Monthly Archives: August 2013

iPad Internet in the Library

For the next two weeks there will be a special network (commercial internet) in the library for iPads. This network is available on the 1st, 2nd, and 4th floors of the library. Cadets/faculty will be using this connection to complete registration with AirWatch (which allows the iPad to connect to the DREN internet across CPA).

The network name (SSID) is: ipad_registration

The password is: message to garcia

This information can be displayed (signs can be placed at the reference and circulation desks) to assist with providing this information to cadets/faculty.

There are two other iPad internet locations (History department in Thayer, and Grant Hall) where cadets can also connect their iPads.

Library staff do not need to ask any questions or collect any information regarding this network. The network will only be available for the next two weeks and then it will be taken down.

Any questions or concerns can be directed to Christine.

Adjustments in Reference Services to be Piloted for Fall Term

IGD and other reference staff have been discussing how best to approach and design reference services given how the service is currently used, and how we also see the work of liaison librarians evolving. The ability for our users to get personalized and immediate support for information-related needs is very important and one that we need to deliver. However, it is one of many ways we support our users, and we want to be sure the service fits the need as well as it can.

We also are currently challenged with the number of vacancies we have, and we want to be sure that we continue to maintain staff at our service points for times when use and need is most high (afternoons, evenings, and weekends).

As a result of these discussions and our current situation, we are going to experiment a bit with how and when reference services are delivered during the coming term. I fully expect that we will make adjustments along the way based upon evolving needs and circumstances.

Our current plan is this:

  • Circulation staff will open the facility Monday-Fridays.
  • For weekdays, our reference service hours will be 0800 until closing.  Saturday and Sunday reference hours will be from opening to closing.
  • On weekdays, we will have on-call reference between the hours of 0800 and 1300.

How will on-call reference work? Using the current reference desk schedule, the librarian scheduled for the 0800 shift will get a pager from the Circulation Desk and be on-call. At 0900, the librarian going off shift will hand the pager to the next shift’s librarian.  This shift will go from 0900-1300. A sign at the Reference Desk will refer patrons to the Circulation Desk, where staff will page the librarian on-call. We will be tracking our data from this term, and will make adjustments wherever necessary.

Our overall goal is to find a sweet spot where we fully support and staff our service points when users are most likely to need assistance, and to provide just-in-time support during other times of the day.

I welcome any thoughts about this and other services at any time and appreciate the willingness to try something new. I cannot guarantee we’ll keep this current plan, but I can guarantee we’ll learn something along the way.


The 3 HP printers in the periodicals room on the 2nd floor are turned on and are available for printing.

Instructions to connect to the printer are available on SharePoint at


Staff will need to follow these instructions if:

  • your computer has been re-imaged, OR
  • you have never connected to the HPs.

Remember that the 3 printers use a single shared print queue – so print jobs are sent to a single “printer” but will come out at whichever unit is free at the time.

You can contact SMD with any questions.

Cadet Printing in the Library to Resume

At the direction of the Dean, we will be reinstating printing within the library for cadets. The current signs by our printers will be changed to indicate that printing support is changing in the coming weeks and that cadets should limit jobs to 50 pages or less.

On our permanent printing solution, we have purchased an enterprise print management solution and will be working with IETD to make it operational soon. We are also awaiting Army approval to run the software on our network. The new system will allow us to give cadets a standard printing allowance which they cannot exceed, and will allow us to limit maximum job size.

A new day for printing is now on the horizon. Thanks to the good work of Christine and our Systems staff in moving us forward, and to everyone for helping to support our cadets through this service.

Week in Review – 9 August 2013

Moving Days are Here

It has been hard not to notice the long-awaited shuffle of collections that has been underway over the past several weeks. As of today, all of the Special Collections and Rare Books formerly in the basement of Jefferson Hall have been relocated into their final home in Bartlett Hall North. Bound serials and government documents from the Library Annex are quickly arriving into Jefferson, while our manuscript collections should complete their move into Bartlett on Monday. Next week the archival collections will leave the Annex to come north, and remaining materials in the basement of Jefferson will complete their move across the street.

