Week in Review – 18 January 2013

The Next Evolution of Week in Review …

This week I’m trying a trial run of the Week in Review published through a different content management system. We are continuing to move toward a more unified and easier-to-use publishing system that will facilitate our external communications. Your comments on this format are most welcome. I would anticipate some flux over the next few weeks as a few different systems may be trialed, and formatting may change.

Spring Professional Development Series

One of our objectives this year is to launch a regular series of professional development opportunities for library staff that are held in-house, are relatively low-key, but that provide good opportunities to expand skills, knowledge, and awareness of our work. We’re now settling in on a schedule for the next several months. Once the final times and dates have been set, we will send invitations through Outlook for all Library staff.

None of these are mandatory, and each of the topics to be covered were suggested by one or more staff last fall as being areas where we could benefit from a session. If you have other ideas for things you’d like to see, please let me know. We’ll plan to continue this series into the fall.

For the April session, we are looking to get a group seat for the Virtual ACRL Conference. That will allow us to offer a series of web-based sessions for staff.

  • FEBRUARY: Using Microsoft Outlook for Calendaring/Scheduling (Mr. Gorman)
  • MARCH: The Secret Inner Workings of Government Documents (Mr. Nergelovic)
  • APRIL: Virtual ACRL
  • MAY: E-books on Mobile Devices (Mr. Barth)
  • JUNE: Introduction to MilSuite (Ms. Bassett)
  • JULY: Understanding the Ins and Outs of Materials Processing (Mr. Stockton)
  • AUGUST: SharePoint Topics (To be determined) (Ms. Bassett)

Library Considering Database Subscription Changes

As part of of our ongoing efforts to meet our current budget targets for FY2013, we are currently looking at reducing our database holdings. This effort follows on phase one of our work earlier this year to reduce little-used periodicals. That effort resulted in savings of approximately $67,000.

Phase two considers some database reductions. Three of the databases contain materials largely available elsewhere, and the fourth is a more targeted disciplinary resource for which we believe we can meet the needs with a lower cost item. In total, if we move forward with these reductions, we will be able to save approximately $85,000.

We are continuing to engage the Library Committee, affected academic departments, and the Office of the Dean as we work toward a final determination. Once we complete this work, we will swing toward phase three, which will have us working to identify an additional $55,000 in savings from this fiscal year. For that we will look more closely at monograph spending and how we might be able to take better advantage of some gift funds to relieve pressure off the appropriated funds budget. We’ll share more on that as we work through it.

For phase two, specific databases we are considering for reduction are:

Global Defense Information (GDI)
This resource offers open source intelligence information system coverage of developments in defense, terrorism & weapons of mass destruction, military aerospace & electronics.

  • Comment: We have been notified by the vendor that they have ceased publication of this resource. Coverage of this content is available in other similar sources.

This resource offers snapshots of global news, daily analyses of world events, quarterly and annual forecasts, videos, and interactive maps.

  • Use: This resource is used by USMA patrons registering 4,326 hits for calendar year 2012
  • Alternatives: Partial content (Stratfor Forecasts) available through Ebscohost International Security and Counter Terrorism Reference Center.  News updates available from Jane’s Country Risk Daily Reports and Open Source Center (OSC).  Commentary and analysis provided by Praeger Security International.   Other content is available from Homeland Security Digital Library resources.
  • Comment: Much of this content is unsourced.

This resource contains defense and military information, includes United States Naval Institute (USNI) military database, Pentagon articles and news releases, daily defense news capsules, congressional budget documents, research and development program descriptive summaries, and special reports.

  • Use: This resource was lightly used by USMA patrons in 2012 with 665 active sessions.
  • Alternatives: News updates available from Jane’s Country Risk Daily Reports, USNI website, Pentagon news site.   Order of Battle info available from Jane’s All the World’s Armies, All the World’s Aircraft, etc.  Commentary and analysis  also provided by Praeger Security International.   Other content available from Homeland Security Digital Library resources and Open Source Center (OSC).
  • Comment: Though this aggregates resources and may save some time for a researcher, this information is largely available elsewhere. Impact of cut should be minimal.

