Monthly Archives: November 2013

Tamara Sloan Receives Air Force Commendation Medal

Tamara Sloan, a technician in the Systems Management Division at the USMA Library, recently received her retirement pin from the United States Air Force, honoring her for fifteen years of service.  The ceremony took place on November 11 at the Veterans Green in Middletown, Connecticut, during which Tamara was also presented with an Air Force Commendation Medal – 2nd Oak Leaf Cluster and a CT State Medal for retired veterans.  While in the Air Force, Tamara rose to the rank of Technical Sergeant, and among her many assigned duties, was deployed four times in support of Operations ENDURING FREEDOM, DESERT FALCON and IRAQI FREEDOM.

 Tamara holds an Associate of Science degree in Information Technology (Magna Cum Laude) from South University, Savannah, GA, and is currently in pursuit of an Associates of Applied Arts degree in Performing Arts (Drama/Theater) from Dutchess Community College in Poughkeepsie, NY. 

While Tamara has only worked at the Library since July of 2013, she has already made herself an indispensible part of daily operations with her cheery disposition and knowledge of systems and computers.   Congratulations, Tamara, from everyone here at the Library! 

 

 

Cadet Guards Now on Duty

Effective today, there will be a cadet guard posted at the top of the stairs on the second floor of Jefferson Hall. This cadet is responsible for verifying that those entering the 2nd-6th floors of Jefferson Hall are properly uniformed or credentialed. The cadet will escort anyone not meeting those standards out of the facility.

These cadets do not report to the library or our staff, nor is it their job to enforce any other library policies or rules. I believe they will generally be doing one shift per day, meaning one cadet is here open to close, and is excused from classes for this duty. They will be studying or doing other work while posted.

I anticipate that this arrangement may change and evolve as we settle into things. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Week in Review – 22 November 2013

Forward Progress on Library Recruitments

After a lengthy period of slow movement, we are seeing some forward progress on several library recruitment actions. Here are some brief updates for all our current vacancies:

  • We are very pleased that Ms. Manja Yirka has accepted an offer to join Materials Processing as our Electronic Resources Librarian (GS-11). She plans to begin work on December 2nd. This is David Stockton’s former position.
  • Our Digital Projects & Metadata Librarian (GS-11) in Materials Processing was announced this past Tuesday via USAJOBS.gov. This is an internal recruitment for current federal employees or those with eligibility for an internal hire.
  • We continue to review applications for the Supply Technician (GS-06) in Administration and hope to conclude that recruitment very shortly.
  • Our two Access Services Librarian (GS-09) positions were announced this past Tuesday via USAJOBS.gov. They are also posted as internal recruitments.
  • Paperwork is currently in review for our Systems Librarian (GS-11) and Library Technician for Special Collections (GS-06). We also have submitted paperwork to make the GS-05 technician position that was Larry Byrne’s into a new position that will help coordinate facility use, event planning/management, and also help serve as a an online community manager/social media coordinator. We do not know when these positions may be posted.

Tools for Citation Management in Transition

Due to technical issues that impair reliable and full use of the product on the USMA network, USMA Library will not be renewing our contract to provide RefWorks as an online bibliographic and citation management tool. This change will be effective 1 January 2014. Based on service usage data, we anticipate this will only impact a small subset of users. We are continuing to review alternative products to provide this service and USMA Library maintains a guide on citation management that contains information about different citation formats and tools. Specific tools that can replace RefWorks include EasyBib and Zotero. Users who wish to continue to use the RefWorks service can continue their account as a personal subscription, or export their data for use in other products. Please contact your library liaison for additional questions regarding citation management tools and services.