There are many moving parts to this process, but it is going very smoothly thanks to the good planning of our Special Collections and Archives staff. Once the dust settles, we’ll have an open house for everyone to show off the new digs. Thanks to everyone who continues to support this significant project.

The Blog is Dead. Long Live the Blog!

As we head into the fall semester, the time has come to transition off of our internal SharePoint-hosted blog to this one, which will allow us much more flexibility and capability as a communication tool both internally and externally. We have been gradually transitioning over this summer and will complete the move today. You will also start to see us posting more regularly through Facebook and Twitter as those sites are now integrated into the system.

The transition is a good opportunity to dust off our overall communication plan, which has been reworked into a policy document for the library and is available in draft form: USMA Library Internal Communications Policy. This gives a rundown of the basic ways in which we communicate with one another and the expectations we should all have. It also walks through the blog and the sorts of things that are appropriate for publication here. We will be working to provide training to more staff to be able to post directly in the coming weeks as well as reviewing our policy document for external communications still being drafted.

We will be continuing to post general interest items at least weekly profiling our resources, our services, and our staff. Some of these items will be ones prepared for our old blog, and others will be new.

For library staff, please keep in mind that you should be logged into the site in order to view content that is specifically marked for staff use.

Full Library Hours of Service Gradually Being Restored

With the reduction in furlough days and the addition of some new staff this fall, we will be working to gradually reestablish our full normal hours for the fall semester. Initially, we will reestablish normal Sunday hours on August 25th and maintain those hours (1100-2245) through the rest of the term. In September we plan to reestablish our Friday and Saturday hours as well. We will provide notice of those adjustments here and at the Library Hours page on our website. As a reminder, beginning the first day of classes (August 19th) our hours will be:

Monday-Thursday: 0700-2245
Friday: 0700-1630
Saturday: 0900-1700
Sunday: 1100-2245

Thanks for everyone’s patience as we gradually ramp back up. We are still scheduled to be CLOSED for Labor Day. Special Collections and Archives continues to be closed until further notice in support of their move into Bartlett Hall.

General Reference Assistance Will Resume 19 August

At the conclusion of the standard furlough period, we will resume normal reference assistance. We anticipate that service to Special Collections and Archives will resume by the end of the month.

Discovery Service Launching Soon

Our new discovery service for library resources has a tentative launch date of September 1st. This new interface will bring together a wide variety of different tools, databases, and catalogs into a new unified search allowing deeper and broader searches to be made easily. We hope it will enable cadets and faculty to scout out resources they would otherwise not have found and improve the ease of use for nearly all library resources.

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
9 August 2013
August Graduation Week in Review 0700-1630
10 August 2013
11 August 2013
12 August 2013
CBT Marchback / Reorganization Week 0700-2100
13 August 2013
 Reorganization Week Division Heads 0700-2100
14 August 2013
Reorganization Week 0700-2100
Thursday 15 August 2013
Supt’s Brief / Reorganization Week  All Staff Meeting 0700-2100
16 August 2013
Reorganization Week 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 405 140 432 232
Gate Count 513 N/A 431 N/A
Administrative Services
DV Tours 0 0 0 0
Significant Events Hosted 1 1 0 0
Events/Meetings Attended 24 20 0 15
Information Gateway
Reference Questions 12 7
Library Instruction Sessions 0 0
Cadets Attending Sessions 0 0
Materials Processing
Items Added – Books 69 49 74 16
Items Added – Digital 3,202 986 0 0
Items Added – GovDocs 113 94 11 112
Items Added – Other 0 47 2 0
Continuing Resource Check-Ins 88 85 89 109
Special Collections & Archives
Reference Inquiries 0 0 0 0
Research Visits < 1 hour 0 0 0 0
Research Visits < 1 day 0 0 0 0
Research Visits > 1 day 0 0 0 0
Instruction Sessions 0 0 0 0
Cadets Taught 0 0 0 0
Systems Management
Library Home Page Visits 856 852 866 818
LibGuides Visits 240 254 266 231
Digital Collections Visits 218 248 203 117
Facebook Visits 15 9 13 8
Public Printer Prints 0 1 13 25
Public Printer Copies 0 66 61 4
Public Printer Scans 13 36 27 20

