Week in Review – 17 May 2013

SOP for Hours of Operation

In my experience, hours of operation for academic libraries are generally “set it and forget it” sorts of things. Semesters follow regularly routine schedules, and events such as breaks are spelled out usually a minimum of 3-4 years in advance. Here at West Point, we have a number of unique parameters in play when it comes to hours of operation, which add up to a requirement for a little more flexibility. We need to balance both a need for long-term planning (particularly for events that need to use library facilities), with a need for short-term adjustment/accommodation (compressed/altered class schedules). Our student body has schedules that are much more rigid (e.g. mandatory football games that negate the need for library service). This past year we had last minute adjustments to the fall semester TEE schedule and the sequester brought a very real possibility of changes to the academic calendar. The upcoming furloughs will impact facility hours in some way. In short, we need a system whereby we can be forward-looking to set hours for major events in the future, yet adaptive to adjust to whatever may pop up.

The draft SOP linked below attempts to strike that balance whereby we will have a regular process of setting tentative hours followed by a parallel process to harden those hours as the time draws closer. A new calendar in SharePoint will serve as our authoritative calendar and we will be working to more systematically communicate these hours to those with facility reservations. We are also looking at more permanent signage to be posted near the main entrances to the building. As always, comments are welcome.

SOP – Hours of Operation

Recruitment Update

An internal announcement for one of our IGD vacancies was posted today: https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/343841000. Please refer any qualified candidates to the ad.

Budget / Furlough Update

The Secretary of Defense announced furloughs of up to eleven days this past week. We will be working to finalize a master library plan for staffing and will then be asking divisions to make specific plans for their areas as well.

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
17 May 2013
TEEs Week in Review  COL Ressler Retirement Ceremony 0700-2100
18 May 2013
USMAPS Graduation 0700-1500
19 May 2013
 Armed Forces Day CLOSED
20 May 2013
Class Reunions SHARP Training 0700-2100
21 May 2013
Class Reunions / Alumni Review / STAP Begins Division Heads  AOG Distinguished Graduate Award 0700-2100
22 May 2013
Class Reunions 0700-2100
23 May 2013
ELDP Graduation 0700-2100
24 May 2013
Graduation Review and Banquet Week in Review 0700-1630

USMA Library Metrics

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

Access Services
Items Charged Out 1,129 803 648 418
Gate Count 6,662 5,545 6,523 5,889
Administrative Services
DV Tours 1 0 0 0
Significant Events Hosted 3 2 4 2
Events/Meetings Attended 26 22 24 30
Information Gateway
Reference Questions 65 48 23 21
Library Instruction Sessions 2 0 0 0
Cadets Attending Sessions 19 0 0 0
Materials Processing
Items Added – Books 83 32 91 130
Items Added – Digital 7,561 21 117 2,027
Items Added – GovDocs 113 111 180 69
Items Added – Other 0 0 0 23
Continuing Resource Check-Ins 103 93 90 204
Special Collections & Archives
Reference Inquiries 53 40 44 27
Research Visits < 1 hour 10 21 7 2
Research Visits < 1 day 2 2 3 10
Research Visits > 1 day 0 0 0 0
Instruction Sessions 0 1 0 0
Cadets Taught 0 13 0 0
Systems Management
Library Home Page Visits 2,622 2,290 1,791 969
LibGuides Visits 817 790 500 453
Digital Collections Visits 264 409 344 233
Facebook Visits 21 32 17 18
Public Printer Prints 0 0 0 0
Public Printer Copies 20 1 0 1
Public Printer Scans 102 80 47 56

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 Preparing next steps Active 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 Language in draft Active 31-May-13
★ USMPS On hold Assigned 31-May-13
★ Gift / Needs Statements Planned 31-May-13
ConnectNY Annual Meeting Final planning underway 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 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 Internal announcement posted 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 Awaiting CPAC Action 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 Contract let 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