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
Fri 22 Nov 2013 Week in Review 0700-2100
Sat 23 Nov 2013 0900-2100
Sun 24 Nov 2013 1300-2100
Mon 25 Nov 2013 0700-2315
Tue 26 Nov 2013 Division Heads 0700-2315
Wed 27 Nov 2013 0600-1630
Thu 28 Nov 2013 Thanksgiving CLOSED
Fri 29 Nov 2013 CLOSED

USMA Library Metrics

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

22OCT-28OCT 29OCT-3NOV 4NOV-10NOV 11NOV-17NOV
Access Services
Items Charged Out 771 881 1,067
Gate Count n/a n/a n/a n/a
ILL Article Requests 23 28 20 18
ILL Book Requests 19 10 24 16
Administrative Services
DV Tours 0 0 0 0
Significant Events Hosted 3 3 2 2
Events/Meetings Attended 18 18 23 8
Information Gateway
Reference Questions 72 83 77 69
Library Instruction Sessions 4 4 2 0
Cadets Attending Sessions 62 248 4 0
Materials Processing
Items Added – Books 111 23 33 32
Items Added – Digital 0 0 128 128
Items Added – GovDocs 152 6 26 26
Items Added – Other 0 0 0 0
Continuing Resource Check-Ins 318 62 70 70
Special Collections & Archives
Reference Inquiries 40 41 37 36
Research Visits < 1 hour 3 5 11 7
Research Visits < 1 day 4 1 1 0
Research Visits > 1 day 1 2 0 1
Instruction Sessions 0 0 1 1
Cadets Taught 0 0 5 12
Systems Management
Library Home Page Visits 5,882 5,611 4,937
LibGuides Visits 979 771 675
Digital Collections Visits 291 246 231
Facebook Visits 24 28 25
Public Printer Prints 5,519 7,441 6,907
Public Printer Copies 115 278 299
Public Printer Scans 498 247 180