Food for Thought

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

  • “Librarians initially described internet search technology as a niche and emphasized their own unique (and superior) value,” write the researchers. The emerging technology was dismissed, Nelson says, “as something that wasn’t going to spread and be widely used.” But that idea began to fade as more than 70 online search engines emerged between 1989 and 2011. Nelson and Irwin define occupational identity as an overlap between “who we are” and “what we do” as they explored the “paradox of expertise” in which librarians failed to grow their informational prowess with an emerging technology. “What made us curious about what happened was that librarians had technical skills—many had been building online databases of their collections with search capabilities very similar to what search engines aimed to develop,” Irwin says. Yet librarians, he says, had misinterpreted the possibilities of internet searching for such information.” – – How librarians survived the search engine
  • “These debates about the bounds of fair use will always be important, but they obscure a very unfair dynamic that is squeezing artists — and turning the web into a battleground between humans and machines. The trouble is that in many cases today, there’s no human artist, writer, or editor creating what we see on the web. Some algorithm assembled the photos and it’s enjoying a nice little loophole. The machines sail on past the rules about copyright because the law lets those companies blame any infringement on the chaos of the internet. It’s a system that’s tilting the tables against any of the human artists who write, edit, or illustrate. In other words, the battle for fair use is unfair to anyone who plays by the old rules and tries to share with the artists because human creatives can’t compete with the automated services that aren’t sharing with the artists.” – Algorithms Are the New Content Creators, and That’s Bad News for Humans | Wired Opinion |
  • “Stanford University, for instance, found that more than $100,000 was being spent, mostly by students, on course materials that could be found in the 1,200 databases the university spends millions of dollars to make available. This is because faculty and students are often unaware of what is already available. “The hurdles to knowing what we have are high,” said Catherine Tierney, Stanford’s associate university librarian for technical services, “so that the T.A.s or the department admins or the faculty person herself doesn’t even know what we have. So it’s inadvertent double-spending on this.” – University libraries look to reduce licensing costs | Inside Higher Ed
  • “Innovation is the creation of value. Imitation is trying to take it from others.” – LukeW | An Event Apart: Great Time To Be a UX Designer
  • “E-books are still taking share from printed books, sales of which declined by 4.7 percent in the quarter, but the anemic growth of the electronic market calls into question the strength of the so-called “digital revolution” in the book business. E-books now represent a bit less than 25 percent of total book sales. That’s a healthy share, but it’s still a long way from dominance. The AAP findings are backed up by a new Nielsen report indicating that worldwide e-book sales actually declined slightly in the first quarter from year-earlier levels.” – The flattening of e-book sales | ROUGH TYPE
  • “Take, for example, the current No. 1 New York Times bestseller “Zealot: the Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth” by Reza Aslan. The list price from for the hardcover from Random House is $27. You can buy it in various ebook platforms for about $13. But that same ebook is offered to libraries for $85, according to Jo Budler, the Kansas state librarian, whose office has created a Facebook page to bring attention to the difficulties public libraries have in providing ebooks. Carolyn Reidy, CEO and Simon & Schuster, told NPR that publishers are concerned that e-books can circulate so widely and freely in a public library system—without ever wearing out—that it discourages people from buying them. “Why would anyone buy another book when they can get every book for free,” she told NPR.” – Public libraries and ‘big six’ publishers fight over e-books –
  • “So let us hope that this is what the sale signifies: the beginning of a phase in which this Gilded Age’s major beneficiaries re-invest in the infrastructure of our public intelligence. We hope it marks a beginning, because we know it marks an end.” – Why the Sale of the Washington Post Seems So Significant – James Fallows – The Atlantic
  • “It’s like Edison said: If you want to have a great idea, have a lot of them. Or like Macklemore puts it, the greats weren’t great because at birth they could paint, they were great because they painted a lot. Or as Lui, the Medium writer, paraphrases This American Life host Ira Glass, “the best way to refine your craft is to create a huge volume of work. Not to create the most perfect piece you can, but to create many pieces of work.” – Want To Conquer A New Skill? Do It Every Day | Fast Company | Business Innovation
  • “There’s an emerging body of research that chalks up these productivity gaps to the all-too-human ways that different companies (and divisions within a single organization) are managed. The fact that management matters—a lot—shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone who has ever worked under a good manager and also a bad one: Good managers coach, listen, support, and make their employees feel like they’re making progress. Bad ones don’t—often in uniquely horrible ways. And if this is true at for-profit companies, why wouldn’t it be true for branches of the government?” – Renewing your passport? Visit the incredibly efficient New York City passport office on Hudson Street. – Slate Magazine
  • “When the only way to run a university was to gather all the books and smart people on a fenced-in plot of land, whoever controlled access to the gates was in charge. But we don’t live in that world anymore.” – Embrace the New Freedom: Technology, Not Tenure – Commentary – The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • “Face it: the future cannot be predicted. Models are fine but the real world is rife with the humors of non-linearity, shivering across vast ecosystems that make nice spreadsheet charts turn into run-away hockey-sticks with the flap of a butterfly’s wings. Like stock market crashes, riots, and earthquakes, discontinuities warp linear projections with sudden disruptions that often defy prediction. As they say, change is the only constant.” – Future Thinking Isn’t About The Future, It’s About The Present | Co.Exist: World changing ideas and innovation