IHS Chemical Economics Handbook (CEH) and Directory of Chemical Producers (DCP)
Description: CEH provides evaluation of supply/demand relationships and analysis of the industry competitive environment for about 300 chemical products and product groups. Standard report coverage includes: past and future producer/capacity, past supply/demand, future consumption trends with forecasts, trade, and prices. DCP provides information about chemical manufacturers, their plant locations and chemical products. It includes nine separate regional or country directories; the Library subscribes to all nine.

  • Use: 154 reports (28 distinct titles) were downloaded from CEH and 14 DCP entries were viewed by USMA patrons in AY11 and AY12.
  • Alternatives: Chemical Market Reporter will provide most of the content needed at significant cost savings. Per report acquisition / other funding.
  • Comment: This is a highly specialized, very lightly used resource that is not normally provided through academic libraries. Spot checks and a search of WorldCat indicate that most holdings are in chemical/corporate libraries. If found in research institutions, they are likely funded through grant/departmental/research funds, not central academic library budgets.
  • Comment: Annual cost increases for this resource have exceeded a sustainable threshold.
  • Comment: This resource is used in higher level Chemistry courses.

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
18 Jan 2013
Change of
 Week in Review 0700-2100
19 Jan 2013
20 Jan 2013
21 Jan 2013
MLK Day 1300-2245
22 Jan 2013
 Division Heads 0700-2245
23 Jan 2013
24 Jan 2013
25 Jan 2013
500th Night
 Week in Review 0700-2245

USMA Library Metrics

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

December January
17-23 24-30 31-6 7-13 14-20 21-27 28-3
Access Services
Items Charged Out 224 41 331 526
Gate Count 9,902 N/A 9,406 5,815
Administrative Services
DV Tours 0 0 1 0
Significant Events Hosted 0 0 0 1
Events/Meetings Attended 14 0 1 18
Information Gateway
Reference Questions 4 0 10 21
Library Instruction Sessions 0 0 0 2
Cadets Attending Sessions 0 0 0 47
Materials Processing
Items Added – Books 409 180
Items Added – Digital 0 805
Items Added – GovDocs 0 71
Items Added – Other 183 5
Continuing Resource Check-Ins 480 116
Special Collections & Archives
Reference Inquiries 14 10 16 33
Research Visits < 1 hour 0 0 3 3
Research Visits < 1 day 0 0 0 0
Research Visits > 1 day 0 0 0 0
Instruction Sessions 0 0 1 0
Cadets Taught 0 0 4 0
Systems Management
Library Home Page Visits 854 1,598
LibGuides Visits 182 456
Digital Collections Visits 121 114
Facebook Visits 5 18
Public Printer Prints 15,810 70,368
Public Printer Copies 1,274 1,161
Public Printer Scans 510 175

USMA Library Radar

Brief status updates on current and planned library initiatives.

