Week in Review – 8 February 2013

Have Examples of Good Library Web Design/Delivery?

As we continue to begin discussions about our public website, we’re interested in identifying features, functions, designs, or anything else that seems to be effective and useful on other sites. If you have thoughts, please send them along. Inspiration does not need to necessarily come from other library websites. Many of the transactions we service are similar to other types of activity on the web, so a wide net is fine.

One of the biggest challenges we will be seeking to address is a fully functional and deep tool that can provide a very broad array of services, yet is very simple to use. Simplicity is always much, much harder to achieve than complexity. We would like to be innovative yet practical with as simple an approach as we can find.

Jefferson Hall Hosts Equipment for Light Study

Several faculty and cadets at West Point are now working with a team from Rockefeller University led by Nobel prize-winning scientist Dr. Paul Greengard to study the role of a depression-related protein in the blood (p11) and its relation to Seasonal Affective Disorder. This research is designed to support efforts to better understand and respond to depression in the Army. It is hoped that the study could lead to a physiological marker for help in diagnosing depression or PTSD. In support of the project, Jefferson Hall is now hosting two data collection units that measure light levels on an ongoing basis. One is measuring interior light on the second floor, while a second unit has been placed on the roof with an unobstructed view of the sun to be able to measure the full amount of available sunlight each day.

Dean’s Brief to Staff and Faculty

The Dean’s spring brief to staff and faculty will take place on 14 February from 1250-1345 in Robinson Auditorium. Those attending are asked to be seated NLT 1245. Attendance is required for all GS-07 and above, and highly recommended for other staff.

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
  8 Feb 2013
 Week in Review  Admissions Briefing / Faculty Leader Development 0700-2100
  9 Feb 2013
Faculty Leadership Development 0700-2100
  10 Feb 2013
 Faculty Leadership Development 1100-2245
11 Feb 2013
Opera Forum 0700-2245
12 Feb 2013
 Division Heads Dean’s Offsite Meeting 0700-2245
13 Feb 2013
14 Feb 2013
Dean’s Brief to Faculty and Staff  Walter Read Lecture 0700-2245
  15 Feb 2013
 Week in Review 0700-2100

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  542  620
Gate Count 9,902 N/A 9,406 5,815  5,294  5,871
Administrative Services
DV Tours 0 0 1 0  0  0  0
Significant Events Hosted 0 0 0 1  1  1  2
Events/Meetings Attended 14 0 1 18  14  14  17
Information Gateway
Reference Questions 4 0 10 21  16  11  45
Library Instruction Sessions 0 0 0 2  4  6  6
Cadets Attending Sessions 0 0 0 47  194  208  106
Materials Processing
Items Added – Books 409 180  393  52  155
Items Added – Digital 0 805  0  0  115
Items Added – GovDocs 0 71  0  9  84
Items Added – Other 183 5  249  0  45
Continuing Resource Check-Ins 480 116  104  113  214
Special Collections & Archives
Reference Inquiries 14 10 16 33  53  42  56
Research Visits < 1 hour 0 0 3 3  12  8  17
Research Visits < 1 day 0 0 0 0  2  2  5
Research Visits > 1 day 0 0 0 0  1  0  0
Instruction Sessions 0 0 1 0  0  2  4
Cadets Taught 0 0 4 0  0  20  50
Systems Management
Library Home Page Visits 854 1,598  1,742  1,712  2,068
LibGuides Visits 182 456  649  516  625
Digital Collections Visits 121 114  106  92  133
Facebook Visits 5 18  100  10  15
Public Printer Prints 15,810 70,368  15,285  13,781  14,687
Public Printer Copies 1,274 1,161  824  342  750
Public Printer Scans 510 175  135  28  85

USMA Library Radar

Brief status updates on current and planned library initiatives. ★ indicates a 2012-13 objective.

Access Services
★ Communication Channels Weekly articles now publishing Assigned 31-Mar-13
★ JH 2nd Floor Review Preliminary Report: 15 February Assigned 30-Apr-13
ALSC Metrics Design Working on proof of concept Active 01-Feb-13
JH Security System Design Preparing design for contractor Paused 31-May-13
Guide to Event Planning Reworking into digital product Paused 31-May-13
★ New Employee On-Boarding Next step is review Assigned 31-May-13
Windowshade Repair Haig repair partially complete Waiting 31-May-13
Library Parking Space Awaiting DES Waiting 31-May-13
★ Gift SOP Planned 31-May-13
★ USMPS Preparing comparative scan Assigned 31-May-13
★ Gift / Needs Statements Planned 31-May-13
ConnectNY Annual Meeting Request forwarded to SJA Active 10-Jun-13
★ Mobile Infrastructure Waiting for Airwatch system Waiting 31-Aug-13
Fires of Hate Exhibit Dates selected for Apr-Jun 2014 Planned 15-Jan-14
Information Gateway
★ Evening Skills Clinics Underway … revisiting marketing Assigned 31-May-13
★ LibGuide Review Planning underway Assigned 31-May-13
★ Embedded Liaisons Department work underway Assigned 31-May-13
IGD GS-09/11 Recruitment Hiring action at CPAC Waiting 31-May-13
★ Academic Support Statements Statement work underway Assigned 31-Jul-13
Materials Processing
★ Collection Inventory SOP Planned 28-Feb-13
★ Gov Docs Review Assigned 30-Apr-13
Withdrawal Policy Planned 31-May-13
★ CTC Digital Collections On hold pending repository Waiting 31-May-13
MPD GS-11 Recruitment Hiring action at CPAC Waiting 31-May-13
MPD GS-11 Recruitment Hiring action at CPAC Waiting 31-May-13
Special Collections and Archives
★ Ring Case Biographies Planned 31-May-13
★ WP Authors Reception Planned 31-May-13
★ Fee-For-Service Planned 31-May-13
★ Library History Exhibit Planned 31-May-13
SC&AD GS-06 Recruitment PD being drafted Assigned 31-May-13
Bartlett Hall Move Re-awaiting funding Assigned 30-Jun-13
Systems Management
★ Discovery Layer Vendor responses received Assigned 01-Mar-13
SMD GS-06 Recruitment Awaiting external announcement Waiting 01-Mar-13
★ Institutional Repository Planned 30-Apr-13
★ Security System Review Planned 30-Jun-13
★ Public Website Redesign Review of functionality underway Active 30-Jun-13