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

Discovery Service Update

As of today, here is where we stand on implementation of our new discovery platform EDS.

  1. The site is functional, and we encourage folks to kick the tires a bit. To do so, point your browser to,uid&custid=s8366957&group=main&profile=eds (Username: usma / Password: cadet (if required)). There is a Help link in the upper right hand corner, or you can also click on the blue icon just to the right of the search box. Please note that we are still making active changes to the interface, so things may move around a bit.
  2. We are targeting a broader launch for around September 1st. That will be accompanied by announcements to the community. Our intent is to make this service the primary interface to our collections, so we will also deemphasize the service/resource specific interfaces where appropriate.
  3. On names, thank you to everyone who submitted votes and ideas. Our communications team reviewed both votes and a long list of new ideas submitted. We would like to propose the name Scout, which was not on our original list, but we thought fit both the purpose of the tool and our military/Army heritage. So what do you think of that option? The highest vote-getter among those on the ballot was Athena, which garnered four votes (of 12 cast … so not a majority nor a plurality). Please send along your opinions on Scout.

Two Rings Added To Library Ring Case

The Class of 1986 ring case, which stands against the southeast wall of the rotunda space on the second floor of the Library, displays the rings of deceased graduates. The tradition of class rings began at the United States Military Academy with the Class of 1835, which designed rings for graduates in their final year of study. Current policy states that the USMA Library will accept one class ring per class for classes graduating prior to the admission of women, and a ring from both a male and female graduate from each class for classes graduating after the admission of women.

On 30 November 2012, two rings were added to the Library Ring Case. 


The ring of LTC Karin Gventer Tackaberry, USMA 1994, was added on the one month anniversary of her death and marked only the second instance in which a class has been represented in the case by the rings of both a male and a female graduate.  LTC Tackaberry’s ring is displayed alongside the ring of 2LT Curt G. Sansoucie, her classmate and friend.  At the time of her death, LTC Tackaberry was a Circuit Judge, Trial Judiciary, in the Judge Advocate General Corps.  The ring was donated by her family:  husband MAJ Andrew Tackaberry, mother Ann Gventer and brothers Brian and MAJ Steven Gventer.  In the letter conveying the ring, Mrs. Gventer explained the significance of placing the ring here:  “…to have her ring become a part of the legacy of the Long Gray Line would mean a great deal to her.  She was a strong and courageous woman, a true warrior.”


