Week in Review – 18 April 2014

News Notes from Around the Library

  • Our traveling exhibition from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Fighting the Fires of Hate, has arrived and been installed on the second floor of Jefferson Hall. A full announcement of the exhibition will be made next week.
  • The Library received the West Point Class Ring from BG John S.D. Eisenhower (USMA 1944), son of GA Dwight D. Eisenhower (USMA 1915), and installed the ring in the ring case. A more complete announcement on this new gift will be forthcoming.
  • The Library Committee of Faculty Council met this past Monday to review in more detail the results of the faculty survey from last fall. Outprocessing firsties will now be taking a very similar version of that survey as they clear the library over the next several weeks. This will allow us to compare perspectives from both faculty and cadets.
  • Library staff participated in briefings on the West Point Leadership Development System this week and discussed how we as staff can impact the development of these leadership skills and outcomes among cadets.
  • Next week there will be evaluators visiting many post facilities to evaluate anti-terrorism measures. Please be familiar with our previously distributed policies and guidance for both evacuation and shelter-in-place and be watchful for any security risks in and around Jefferson Hall. Anyone without ID and not in uniform should be approached and asked for identification. Badge holders are available at the Circulation Desk if required.
  • This coming Thursday, April 24th, there will be a training exercise in Central Area to simulate a security incident. That event is likely to impact library operations through the morning as we respond to direction from incident responders.

Preparatory Reading for USMA Library Strategic Planning (Revised List)

In a few weeks, library staff will be spending some time doing some long-range strategic thinking about where we as an organization need to position ourselves to best serve the evolving needs of the U.S. Military Academy. In preparation for that work, I would ask that library staff review the following materials that should inform our thinking and planning:

  • Ithaka S+R US Library Survey 2013In the Ithaka S+R US Library Survey 2013 report we examine how the leaders of academic libraries are approaching systemic changes in their environment and the opportunities and constraints they face in leading their organizations. While exploring key topics covered in our 2010 survey of library directors, such as strategic planning, collecting practices, and library services, in 2013 we also introduced a new emphasis on organizational dynamics, leadership issues, and undergraduate services. (from their website)
  • NMC Horizon Report > 2014 Higher Education EditionThe NMC Horizon Report > 2014 Higher Education Edition is a collaborative effort between the NMC and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI), an EDUCAUSE Program. This eleventh edition describes annual findings from the NMC Horizon Project, an ongoing research project designed to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have an impact on learning, teaching, and creative inquiry in education. Six key trends, six significant challenges, and six emerging technologies are identified across three adoption horizons over the next one to five years, giving campus leaders and practitioners a valuable guide for strategic technology planning. The format of the report is new this year, providing these leaders with more in-depth insight into how the trends and challenges are accelerating and impeding the adoption of educational technology, along with their implications for policy, leadership and practice. (from their website)
  • The Academic Library of the Future (Only available on post to staff) – This report looks at the characteristics that constitute the “academic library of the future,” highlighting recent innovations that are most effective at reducing library costs and utilizing existing resources. Economic, technological, and socio-cultural factors are considered. (from the report)
  • Top 10 IT Issues(Added 18 April) This annual report looks at significant issues in information technology and information access in higher education and is issued by EDUCAUSE.

USMA Library Events

The events below will likely affect USMA Library and Jefferson Hall operations in the coming week.

Date USMA O/DEAN USMA Library Jefferson Hall Hours
Fri 18 Apr 2014 Week in Review 0700-2100
Sat 19 Apr 2014 0900-2100
Sun 20 Apr 2014  Easter Sunday 1300-2315
Mon 21 Apr 2014 0700-2315
Tue 22 Apr 2014 Division Heads Annual Relationship Panel 0700-2315
Wed 23 Apr 2014  Mission Command Conference  Dean’s Staff Meeting 0700-2315
Thu 24 Apr 2014 Mission Command Conference / ATFP Exercise ATFP Exercise ATFP Exercise / CFE Seminar 0700-2315
Fri 25 Apr 2014 Earth Day  Dean’s Recognition Ceremony Week in Review 0700-2100

USMA Library Metrics

USMA Library tracks a number of key statistics to measure service levels. These are their stories …

Access Services
Items Charged Out 240 829 991 1,045
Gate Count 837 5,519 5,292 5,313
ILL Article Requests 32 40 30 42
ILL Book Requests 21 22 15 9
Administrative Services
DV Tours 0 1 0 0
Significant Events Hosted 0 1 4 2
Events/Meetings Attended 0 22 18 18
Information Gateway
Reference Questions 5 61 98 85
Library Instruction Sessions 0 0 1 0
Cadets Attending Sessions 0 0 40 0
Materials Processing
Items Added – Books 102 121 54 84
Items Added – Digital 0 0 0 34,907
Items Added – GovDocs 42 70 48 56
Items Added – Other 34 16 54 1
Continuing Resource Check-Ins 69 78 165 100
Special Collections & Archives
Reference Inquiries 31 27 25 41
Research Visits < 1 hour 0 6 6 6
Research Visits < 1 day 0 6 4 4
Research Visits > 1 day 1 1 0 1
Instruction Sessions 0 0 0 0
Cadets Taught 0 0 0 0
Systems Management
Library Home Page Visits 1,776 3,844 4,825 4,654
LibGuides Visits 301 477 627 496
Digital Collections Visits 287 304 327 248
Facebook Visits 31 42
Public Printer Prints 319 5,511 6,916 5,702
Public Printer Copies 25 641 421 410
Public Printer Scans 381 14 39 155

Food for Thought

A few quotations from the past week about libraries, information, technology, and the future