Radar - 18 January 2013

Food for Thought

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

  • “I would define intellectual elegance as a mind that is continually refining itself with education and knowledge. Intellectual elegance is the opposite of intellectual vulgarity.” – Designer Massimo Vignelli, creator of the iconic NYC subway map.
  • “Of course, it’s not the Dewey Decimal System itself that’s to blame; after all, there is value to applying some sense of order to the world. Rather, it’s the dominance such a system starts to have. We create a model, then forget it was a model we created at all. Soon, every decision has to be made by the Big Data analytics system we set up, every decision governed by the customer segmentation profiles we brainstormed. But we can’t let categorization rule us, and we can’t limit our inquiry only to where we know to look. Otherwise, we’ll never overcome the innovation paradox.” – The Dewey Decimal System, And Where Innovation Goes Wrong | Fast Company
  • “Creativity is not an option, it’s an absolute necessity.” – Sir Ken Robinson: Fostering Creativity in Education is Not an Option | MindShift
  • “We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters.” – Information technology has changed daily life. So why does it seem to have had a less explosive impact on economic growth than inventions of decades past?
  • “The challenge for the study-abroad field today is to negotiate the digital world in a way that not only enhances the health, safety, and security of our students, but also cultivates the terrain for a time of unparalleled growth. I am not optimistic regarding our abilities to effectively separate the caustic effects of digital media from the benign. The task before us calls for creativity to harness the contributions offered by new technologies and discipline for regulating their threats. We should begin developing required assignments whereby students can demonstrate how Internet access, for example, enhances their international experience in ways that were unthinkable in the days of old media. Likewise, we should adopt policies that check computer and cellphone uses that we know undermine cross-cultural growth and understanding. Just as some academic programs enforce “language pledges” that forbid students to speak English while abroad, we should institute “media pledges” that prohibit television reruns, instant messaging, and music libraries. We should then dismiss from the program those who violate the pledge. Navigating the new digital environment is perhaps the thorniest challenge facing the study-abroad profession, given the complexity of the relationships and trade-offs inherent in every choice we make—but the stakes are too high for us to simply ignore it.” – How Facebook Can Ruin Study Abroad – Commentary – The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • “46 percent of kids have read an ebook, up from 25 percent in 2010. (That’s actually a higher percentage than their parents: 41 percent of parents had read an ebook, up from 14 percent in 2010.) This means, of course, that 54 percent of kids still haven’t read one.” – 54% of U.S. kids have never read an ebook: New report — paidContent
  • “It’s a map of Post Roads, roads built and maintained for the primary purpose of giving mail carriers access to the country, as required by the constitution. This map is from 1804, and shows a surprisingly well-developed network of roads. What we’re really looking at here, aside from being the great-grandfather of our national highway system, is the Internet of the early 1800s. The post road network was how almost all information was exchanged in the US at the time. Like today, you could send an email, though the “e” then stood for “equine” and it was just mail and I’ve exhausted the possibilities of that stupid bit of wordplay. But you get the idea. If we go along with the now/then speed computations I did with travel with information, and really, we may as well, the numbers get nice and ridiculous. Let’s say a fresh, well-trained postal horse could run at 20 MPH, which means that’s how fast one page of information (say, a one-kilobyte letter) could travel. A one kilobyte email travels at, oh, the speed of light, basically, so that’s close to 670 million MPH. So, that means information now travels at 33,480,000 times as fast.” – Information In America Moves 33,480,000 Times Faster Than It Did 200 Years Ago
  • “I think search engines are really evolving to give you a set of answers, not just ‘type in something and show me some relevant stuff’, but ‘I have this specific question, answer this question for me,’ ” he said. “When you think about it from that perspective, Facebook is pretty uniquely positioned to answer the questions people have.” – Fortunes of Facebook May Hinge on Searches – NYTimes.com
  • “University libraries that use digital tools to enable their ordinary research and teaching mission win their lawsuits.” – James Grimmelmann (@grimmelm) in Unlocking the Riches of HathiTrust | American Libraries Magazine.
  • “The Delta report confirms what a lot of college presidents have long feared: that intercollegiate athletics has become a financial arms race,” said Terry Hartle, a senior vice president at the American Council on Education. “Sooner or later, the increases will be unsustainable. I thought we would reach that point a decade ago, but it shows no sign of slowing down.” – Top Public Colleges in N.C.A.A. Favor Sports Over Academics – NYTimes.com
  • “Facebook cited a stat that only a single-digit percentage of its users (which amounts to tens of millions of people) had previously opted out of having their content appear in search results, so the change wouldn’t be noticed by most. Of course at the time, no one knew the future of Facebook’s advertising business might ride on their data appearing in search results.” – Facebook Graph Search opt out option removed as launch nears | BGR