Food for Thought

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

  • “If we continue to present students with a false choice between the liberal arts and “real-world” vocational training, we will produce what social scientists like to call “suboptimal” outcomes. Too many talented, energetic, hard-working students will choose “safe” educational and career paths, and too many truly global problems will go unsolved.” – Essay suggests liberal arts training relates to skills | Inside Higher Ed
  • “Here are a few things you can’t do in Australia: Post a YouTube video of yourself in a homemade Super Mario Brothers costume, stream music from your iPhone during a funeral, or share just about any Internet meme on your Facebook wall. That list—a truncation of the almost endless number of online activities made illegal under Australian copyright law—is a symbol of what happens when 20th-century laws are applied to 21st-century Internet remix culture.” – The Daily Dot – Outdated copyright law makes memes illegal in Australia
  • “Although Harvard Business Review articles have been included in the journal aggregator EBSCO since 2000, as of August 1 the publisher began blocking full access to the 500 most popular articles, meaning students and professors can no longer download, print, or link directly to them. Harvard has long asserted that a digital library subscription cannot substitute for the separate licenses and fees involved when the articles are assigned in courses. Yet it says it has encountered widespread abuse of that policy, with professors referring students to the digital subscriptions. To restore the linking ability, some of the largest business-school libraries have received quotes of roughly $200,000 annually—a number the publisher, a nonprofit subsidiary of Harvard University, confirms—although the press says the average quote is below $10,000. Alternatively, business schools can pay for journal articles that are assigned in class on an à-la-carte basis or under various “umbrella” plans. Those latter arrangements have long existed. (Some business schools already have expansive licensing arrangements with Harvard that mean they are unaffected.)” – Librarians Accuse Harvard Business Publishing of Unfair Prices – Publishing – The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • “A bill introduced in the U.S. Senate on Thursday would encourage the creation of free online textbooks by offering grants for pilot projects that produce high-quality open-access textbooks, especially for courses with large enrollments. Grant money would also be available to help faculty members find and review such textbooks, as well as to conduct research on how well open-access textbooks meet students’ and faculty members’ needs.” – 2 Senators Offer Bill Promoting Open-Access Textbooks – Wired Campus – The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • “In Plato’s Phaedrus, the Egyptian gods object to the invention of writing. They said it would destroy memory and foster arrogance on the part of mankind. Maybe they were right all along. Think of all we’ve lost by succumbing to literacy — all the capacity for memory, all the imagination and verse, all the forms and songs. Think of those poor Yugoslav bards studied by Milman Parry who lost all their epics when they learned to read the newspaper. They must have felt like they had traded their birthright for a bowl of pottage. But the written word is a virus. There’s no turning back the clock on literacy. Even if we descend to communication by shouts or pheromones or feral emoticons, writing will outlast us. Unmoored from objects, the literature of the future will be infinite, iterational, and immaterial. I like to imagine the cybernetic authors of the future at home on some satellite in high orbit, quietly floating through space, 10,000 years after every trace of our era has disappeared from the surface of Earth. Decade after decade the programs will write their tired potboilers and predictable coming of age novels, their wistful Brooklyn comedies and sad Russian satires. Over time, they will gradually tire of these antiquated forms. Increasingly they will try to write from life, to express in binary language the pain of their fragmented hard drives, the loneliness of their aseptic orbits, the monotonous cycle of day and night, the lonely work of archiving a civilization that has long since forgotten its past. In this future, history exists as an eternal present. Through endless new iterations, timelines gradually blur. Libraries and apocalypses multiply. Books vanish and reappear. Vikings stream out of attack ships to burn the Library of Alexandria. Virginia Woolf leads Caesar’s legions into the Thames while cybernetic Miltons write hymns in honor of their machine gods. Under the forest canopies, humanlike primates curse each other in emojis, while on the edge of the solar halo, Lev Tolstoy, reincarnated as an artificial intelligence, born with no memory of his own future, sits down to write the book of his life.” – Papyralysis |
  • “According to BitDefender, more than one percent of 420,000 analyzed apps offered on Google’s official Android store are repackaged versions of legitimate apps. In the long run, their existence hurts the users, the legitimate developers, and Google’s reputation in general.” – 1.2% of apps on Google Play are repackaged to deliver ads, collect info
  • “Privacy may actually be an anomaly,” Cerf said at an FTC event yesterday while taking questions. Elaborating, he explained that privacy wasn’t even guaranteed a few decades ago: he used to live in a small town without home phones where the postmaster saw who everyone was getting mail from. “In a town of 3,000 people there is no privacy. Everybody knows what everybody is doing.”- Google’s chief internet evangelist says ‘privacy may actually be an anomaly’ | The Verge
  • “A great library is like the City of Paris, in which there are about eight hundred thousand persons: you do not live with the whole crowd: you choose a certain society, and change it. So with books: you choose a few friends out of the many. There will be seven or eight thousand controversial books, and fifteen or sixteen thousand novels, which you will not read: a heap of pamphlets, which you will throw into the fire after you have read them. The man of taste will read only what is good; but the statesman will permit both bad and good.” – Voltaire on the perils of censorship, the freedom of the press, and the rewards of reading.
  • “[T]he price of textbooks has risen more than 800% over the past 30 years, a rate faster than medical services (575%), new home prices (325%), and the consumer price index (250%).” – The Changing Textbook Industry
  • “I believe there’s a real chance that we can eliminate censorship and the possibility of censorship in a decade,” Google Chairman Eric Schmidt said recently at Johns Hopkins University. “The solution to government surveillance is to encrypt everything.” – Google’s Schmidt Predicts Government Censorship Can Vanish In A Decade | TechCrunch

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

Remembering JFK at USMA

On the 50th Anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s death, we remember his historic visit to the United States Military Academy for the graduation of the Class of 1962.  These photos are from the USMA Archives, one of the historical collections maintained by the United States Military Academy Library.

62-2635 62-2670 62-2733

East and West Entrances to Jefferson Hall Now Emergency Exit Only

Effective 20 November, the east and west entrances to Jefferson Hall will be secured 24/7 and will be available for emergency exit only. All those seeking to enter or exit Jefferson Hall should use the main south entrance across from Bartlett Hall. This change is at the direction of the Superintendent and is designed to improve security for cadets, faculty, and staff. Signs in the hallways and on the doors themselves will redirect traffic through the main entrance. All cadets, faculty, and staff, including those assigned to Jefferson Hall are asked to adhere to and uphold this access policy.

Staff who work in Jefferson Hall and who require off-hours access through one of the restricted entrances may continue to enter, however, they must ensure that the entrances remain secure and locked after entering. Staff access through these doors is only permitted when the facility is closed. We will have additional guidance forthcoming regarding access procedures for personnel assigned to Jefferson Hall once it is complete.