  • “Both colleges and employers must embrace three-year bachelors degrees; the traditional four years is an arbitrary number that just extends the time in education. Institutions can also reduce costs by adapting to the modern age and offer more online learning. But they will only do this is if the government limits the ability of students to pay the prevailing high tuition costs.The current model has inflated spending beyond the nation’s means, with colleges reaping the rewards while the government takes all the risks and graduates drown in debt. With an abrupt crisis unlikely, hard action may be delayed for years, allowing the noose to tighten on an already fragile economy.” – These charts explain what’s behind America’s soaring college costs – Quartz
  • “The bill, in the Florida Senate, would require that undergraduate course textbooks remain in use for at least three years at state institutions, unless a professor successfully appealed to administrators to change course materials more frequently. The bill would also require professors to post assigned textbooks at least two weeks before registration for a new term, forcing them to choose course materials up to seven months before the first day of class. Supporters of the bill, SB 530, say it would lower financial barriers to higher education for students who struggle to afford rising textbook costs, which they attribute in part to frequent turnover in course materials. But professors worry that the bill would force them to teach dated research and entangle them in onerous regulations.” – Professors Would Have to Use Same Textbook for 3 Years Under Florida Bill – Administration – The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • “Hull House offered a variety of services that seem like precursors to the services that libraries are providing today. Like the Arizona libraries that have added public health nurses, Addams and her Hull House co-founder Ellen Gates Starr “volunteered as on-call doctors when the real doctors either didn’t show up or weren’t available.” They also “acted as midwives, saved babies from neglect, prepared the dead for burial, nursed the sick, and sheltered domestic violence victims.” Volunteers “held classes in literature, history, art, domestic activities (such as sewing),” and practical courses such as bookbinding, “which was timely—given the employment opportunities in the growing printing trade,” which sounds a lot like the free computer classes offered by many public libraries today.” – What 21st-century libraries can learn from this 19th-century institution – Quartz
  • “They seem to be after everyone and everything,” one Seattle-area bookstore owner, Roger Page, fulminated on his store’s blog last year. He added, “I believe there is a real chance that they will ruin the publishing world.” – Bookstores in Seattle Soar, and Embrace an Old Nemesis: Amazon.com – NYTimes.com
  • “Comcast is so concerned about all those other products explicitly because they aren’t just the company that plugs the broadband wire into your home. Comcast is already not only your carrier but also your content — and if they get their way they’ll become your gatekeeper to everyone else’s content, too.” – The Comcast Merger Isn’t About Lines On A Map; It’s About Controlling The Delivery Of Information – Consumerist
  • “This boardroom is about the only thing that hasn’t changed around here,” he told a visitor, sitting at an antique conference table in the heart of Wyndeham’s printing plant here. “Everything else in this plant is different. All the equipment has been changed, and so have the people.” In many ways, printing itself has gone digital. Industrial-strength laser printers enable big printing plants to make quick and cost-effective small-batch runs on demand. Even Wyndeham’s big offset machines — which print from lithographic plates created from digital files — are so highly automated that a crew of just a dozen or so can put them through their paces. “This is almost a peopleless business now,” Mr. Kingston said as he walked through the huge but mostly deserted printing hall. “At one point we had 350 people in this plant. Now we have 114. But the amount of work has more than doubled.” – Leaner and More Efficient, British Printers Push Forward in Digital Age – NYTimes.com
  • “18% of online adults have had important personal information stolen such as their Social Security Number, credit card, or bank account information. That’s an increase from the 11% who reported personal information theft in July 2013.
    21% of online adults said they had an email or social networking account compromised or taken over without their permission.The same number reported this experience in a July 2013 survey.” – More online Americans say they’ve experienced a personal data breach | Pew Research Center
  • “Most people in my discipline,” said James Grossman, executive director of the American Historical Association, “if they hear the words ‘authentic assessment,’ ‘high-impact educational practices,’ or ‘essential learning outcomes’ will run as fast as they can in the opposite direction.” That is especially the case, Mr. Grossman said, at top-tier research universities. “Nobody is going to flunk the University of Texas or Princeton on their next round of accreditation,” he said, “so no faculty member is going to take it seriously, which means this gobbledygook is something they simply have to forebear for a certain period of time.”- Educators Point to a ‘Crisis of Mediocre Teaching’ – Graduate Students – The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • “The part-timers are often considered “invisible faculty,” because they rarely participate in academic life and typically bolt from campus the moment class ends. That researchers still know little about them — or how well they do their jobs — is especially startling given that a little more than half of all college faculty members are now part-timers, and they far outnumber full-time faculty members on most community college campuses.” – The College Faculty Crisis – NYTimes.com
  • “Nationally, from 2001 to May 2013, the number of librarians fell by 9 percent. In New Mexico, there are 48 percent fewer librarians than there were in 2001. In Michigan, there was a 36 percent drop. But there are states where the number of librarians has risen; at the top of the list is Idaho, where there are 167 percent more librarians. But most places that have seen an increase didn’t have many librarians in the first place (Idaho only had 240 in 2001).” – Where Are America’s Librarians? | FiveThirtyEight
  • “What we’re concerned about is the death spiral — this continuing downward momentum for some institutions,” said Susan Fitzgerald, an analyst at Moody’s Investors Service in New York. “We will see more closures than in the past.” – Small U.S. Colleges Battle Death Spiral as Enrollment Drops – Bloomberg
  • “It is a golden age for librarians, historians and scholars and it is the sweep of digital tools in the humanities that make it so,” he says. “In the past, if you wanted to study the evolution of language for a PhD or the roles of women in different eras, you had to do all the grunt work with references and citations all done by hand. Now it can be done by machine at an astonishing rate.” – How to preserve the web’s past for the future – FT.com
  • “The records we received show that the face recognition component of NGI may include as many as 52 million face images by 2015. By 2012, NGI already contained 13.6 million images representing between 7 and 8 million individuals, and by the middle of 2013, the size of the database increased to 16 million images. The new records reveal that the database will be capable of processing 55,000 direct photo enrollments daily and of conducting tens of thousands of searches every day.” – FBI Plans to Have 52 Million Photos in its NGI Face Recognition Database by Next Year | Electronic Frontier Foundation
  • “Unfortunately, most teachers are not in a position to share excitement with students. About 70% are classified as disengaged, which puts them on par with the workforce as a whole. This is surprising in some ways, because teachers score close to the top on measures that indicate that they find meaning in their life and see work as a calling. Unfortunately, the structures that teachers are working in–which may include high-stakes standardized testing and value-added formulas that evaluate their performance based on outside factors–seem to tug against their happiness. “The real bummer is they don’t feel their opinions matter,” Busteed says. K-12 teachers scored dead last among 12 occupational groups in agreeing with the statement that their opinions count at work, and also dead last on “My supervisor creates an open and trusting environment.” K-12 teachers scored dead last among 12 occupational groups in agreeing with the statement that their opinions count at work, and also dead last on “My supervisor creates an open and trusting environment.” – How Engaged Are Students and Teachers in American Schools? | MindShift
  • “The ability to reach everyone I know in one place is no longer a novelty. We don’t want to see daily updates from everyone we meet in perpetuity.” – Facebook’s friend problem | The Verge
  • “Researchers found 75% of men would opt for the big screen version of a story, while 30% admitted they had not picked up a book since they were at school. Being too busy, not enjoying reading or spending time online were all blamed for reading less. Men also tended to be slower readers and less likely to finish books.” – BBC News – Men ‘giving up’ on books to watch films or go online
  • ““When people can’t apply for jobs or access government services because they don’t have access from home, public libraries must be there for them,” said Linda Lord, a librarian in Maine. “Where else are they going to go? Police station? Town hall? I don’t think so.” Though 62 percent of libraries offer the only free computer and Internet access in their communities, only 9 percent say they have the high-capacity connections needed to support the computers, Wi-Fi and technological training necessary for an increasingly paperless world. Some libraries connect to the Web at speeds that barely allow them to stream video services — less than 3 megabits per second — though many are now operating at up to 10 mbps. The goal is to upgrade all connections to at least 100 mbps.” – Libraries Seek High-Speed Broadband – NYTimes.com
  • “In this survey, 92 percent of IT personnel admitted that they did, indeed, sneak peeks — under the guise of doing their job, you understand — at the details buried in workers’ computers. The other 8 percent work in monasteries. At least that’s my assumption. Perhaps you won’t be surprised at the things these IT snoopers (42 percent of whom where female) see. Eighty-two percent observe the obvious — workers wafting onto social media sites of varying hues, rather than being what used to be called productive. Surely even work is social these days. Fifty-seven percent insist that a huge problem is e-mail attachments of dubious provenance being opened. I have no evidence that any of these IT managers work for US Airways. Fifty-two percent say that workers download games onto their office computers. And don’t get them started about the unauthorized USB and other devices that get plugged into the precious office machines. It seems there’s also a lot of pirating going on in office time and on office equipment; 45 percent said they had seen evidence. But perhaps the most enjoyable of all is observing just how many people in your office are applying for other jobs. Thirty-nine percent of IT managers said that, oh, yes, they’d seen job applications flying on work computers.” – Big Brother really is watching you (It’s your IT manager) – CNET
  • “Technology means that no matter what kind of job you have — even if you’re alone in a truck on an empty road — your company can now measure everything you do. In Earle’s case, those measurements go into a little black box in the back of his truck. At the end of the day, the data get sent to Paramus, N.J., where computers crunch through the data from UPS trucks across the country. ‘The data are about as important as the package for us,’ says Jack Levis, who’s in charge of the UPS data. It’s his job to think about small amounts of time and large amounts of money. ‘Just one minute per driver per day over the course of a year adds up to $14.5 million,’ Levis says.” – The Data-Driven Optimization of the Worker – Alexis C. Madrigal – The Atlantic

Excerpted from Infoneer Pulse, a digital commonplace book curated by Christopher Barth.

It’s National Library Week!

This week, the USMA Library joins libraries in schools, campuses and communities nationwide in celebrating National Library Week.  It is a time to take note of the contributions of our nation’s libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support. This year’s theme is “Lives change @ your library.”

In honor of National Library Week, we would like to share the American Library Association’s Declaration for the Right to Libraries, which outlines thoughts and beliefs on why libraries are essential to a democratic society.

