Week in Review – 27 September

Library Plans Response to Possible Government Shutdown

As most people are likely aware, current appropriations to support most government operations will expire at midnight on October 1st. If Congress and the President do not agree to new funding measures prior to that time some government services will be interrupted. In the event of a shutdown, here is what (we believe) you can expect with regard to USMA Library services:

  • Academic classes are expected to continue, and Jefferson Hall Library and Learning Center will continue to support regular operating hours.
  • Services provided by the library will be limited to cadets, faculty, and staff of USMA. We will be unable to support external research visits or respond to external inquiries.
  • Library staffing will be significantly reduced, which may mean service reductions or delays at some service points. Our primary goal will be maintaining core access to the facility and both physical and virtual collections in support of the academic mission.
  • Interlibrary loan and ConnectNY borrowing should remain available.
  • Support for room/facility reservations will be available.

Please watch the USMA Library website and our blog for more information as it becomes available.

Library Subcommittee of Faculty Council Begins Work

This past week, the Library subcommittee of Faculty Council met for the first time during the 2013-14 academic year. During the meeting, the committee came up to speed on the current operating environment for the library including ongoing challenges of budget allocations and hiring actions. We also discussed and reviewed a survey regarding the library, intended for faculty, and designed to support our ABET accreditation work. The assessment of academic support functions like the library is a critical and important piece of the accreditation process and we look forward forward to partnering with the committee to prepare an accurate overview of our current work and resource level. I hope to use this process as a push toward the development of a more complete and permanent assessment plan for the library as an organization. This is something we will talk more about as a staff in the coming weeks and months.

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
27 September 2013
Week in Review 0700-1630
28 September 2013
Beat Louisiana Tech (Away) 1530-2100
29 September 2013
 Tunnel to Towers 1100-2245
30 September 2013
1 October 2013
Division Heads 0700-2245
2 October 2013
 Dean’s Staff Meeting Liaisons 0700-2245
3 October 2013
All Library Staff  SCPME Event 0700-2245
4 October 2013
Week in Review Minority Visitation Program 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 445 463 570 665
Gate Count 3,927 3,331 4,178 N/A
ILL Article Requests 17 15 18 23
ILL Book Requests 35 9 8 11
Administrative Services
DV Tours 0 0 0 0
Significant Events Hosted 1 2 1 0
Events/Meetings Attended 14 21 21 17
Information Gateway
Reference Questions 31 25 48 57
Library Instruction Sessions 10 6 8 3
Cadets Attending Sessions 195 111 132 64
Materials Processing
Items Added – Books 145 21 41 53
Items Added – Digital 1 8,207 2,314 8
Items Added – GovDocs 177 9 156 8
Items Added – Other 2 1 0 25
Continuing Resource Check-Ins 74 82 63 159
Special Collections & Archives
Reference Inquiries 29 23 36 39
Research Visits < 1 hour 7 5 16 12
Research Visits < 1 day 1 0 17 1
Research Visits > 1 day 0 0 0 0
Instruction Sessions 7 2 8 1
Cadets Taught 114 38 114 6
Systems Management
Library Home Page Visits 2,770 3,078 3,316 3,578
LibGuides Visits 482 421 544 578
Digital Collections Visits 262 230 227 245
Facebook Visits 31 22 40 25
Public Printer Prints 6,510 5,770 5,468 3,926
Public Printer Copies 336 582 1,080 445
Public Printer Scans 173 12 350 13

Food for Thought

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

  • “In 1970, only 2% of firefighters had college degrees; now 18% do, according to Richard Vedder, an economist at Ohio University. Fewer than 1% of taxi drivers had a college degree in 1970; now 15% do. About 25% of retail sales clerks have college degrees, Vedder said. “The main reason is a pretty simple one,” he said. “The number of college graduates has grown vastly faster than the number of jobs that require high-level education skills.” – College-educated workers are taking jobs that don’t require degrees – latimes.com
  • “The first serious discussion of a legal right to privacy in the United States didn’t come until the year 1890 and that was because of the invention of a technology and that technology was the Kodak camera. Before cameras were big like what I’m facing right now they sat in studios and you knew when you’re picture was being taken. Now suddenly people could take this camera out in the street, take a picture of you anywhere and that picture could appear before the whole world in the penny press. It freaked people out. They didn’t know what to do about it and so Louise Brandeis and Samuel Warren wrote a now famous paper that was the fundamental intellectual base of looking for a legal right to privacy in the US and what was really happening there was there was a gap between technology and society’s norms. A new technology came along. It caused a change. It was disrupting and unsettling.” – Why Technology Will Win the Privacy Debate | In Their Own Words | Big Think
  • “How many times have I watched college leaders roll their eyes because they cannot understand why parents and students would insist that a degree lead to a job rather than simply being enthralled by the privilege of learning from us? How much time do we waste haggling over whether courses should be taught traditionally or online, as though students will tolerate any instruction in the future that does not take advantage of some online component?” – Take It From an Ex-Journalist: Adapt or Die – Commentary – The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • “We all want to stay sharp-witted as we age, which explains the recent proliferation of brain games and puzzles. But newly published research suggests a low-tech way of retaining our mental agility: Learn to play a musical instrument. According to this research, people who spend many hours in the practice room not only process information unusually efficiently, but they also do a superior job of not letting occasional errors derail them.” – Study: Musical Training Teaches Us to Detect Our Own Mistakes
  • “The L.A. Public Library has arrived in the 21st century. Since July, anyone in L.A. with a library card has been able to stream over 10,000 movies and TV shows and over 250,000 albums onto any computer, smartphone or tablet for free through a new service called Hoopla. Even better: In August, electronic subscriptions to over 230 current magazines became available to stream or download onto any device through an app called Zinio.” – L.A. Library’s New Free, Netflix-Like Services, Explained
  • “The fine folks who manage Harvard’s ginormous endowment have reported their latest annual results, and thus reminded the world that Cambridge’s favorite color is not in fact crimson, but green. Last year, the University’s cash pile grew by 11.3 percent to $32.7 billion. As Hamilton Nolan wrote it over at Gawker, the school “made Fortune 500 money last year. More profit than Target, and just less than AIG.” – Harvard Is Still Rolling In Money – Jordan Weissmann – The Atlantic
  • “Since the end of 2008, the amount of US student debt outstanding has surged 61%. Over the same period, the largest component of US consumer borrowing—home mortgage debt—has shrunk 11.3%.” – US student debt: $1.2 trillion, and rising – Quartz
  • “I don’t think paper booksellers are out of the swamps yet but there is one good reason they can stay alive: they act as a community hub and a place for authors to read and sell books. Just as recorded music didn’t kill concert halls, authors need a place to show up in person. If there were some way – and I’m sure there is – for bookstores to get a cut of ebook sales sold in store I think that could reduce some of the doldrums. Booksellers are now mostly coffee shops that happen to sell books. That’s definitely a noble profession and it’s definitely an important part of the bookselling ecosystem. And, thanks to the death of the Big Bookstore we’re almost guaranteed better selection, curation, and intelligence from the indies.” – Indie Bookstores Aren’t Dead Yet | TechCrunch

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