Week in Review – 19 April 2013

Annual Review/Planning Cycle Begins

Before we know it we will find summer upon us and the conclusion of the 2012-13 academic year. We will be aiming to produce an annual program review as we did last year that will summarize our work from the 2012-13 year and look forward to what we see on the road ahead for 2013-14. Here is the high level overview of what we’ll be pulling together in the coming weeks:

  • Main Article: This will discuss the impact that the sequester has had on library operations with particular focus on lessons learned and ways we intend to position ourselves in the future to better be able to absorb significant disruptions in resource streams.
  • Objective Review: Last summer we set a number of objectives that we sought to achieve in the current academic year. Our program review will contain a paragraph on each that will summarize how that objective played out. In some cases we have successfully completed our goal. In other cases we have either achieved partial completion, or in some cases our priorities and circumstances changed over the course of the year. Each objective had a primary division sponsor who will be responsible for writing up the summary.
  • 2013-14 Objectives: The next academic year will bring fresh opportunity to advance our mission in support of cadets, faculty, and staff. Our program review will contain the list of targets we want to hit in the coming academic year that will both introduce new areas we want to explore as well as build upon the work from this year. Division heads have been asked to coordinate conversations among their staff to generate some lists of potential objectives both for their own divisions as well as for other divisions or the library as a whole. We will glue those lists together and as a large team winnow through them to a list we see as manageable. I have suggested that we focus on library processes next year … are there ways we can make how we do what we do better, more efficient, more responsive to the user, etc.? I fully expect the fiscal constraints we have seen this year to continue for the foreseeable future so I do not anticipate significant amounts of new funding (or even the funding we have had in the past). That will make our efforts to streamline even more important.
  • Revised Radar: We will also have a revised radar of significant strategic developments that will be impacting our work in the near and coming future.

This document is a team effort and I’ll look forward to input and participation from divisions both as we draft the content and then as we revise and edit. But right now, I hope everyone will be thinking of objectives that we can consider for next year. It will be here before we know it!

Furlough Update

We do not have any new official news to share on furlough planning this week. It has been reported in the last week that the Pentagon continues to assess the budget picture relating to furloughs. A thirty-day notice is still required in the event that a furlough is determined to be necessary.

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
19 Apr 2013
Sandhurst Competition Week in Review DEP Creative Arts Project 0700-2100
20 Apr 2013
Sandhurst Competition DEP Creative Arts Project 0700-2100
21 Apr 2013
22 Apr 2013
 Dean’s Offsite 0700-2245
23 Apr 2013
 Mission Command Conference / Antiterrorism Exercise Division Heads  Mission Command Conference 0700-2245
24 Apr 2013
25 Apr 2013
 Dean’s Staff Center for the Study of Civil-Military Operations 0700-2245
26 Apr 2013
Class of 1953 Reunion  Week in Review Center for the Study of Civil-Military Operations 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 939 674 1,046 1,151
Gate Count N/A N/A N/A N/A
Administrative Services
DV Tours 0 0 0 0
Significant Events Hosted 2 7 4 3
Events/Meetings Attended 21 16 19 13
Information Gateway
Reference Questions 54 49 60 78
Library Instruction Sessions 3 4 0 8
Cadets Attending Sessions 22 2 0 1
Materials Processing
Items Added – Books 29 22 9 92
Items Added – Digital 4,542 0 0 1,527
Items Added – GovDocs 18 114 105 39
Items Added – Other 0 0 0 1
Continuing Resource Check-Ins 108 189 921 114
Special Collections & Archives
Reference Inquiries 44 34 34 53
Research Visits < 1 hour 7 14 9 7
Research Visits < 1 day 2 7 6 3
Research Visits > 1 day 3 1 0 1
Instruction Sessions 0 6 1 0
Cadets Taught 0 97 16 0
Systems Management
Library Home Page Visits 2,395 2,421 2,717 2,811
LibGuides Visits 696 688 825 766
Digital Collections Visits 120 122 138 151
Facebook Visits 29 12 23 14
Public Printer Prints 0 0 0 0
Public Printer Copies 20 22 25 85
Public Printer Scans 53 52 14 113