  • “Since the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau highlighted a year ago that student debt had surpassed the $1 trillion threshold, others have warned about the impact on the broader economy. Last year, the Treasury Department’s Office of Financial Research described how student debt might impact demand for mortgage credit. The Federal Reserve Board’s open market committee discussed whether student debt is impacting household spending. And just a few weeks ago, the Financial Stability Oversight Council discussion of student debt in its annual report added to the chorus.” – Excessive student loan debt drains economic engine – Rohit Chopra – POLITICO.com
  • “I was taking an advanced calculus class and my instructor was reputed to be a fabulous researcher, but he barely spoke English. He was a very boring and bad teacher and I was absolutely lost and in despair. So I went to the campus tutoring centre and they had Betamax tapes of a professor who had won teaching awards. Basically I sat with those tapes and took class there. But I still had to go to the other one and sat there and wanted to kill myself.I thought at that time, in the future, why wouldn’t you have the most entertaining professor, the one with the proven track record of getting knowledge into people’s heads? We’re still not quite there. In university you’re still likely to be in a large lecture hall with a very boring professor, and everyone knows it’s not working very well. It’s not even the best use of that professor’s time or the audience.” – Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales argues the boring university lecture will be the first casualty of the online education revolution.
  • “The 14-year-old allegedly lay on the floor for several minutes and then — at least according to police — helped his mom with her Web search.” – After teen is shot, mom allegedly goes first to WebMD | Technically Incorrect – CNET News
  • “Mr. Stripling said there had been a sea change in the last few years, with the rich getting richer and some pay packages exceeding not just $1 million, but $2 million. Deferred compensation agreements can increase pay drastically, as was the case with Mr. Gogue, whose pay went from $720,000 to $2.5 million in a single year when he completed a five-year contract. But the biggest growth last year, Mr. Stripling said, was in the $600,000 to $700,000 range, a category that included 28 chief executives, up from only 13 the previous year.” – University Presidents Are Prospering, Study Finds – NYTimes.com
  • “As every aspect of our daily lives has become hyperconnected, some people on the cutting edge of tech are trying their best to push it back a few feet. Keeping their phone in their pocket. Turning off their home Wi-Fi at night or on weekends. And reading books on paper, rather than pixels.” – Disruptions: Even the Tech Elites Leave Gadgets Behind – NYTimes.com
  • “I never allow myself to have an opinion on anything that I don’t know the other side’s argument better than they do.” – The Work Required To Have An Opinion
  • “We don’t realize that our society and our democracy ultimately rest on the stability of middle-class jobs. When I talk to libertarians and socialists, they have this weird belief that everybody’s this abstract robot that won’t ever get sick or have kids or get old. It’s like everybody’s this eternal freelancer who can afford downtime and can self-fund until they find their magic moment or something. The way society actually works is there’s some mechanism of basic stability so that the majority of people can outspend the elite so we can have a democracy. That’s the thing we’re destroying, and that’s really the thing I’m hoping to preserve. So we can look at musicians and artists and journalists as the canaries in the coal mine, and is this the precedent that we want to follow for our doctors and lawyers and nurses and everybody else? Because technology will get to everybody eventually.” – Jaron Lanier: The Internet destroyed the middle class – Salon.com
  • “Our age elevates the precision-tooled power of the algorithm over flawed human judgment. From web search to marketing and stock-trading, and even education and policing, the power of computers that crunch data according to complex sets of if-then rules is promised to make our lives better in every way. Automated retailers will tell you which book you want to read next; dating websites will compute your perfect life-partner; self-driving cars will reduce accidents; crime will be predicted and prevented algorithmically. If only we minimise the input of messy human minds, we can all have better decisions made for us. So runs the hard sell of our current algorithm fetish.” – Steven Poole – On algorithms
  • “It’s time to stop thinking of computer programming as a specialty subject. Schools should respect it as a fundamental skill.” – Why High Schools Should Treat Computer Programming Like Algebra – Jordan Weissmann – The Atlantic
  • “If most top colleges wanted to be truly equitable, they could not be with their current business model. There is not a golden pot of low-income applicants that schools want but are failing to reach. Instead, many schools don’t want more low-income students because they won’t be able to pay for them without a major overhaul of school funding practices. Outside of the handful of super-elite universities with fortress endowments, colleges’ finances are currently designed around enrolling a disproportionately high number of high-income students. These schools could not afford to support more low-income or middle-income students absent either a huge increase in tuition, a commensurate reduction in spending, or a dramatic change in public funding. In fact, schools are already moving away from a more equitable system. Colleges actively recruit “full pay” students who can attend and will not need financial aid. A 2011 survey by Inside Higher Ed found that about 35 percent of admissions directors at 4-year institutions, particularly public colleges, had increased their efforts to target “full pay” students. Far from wanting to enroll more low-income students, colleges recruit more affluent ones who will pay full price to attend. A follow-up survey of college business officers found that the most common strategy to deal with financial challenges in the next few years was to “raise net tuition revenue.” More than 7 in 10 college CFOs cited this answer. In other words, schools are becoming more reliant on the inequality in the system than ever before.” – Why American Colleges Are Becoming a Force for Inequality – Josh Freedman – The Atlantic
  • “College enrollment in the spring-2013 term dropped by 2.3 percent compared with the same term a year ago, according to a report released on Thursday by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. Four-year, for-profit institutions saw the sharpest enrollment decline among higher-education sectors tracked in the report, with a fall of 8.7 percent. The report describes declines in every sector but four-year, private nonprofit institutions, whose spring-2013 enrollment grew by half a percentage point compared with the previous year.” – College Enrollment Fell by 2.3 Percent This Spring, Report Says – The Ticker – The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • “Changing the delivery system might serve to make private education both more affordable and more different, and signs of such change are already evident, but rarely in the traditional nonprofit portions of the private sector. Instead, the boldest innovations are coming from entrepreneurs, most of them profit-seeking and most of them delivering instruction (and more) via technology rather than face-to-face in brick buildings that are open just six or eight hours a day for 180 or so days a year. Or elite universities — the ones that are still thriving and would continue to thrive without these changes — are, themselves, innovating — mostly for students other than their own. The MITs and Stanfords are teaming up with the Courseras and Udacitys — educational technology companies specializing in online education — to offer online courses to thousands. Udacity has put a toe into the K-12 waters, both by partnering with local school systems and by inviting students to enroll directly in its college-level courses. Nor is it likely to stop there. Indeed, I expect “St. Paul’s math” and “Dalton’s literature” in time to echo across the land, too. If current trends continue, we’re going to see a bi-modal system develop, with public schools (including charter schools) and ultra-elite private schools monopolizing the education space as the plethora of smaller private and parochial schools that once fell between them gradually fade away.” – Why Private Schools Are Dying Out – Chester E. Finn Jr. – The Atlantic
  • “A recent survey of nearly 35,000 eight to 16-year-olds by the U.K.’s National Literacy Trust found that for the first time, more kids are reading via electronic devices than traditional books. A full 52 percent preferred reading books on a tablet or other electronic device, while in comparison, only 32 percent preferred traditional books. The remaining 16 percent had no preference or said they don’t like to read.” – Death of Traditional Books? Kids Prefer Reading Via Screen | Education on GOOD
  • “Online education strips away all of those expenses except for the cost of the professor’s time and experience. It sounds perfect, an alignment of technology, social need and limited resources. So why do so many people believe that it is a deeply flawed solution? Because it means massive swaths of higher education is about to change. Technology has disrupted many industries; now it’s about to do the same to higher ed.” – College Is Going Online, Whether We Like It Or Not – Zachary Karabell – The Atlantic