Week in Review – 11 October 2013

Shutdown Saga of 2013 Continues

This week, we were pleased to bring back our library staff from the shutdown furlough that began on October 1st. We are very appreciative for the professional assistance of the West Point Band who stepped in to provide primary library staffing while our staff was furloughed. With their help, we were able to maintain our regular facility hours, and provide a base level of service to support our academic mission.

While our staff has returned, due to the ongoing lapse in appropriations, not all services are returned to normal. We are able to borrow and lend materials through our statewide consortium ConnectNY. Requests for interlibrary loan materials that do not require shipping or copyright clearance are also being filled. Because we cannot incur any fiscal obligations until the government reopens, we have paused services that require funds to operate.

All databases should continue to be operational, and other services remain available for our cadets, faculty, and staff.

Evening Library Skills Clinics Planned

Last year, the library began preparing a series of evening clinics designed to support both specific academic assignments as where improving library research skills would be useful as well as general library skills. This fall we are bringing back this series with the events listed below. Sessions generally last 20-30 minutes and are open to anyone interested..

  • Wed 9 OCT, SS202 Research Tips – Mr. Arden (JH514)
  • Tue 15 OCT, SS307 “Sosh Paper” Research Tips – Ms. Mosher (JH401)
  • Thu 17 OCT, Scout Research Tips – Mr. Hankins (JH514)
  • Wed 23 OCT, Mil Art Research Tips (Latin American History) – Mr. Dacey (JH401)
  • Wed 6 NOV, Mil Art Research Tips (Battle of Gettysburg) – Mr. Dacey (JH514)
  • Wed 20 NOV, SS307 Policy Paper Gov Docs Research Tips – Ms. McConnell (JH514)

Faculty interested in offering library instruction for their cadets can be in touch with the liaison to arrange either in-class or evening sessions tailored to the specific needs of the course.

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
11 October 2013
Week in Review 0700-2100
12 October 2013
Beat Eastern Michigan (Home) 1530-2100
13 October 2013
14 October 2013
 Columbus Day – Classes Held 0700-2315
15 October 2013
Division Heads 0700-2315
16 October 2013
Dean’s Staff Meeting Liaisons 0700-2315
17 October 2013
Thayer Award 0700-2315
18 October 2013
Week in Review McDonald Leadership Conference 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 570 665 655 589
Gate Count n/a n/a n/a n/a
ILL Article Requests 18 23 27 2
ILL Book Requests 8 11 14 2
Administrative Services
DV Tours 0 0 1 0
Significant Events Hosted 1 0 0 2
Events/Meetings Attended 21 17 20 12
Information Gateway
Reference Questions 48 57 82 38
Library Instruction Sessions 8 3 8 7
Cadets Attending Sessions 132 64 116 113
Materials Processing
Items Added – Books 41 53 41 7
Items Added – Digital 2,314 8 0 0
Items Added – GovDocs 156 8 91 0
Items Added – Other 0 25 41 0
Continuing Resource Check-Ins 63 159 78 63
Special Collections & Archives
Reference Inquiries 36 39 39 33
Research Visits < 1 hour 16 12 10 1
Research Visits < 1 day 17 1 5 0
Research Visits > 1 day 0 0 0 0
Instruction Sessions 8 1 8 8
Cadets Taught 114 6 128 123
Systems Management
Library Home Page Visits 3,316 3,578 3,508 3,849
LibGuides Visits 544 578 575 599
Digital Collections Visits 227 245 243 256
Facebook Visits 40 25 44 47
Public Printer Prints 5,468 3,926 5,409 5,024
Public Printer Copies 1,080 445 345 242
Public Printer Scans 350 13 301 35