The ring of 1LT Todd W. Lambka, USMA 2010, was also added.  1LT Lambka was killed in Paktika province, Afghanistan, on 1 August 2012 while serving with the 1st Infantry Division.  The ring was donated by the Lambka family through a letter jointly signed by 1LT Lambka’s wife Cassie and his father Brian.  At the request of the family, LTC (R) David A. Jones, who currently serves as the John Alexander Hottell III Chair for Character Development in SCPME, assisted with the placement of 1LT Lambka’s ring.  As a cadet, Lambka received the Robert Foley Scholarship of Honor and wrote about his feelings on receiving the award, including the following:  “I thank God everyday for the opportunity to be part of this institution.  It has, without question, been the greatest honor of my young life.”

You can read more about the history of the USMA class ring by checking out this Library resource – Warrior icon: the evolution of the West Point class ring – Christopher Wright 

Mini Week in Review – 1 August 2013

I will not have a full report this week … just a few news notes to share.

Special Collections Move

The move to Bartlett Hall North is underway. Thanks to everyone for your patience as the carts scoot back and forth between Jefferson and BHN. Work will begin shortly to relocate materials out of the Annex and into both JH and BHN. The process is moving very smoothly thanks to excellent prep work by all of our Special Collections and Archives staff.

iPads Are Coming

We have purchased a limited number of iPads for staff use as we will see significant adoption of these devices this fall among cadets. Our Systems staff will be managing a process to allow staff to spend some time with the device as a trial to build awareness of the capabilities and features. More details on how this will work will be discussed at our August staff meeting. Following the initial trial period to let folks try out the devices, each division will have one device to remain for general division use. We also have one device that will remain available at the Reference Desk and one that will remain available at the Circulation Desk. So, you will soon see more of these devices out and about, and everyone will have an opportunity to learn more about them hands-on.

Though I do not have additional information currently, I expect at some point this fall we will add some USMA-owned iPads to our collection for reserve circulation to cadets. We’ll share more on that as we learn it.

Discovery Service Name – Feedback Requested

Per my previous messages, we would like to brand our new discovery platform with something memorable and appropriate. I have received a few suggestions listed below. I am now collecting votes and preferences. The suggestions are loaded into a survey (or: Please visit and leave your opinion. Voting will close COB on Tuesday, August 6th.

In addition to the ones on the survey, we also received the suggestion for KnightQuest – borrowing from Black Knights … perhaps to pair with KnightFlares as a name for LibGuides. – Current rules do not allow anyone other than ODIA to use the Knight or Black Knight name, nor could we use the associated logo per PAO and ODIA.


Personnel News

IGD Liaison Librarians: We will host a second external candidate for a liaison librarian position next Tuesday, August 5th. There will be an open candidate session for all available library staff from 1315-1400 and a session for liaison librarians from 1400-1430 in JH 514. Application materials for Ms. Mary Cherif are available on SharePoint > Administrative Services > Shared Documents > IGDRecruit.

Pritchard Deployment: We are preparing for a possible deployment for Dan which may happen by 16 August for a total period of up to 400 days. In the event that this does come to pass, Chris will serve as liaison team coordinator/convener and primary rater for IGD staff for the coming academic year. We do not plan to backfill this position temporarily at this time. This situation is in a fair amount of flux and once specific plans are known, we will communicate them along.

RIF Completion: We have received word that the RIF action that began in 2011 will be completed by September 28th, which will mean the loss of our Mail Clerk position in the library administrative offices. CPAC is continuing to work to find a position for Shalanda elsewhere on post, though as of that date her position will no longer exist in the library. We will be working to schedule a time to thank her for her service and contributions to our mission.

Other Library Recruitments: We have been given permission to move forward in hiring all existing vacancies in the library and will be working to execute as many of those as possible by the end of the fiscal year. Specific plans are still somewhat in flux, though we anticipate that Vice:Bedell and Vice:Bhagwandeen will be the next vacancies to hopefully be posted.