Week in Review – 20 September 2013

Library Hours to Change October 6th

Beginning Sunday, October 6th, we will revise our operating hours to a new “permanent” schedule (as much as any schedule is permanent around West Point :). The primary driver behind this change is a USCC decision to move Taps to 2330 instead of 2300. Due to the ongoing barracks renovations, study space is at a premium and USCC wants to try to make as much time and space available as possible. We will also at the same time adjust our Friday and Saturday hours slightly. Here will be the new plan:

Sundays 1100-2315
Mondays 0700-2315
Tuesdays 0700-2315
Wednesdays 0700-2315
Thursdays 0700-2315
Fridays 0700-2100
Saturdays 0900-2100*

* Saturday hours may vary due to the home football schedule.

New Library Hours Signs Coming Soon

Since we have made a habit of shuffling up hours, and our entrances do not offer us a good way to display current hours and other information, we have acquired two new exterior sign cases for our east and west entrances that will allow us to better display facility information. The cases allow for an 11″ x 17″ poster inside and should be weatherproof. We hope that they will be installed in the next week or two. Our south entrance does not really have a good location for a similar sign. Instead, we will mount a tasteful decal on the door that refers individuals to either the east or west entrance for facility hours.

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
20 September 2013
Modified Class Day / ’68 & ’78 Reunions Week in Review 0700-1630
21 September 2013
Home Football – Beat Wake Forest 1530-2100
22 September 2013
23 September 2013
24 September 2013
Library Committee / Division Heads 0700-2245
25 September 2013
26 September 2013
Dean’s Staff Meeting  Shalanda Williams Farewell Lunch 0700-2245
27 September 2013
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 268 445 463 570
Gate Count N/A 3,927 3,331 4,178
ILL Article Requests 10 17 15 18
ILL Book Requests 13 35 9 8
Administrative Services
DV Tours 0 0 0 0
Significant Events Hosted 0 1 2 1
Events/Meetings Attended 22 14 21 21
Information Gateway
Reference Questions 30 31 25 48
Library Instruction Sessions 1 10 6 8
Cadets Attending Sessions 20 195 111 132
Materials Processing
Items Added – Books 36 145 21 41
Items Added – Digital 1,816 1 8,207 2,314
Items Added – GovDocs 40 177 9 156
Items Added – Other 238 2 1 0
Continuing Resource Check-Ins 63 74 82 63
Special Collections & Archives
Reference Inquiries 3 29 23 36
Research Visits < 1 hour 4 7 5 16
Research Visits < 1 day 1 1 0 17
Research Visits > 1 day 0 0 0 0
Instruction Sessions 2 7 2 8
Cadets Taught 41 114 38 114
Systems Management
Library Home Page Visits 2,426 2,770 3,078 3,316
LibGuides Visits 262 482 421 544
Digital Collections Visits 295 262 230 227
Facebook Visits 16 31 22 40
Public Printer Prints 13,373 6,510 5,770 5,468
Public Printer Copies 330 336 582 1,080
Public Printer Scans 129 173 12 350