UntitledDeclaration for the Right to Libraries

In the spirit of the United States Declaration of Independence and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we believe that libraries are essential to a democratic society. Every day, in countless communities across our nation and the world, millions of children, students and adults use libraries to learn, grow and achieve their dreams. In addition to a vast array of books, computers and other resources, library users benefit from the expert teaching and guidance of librarians and library staff to help expand their minds and open new worlds. We declare and affirm our right to quality libraries -public, school, academic, and special – and urge you to show your support by signing your name to this Declaration for the Right to Libraries.

LIBRARIES EMPOWER THE INDIVIDUAL. Whether developing skills to succeed in school, looking for a job, exploring possible careers, having a baby, or planning retirement, people of all ages turn to libraries for instruction, support, and access to computers and other resources to help them lead better lives.

LIBRARIES SUPPORT LITERACY AND LIFELONG LEARNING. Many children and adults learn to read at their school and public libraries via story times, research projects, summer reading, tutoring and other opportunities. Others come to the library to learn the technology and information skills that help them answer their questions, discover new interests, and share their ideas with others.

LIBRARIES STRENGTHEN FAMILIES. Families find a comfortable, welcoming space and a wealth of resources to help them learn, grow and play together.

LIBRARIES ARE THE GREAT EQUALIZER. Libraries serve people of every age, education level, income level, ethnicity and physical ability. For many people, libraries provide resources that they could not otherwise afford – resources they need to live, learn, work and govern.

LIBRARIES BUILD COMMUNITIES. Libraries bring people together, both in person and online, to have conversations and to learn from and help each other. Libraries provide support for seniors, immigrants and others with special needs.

LIBRARIES PROTECT OUR RIGHT TO KNOW. Our right to read, seek information, and speak freely must not be taken for granted. Libraries and librarians actively defend this most basic freedom as guaranteed by the First Amendment.

LIBRARIES STRENGTHEN OUR NATION. The economic health and successful governance of our nation depend on people who are literate and informed. School, public, academic, and special libraries support this basic right.

LIBRARIES ADVANCE RESEARCH AND SCHOLARSHIP. Knowledge grows from knowledge. Whether doing a school assignment, seeking a cure for cancer, pursuing an academic degree, or developing a more fuel efficient engine, scholars and researchers of all ages depend on the knowledge and expertise that libraries and librarians offer.

LIBRARIES HELP US TO BETTER UNDERSTAND EACH OTHER. People from all walks of life come together at libraries to discuss issues of common concern. Libraries provide programs, collections, and meeting spaces to help us share and learn from our differences.

LIBRARIES PRESERVE OUR NATION’S CULTURAL HERITAGE. The past is key to our future. Libraries collect, digitize, and preserve original and unique historical documents that help us to better understand our past, present and future.

For more information about how libraries contribute to our American way of life visit the American Library Association webpage.

Library Classroom Audio-Visual Equipment Being Upgraded

Audio-visual equipment upgrades are now underway in library classrooms and collaborative spaces in Jefferson Hall. This work will replace some aging equipment and bring new capabilities such as smart boards into some spaces once the upgrade process is complete. Installers are working room-by-room and after the initial physical installation, some rooms will require new programming with the controller equipment to be able to work with the new hardware. Thanks for your patience as we work through the upgrade process.

Week in Review – 11 April 2014

Opening Up the Second Floor of Jefferson Hall

This morning, moving crews dismantled the remaining surplus shelving in our former reference area, making way for our incoming traveling exhibit from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum which will arrive next week. Images of the newly cleared space are below.

New Exhibit Area New Exhibit Area New Exhibit Area

Following the traveling exhibition, this space will have additional electrical outlets installed as well as some new flexible furniture for cadet academic use. We will also be installing some exhibit cases to highlight materials from the USMA Library collections.

Preparatory Reading for USMA Library Strategic Planning

In a few weeks, library staff will be spending some time doing some long-range strategic thinking about where we as an organization need to position ourselves to best serve the evolving needs of the U.S. Military Academy. In preparation for that work, I would ask that library staff review the following materials that should inform our thinking and planning:

  • Ithaka S+R US Library Survey 2013In the Ithaka S+R US Library Survey 2013 report we examine how the leaders of academic libraries are approaching systemic changes in their environment and the opportunities and constraints they face in leading their organizations. While exploring key topics covered in our 2010 survey of library directors, such as strategic planning, collecting practices, and library services, in 2013 we also introduced a new emphasis on organizational dynamics, leadership issues, and undergraduate services. (from their website)
  • NMC Horizon Report > 2014 Higher Education EditionThe NMC Horizon Report > 2014 Higher Education Edition is a collaborative effort between the NMC and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI), an EDUCAUSE Program. This eleventh edition describes annual findings from the NMC Horizon Project, an ongoing research project designed to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have an impact on learning, teaching, and creative inquiry in education. Six key trends, six significant challenges, and six emerging technologies are identified across three adoption horizons over the next one to five years, giving campus leaders and practitioners a valuable guide for strategic technology planning. The format of the report is new this year, providing these leaders with more in-depth insight into how the trends and challenges are accelerating and impeding the adoption of educational technology, along with their implications for policy, leadership and practice. (from their website)
  • The Academic Library of the Future (Only available on post to staff) – This report looks at the characteristics that constitute the “academic library of the future,” highlighting recent innovations that are most effective at reducing library costs and utilizing existing resources. Economic, technological, and socio-cultural factors are considered. (from the report)

USMA Library Events

The events below will likely affect USMA Library and Jefferson Hall operations in the coming week.

Date USMA O/DEAN USMA Library Jefferson Hall Hours
Fri 11 Apr 2014  Sandhurst Week in Review Cadet Fine Arts Forum 0700-2100
Sat 12 Apr 2014  Sandhurst 0900-2100
Sun 13 Apr 2014 1100-2315
Mon 14 Apr 2014  Library Committee MSA Colloquium / Opera Forum 0700-2315
Tue 15 Apr 2014 Division Heads / WPLDS Brief MSA Colloquium 0700-2315
Wed 16 Apr 2014 Communications Team / WPLDS Brief Phi Kappa Phi Induction 0700-2315
Thu 17 Apr 2014 BG(R) Eisenhower Funeral  Dean’s Staff Meeting USACE Briefing 0700-2315
Fri 18 Apr 2014 Week in Review Minority Admission Visitation Program 0700-2100

USMA Library Metrics

USMA Library tracks a number of key statistics to measure service levels. These are their stories …

Access Services
Items Charged Out 597 240 829 991
Gate Count 5,416 837 5,519 5,292
ILL Article Requests 77 32 40 30
ILL Book Requests 22 21 22 15
Administrative Services
DV Tours 0 0 1 0
Significant Events Hosted 2 0 1 4
Events/Meetings Attended 23 0 22 18
Information Gateway
Reference Questions 69 5 61 98
Library Instruction Sessions 0 0 0 1
Cadets Attending Sessions 0 0 0 40
Materials Processing
Items Added – Books 306 102 121 54
Items Added – Digital 3,360 0 0 0
Items Added – GovDocs 137 42 70 48
Items Added – Other 1 34 16 54
Continuing Resource Check-Ins 100 69 78 165
Special Collections & Archives
Reference Inquiries 55 31 27 25
Research Visits < 1 hour 22 0 6 6
Research Visits < 1 day 2 0 6 4
Research Visits > 1 day 0 1 1 0
Instruction Sessions 0 0 0 0
Cadets Taught 0 0 0 0
Systems Management
Library Home Page Visits 3,890 1,776 3,844 4,825
LibGuides Visits 512 301 477 627
Digital Collections Visits 280 287 304 327
Facebook Visits 19 31
Public Printer Prints 6,704 319 5,511 6,916
Public Printer Copies 44 25 641 421
Public Printer Scans 1,316 381 14 39

Food for Thought

A few quotations from the past week about libraries, information, technology, and the future