From the Hudson River to Hollywood: West Point on Film

Michael G. Arden 

Reference/Audiovisual Librarian

Americans have always been fascinated by West Point.  Take a look at the Visitor’s Center any day of the week and note the crowds of people lining up for tours, so it’s no exception that Hollywood took note of West Point from the very beginning of the film industry.  The first motion picture commercially produced about the Academy was a documentary short, Artillery Drill at West Point, released in 1910.  Alas, that film is not in our collection of DVDs or VHS tapes, as it is not available on video.   

The following is a representative list of Hollywood films – all theatrical releases – that feature West Point in some way.  Most we have while others have not been released on video; all are worthy of mention.  The film industry’s “take” on life here is by turns noble, sappy, sweet, insipid, flag-waving, and awesomely inspired.  Some films were more successful than others in capturing that special West Point spirit.  

Here is an annotated list of the most notable movies of the 1920s through the 1940s; a list covering the 1950s through the 1990s will follow.  If the Library owns the movie, a link is provided within the text to the catalog.  Films not currently available are linked to their records in the Internet Movie Database (IMDb).

 West Point (1927) William Haines, Joan Crawford

A silent movie about a wealthy cadet named Brice Wayne (William Haines), who is a stellar football player, but angers his fellow cadets with his arrogance.  As he is being disciplined by a coach, he even yells, “To hell with the Corps” before stomping off the field.  His hero-worshipping roommate, “Tex,” saves him from further discipline, but Wayne resigns from West Point anyway.  Of course, this being Hollywood, a happy ending is in store when he is reinstated just before the big game and leads West Point to victory, finds love with Betty Channing (Joan Crawford), the local hotel owner’s daughter.  This is a very early film for Crawford, destined to become a Hollywood super star.  Haines gives a good performance, very effective for a silent film, never “over the top.”  The film features excellent camera work as well.

 Flirtation Walk (1934) Dick Powell, Ruby Keeler (DVD/VHS)

Dick Powell plays Dick Dorsey, an Army private stationed in Hawaii who meets Kit Fitts (Ruby Keeler), a general’s daughter, before she sets sail for Manila with her father.  She falls madly in love with Private Dorsey when he croons “Aloha Oe” after they crash a beach luau.  Since she is already engaged to somebody else, they break up, to avoid scandal.  Later Dorsey is top cadet at West Point, producing the annual “100th Night” musical and now Kit’s father is Superintendent.  Dorsey and Kit reunite, so it’s one of those, “boy gets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl again” stories, and, guess what?  There is a happy ending, amid much spirited singing and dancing.  This is the first time “100th Night” is featured as a plot element in a West Point film, but it won’t be the last.

 Rosalie (1937) Nelson Eddy, Eleanor Powell (DVD/VHS)

Another song and dance film about West Point, this one features Nelson Eddy as Cadet Dick Thorpe who falls in love with a beauty played by Eleanor Powell, who is really a princess from a tiny European kingdom travelling incognito.  The New York Times badly panned this film in their 1937 review, considering it overblown and pretentious fluff.  One modern reviewer basically agreed, though he stated the great Cole Porter score saves it, along with Eddy’s singing, Powell’s terrific dancing in black silk stockings at Trophy Point, and the spirited humor provided by character actors Frank Morgan and Ray Bolger, who would go on to play the Wizard and Scarecrow respectively from The Wizard of Oz. Unfortunately, there is no chemistry between the two stars, so both the romance and the plot, wherein he follows her home to her kingdom, come across as totally artificial.  Yet, no expense was spared on the lavish production, which included spectacularly mounted musical numbers.  When released, Rosalie was one of the most costly movies ever made, yet it all paid off as the film was a huge hit with the public.

