my career at the ISU Library Reserve Desk in October 1977. The Reserve Desk, then located in the lower level, was a massive counter in which dozens of students would congregate hoping to check out a reserve book or article. Before the "days of the computer", I used to go through large amounts of carbon paper (as well as regular paper) because I produced 4 typed copies of a reserve list that went out into large notebooks for student and staff access. I also went through my share of liquid paper....a simple typing error back in those days turned into a 10 minute "fix" because you had to blow on the liquid paper waiting for it to be dry enough to type over it---and do this for 3 carbon copies times hundreds of reserve lists! After a few years as the "typist", I became a Library Assistant II and my duties included searching the library's collection for books to be placed on reserve. In 1984, The Reserve Desk moved up to first floor (Room 198), where Interlibrary Loan is currently located. I eventually assumed the role of supervisor of the Reserve Room, and became responsible for all aspects of copyright management and our growing "electronic reserve" documents. In 2000, Reserve merged with the Media Center to form "Reserve & Media Services"---and relocated back to the lower level. At the time of our merge, about half of our reserve material was in an electronic format and automatic check-out procedures were implemented---which was wonderful! Today, reserve material is approximately 80% electronic.

I have always enjoyed getting to know our student employees. Over the past 28 years, I have seen hundreds of students come and go. Occasionally I will hear from one of them, and I'm always thrilled when a former student stops in for a visit. I've had former students from over 20 years ago contact me after viewing the ISU website and going to the e-Library. Technology has changed the way we operate, but our mission of serving the needs of students and instructors with course material has remained the same. One memory involving an instructor still amuses me after 20 years. A woman teaching a particular class tearfully asked me if I would process her reserve list first if she were to pay me $20.00. After I explained that I could not do that and how unfair that would be to other instructors who were waiting for their material to be processed, she asked me what it would take for hers to get done first. Maybe I could have made big bucks that day!

Library Responsibilities:

I supervise Reserve & Media Services - including 4 full-time staff, one half-time employee, and 13 student employees. My main focus is overseeing copyright management. I contact publishers or rights holders all over the world seeking copyright permission and determine if we can meet publisher terms and pay requested royalty fees. During Fiscal Year '04-05 I requested permission for over 1,000 electronic documents. I am also in constant contact with the hundreds of instructors who use our reserve services and media formats in their courses each semester.