  • “Feedback is great for telling you what you did wrong. It’s terrible at telling you what you should do next.” – Phil Libin
  • “In describing his experience teaching at West Point, Dr. Stapell started by describing the first rule that West Point teachers are given—you’re not allowed to lecture—at all! …What? Isn’t that what college teaching IS? And wouldn’t you expect a place with such a military history and an authoritarian approach to underscore this traditional teaching method—of having one expert individual lecture and provide information to a bunch of young, dutiful students? They don’t lecture at West Point? At all?So this seemed surprising to the folks in the audience. And, of course, the next question is begged—what DO they do at this esteemed, larger-than-life institution? How do they educate—how do they create such great leaders? Apparently, according to Dr. Stapell, this educational method is 100 percent activity-based. The classrooms have boards on all four sides of the room—and all cadets are charged with engaging in activities related to the material throughout the class. Get in a group, discuss the material, write notes on the board—come up with a set of implications for modern life—tell the class about it. You’ve all read about this famous historical figure—discuss as a group his positive and negative attributes—and controversies regarding his life—and give a presentation to the rest of us—teach US about what his life and work implies about how the world operates now. Etc. In this context, students are constantly engaged and empowered—they own their education. They own how much they learn and how much others learn. How much education will happen within the confines of a given class? This is up to each and every individual cadet—with the professor who is tasked not with teaching them, per se, but, rather, with getting them to teach one another.” – Great Leaders Are Made: An evolutionary perspective on the Thayer method of teaching used at West Point
  • “The odds are 50/50 that the Internet will be effectively destroyed by cyberattacks by 2025. If the Net goes down, there will be terrible costs as we reboot the economy.” Robert E. McGrath, a retired software engineer who participated in critical developments of the World Wide Web, on the future of the internet.
  • “Humans now are trained to scan for the most important bits of information and move on, like how we read online. But that’s not how you’re supposed to read Moby Dick, or Middlemarch. Longer sentences require concentration and attention, not a break to check Twitter every 45 seconds. The Internet, and how it has changed our reading habits, is making it difficult for people, particularly young people, to read classic works of literature because our brains are trained to bob and weave from one piece of writing to the next. And 600 pages is just so many pages, you know? Pagination is like, the worst thing to happen to my life, and without a “Read All” option? Melville definitely needed a UX developer.” – The Internet Is Probably Ruining Your Life, Marriage – The Wire
  • “As students delve into content within any unit, especially where they’re given choices in selecting their topic, natural gaps will occur in their understanding. There will still be a need for context and background knowledge as they work to research and process their sources. It’s unlikely that, even when given guidelines to narrow the possibilities, students working independently will all end up focusing in the same place. When students work in groups, or as individuals, their products will be varied, and often — at first glance — seem disconnected, dissimilar, and separate. And it’s here, in these seemingly disjointed moments, that the expertise of the teacher is crucial to uniting the class’s learning. Teachers need to create the dynamic that transforms individual moments into a broader experience where the class benefits from the complete range of learning that has taken place. And this can happen in different ways such as discussions, class blogs, back-channels, or any number of sharing activities, as the teacher solidifies the learning mosaic created by the class.” – Teachers’ Most Powerful Role? Adding Context | MindShift
  • “Increasingly, institutions of higher education have lost their focus on the academic activities at the core of their mission,” the association said in its report. “The spending priority accorded to competitive athletics too easily diverts the focus of our institutions from teaching and learning to scandal and excess.” – Colleges Increasing Spending on Sports Faster Than on Academics, Report Finds – NYTimes.com
  • “To sum up: higher education has overbuilt capacity for a student demand which has started to wane. America has overshot its carrying capacity for college and university population, and our institutions are scrambling for strategic responses.” – Essay considers whether higher education in the U.S. has peaked | Inside Higher Ed
  • “They came in through the Chinese takeout menu. Unable to breach the computer network at a big oil company, hackers infected with malware the online menu of a Chinese restaurant that was popular with employees. When the workers browsed the menu, they inadvertently downloaded code that gave the attackers a foothold in the business’s vast computer network.” – Hackers Lurking in Vents and Soda Machines – NYTimes.com
  • “The Internet is different. With so much information, hyperlinked text, videos alongside words and interactivity everywhere, our brains form shortcuts to deal with it all — scanning, searching for key words, scrolling up and down quickly. This is nonlinear reading, and it has been documented in academic studies. Some researchers believe that for many people, this style of reading is beginning to invade when dealing with other mediums as well. “We’re spending so much time touching, pushing, linking, scroll­ing and jumping through text that when we sit down with a novel, your daily habits of jumping, clicking, linking is just ingrained in you,” said Andrew Dillon, a University of Texas professor who studies reading. “We’re in this new era of information behavior, and we’re beginning to see the consequences of that.” – Serious reading takes a hit from online scanning and skimming, researchers say – The Washington Post
  • “Relying on age and experience has been the way of the business world since the beginnings of the industrial era in the 18th century. It’s clear to me that in the present and future Information Age, however, older isn’t necessarily better when it comes to brands and services.” – Myth of Age Experience in Innovation Equation | Bill Donius
  • “You see, textbook publishers market to professors who pick the books, not students who pay for them—where Apple and Amazon have traditionally directed their marketing. The key to innovation, these companies say, is to not try to beat the big publishing houses at their own game. “Their customer base is not the student,” says Nathan Schultz, the chief content officer at Chegg, which offers textbook rentals, e-textbooks and online study help. “Their customer base is the faculty member and, in some cases, the actual institution.” And every year brings a fresh batch of students looking to start college off right, making them wary of waiting for delivery of an online book, let alone experimenting with other ways of learning the material, says Texts.com CEO Peter Frank.” – Why Can’t E-Books Disrupt The Lucrative College Textbook Business? ⚙ Co.Labs ⚙ code community

Excerpted from Infoneer Pulse, a digital commonplace book curated by Christopher Barth.

“I’ll take the Medal!” John H. B. Latrobe Designs Original Kosciusko Monument


We all know that the Thomas Jefferson statue located in the rotunda of Jefferson Hall was designed by a former member of the class of 1968, James N. Muir, but did you also know he was not the first non-graduate to design a prominent monument here at the academy?  Follow us back in time to 1824.

John H. B. Latrobe was appointed from Maryland and admitted to the United States Military Academy on September 28, 1818, at the age of fifteen years, five months.   John’s father, Benjamin H. Latrobe of Baltimore, was a prominent architect who designed many public buildings and oversaw the construction of the United States Capitol.

Sadly, Benjamin Latrobe’s untimely death from yellow fever in 1820 eventually compelled John to resign from the academy to provide for his family. On the effective date of his resignation, December 31, 1821, John was just six months shy of graduation and stood first in his class. Register records indicate that he excelled in drawing, as he was one of three cadets who acted as Assistant Teacher in Drawing.

Latrobe became a student of law in the practice of a family friend, but his association with the academy was not over. A few years later The National Gazette, Literary Register: Principles and Men posted the following advertisement:

United States Military Academy, West Point, October, 1824

A GOLD MEDAL, of fifty dollar’s value, will be given by the Corps of Cadets of the United States Military Academy, for the best Design of a Monument to the Memory of Gen. Thad’s Kosciusko.  The Monument is to be erected at West Point, on the spot known by the name of Kosciusko’s Garden.  This place is formed by a table rock, situated  on the bank of the Hudson 41 feet above the level of the Plain, and measuring 34 ½ feet wide.  It is a rude romantic spot, and bears the name of Kosciusko’s Garden, because it had once been his favourite retreat in his leisure moments.  Design to be exhibited by the  1st of January, 1825.

Communications addressed to

Committee of Cadets

The Kosciuszko monument was not an “official” project, as it was undertaken by a committee of cadets and funded by voluntary contribution from the Corps.

An account of Latrobe’s association with the monument is included in John E. Semmes’ John H. B. Latrobe and his times:  1803-1891 (Baltimore, Md: The Norman, Remington Co., c1917):

I cannot now fix the date, but it must have been in 1824 or 1825, that I saw an
advertisement in a New York paper, offering a prize of $50.00, or a gold medal of that value, for the best design of a monument to the memory of Kosciuszko, to be erected at  West Point.  As I had not given up my pencil, I became a competitor, and had the good fortune to succeed.  The Kosciuszko monument on the capital of the North Eastern  bastion of Fort Clinton is of my design.  But a grave question arose when I was informed of  my success,-should I take the medal or the money?  The latter was greatly needed, for my dear mother had her own troubles in making headway against narrow means.  There was considerable consultation, and we both, my mother and myself, settled the matter, saying, ‘We would have gotten along if you had failed, the medal will be an inheritance for your children.’