Food for Thought

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

  • “Anyone who has conducted or been involved with e-discovery realizes how much personal, privileged, and confidential information is stored on our devices. When you “delete” files and documents from your computer, they do not go away. They remain embedded in the hard drive; they may become difficult to find, but they’re there. Odds are, someone can access them. Even encrypted files can be traced back to the very encryption keys that created them. E-discovery has been used to uncover registries and cache data showing that murderers had been planning their crimes, spouses had been cheating, perverts had been downloading illegal images, and employees had been stealing or compromising sensitive company data or destroying intellectual property. Computer forensics were even used to reveal medical documents from Dr. Conrad Murray’s computer during the so-called “Michael Jackson death trial.” – Is Hacking the Future of Scholarship?
  • “So when it comes to googling information in a crowded room, what we’re doing is something we’ve always done, just with a computer network, rather than a person, as our partner. What this implies is that we’re not getting dumber, or more dependent on technology to remember things for us (if you count paper as a technology). We’re simply getting less reliant on each other for that information.” – How Much Do You Remember the Old-Fashioned Way, Sans Google? – Facts So Romantic – Nautilus
  • “IKEA engages its own designers to create furniture kits that customers can retrieve from the warehouse, take home, and assemble themselves, without having to wait for delivery. IKEA designs furniture that is explicitly meant to be temporary, not to become heirlooms. IKEA offers child care because unfettered concentration on furniture purchases is an important experience. And it positions an affordable cafeteria in the store so customers can refuel. Although IKEA has been slowly rolling out across America for 30 years, even though its “formula” is open for all to inspect, and despite the fact that its owner is one of the wealthiest people in the world, nobody has copied it. Nobody. The reason? We believe that because other furniture retailers think about their market through the lenses of product category and price point, they don’t even see the need to integrate differently, and they therefore rarely are hired to do IKEA’s job. As a result, IKEA just sits there, neither disrupted nor disrupting. Were it to someday decide that it wanted to diversify and optimize itself for other jobs, it would need to set up separate business units in order to achieve the integrated structure required to provide the experiences appropriate to those jobs. The evidence appears to be that if an organization aligns itself around a specific job to be done, then it obviates the need to disrupt others, and it causes others not to be able to disrupt it.” – How Disruption Can Help Colleges Thrive – NEXT: The Future of Higher Education – The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • “For the second time, the department also formally released default rates for federal student loans measured over a three-year window: 14.7 percent of borrowers who entered repayment during the 2010 fiscal year defaulted within three years, up from 13.4 percent who entered repayment during the 2009 fiscal year. Proprietary institutions had the highest average three-year default rates, at 21.8 percent, down slightly from the previous rate of 22.7 percent.” – Default Rate on Federal Student Loans Climbs Again – The Ticker – The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • “If you’re between 8 and 18, you spend more than 11 hours a day plugged into an electronic device. The average American teen now spends nearly every waking moment on a smart phone or computer or watching TV. This seismic shift in how kids spend their time is having a profound effect on the way they make friends, the way they date, and their introduction to the world of sex.” – What Facebook, Twitter, Tinder, Instagram, and Internet Porn Are Doing to America’s Teenage Girls
  • “If your reading material consists only of chick lit and Amazon bestsellers you’re probably not a very empathetic person. A new study by psychologists from the New School in New York, published this week in the journal Science, concludes that people who read literary fiction have the ability to navigate complex social relationships, identify and understand others’ subjective states and form empathic responses to them.” – It’s official: Reading literary fiction makes you a better person – Quartz
  • “Ocorrafoo Cobange, a biologist at the Wassee Institute of Medicine in Asmara, recently had an article about the medical properties of a chemical extracted from a lichen accepted for publication — by more than half of the 304 open-access journals he submitted it to. Of course, Cobange is not real, and neither is the Wassee Institute. They are both inventions of John Bohannon, the Harvard University biologist and writer who documented the study in this week’s edition of Science. “Acceptance was the norm, not the exception,” Bohannon wrote. Not only did the Journal of Natural Pharmaceuticals see the article fit for publication, but so did journals “hosted by industry titans … prestigious academic institutions … [and] journals for which the paper’s topic was utterly inappropriate.” The culprit — a lack of a rigorous peer review process. Bohannon estimates 60 percent of the accepted submissions showed “no sign of peer review,” and that even among the journals that reviewed the article, 70 percent accepted it anyway.” – Open-access journals confuse contributors as they experiment with peer review models | Inside Higher Ed
