Meet the Library Staff – February 2007

The Geology Library is located on the 2nd floor of North Mudd.  It looks exactly like what you would image a beautiful old library to be – a space filled with old polished wood, large comfortable chairs, and lots of books.  Tony Diaz has been happily ensconced in this setting since January 2005 when he became the Senior Library Assistant in the Geology Library.  Tony reports directly to Jim O’Donnell, who is not only the Geology Librarian, but also the Head of Collections, Information and Research Services for all of CLS (Caltech Library Services).  This means Tony’s duties encompass a wide variety of responsibilities.  “Working with Jim is wonderful,” says Tony. “He trusts me to run the day-to-day operations in the Geology Library.”   


 Tony in the Geology Library.
Tony has actually worked at Caltech since December 2000.  From 2000 until his promotion to Geology, he worked in various units of Collections including Document Delivery and InterLibrary Loan. 

Tony’s current duties include stack maintenance, bindery preparation of current journals and books, maintenance of all Geology Library website (this includes over 50 pages), and coordination of classes presented by our librarians (approximately 10 per semester).  These classes are on a diverse range of topics – Web of Knowledge and Electronic Theses and Dissertations are two familiar subjects, but our librarians also teach classes on such diverse themes as Patents, Life Sciences Information Resources, and even Crystallographic Databases.  Tony suggests visiting the Library Classes web site to discover other available classes for the Winter 2007 semester.

Creating a digital collection of Caltech authors has been a primary project for the library staff.  Tony has been working with George Porter, EAS Librarian, on this task.  George locates the pdf version of an article written by a Caltech author and sends it to Tony.  It is Tony’s responsibility to upload the article information into CODA (the library’s digital collection database), transferring the abstract and other pertinent data into the appropriate format which will allow individuals searching for the article to be successful in finding it!  Go to the Caltech Library home page and click on the Digital Collections (CODA) button to see any of the well over 1,800 articles Tony has uploaded so far.

One of Tony’s most enjoyable duties is to help people who are looking for specific geological maps.  “People are constantly amazed at the quantity and quality of topographic and geologic maps we have readily available,” notes Tony.  “I also like working with the students who come into the geology library.  I know most of them by first name.”   Kaven Pahlevan, a grad student in Geological and Planetary Sciences concurs, “Tony will gladly go out of his way to help you.  In my interactions with him, I have always found Tony to be helpful and cordial.”

In his spare time, Tony enjoys traveling.  He and his wife of almost one year, Anabel, take weekend day trips to the desert, such as Joshua Tree; the mountains (especially Lake Arrowhead and Big Bear); along the California coast line; and to nearby cities such as San Diego and Santa Barbara.  Tony enjoys driving and traveling by train because “this allows you to see up-close the beauty of our country.”  In addition, Tony likes to take cruises.  So far he has visited the Caribbean once and Mexico four times.  His hobbies include car racing, stamp and coin collecting, model railroading, astronomy, and local hiking.  Tony is a member of the Mt. Palomar Friends.  This membership allows him to partake in special star parties and events held at Mt. Palomar.  He enjoys frequent visits to the Mt. Wilson Observatory and the Griffith Observatory as well.  Tony is also currently restoring a 1969 Dodge back to its original condition. 

Jim O’Donnell acknowledges with enthusiasm “Tony is a real pleasure to work with.  He likes people, so he’s good as the first-line contact in the Geology Library.  People like him, and they trust him to find information for them.  He likes to learn new things, so handing him another project (like depositing theses and articles in CODA, or scanning maps for theses, or taking responsibility for the Education Team’s support) is always a safe bet.  He does a great job.”  As you can see, Tony has a busy and interesting life and the library is lucky to count him as part of our family!