Latrobe’s submittal included not only the sketch of his proposed design for the monument, but also went on to propose an alternate location.  On February 28, 1825, Cadet J.S. Thompson, Chairman of the Committee, informed Latrobe that his submission had been accepted as the model for the monument.  On March 10, 1825, Latrobe wrote, “Let Kosciuszko simply be the inscription (on the Monument) and on the lowest steps in smaller character, ‘Erected by the Corps of Cadets of the USMA’, and while your river flows and your country exists, no one will be at loss to understand the Monument, its purpose, and its location.”  This illustrated letter (featured below) and other documentation of the monument is included among our Special Collections and Archives.  You will note that the featured photograph of the monument, from an 1868 Class Album, depicts the monument as originally constructed based on Latrobe’s design.  The statue of Kosciuszko was added in 1913; but that’s another story…

Contents contributed by Archives Curator Alicia Mauldin-Ware

Week in Review – 4 April 2014

April News Notes for USMA Library

USMA is heading quickly into the final weeks of the spring semester, and happily some warmer weather seems to have arrived. Below are a number of updates on some significant initiatives and events taking place for the library over the next few weeks.

Strategic Planning Discussions

For the first time in a couple years, the library will be working through a strategic planning exercise among staff to help chart us on the right path for future services and staffing. As the Army undergoes one of the most significant restructurings in recent history following the draw-down from Iraq and Afghanistan, there will be changes to the Academy as a whole, and to the Library in particular. Our own library profession continues to evolve at a rapid rate, and we need to continually ask ourselves if how we design and accomplish our work meets the current and future needs of the library and the Academy. Late in April, we’ll begin some of these conversations, and continue them through May as we look forward to the 2014-15 academic year.

April is Anti-Terrorism Awareness Month

A reminder, that there will be a number of additional security procedures and simulations taking place through April. Some of these may involve the library. We are also working to maintain accountability for staff at all times. Staff are asked to please keep the outboard up-to-date to facilitate our ability to locate staff as needed during any exercises or drills.

Reference Area Changes

Next week we will have a moving crew onsite to dismantle the remaining empty reference shelves on the second floor of Jefferson Hall. This will be the most visible part of our work so far to redesign our primary service floor. The reference collection is now housed in the general collection, or in a smaller ready reference shelf available at the Reference Desk.

Fighting the Fires of Hate Exhibit Arrives

A traveling exhibition from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum arrives in mid-April and will be setup in the former reference area on the second floor. This exhibit is coming to West Point in cooperation with the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at West Point. The exhibit looks at how book burnings became a potent symbol in America’s fight against Nazism. Anyone with privileges to visit Jefferson Hall will be able to view the exhibit, which will remain on display through mid-June.

New Building Access System Fully Operational

After many months of work and transition, we will complete our transition to our CAC-based access system next Monday when the library closes that evening. All exterior entrances now allow employee access by CAC, and the public doors can now be centrally controlled by library staff. We will no longer be using physical keys to open and close the facility each day. These changes have not impacted regular user access to the facility.

Relocation of Circulation Desk Moves Forward

This week we met with DPW and some contractors to look at the work required to relocate the Circulation Desk into the rotunda. We believe we have now gotten on to a faster track to have this accomplished during the summer. This project will also help create a better-defined security perimeter for the library.

USMA Library Events

The events below will likely affect USMA Library and Jefferson Hall operations in the coming week.

Date USMA O/DEAN USMA Library Jefferson Hall Hours
Fri 4 Apr 2014 Week in Review WP Negotiation Conference 0700-2100
Sat 5 Apr 2014 Secretary of Veterans Affairs 0900-2100
Sun 6 Apr 2014 Secretary of Veterans Affairs 1100-2315
Mon 7 Apr 2014 Supt Town Hall, Eisenhower Hall Secretary of Veterans Affairs 0700-2315
Tue 8 Apr 2014 Division Heads Secretary of Veterans Affairs 0700-2315
Wed 9 Apr 2014 Dean’s Staff Meeting Liaisons Haig Room A/V Repair 0700-2315
Thu 10 Apr 2014 0700-2315
Fri 11 Apr 2014 Sandhurst  Dean’s Recognition Ceremony Week in Review Cadet Fine Arts Forum 0700-2100

USMA Library Metrics

USMA Library tracks a number of key statistics to measure service levels. These are their stories …

Access Services
Items Charged Out 983 597 240 829
Gate Count 5,620 5,416 837 5,519
ILL Article Requests 48 77 32 40
ILL Book Requests 27 22 21 22
Administrative Services
DV Tours 0 0 0 1
Significant Events Hosted 2 2 0 1
Events/Meetings Attended 26 23 0 22
Information Gateway
Reference Questions 85 69 5 61
Library Instruction Sessions 1 0 0 0
Cadets Attending Sessions 9 0 0 0
Materials Processing
Items Added – Books 110 306 102 121
Items Added – Digital 0 3,360 0 0
Items Added – GovDocs 34 137 42 70
Items Added – Other 2 1 34 16
Continuing Resource Check-Ins 88 100 69 78
Special Collections & Archives
Reference Inquiries 47 55 31 27
Research Visits < 1 hour 8 22 0 6
Research Visits < 1 day 3 2 0 6
Research Visits > 1 day 0 0 1 1
Instruction Sessions 0 0 0 0
Cadets Taught 0 0 0 0
Systems Management
Library Home Page Visits 4,893 3,890 1,776 3,844
LibGuides Visits 621 512 301 477
Digital Collections Visits 294 280 287 304
Facebook Visits 16 19
Public Printer Prints 7,865 6,704 319 5,511
Public Printer Copies 441 44 25 641
Public Printer Scans 44 1,316 381 14

Food for Thought

A few quotations from the past week about libraries, information, technology, and the future