Food for Thought

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

  • “Works created by employees and/or students specifically for use by the Prince George’s County Public Schools or a specific school or department within PGCPS, are properties of the Board of Education even if created on the employee’s or student’s time and with the use of their materials,” the policy reads. “Further, works created during school/work hours, with the use of school system materials, and within the scope of an employee’s position or student’s classroom work assignment(s) are the properties of the Board of Education.” – One Washington School District Is Trying to Copyright Homework – National – The Atlantic Wire
  • “This situation is as if McDonald’s decided it did not approve of the way some of its customers ate their burgers, sued them for violating a law that left open the possibility that the way the customers were eating their burgers was perfectly fine, and instead of letting the usual court processes decide the disagreement, the government decided that they should help McDonald’s make their customers eat the way McDonald’s wants them to.” – What is the government’s interest in copyright? Not that of the public.
  • “Framing the debate about the costs of higher education solely in terms of what it costs students to go to college is the wrong way to go about fixing the problem. The debate instead should be framed in terms of value received. How much value do students, as producers and as consumers, receive for the dollars spent? Is education at a prestigious private college worth several times the cost of education at a not-very-prestigious public college? Let the student (and his or her parents) decide the costs and benefits, much as they do with lip balm, cars, and watches. As long as an institution appeals to some marketplace segment, provides value, and watches its finances, it will do just fine.” – The End Is Not Nigh for Colleges – Commentary – The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • “There was a time barely a generation ago when Barnes & Noble seemed to be becoming too powerful, with its superstores and the since-shuttered Dalton mall chain dominating the industry. Now, as Petri writes, there is a sense that Barnes & Noble is in a struggle, and the fate of the brick and mortar stores are in the balance. “Just stop closing the bookstores,” she appealed, “You have something special! Don’t throw away your birthright in this frenzied dash after the thin pottage of the eBook market.” In a way, it is a tribute to books that how they are sold—even when it is by a big, publicly traded chain—can arouse emotions. Those once choc-a-bloc bookshelves and lively aisles in Union Station and elsewhere will be genuinely missed.” – The Endangered Fate of Barnes & Noble – Peter Osnos – The Atlantic
  • “As a publisher, I don’t want to think, OK, I’m pushing out to iOS with some set of rules, and now we have to redesign something and push out another app for Android. You just want one place to build and send your article, send your data, and have it look great on all platforms. That’s the dream. We’ll be there, soon.” – What is a book in the age of the iPad? An interview with Craig Mod | The Verge
  • “When there was no power during Sandy, people had to decide (for the first time in a long time) if a song on their phone was worth listening to. Was it battery worthy? That’s the analysis that informs the connection economy—is it worth interrupting this person? Is my next action going to build a relationship or take from it? Am I earning trust or burning trust?” – Seth’s Blog: Scarcity and abundance in the digital age
  • “A professional librarian at McMaster University’s library complained, in a 2010 blog-post, that [Edwin] Mellen [Press] was a poor publisher with a weak list of low-quality books, scarcely edited, cheaply produced, but at exorbitant prices. Librarians are expert at making such judgments; that’s what universities pay them to do. And the post made a key point about the public interest: ‘in a time when libraries cannot purchase so much of the first-class scholarship, there is simply no reason to support such ventures.’ No one likes bad reviews; but Mellen’s approach is not to disprove the assessment, pledge to improve its quality, or reconsider its business-model. It is to slam McMaster University and its librarian with a three million dollar lawsuit in the Ontario Superior Court, alleging libel and claiming massive aggravated and exemplary damages. The matter is pending.” – Edwin Mellen Press Suing a Librarian? | Academic Librarian: On Libraries, Rhetoric, Poetry, History, & Moral Philosophy
  • “Eventually Google will understand why users are searching for information and provide them with answers they didn’t even know they needed. The education of such an omnipotent new mind will take the vast stores of Google’s database” – Google’s New Director Of Engineering, Ray Kurzweil, Is Building Your ‘Cybernetic Friend’

Image of the Week

from Should Libraries Shush? published by Pew Internet.