The Duke of West Point (1938) Louis Hayward, Joan Fontaine (VHS)

The “Duke” in question is actually an American brought up in England, educated at Cambridge, the son of a diplomat.  He’s also a “natural” at any athletic endeavor he chooses, and woos the only girl within miles of West Point.  Naturally, he comes off to the other cadets as an insufferable snob, except for his loyal everyman American roommates, to whom the Duke is passionately loyal, even at risk of potential disgrace to himself.  Therefore, the audience sees his “heart of gold” through the eyes of his devoted roommates, even as he gets his comeuppance at the hands of the remaining Corps of Cadets.  The film had West Point script approval, and includes many skillfully filmed sports sequences.  Reviews at the time of release were mixed.  A modern reviewer sees the film as part of the Hollywood trend to portray rich scalawags with hearts of gold, since the public (experiencing the brunt of the Great Depression) loved to see depictions of wealthy and glamorous people being “just like us.”

 Cadet Girl (1941) Carole Landis, George Montgomery

Cadet Tex Mallory (George Montgomery) falls in love with Gene Baxter  (Carole Landis), who sings with his brother’s swing band in New York City.  Both brothers were to attend West Point; however, a slight eye defect kept brother Bob from attending.  When Tex becomes a guest singer with Bob’s band, they have a falling out over Gene, who follows Tex over to his own newly formed band.  When the two lovebirds become engaged, Tex prepares to leave West Point.  However, when Bob writes a patriotic ballad, Tex is reminded that his first duty is to his country.  Given that Cadet Girl came out the year the U.S. entered World War II, the patriotic theme naturally carries the day.  Carole Landis, fresh from her sensational role in One Million B.C earlier that year, brought in the crowds.

 Ten Gentlemen from West Point (1942) George Montgomery, Maureen O’Hara

Carolyn Bainbridge (Maureen O’Hara) is a young Washington socialite in the early nineteenth century, who joins with others, fighting for Congress to reinstate West Point after it was shut down.  Congress agrees to reopen the Academy on a trial basis for one year, appointing Major Sam Carter, a martinet and harsh disciplinarian as Commandant.  Believing that a college cannot produce real fighting men, he plans to either make or break the cadets under his charge.  Cadet Joe Dawson is one of only ten cadets, along with his rival, Cadet John Sutton, a rough-hewn frontiersman, who can tough out Carter’s extremely difficult training regimen, after the rest of the Corps resigns.  The rivalry between the two cadets worsens when Dawson falls for Bainbridge, who has been seeing Sutton.  With only ten cadets left in the Corps, Carter gets word that the Indian chief Tecumseh is on the war path.  Heroics follow when Carter is captured by the Indians, and Dawson and Sutton leave their posts against orders to save him.  Helmed by the famous director, Henry Hathaway, best known for his Westerns, The Sons of Katie Elder and True Grit, the movie’s exciting battle scenes are skillfully staged.  Maureen O’Hara makes her first appearance in a West Point film as Carolyn Bainbridge (stay tuned for her second in West Point on Film, Part II), and George Montgomery plays his second cadet role as Joe Dawson.

 The Spirit of West Point (1947) Felix Blanchard, Glenn Davis (VHS)

Doc Blanchard and Glenn Davis, two All-Americans who play under legendary football coach, Earl Henry “Red” Blaik in the 1940s, portray themselves in this film featuring their gridiron heroics.  With oodles of newsreel coverage of their actual playing highlights, this would be a must-see for any Black Knights fan, as the team became known during Blaik’s tenure.  For movie fans maybe not so much.  One modern reviewer considers this the “Plan Nine of sports movies,” referring, of course, to the infamous Ed Wood sci-fi travesty, Plan Nine from Outer Space.  Seems the two leads were out of their league portraying themselves on film, and by no means in danger of losing their “amateur” status for acting.  At one point Blaik, checks his watch,  tells the team there is “two minutes to go.”  This scene apparently got big laughs among moviegoers down in football-savvy Texas; perhaps after watching the movie for 70 minutes they were just relieved that the film’s end was now in sight.

 Stay tuned for West Point on Film, Part II, coming soon….!