  • “Called the Open Syllabus Project, their effort aims to build a large-scale online database of syllabi “as a platform for the development of new research, teaching, and administrative tools.” The scholars also want to start a broader conversation about sharing syllabi before universities wake up to find policies imposed on them from above. “The idea is to be proactive and to actually think about how we’re going to share—and share our classroom materials in a smart way,” says Dennis Tenen, one of the project’s leaders and an assistant professor of digital humanities and new-media studies at Columbia University.” – New Syllabus Archive Opens the ‘Curricular Black Box’ – Wired Campus – Blogs – The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • “Facebook knows if you hit any page that has a Like button it,” he said. “Same with TweetThis, unless the site goes out of the way to mask them, then these are specifically reporting them to social networks. This is why NSA loves it, is because they can go along for the ride. “One thing that we know that the NSA does on their non-US wiretaps is bind usernames to cookies so if you see a request for LinkedIn or YouTube or Yahoo, these are all sites that have user ID in the clear, all you need to do is see a request, and say I don’t know who this is or I know who this is, but then you look at the HTML body and look for the username. This is why the NSA went after Google ad networks, include user identification [broadcast] in the clear: ‘I am person X at this location.’” – Surprise, surprise: my online metadata actually reveals where I’ve been | Ars Technica
  • “Like physical books, ebooks should be made available for interlibrary loans “in a manner that is neither cumbersome nor awkward,” and the content should be able to be transferred “efficiently and electronically.” Libraries, not publishers, should decide for how long a reader can access an ebook, and readers themselves should not have to worry about publishers sharing their personal information without their consent. Finally, the library directors called on publishers to offer individual, unbundled titles, and the opportunity to purchase licenses without usage limits. “To summarize, we do not live in isolation,” the statement reads. “We all find ourselves impoverished — always indirectly and sometimes directly — when information fails to reach those in need. Our commitment to sharing is fundamental, as is our commitment to promoting and demanding models that make such sharing possible.” – Liberal arts college library directors ask publishers to ease ebook licensing restrictions | Inside Higher Ed
  • “If blocking Twitter is like putting a single phone number out of service, intercepting the DNS is like giving users an entire, fraudulent new phone book—and it’s a troubling escalation against Turkish internet users. The ban began with Twitter, used largely for the discussion of news and politics, then expanded to YouTube, which is far more popular in Turkey because people use it for entertainment as well. A 2012 paper estimates that a quarter of Turks over 18 had a YouTube account, compared to just a tenth for Twitter.” – Turkey’s online censorship just took a sinister Orwellian turn – Quartz
  • “A world without scarcity requires a major rethinking of economics, much as the decline of the agrarian economy did in the 19th century. How will our economy function in a world in which most of the things we produce are cheap or free? We have lived with scarcity for so long that it is hard even to begin to think about the transition to a post-scarcity economy. IP has allowed us to cling to scarcity as an organizing principle in a world that no longer demands it. But it will no more prevent the transition than agricultural price supports kept us all farmers. We need a post-scarcity economics, one that accepts rather than resists the new opportunities technology will offer us. Developing that economics is the great task of the 21st century.” – IP in a World Without Scarcity by Mark A. Lemley :: SSRN
  • “Over ten thousand of the collection’s maps are of New York and New Jersey, dating from 1852 to 1922, including property, zoning, and topographic maps. In addition, over one thousand of the maps depict Mid-Atlantic cities from the 16th to the 19th centuries, and over 700 are topographic maps of the Austro-Hungarian Empire between 1877 and 1914. That should be enough to keep any amateur or professional map-lover busy for a good long while” – New York Public Library Puts 20,000 Hi-Res Maps Online & Makes Them Free to Download and Use – Open Culture
  • “There is a risk,” he said, that “instead of having competition on price, service and better production methods, we’ll have competition on who has the best patent lawyer. “And if you go the other way and say never” allow software patents, he went on, “then what you do is you rule out real inventions with computers.” – Supreme Court Seems Wary of a Software Patent Case – NYTimes.com
  • “It is true that the plate tectonics of academia have been shifting since the 1970s, reducing the number of good jobs available in the field: “The profession has been significantly hollowed out by the twin phenomena of delayed retirements of tenure-track faculty and the continued ‘adjunctification’ of the academy,” Andrew Green, associate director at the Career Center at the University of California, Berkeley, told me. In the wake of these changes, there is no question that humanities doctorates have struggled with their employment prospects, but what is less widely known is between a fifth and a quarter of them go on to work in well-paying jobs in media, corporate America, non-profits, and government. Humanities Ph.D.s are all around us— and they are not serving coffee.” – What Can You Do With a Humanities Ph.D., Anyway? – Elizabeth Segran – The Atlantic
  • “The emerging problems highlight another challenge: bridging the “Grand Canyon,” as Mr. Lazer calls it, between “social scientists who aren’t computationally talented and computer scientists who aren’t social-scientifically talented.” As universities are set up now, he says, “it would be very weird” for a computer scientist to teach courses to social-science doctoral students, or for a social scientist to teach research methods to information-science students. Both, he says, should be happening.” – Recent Big-Data Struggles Are ‘Birthing Pains,’ Researchers Say – Research – The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • “In 1979, when the minimum wage was $2.90, a hard-working student with a minimum-wage job could earn enough in one day (8.44 hours) to pay for one academic credit hour. If a standard course load for one semester consisted of maybe 12 credit hours, the semester’s tuition could be covered by just over two weeks of full-time minimum wage work—or a month of part-time work. A summer spent scooping ice cream or flipping burgers could pay for an MSU education. The cost of an MSU credit hour has multiplied since 1979. So has the federal minimum wage. But today, it takes 60 hours of minimum-wage work to pay off a single credit hour, which was priced at $428.75 for the fall semester.” – The Myth of Working Your Way Through College – Svati Kirsten Narula – The Atlantic
  • “Participating libraries pick a list of scholarly books they want to make open access. They pool money to pay publishers a title fee for each of those books. The title fees are meant to cover the cost of publishing each book; publishers calculate what they think is fair and share those estimates with the Knowledge Unlatched group. In return for the title fees, the publishers make Creative Commons-licensed, DRM-free PDFs of the selected books available for free download through the OAPEN digital platform (OAPEN stands for Open Access Publishing in European Networks), the HathiTrust digital repository, and eventually the British Library. Authors and publishers decide which Creative Commons license they’re comfortable using. There’s no postpublication embargo period; the books will be available as soon as the publishers and Knowledge Unlatched can process and upload the PDFs. (Click here for a full list of the books selected for the pilot and whether they’ve been published and uploaded yet.)” – Libraries Test a Model for Setting Monographs Free – Wired Campus – Blogs – The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • “But a human life is not a database, nor is privacy the mere act of keeping data about ourselves hidden. In reality, privacy operates not like a door that’s kept either open or closed but like a fan dance, a seductive game of reveal and conceal. By that standard, the explosion of personal information online is giving rise to new mysteries, new unknowns. When you post a photo on Instagram, it offers up not just answers but hints at new questions: Who were you with and why? What were you feeling? What happened between the updates, and why was it left out? Secrets, creative concealments, the spaces between posts—this is where privacy flourishes today.” – Why Privacy Is Actually Thriving Online | Threat Level | WIRED
  • “44% of the city’s 291,000 tech jobs, salaried at a median hourly wage of $39.50 (49% above the NYC average), do not require a Bachelor’s degree.” – Almost Half Of NYC Tech Jobs Don’t Require A Bachelor’s Degree: Gothamist
  • “According to a paper titled “Digital Language Death,” just published in PLOS One, less than five percent of the 7,000 languages spoken today will ascend to the digital realm. Granted, languages have been dying as long as they’ve been spoken, but the Endangered Languages Project reports that “the pace at which languages are disappearing today has no precedent and is alarming.” András Kornai, author of the new paper, blames the internet for why we’re more likely to be speaking French than, say, Mandinka, in the future.” – The Internet Is Killing Most Languages | Motherboard
  • “The economically important 18-34 age group are more likely to say they are doing less shopping online (33% compared to an overall 26%). Online retailers who rely more on female shoppers should note that 29% of women surveyed said they have reduced how much they shop online (compared to 23% of men and 26% overall). When it comes to banking online 29% of folks in that 18-34 age bracket had cut back, as had 30% of those aged 65 and older.” – New Harris poll shows NSA revelations impact online shopping, banking, and more

Excerpted from Infoneer Pulse, a digital commonplace book curated by Christopher Barth.

Discover a Database! Founders Online

Slide1Here’s another in our series of articles featuring information about the USMA Library’s subscription databases.

Today’s featured database, Founders Online, is a collection of the personal writings of America’s founding fathers: George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison. This database provides access to diaries, letters and other primary resources, allowing you to interpret their meaning without anyone else’s filter.  Here you can read and search through over 149,000 documents, glean revelations about the individuals who shaped the beginnings of our country, and witness firsthand how the American Republic was formed.

Who should use this collection:

Cadets who are taking classes on politics and early American History.
Users will be able to:

  • Find detailed collections of all of the documents authored and received by, or   related to, individual leaders of the period.
  • Access the written record of the original thoughts, ideas, debates, and principles of our democracy.
  • Read first drafts of the Declaration of Independence, the spirited debate over the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and the very beginnings of American law, government, and our national story.
  • Compare and contrast the thoughts and ideas of the six founding individuals as they discussed and debated through their letters and documents.

Tips for searching Founders Online.

  • Search by categories: Author, Recipient or Period from bottom of the homepage.
  • Search transcriptions of thousands of documents that have not yet appeared in the published volumes, provided via the Early Access program.
  • For more information on searching, consult How to use this site, where you will find details on Researching a person, Researching a time period and Researching a concept.

Additional searching hints are provided at Search Help located under Quick Links.

As always, ask a Librarian for help if you have any questions about any of our research products!

Contents contributed by Serials Librarian, Manja Yirka

Trial Access to Online PBS Video Collection Now Available

USMA Library has arranged for trial access to The PBS Video Collection provided by Alexander Street Press through April 30, 2014.