  • “Only one-fifth of physics Ph.D.’s in this country are awarded to women, and only about half of those women are American; of all the physics professors in the United States, only 14 percent are women. The numbers of black and Hispanic scientists are even lower; in a typical year, 13 African-Americans and 20 Latinos of either sex receive Ph.D.’s in physics. The reasons for those shortages are hardly mysterious — many minority students attend secondary schools that leave them too far behind to catch up in science, and the effects of prejudice at every stage of their education are well documented. But what could still be keeping women out of the STEM fields (“STEM” being the current shorthand for “science, technology, engineering and mathematics”), which offer so much in the way of job prospects, prestige, intellectual stimulation and income?” – Why Are There Still So Few Women in Science? – NYTimes.com
  • “So how would a hacker do something as large as moving a train? For starters, through a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system. SCADAs are widely used to monitor and maintain everything from air conditioners in a corporate building to nuclear enrichment centrifuges in Iran. They’ve been popular since the 1960’s but as common as they are, SCADAs are still vulnerable to exploitation much like their simpler IoT counterparts. The CTA implemented their SCADA system in 2009 after getting a grant from Homeland Security (pdf) to do so. Many SCADA systems more or less put all data, monitoring and administrative controls into one interface, and it is systems like SCADA that make smartphone apps like the CTA Train Tracker possible. CTA’s current SCADA system, implemented by California-based company LightRiver Technologies after October 2012, includes video surveillance. Hacking into the CTA’s system then, would certainly explain why the ghost train was able to remove its brakes at the Forest Park train yard, maneuver the curves without crashing into anything while there, and even bypass the CTA safeguards and disable the cameras that should have recorded the beginning of the incident.” – The Great Chicago Ghost Train Mystery | Motherboard
  • “The greatest form of luck, at least for me, is the opportunity to be of service and to help others. When you’re presented with the opportunity to improve someone else’s life, to help them go through a particularly difficult challenge, to engage with great comrades and achieve a noble mission-;what could be luckier?” – The Re-Education of Jim Collins
  • “Everyone’s fascination with digital nativism in the U.S. or, say, Scandinavia is fine, but the places where this phenomenon probably has the most impact is low-income countries in Africa or Asia,” Dr. Best said. “The places where it is most salient are those where the least amount of attention has been paid to it.” – Young People Are Not as Digitally Native as You Think – NYTimes.com
  • “According to Locket’s data, on a given day, the average user checks his or her phone 110 times per day, with its highest frequency users unlocking their home screens many times more.” – Here’s The Cold, Hard Proof That We Can’t Stop Checking Our Phones
  • “In fact, digital is a huge conceptual change, a sociological change, a cluster bomb blowing apart who we are and how our world is ordered, how we see ourselves, how we live. It’s a change we’re in the middle of, so close up that sometimes it’s hard to see. But it is deeply profound and it is happening at an almost unbelievable speed.” – Going digital isn’t just an upgrade — it’s a complete transformation in the way journalism is done — paidContent
  • “The bottom line is that federal IT programs’ success is measured by things that have nothing to do with how successful they are or by the metrics most of the world uses. While the business world (and Web companies in particular) now monitor user experience and productivity as a metric for IT success, the government keeps throwing out numbers that mask the truth: the only people who would use their systems are the ones that are forced to. Like people who need health insurance.” – Why US government IT fails so hard, so often | Ars Technica
  • “Talk of digital revolutions and bookless libraries notwithstanding, academic libraries around the country are feeling the squeeze as legacy collections outgrow shelves, and shelves give way to learning commons and shared study areas. Those twin pressure points—too many print books plus new demands on library real estate—have spurred academic libraries to try a set of state and regional experiments to free up library space to suit modern learning styles and still make sure that somebody, somewhere, hangs onto books that make up part of the intellectual record, even if those books haven’t circulated in years. For such experiments to succeed, librarians say, they should build off existing relationships among libraries, and they should draw on solid data—on persuasive and detailed analyses of what’s in a collection and how it’s used and whether those books are available somewhere else. The streamlining of collections has to be handled in a way that doesn’t enrage faculty members who still cherish access to physical books. Many disciplines, especially the sciences, favor electronic resources, but print still holds powerful appeal for a lot of scholars.” – Short on Space, Libraries Look to One Another for Solutions – Technology – The Chronicle of Higher Education

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