Security Update – 18 November

We continue to engage in discussions regarding our security arrangements and procedures for Jefferson Hall as a result of the broader changes being implemented at West Point. Here are some updates from conversations that I’ve been involved with through this afternoon:

  • We expect that lanyards for staff will be arriving any day. All staff must wear their ID when moving around the facility and the post. Staff and cadets will need to challenge those not appropriately credentialed, and there will likely be checks verifying that we all are complying with this.
  • It is not yet determined whether or when cadets may be assigned guard duty for the library. That decision will ultimately be made by the Superintendent. Primary considerations are the impact on cadet time (as they are also being asked to provide guard duty at many other locations) and what risk level is acceptable for the library.
  • One consideration under review is whether or not to leave the east and west entrances to Jefferson Hall locked 24/7. In that case, access would be permitted via CAC authentication for authorized users. The doors could also be used for egress. Those changes hinge upon repairs that would allow the doors to reliably close and secure themselves (which does not currently occur). It is likely that we will move as soon as possible to all CAC-authentication on exterior doors and the elimination of physical keys for those doors.
  • We will very soon see new signs prominently placed around the perimeter of the Central Area security zone that will advise visitors of the restrictions in place. Unescorted visitors will no longer have access to Jefferson Hall or the surrounding area. This will be a big change as individuals like graduates, parents, etc. will now be excluded from Central Area and Jefferson Hall unless accompanied.

Regarding the right long-term security design for the library, we, along with the Dean’s office and Commandant’s office are moving toward identifying a solution that will be the “right” and permanent solution for Jefferson Hall. We do not want a patch job. As we all know, there are a number of security issues inherent in our architectural design, and we have few options in our toolbox at the moment for providing better facility security. We are fortunate that our second floor redesign project reviewed a number of these issues and possible options last year. In that review, the best option for building and collection security was Option 3 – which would relocate the Circulation Desk to the first floor. At the time, that was seen as an expensive and somewhat disruptive option and we opted to go with a plan that had a lighter impact on the facility. Given the guidance we are now receiving regarding security, it makes much more sense to now look much more seriously about implementing Option 3 as a permanent long-term fix for improved security for Jefferson Hall.

To that end, we will now be working through some much more detailed assessments and planning as we work up cost and impact estimates on what it would take to create a new Circulation service point in the rotunda (with all that that would entail with electric, data, heat, sound mitigation, etc.) Included in the thinking about this would be an effort to implement a completely new and totally secure interior perimeter for the library within Jefferson Hall that would be CAC-authenticated for access, would allow both elevators to roam freely, would significantly improve our capability for collection security, and would give us eyes on all traffic entering and exiting the upper floors of the facility.

This path can be designed to address all of our known security issues with properly designed solutions. That is a good thing. There are many, many unknowns as well, and many second, third, and fourth order effects. Our primary thinking for right now will be focusing on how to stand up a new service point and new security perimeter. Following from that we will have to have more thought about staff workspaces, our access policies, and many other things. This will also change our thinking for the design of the rest of the second floor, including reference services.

To be clear: there has been no final decision on a path forward, other than that our security posture must be improved, and should be designed to flexible and strong. It also should not rely long-term on cadets to provide guard duty. I want to be as transparent as possible about the process to determine how we accomplish that, and I will ask for collaboration from across the library as we consider what the right path forward will be. Sharing information is important to doing this as a team. As we progress, I will ask that we tamp down rumors that may arise. If you have a question, ask. We don’t know answers to everything, but we will continue to identify problems and solutions and I will commit to regularly sharing what I know.

I think this can be a very positive opportunity for the library to address some long-standing issues that have compromised physical security for our cadets, our employees, and our collections. I welcome your comments on how best we can make improvements and look forward to seeing what we develop as a plan together.

ConnectNY Fall Meeting Report

In place of the Week in Review this week is the report below on the fall meeting of the ConnectNY library directors which took place earlier this week at Hobart and William Smith College in Geneva, New York.