Food for Thought

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

  • “I do think this is one of the blessings and curses of social media. To fit in, you have to sound like a person, not an institution. And people can be so much more annoying than institutions. And also so much more interesting. I think that’s the trade-off.” – Upworthy co-founder Eli Pariser in conversation with TLDR’s PJ Vogt
  • “Books are to libraries what beds are to hospitals. They are an absolute requirement but they do not define what it is that we do. So one of the issues that is facing the country at the moment is really trying to define what libraries are and what role that they have and one of the large issues that we have I think is that the councils are looking at libraries really just as glorified book swaps.” – Bradley: libraries seen as ‘glorified book swaps’ | The Bookseller
  • “Colleges of education and the reform community have forgotten how to be good neighbors. The point of an education has always been to create self-reliant, self-deterministic members of a community. Success can only be claimed when a community can say they improved their own stock. Teacher training programs must be as focused on finding members as they are with recruiting talent and instilling skills.. True teacher training reform will come less from blaming and more from partnering with communities and school districts. Colleges and universities have been trying to move towards clinically based training and have tried to heighten their admissions standards, but college faculty and governance structures are built to last, not to move.” – Want Better Teachers? Let’s Train Them Like Doctors | Education on GOOD
  • “The basic idea is to use MOOC-style video lectures and other online features as course materials in actual, normal-size college classes. By assigning the lectures as homework, the instructors are free to spend the actual class period answering students’ questions, gauging what they have and haven’t absorbed, and then working with them on projects and assignments. In some cases the instructors also use some MOOC-style online assessments or even automated grading features. But in general they’re free to tailor the curriculum, pace, and grading system to their own liking and their own students’ needs. The notion isn’t entirely novel. A similar approach has been popularized at the high-school level in recent years by Salman Khan, who encourages teachers to use his free online lessons to “flip the classroom”: Students watch lectures at home and then do their “homework” in class. Freed from the need to prepare a lecture for each class session, instructors can focus their time on the rest of the educational experience—the individualized, hands-on instruction and collaboration that no MOOC can provide. In this model, as I’ve noted in the past, the online lecture starts to look less like a poor substitute for traditional classes and more like a 21st-century twist on the traditional textbook.” – SPOCs: Small private online classes may be better than MOOCs. – Slate Magazine
  • “Major social networks now require users to supply real names or risk having their accounts deleted. To reign in trolls, popular sites have vowed to verify the identities of registered users. As online services incorporate facial recognition and other biometric technologies to identify users, the notion of participating online using a name not found on your government-issued ID may become a quaint relic of the early Internet. Pseudonymity, part of Net culture since its early beginnings, is under siege.” – Real names, real problems: Pseudonymity under siege | ITworld
  • “The problem is that people are entering into academia for the wrong reasons. What began as a world dedicated to advancing human knowledge has warped into a snobbish center of individualistic pursuits.” – PhD programs need students who care about more than just future earnings – Quartz
  • IF our IT department doesn’t have a replacement available, then they will have to order another one. If that is the case, it wouldn’t be ordered until the start of the new fiscal year (Oct 1). We would hope that it is back up sometime in October, but could extend into November.” – Failed Pentagon fax machine blocks FOIA requests | Ars Technica
  • “The authors believe this takeover will happen in two stages. First, computers will start replacing people in especially vulnerable fields like transportation/logistics, production labor, and administrative support. Jobs in services, sales, and construction may also be lost in this first stage. Then, the rate of replacement will slow down due to bottlenecks in harder-to-automate fields such engineering. This “technological plateau” will be followed by a second wave of computerization, dependent upon the development of good artificial intelligence. This could next put jobs in management, science and engineering, and the arts at risk.” – Report Suggests Nearly Half of U.S. Jobs Are Vulnerable to Computerization | MIT Technology Review
  • “Users will always do things with technology that we didn’t anticipate,” Vallor said. “Ethics isn’t a due diligence where you check off the boxes and you’re done.” – Software engineers need a crash course in ethics.
  • “Drivers are given small RFID transponders that are scanned in tollbooths, at which point the toll is automatically deducted from a pre-paid account. One hacker got curious whether the RFID tags were being scanned elsewhere, so he tweaked his E-ZPass to blink a light and make a noise every time it was read. He tested the streets of New York City, and wasn’t surprised to see it light up in plenty of places where there were no tollbooths to be found.” – NYC Is Tracking RFID Toll Collection Tags All Over the City – Slashdot
  • “In the same way that trailblazers like Coursera and Udacity are making instruction faster, cheaper, and more effective, we should also make certification faster, cheaper, and more effective too. To do this, we need to apply new technologies to the primary tool of traditional certification, the diploma. We need to take what now exists as a dumb, static document and turn it into a richer, updateable, more connected record of a person’s skills, expertise, and experience. And then we need to take that record and make it part of a fully networked certification platform.” – College Diplomas are Meaningless. This is How to Fix Them. | New Republic

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