According to the publisher, the PBS Video Collection assembles hundreds of the greatest documentary films and series from the history of PBS into one convenient online interface. The diverse subject matter of the included films makes this an important collection for the study of history, science, business, technology, performing arts, anthropology, psychology, politics, health, and literature.

More information about the content included in this collection is available.

More information on general help, including navigation instructions and search tips for collection is also available.

Feedback and comment regarding this collection can be sent to liaison librarians or Mr. Mike Arden, Audiovisual Librarian at michael.arden@usma.edu.

Week in Review – 28 March 2014

Spring 2014 Updates from ConnectNY

Our statewide resource-sharing consortium, ConnectNY, has had an busy winter and looks forward to a busy spring with a number of initiatives ongoing and upcoming. Below are some brief updates on significant ConnectNY projects that will affect our services and users:

Leadership Transition

Our Executive Director, Bart Harloe, has announced his intent to retire at the end of the calendar year. Toward that end, ConnectNY has contracted with John Helmer, Executive Director of the Orbis/Cascade Alliance, to help facilitate the transition by preparing the ConnectNY Council to undertake a succession planning conversation that will, in turn, lead to a successful search outcome. The immediate objective of the leadership conversation with John and the ConnectNY Council is to review current organizational practices with a view toward developing a realistic set of expectations regarding the role of the new administrator that will be responsible for coordinating the consortium’s activities in the future. The ConnectNY Council will meet in May at Siena College with John to help finalize planning for our recruitment this fall.

Annual Meeting

The 2014 Annual Meeting will be held in June at Canisius College in Buffalo.

New Loan Rules in Effect

Effective January 7, 2014 all books checked out to CNY patrons have a loan period of 42 days. In order to implement this new policy a number of best practices and procedures were developed and shared on the CNY website: http://connectny.org/cny-home/staff-information/circulation-changes/

One of the challenges of accomplishing this new set of policies and procedures was to develop a set of practices that would allow for effective recall functionality within the CNY system. In order to facilitate this latter objective, CNY has also developed a set of FAQs that should help address most of the questions that might arise in the near term future: http://connectny.org/cny-home/staff-information/circulation-and-recall-faqs/

In the meantime, CNY libraries will be assessing how the new loan rule actually plays out over the course of the 2014 spring semester with a view toward assessing the impact of the new loan rule and making any needed adjustments over the summer months as a lead-in to the next academic year.

Pilot Peer to Peer Sharing Project with NExpress

At the fall meeting at Hobart and William Smith, there was strong show of hands in support of the idea of pilot Peer to Peer project with NExpress. NExpress is a consortium of New England colleges and includes Colby, Bates, Bowdoin, Middlebury, Northeastern, Wellesley and Williams. This pilot project would allow patrons of either system to cross-request materials from either consortium via the online catalog. This would significantly expand the number of items available for direct borrowing for our users, and there is less overlap between our two consortia in terms of holdings than one might think. We hope to see this begin in summer or fall.


We continue our consortial demand-driven e-book acquisition project, and this summer hope to engage more with publishers on how to make this content available and affordable for libraries. ProQuest has agreed to support a forum in NYC where consortia and publishers can get together and explore issues around group pricing for e-books, Demand Driven Acquisitions (DDA), ILL and E-books, and the perennial issue of e-textbooks and pricing for group purchasing. ConnectNY is part of the planning group for this effort.  Attendance will be by invitation only and we hope to have good representation from the ConnectNY community, as well as from other consortia around the country.

USMA Library Events

The events below will likely affect USMA Library and Jefferson Hall operations in the coming week.

Date USMA O/DEAN USMA Library Jefferson Hall Hours
Fri 28 Mar 2014 Week in Review  Creative Arts Project 0700-2100
Sat 29 Mar 2014 0900-2100
Sun 30 Mar 2014 Board of Visitors Board of Visitors 1100-2315
Mon 31 Mar 2014 Board of Visitors  Board of Visitors 0700-2315
Tue 1 Apr 2014 Division Heads Sec. Veterans Affairs 0700-2315
Wed 2 Apr 2014 CTC Conference 0700-2315
Thu 3 Apr 2014 Diversity Leadership Summit  Dean’s Staff Meeting  All Library Staff WP Negotiation Conference 0700-2315
Fri 4 Apr 2014 Diversity Leadership Summit  Week in Review WP Negotiation Conference 0700-2100

USMA Library Metrics

USMA Library tracks a number of key statistics to measure service levels. These are their stories …

Access Services
Items Charged Out 921 983 597 240
Gate Count 5,844 5,620 5,416 837
ILL Article Requests 49 48 77 32
ILL Book Requests 19 27 22 21
Administrative Services
DV Tours 1 0 0 0
Significant Events Hosted 2 2 2 0
Events/Meetings Attended 20 26 23 0
Information Gateway
Reference Questions 82 85 69 5
Library Instruction Sessions 1 1 0 0
Cadets Attending Sessions 13 9 0 0
Materials Processing
Items Added – Books 155 110 306 102
Items Added – Digital 0 0 3,360 0
Items Added – GovDocs 146 34 137 42
Items Added – Other 0 2 1 34
Continuing Resource Check-Ins 235 88 100 69
Special Collections & Archives
Reference Inquiries 49 47 55 31
Research Visits < 1 hour 10 8 22 0
Research Visits < 1 day 3 3 2 0
Research Visits > 1 day 0 0 0 1
Instruction Sessions 0 0 0 0
Cadets Taught 0 0 0 0
Systems Management
Library Home Page Visits 4,447 4,893 3,890 1,776
LibGuides Visits 561 621 512 301
Digital Collections Visits 277 294 280 287
Facebook Visits 17 16 19
Public Printer Prints 7,849 7,865 6,704 319
Public Printer Copies 632 441 44 25
Public Printer Scans 197 44 1,316 381

Food for Thought

A few quotations from the past week about libraries, information, technology, and the future