Topics covered:

  • eBook Project – We reviewed the full year data from 2012-13 for our EBL eBook project where each library contributed 1% of our acquisitions budget to a central pool to provide access for electronic books. Patrons can then access ebooks through the catalog either triggering a short term rental or a purchase of the title based on the nature of the use. Overall, the project has been financially successful for the consortium in that the cost spent on the project is less than what we would have spent collectively to purchase print copies of the titles that have been used. For West Point specifically, our users accessed 234 titles over the course of the year. Based on Yankee’s average price for an academic book title last year, those items would have cost us approximately $20,500. Our contribution to the ebook project was just under $15,000, so we came out ahead in cost. We are now in year two of this project, which I believe will continue as a ConnectNY initiative going forward.
  • New Circulation Policy – We will soon be activating the ability for items that are loaned through ConnectNY to be recalled for those schools that permit recalls. This will then allow the planned extension of the loan period to be put in place. The new loan period will be 42 days. This will result in our standard loan period being shorter than the ConnectNY loan period. I expect this to be effective in the new year.
  • Shared Print Trust – We continued discussions around the idea of a shared print trust, or an agreement among ConnectNY libraries to retain certain titles as last copies, while allowing other libraries to deaccession duplicate copies. There is not full consensus yet around how this should play out in detail. More conversations will be ongoing.
  • ConnectNY/Discovery Data – RIT is piloting a process by which records from the central catalog can be imported into discovery layers at each institution to allow direct finding of shared resources. Hopefully this will be available in the next 30-45 days.
  • ConnectNY Expansion – We continue to look at expanding the consortium. There are two other institutions who have expressed some interest. No firm plans to bring them on at this point. We are also looking at a resource sharing arrangement with NExpress, a consortium of six liberal arts colleges in New England. That would allow for an expanded pool of items for our patrons to access. More details on that will be coming in the new year.
  • Strategic Planning – The Executive Director of ConnectNY, Bart Harloe has announced he plans to retire at the end of 2014, so we are now beginning discussions on the strategic future of the group and where we want to go. That will inform the search for a new Executive Director. We spent some time discussing how to go about moving forward in this area.

Security Measures – 14 November Update

Hopefully everyone has seen the memorandum distributed by the Superintendent regarding the changes in security procedures for West Point. I’d like to highlight some of those and given some additional information regarding library security:

  • Effective immediately all personnel must have their CAC with them as they move about Central Area. The Dean’s Office is working to acquire lanyards for all directorate personnel. These lanyards must be displayed and visible according to the Supt’s memo. Until lanyards are received, you should carry your CAC with you and display it as requested. This is not optional and supervisors are responsible for ensuring that all personnel comply with this directive.
  • All staff must approach individuals who are not in uniform and who are not displaying identification to ask them for ID and inquire about the nature of their visit. Guidelines for this are included in the Supt’s memo. Staff who are working public service desks in particular will need to be attentive to this. Any uncooperative persons should be reported to the MPs and individuals should not be left unobserved. Anyone without proper identification should be escorted outside of the inner security perimeter as defined in the memo.
  • For the library, we are still in discussions about what security measures will be introduced. This may involve cadet guards posted on the first and/or second floors. This explains the slight reconfiguration of furniture near the top of the stairs. We are also requesting that the rotunda desk be returned as a checkpoint. Final decisions have not been made on this yet, and once additional information is known I will share it.

I recognize that these are some significant changes and I know that there will be some additional changes coming that may impact our traditional workflows. We will continue to try to find the right balance of security and access as we move forward, and I would expect that our actual implementation with change as we evaluate effectiveness. Thank you for working to stand up these new procedures as quickly as possible. Please let me know if there are any questions.

Security Procedures

Most or all of you are likely aware of the report aired on the New York City ABC affiliate regarding security at West Point. As a result of that report, we can all expect to see and feel new security measures over the coming days. I anticipate there will be a formal memo coming from the Superintendent, however the following are some of the measures that you can likely expect to see:

* Gate procedures will be more stringent and akin to those about five years ago.

* All civilians will be required to keep visible ID worn at all times.

* All visitors (essentially anyone in civilian clothing) will have to be escorted or have visible ID to be in Central Area, including the library and other academic buildings.

* All employees and cadets will be asked to verbally challenge anyone in Central Area without identification.

These changes may result in a review of our DPOM which specifies those who have access to Jefferson Hall. For now, I would ask that all library staff challenge anyone in the building without visible ID or out of uniform. For right now, we should enforce the DPOM (available on the Policies page on our website) which does allow access to the building to a number of individuals.

I will share more information as I have it, and please do not hesitate to ask any questions.