USMA Library Radar

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

Access Services
★ Communication Channels Beta Blog expanding Assigned 31-Mar-13
★ JH 2nd Floor Review Meeting with team Assigned 30-Apr-13
ALSC Metrics Design Programming being done by Army Waiting 01-Feb-13
JH Security System Design Paused 31-May-13
Guide to Event Planning Reworking into digital product Assigned 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 On hold Assigned 31-May-13
★ Gift / Needs Statements Planned 31-May-13
ConnectNY Annual Meeting Request forwarded to GC Waiting 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 Spring slate underway Assigned 31-May-13
★ LibGuide Review Work underway Assigned 31-May-13
★ Embedded Liaisons Department work underway Assigned 31-May-13
IGD GS-09/11 Recruitment Hiring freeze 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 freeze Waiting 31-May-13
MPD GS-11 Recruitment Hiring freeze Waiting 31-May-13
Special Collections and Archives
★ Ring Case Biographies Initial planning underway Assigned 31-May-13
★ WP Authors Reception Planning for fall Assigned 31-May-13
★ Fee-For-Service Planned 31-May-13
★ Library History Exhibit Planned 31-May-13
SC&AD GS-06 Recruitment Hiring freeze Assigned 31-May-13
Bartlett Hall Move Re-awaiting funding Assigned 30-Jun-13
Systems Management
★ Discovery Layer Review of vendor visits Assigned 01-Mar-13
SMD GS-06 Recruitment Hiring freeze Waiting 01-Mar-13
★ Institutional Repository Planned 30-Apr-13
★ Security System Review Planned 30-Jun-13
★ Public Website Redesign Redesign underway Active 30-Jun-13