  • “In Washington, budget cuts have left the nation’s research complex reeling. Labs are closing. Scientists are being laid off. Projects are being put on the shelf, especially in the risky, freewheeling realm of basic research. Yet from Silicon Valley to Wall Street, science philanthropy is hot, as many of the richest Americans seek to reinvent themselves as patrons of social progress through science research. The result is a new calculus of influence and priorities that the scientific community views with a mix of gratitude and trepidation. “For better or worse,” said Steven A. Edwards, a policy analyst at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, “the practice of science in the 21st century is becoming shaped less by national priorities or by peer-review groups and more by the particular preferences of individuals with huge amounts of money.”Billionaires With Big Ideas Are Privatizing American Science – NYTimes.com
  • “But, in the area of patentable subject matter, the Supreme Court’s decisions have been a disaster. The Court has created mass confusion, making it almost impossible to discern whether certain innovations, particularly as to software, are patentable. Alice provides the Supreme Court an opportunity to provide guidance in the law, particularly in the software industry. Let’s hope the Court takes it. It is time for some clarity – innovation depends on it.” – Is The Supreme Court About To Rule That Software Is Ineligible For Patent Protection? – Forbes
  • “But unlike your home PC, which will be on its own after April 8, ATMs will still get security updates and other necessary operating system maintenance—so long as they pay up. Britain’s five biggest banks—all five of them—are unprepared and are negotiating agreements with Microsoft so the company will continue support. As Reuters reports, it will cost each bank about $100 million total to both maintain support and also get the system upgraded.” – Windows XP still runs on 95 percent of the ATMs in the world, says Reuters.
  • “Information is only of value if you can get it to people who can do something with it. Sharing is power.” – General Stanley McChrystal
  • “The fear isn’t that big data discriminates. We already know that it does. It’s that you don’t know if you’ve been discriminated against.” – How Can We Build Ethics Into Big Data?
  • “Education is what people do to you, learning is what you do to yourself.” – MIT Media Lab director Joi Ito
  • “Keurig’s next generation of coffee machines will have a way to prevent any coffee not licensed by Keurig from brewing in the machine as early as this fall.” – Ars Technica
  • “A study at Indiana University found that “as many as 50% of papers are never read by anyone other than their authors, referees and journal editors.” That same study concluded that “some 90% of papers that have been published in academic journals are never cited.” That is, nine out of 10 academic papers—which both often take years to research, compile, submit, and get published, and are a major component by which a scholar’s output is measured—contribute little to the academic conversation.” – Killing Pigs and Weed Maps: The Mostly Unread World of Academic Papers – Pacific Standard: The Science of Society
  • “Take a second to be amazed at what [MOOCs] still represent for most people in most places: whatever new subject you happen to be curious about, there is probably a free online course out there to take, on your schedule. The people complaining about this feat, this possibility, seem the same sort to complain that the internet connection on their plane is slow. But sometimes, it’s okay to wow before we whine.” – I took an online class—and actually liked it – Quartz
  • “According to Credit.com’s analysis of the data, nearly half of the $1.2 trillion of education debt that’s currently on the books belongs to students who are still in school, and thus not yet required to make payments.” – As Many As 1-in-3 Student Loans May Be Delinquent – Consumerist
  • “Economists have noted how work hours for white collar, college-educated workers began to become extreme in about the 1980s, and at the same time, social surveys were picking up a heightened sense of economic insecurity in this same group. Some people say we’re working more because we want more stuff (like that stupid Cadillac commercial that made me so angry I wrote a piece about it). While it’s true that household debt and spending on “luxury” items have gone up at the same time, it’s also true that wages have been stagnating and the costs of basic things like health care, housing, and education have gone through the roof—the cost of college has blown up nearly 900 percent in recent decades. When was the last time anyone outside hedge fund managers and the 1 percent got a 900 percent raise? Against that backdrop comes technology and the ability to be connected 24/7 – which leads to a feeling of constantly being “on call,” that you can never quite get away from work, that the boundaries that used to keep work more contained have bled and spilled over into the hours of the day that used to be for family, for self, for leisure, for sleep.” – America’s Workers: Stressed Out, Overwhelmed, Totally Exhausted – Rebecca J. Rosen – The Atlantic
  • “State data reveals that from 2000 to 2012, the number of bookstores in Manhattan fell almost 30 percent, to 106 stores from 150. Jobs, naturally, have suffered as well: Annual employment in bookstores has decreased 46 percent during that period, according to the state’s Department of Labor.” – Surging Rents Force Booksellers From Manhattan – NYTimes.com
  • “They tended to be at the hub” of illicit exchanges of test information, says Adam Lowther, one of seven investigators who dug into details of cheating that has embarrassed the Air Force and on Thursday brought down virtually the entire operational command of the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. At least 82 missile launch officers face disciplinary action, but it was the four “librarians” who allegedly facilitated the cheating, in part by transmitting test answers via text message. One text included a photo of a classified test answer, according to Lt. Gen. Stephen Wilson, who announced the probe’s findings Thursday.” – At core of nuke cheating ring: 4 ‘librarians’ – Yahoo News

Excerpted from Infoneer Pulse, a digital commonplace book curated by Christopher Barth.

Profile: Christopher Barth, USMA Librarian


Pictured above: Christopher and Rebecca Barth with children Emerson and Eliana

USMA Librarian and Associate Dean, Christopher Barth, grew up on the shores of Lake Erie in Bay Village, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland. Chris was the first of four siblings, a brother and two sisters, born to his mom, a homemaker, and dad, a pilot.  Chris’ dad was in the Air Force when his first child was born.  By the time Chris was in second grade, his dad had started flying for United Airlines, commuting to Chicago for his flights.

Chris has no recollection of desiring any particular career while growing up.  He did enjoy acting in high school musicals, including Wonderful Town and Bye Bye Birdie, playing Frank Lippincott and Albert Peterson respectively in those popular shows.  For a fellow from Ohio, it likely seemed appropriate to have a lead role in Wonderful Town, where the chorus of one song is “Why, oh, why, oh, why, oh — Why did I ever leave Ohio?” sung by the characters Ruth Sherwood and her sister Eileen as they hug each other in terror while blasting for the New York City subway is taking place below their Greenwich Village apartment.  Chris has no such regrets about now living in New York himself, by the way.  In fact, he is very pleased to be able to take his family to top Broadway musicals like Cinderella, The Lion King and Phantom of the Opera.

Chris and his wife, Rebecca, met as undergrads while at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, and married shortly after graduation in 1993.  They celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary last year.  The couple has two children, their daughter, Eliana, a 6th grader, and their son, Emerson, a 2nd grader, both of whom attend Cornwall schools. Eliana is studying both piano and violin and plays basketball, while Emerson is also beginning piano and plays soccer.  Chris and Rebecca are happily caught up in their children’s activities.  By the way, both apples fell pretty close to the tree musically, as Chris also studied piano as a youngster.

Prior to enrolling at Kenyon, Chris spent a year abroad in Porsgrunn, Telemark County, Norway, home to the famous Porsgrund porcelain flatware factory.  There he attended a local high school where he learned to speak Norwegian fluently. During his time as an undergrad at Kenyon, Chris became interested in a career in libraries and archives while spending time doing historical research for his senior thesis, a history of one of Kenyon’s presidents, William Foster Peirce.

After their wedding, Chris and Rebecca moved to Milwaukee.  For Rebecca, this was a move back home to be near her family.  During their time in the Cream City, Chris pursued both his Masters in Library and Information Science (MLIS) and an MA in History at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, while working in the university library’s special collections department.

After two years and with graduate degrees completed, Chris moved northwards once again, this time to Alaska, where he worked at the Anchorage Daily News as one of two newspaper librarians.  Working both as librarian and online editor, he assisted the newspaper’s editorial staff and spent an hour daily providing reference service to the public.  Both Chris and Rebecca loved the beauty of Alaska, and enjoyed travelling in the wilds; yet they found it hard to be so far from family.  After two years, it was time to move closer to home.

In 1999, Chris was selected for a position at their alma mater, Kenyon College.  Chris spent seven years there in both IT and the library, where he managed their special collections and library liaison program, coordinating library support for Kenyon’s faculty.  While in Ohio both Eliana and Emerson were born.  In 2006 the family moved to Decorah, Iowa, where Chris served as the Executive Director of Library and Information Services for Luther College; his responsibilities encompassed coordination of all strategic enterprise information support to the institution, including library and information technology operations.

Both husband and wife felt at right at home with Decorah’s strong Midwestern Scandinavian heritage; the nationally known Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum is located there.  Rebecca is still proud of the bunad (folk costume) she devised for Eliana for marching in the 17 May Norwegian National Day parade.

In July 2011, the family moved to the Hudson Valley after Chris was selected for the position he presently holds at the USMA Library.  Besides the huge responsibility of providing oversight to the facilities and operational divisions of the library, Chris is also an instructor for the Department of History, where he teaches (HI 105) History of the United States. In addition, Chris keeps his hand in publishing.  His book, Convergence of Libraries and Technology Organizations: New Information Support Models was published in the United Kingdom in 2011.  Drawing on his strong background in library technology, Chris is forging ahead to meet all of the information needs of the USMA community.

Wearing two hats as both library director and history instructor, Chris keeps quite busy, as does Rebecca, who besides holding down the fort at home is a part-time children’s librarian at Cornwall Public Library.  In his free time, Chris enjoys walking and bicycling and watching sporting events on TV, especially pro football and soccer. He was lately captivated by the Sochi Olympics. Chris reads both historical fiction and history books for the pleasure and knowledge they provide, which inform his teaching of historic topics. Both Chris and Rebecca enjoy, most of all, spending time with their children on activities such as nature hikes and family trips.  Next on the itinerary is a trip to visit family in the Netherlands, and, sometime in the future, a trip to Gettysburg.

When asked about the future of libraries, Chris stated that though this is time of much change in both higher education and libraries, there are many opportunities for growth in library service and the need for both quality information and the skills to use it effectively remains as great as ever.

Contents contributed by Michael G. Arden, Audiovisual Librarian