Food for Thought

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

  • “It’s kind of silly that maximalists and luddites keep jumping back to this trope. The idea that if you can get something for free, no one will ever pay for it. That’s never been true and will never be true. All of the works that people pay and download to their Kindles are already available for free on unauthorized sites. But tons of people pay. All of the music that people pay and download to their iPods is already available for free on unauthorized sites. But tons of people pay. People will pay all the time for things they can get for free. Just check out the bottled water industry.” – Techdirt: Authors Guild’s Scott Turow: The Supreme Court, Google, Ebooks, Libraries & Amazon Are All Destroying Authors
  • “The best part of the rise of online education is that it forces us to ask: What is a university for? Are universities mostly sorting devices to separate smart and hard-working high school students from their less-able fellows so that employers can more easily identify them? Are universities factories for the dissemination of job skills? Are universities mostly boot camps for adulthood, where young people learn how to drink moderately, fornicate meaningfully and hand things in on time? My own stab at an answer would be that universities are places where young people acquire two sorts of knowledge, what the philosopher Michael Oakeshott called technical knowledge and practical knowledge. […] The problem is that as online education becomes more pervasive, universities can no longer primarily be in the business of transmitting technical knowledge.” – David Brooks on the future of education and knowledge. Pair with Francis Bacon on the dangers of knowledge.
  • “Helping undergraduates develop research skills, while rated highly important by library leaders, doesn’t strike faculty the same way. Only slightly over half rated this role as very important, and most did not agree that this is primarily the library’s responsibility, though nearly half did agree that librarians help students develop these skills and succeed. In both cases a substantially smaller share of faculty respondents in the sciences agreed. “This raises important questions about a perceived mismatch between library services and the needs of undergraduates in the sciences,” the report concluded. Among humanists, all roles except for the research support role were rated as very important by more than two thirds of respondents. Among scientists, however, just over half rated the gateway and archival role as very important, and even smaller shares rated other roles as very important. Over a quarter of scientists agreed strongly “because faculty have easy access to academic content online, the role librarians play at this institution is becoming much less important” (compared to about 20 percent overall).” – Ithaka Survey: Humanities Faculty Love the Library; Scientists Less Enthusiastic
  • “But some researchers are now raising the alarm about what they see as the proliferation of online journals that will print seemingly anything for a fee. They warn that nonexperts doing online research will have trouble distinguishing credible research from junk. “Most people don’t know the journal universe,” Dr. Goodman said. “They will not know from a journal’s title if it is for real or not.” Researchers also say that universities are facing new challenges in assessing the résumés of academics. Are the publications they list in highly competitive journals or ones masquerading as such? And some academics themselves say they have found it difficult to disentangle themselves from these journals once they mistakenly agree to serve on their editorial boards.” – For Scientists, an Exploding World of Pseudo-Academia – NYTimes.com
  • “Even simple tasks like finding phone numbers for local businesses may soon require Web access. How long will there be print yellow pages? How long will there be movie listings in print newspapers? For that matter, how long will there be print newspapers? Without Internet access, older people could feel even more cut off than many already do.” – Online Habits Coming Slowly to Older Adults – NYTimes.com
  • “Higher education loans are meant to subsidize the cost of higher education, not profit from them, especially at a time when students are facing record debt,” said Ethan Senack, the higher education advocate at the United States Public Interest Research Group, which is issuing the brief with the United States Student Association and Young Invincibles, an organization for people 18 to 34. “The revenue from student loans should be used to keep education affordable, and should never be used to pay down the deficit or for other federal programs,” Mr. Senack said.” – Student Loan Rate Set to Rise, Despite Lack of Support – NYTimes.com
  • “In past years, proposals scoring within the top 12 percent would have been sure winners. Now the guaranteed grant level might be as low as 5 percent, says Mr. Reid, who complains that there is little to no distinction among proposals that score in the single digits. “This is no longer a peer-review process,” he says. “It’s becoming a lottery.” The winners of the scientific sweepstakes can continue doing research, often with less than their requested budgets. The unlucky must choose whether to try again or even consider looking for careers that are less of a gamble.” – As Cuts Take Effect, Unease in the Laboratory – Government – The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • “Major publishers in higher education have already been collecting data from millions of students who use their digital materials. But CourseSmart goes further by individually packaging for each professor information on all the students in a class — a bold effort that is already beginning to affect how teachers present material and how students respond to it, even as critics question how well it measures learning. The plan is to introduce the program broadly this fall.” – CourseSmart E-Textbooks Track Students’ Progress for Teachers – NYTimes.com
  • “The [Digital Public Library of America] represents the confluence of two currents that have shaped American civilization: utopianism and pragmatism. The utopian tendency marked the Republic at its birth, for the United States was produced by a revolution, and revolutions release utopian energy—that is, the conviction that the way things are is not the way they have to be. When things fall apart, violently and by collective action, they create the possibility of putting them back together in a new manner, according to higher principles. […] For all its futuristic technology, the DPLA harkens back to the eighteenth century. What could be more utopian than a project to make the cultural heritage of humanity available to all humans? What could be more pragmatic than the designing of a system to link up millions of megabytes and deliver them to readers in the form of easily accessible texts? Above all, the DPLA expresses an Enlightenment faith in the power of communication. Jefferson and Franklin—the champion of the Library of Congress and the printer turned philosopher-statesman—shared a profound belief that the health of the Republic depended on the free flow of ideas.” – Robert Darnton considers the monumental implications of this month’s launch of the Digital Public Library of America, a new “distributed system of electronic content that will make the holdings of public and research libraries, archives, museums, and historical societies available, effortlessly and free of charge, to readers located at every connecting point of the Web.”
  • “This is a generation of kids that grew up with data science around them — Netflix telling them what movies they should watch, Amazon telling them what books they should read — so this is an academic interest with real-world applications,” said Chris Wiggins, a professor of applied mathematics at Columbia who is involved in its new Institute for Data Sciences and Engineering. “And,” he added, “they know it will make them employable.” – Universities Offer Courses in a Hot New Field – Data Science – NYTimes.com
  • “Ebooks accounted for 22.55 percent, or nearly a quarter, of U.S. book publishers’ sales in 2012, according to a full-year report released by the Association of American Publishers Thursday. That’s up from 17 percent of sales in 2011 and 3 percent in 2009. Ebook growth continued to plateau, however, suggesting that the industry is maturing.” – Ebooks made up 23 percent of US publisher sales in 2012, says the AAP — paidContent
  • “One century after the invention of the telephone, we still know the difference between the face-to-face presence and the telephonical presence. But we don’t feel it as a problem or a conflict anymore. We know how to enmesh them peacefully. That’s the same with the difference between the digital and the physical: We are learning how to enmesh them peacefully and, very soon, we will no longer feel them as a conflict.” – Digital Dualism and Lived Experience: Everyday Ontology Produces Everyday Ethics » Cyborgology
  • “Gold does not become patentable once taken out of a stream because it can be used in jewelry,” the ACLU argues in its brief. “Kidneys do not become patentable once taken out of a body because they can be transplanted.” – Will the Supreme Court end human gene patents after three decades? | Ars Technica
  • “The indication that an ordinary string of rare book thefts has evolved into a terrifying string of rare book thefts often comes down to this: the presence of a man whose sole job it is to get rid of library ownership marks.” – Travis McDade on the Girolamini Library thefts in “The professionalization of library theft” on the OUPblog.
  • “We know what Moore’s Law is and how it works, but not many people reflect on why it exists. Yes, there are often physical barriers to innovation. But there’s no imminent physical barrier to the realization of a bit: A bit is merely presence or absence of something, say a voltage, which means it can get exponentially smaller. So with no physical limitation, Moore’s Law reflects the top rate at which humans can innovate. If we could proceed faster, we would.” – How Pixar Used Moore’s Law to Predict the Future | Wired Opinion | Wired.com