Week in Review – 6 December 2013

Jefferson Hall Security and Access Updates

We are continuing to review and assess our security and access policies and procedures along with most others at West Point. Below are some notable updates that all staff and visitors to Jefferson Hall should be aware of regarding access:

  • Jefferson Hall remains accessible only to cadets, faculty and staff. All others must be escorted by a properly-credentialed individual. USMA will have a visitor badge system soon that will allow authorized visitors to move through Central Area unescorted. More information will be forthcoming about that badge and authorization process.
  • All civilians are required to keep their CAC displayed when moving around the facility and Central Area. We should also be challenging any unbadged individuals within Central Area, and especially anyone without credentials inside of Jefferson Hall. All individuals inside the library must be in uniform, or have proper credentials displayed.
  • The west entrance is now open for regular use. Now that a guard is posted at the north end of Thayer Road, access has been restored.
  • The east entrance remains closed as an emergency exit only. Employees should only use this entrance as a last resort and should remember to resecure the entrance if it is used.
  • The CAC access system in Jefferson Hall has been activated and soon we will modify our access procedures for after-hour employee access. All individuals assigned to Jefferson Hall will access Jefferson Hall with their CAC, and will no longer use physical keys. More information about this will be forthcoming shortly.
  • Planning continues to relocate the Circulation service point to the main floor for better overall facility and collection security.

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 6 Dec 2013 Week in Review 0700-2100
Sat 7 Dec 2013 0900-2100
Sun 8 Dec 2013 Opera Forum 1300-2100
Mon 9 Dec 2013 Army/Navy Week Begins 0700-2315
Tue 10 Dec 2013 Division Heads 0700-2315
Wed 11 Dec 2013 Dean’s Staff  Liaisons 0700-2315
Thu 12 Dec 2013 Army/Navy Bonfire 0700-2315
Fri 13 Dec 2013  Modified Class Day / Last Day of Classes  Library Committee 0600-2100

USMA Library Metrics

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

Access Services
Items Charged Out 1,067 1,155 372
Gate Count n/a 5,237 6,664 2,628
ILL Article Requests 20 18
ILL Book Requests 24 16
Administrative Services
DV Tours 0 0 0 0
Significant Events Hosted 2 2 5 1
Events/Meetings Attended 23 8 27 8
Information Gateway
Reference Questions 77 69 72 23
Library Instruction Sessions 2 0 1 0
Cadets Attending Sessions 4 0 7 0
Materials Processing
Items Added – Books 33 32 77 31
Items Added – Digital 128 128 311 0
Items Added – GovDocs 26 26 276 123
Items Added – Other 0 0 0 0
Continuing Resource Check-Ins 70 70 91 28
Special Collections & Archives
Reference Inquiries 37 36 39 28
Research Visits < 1 hour 11 7 13 5
Research Visits < 1 day 1 0 0 0
Research Visits > 1 day 0 1 0 0
Instruction Sessions 1 1 2 0
Cadets Taught 5 12 21 0
Systems Management
Library Home Page Visits 4,937 6,747 7,339 2,229
LibGuides Visits 675 767 794 237
Digital Collections Visits 231 286 249 136
Facebook Visits 25 12 26 10
Public Printer Prints 6,907 10,031 13,232 3,228
Public Printer Copies 299 276 474 66
Public Printer Scans 180 87 22 33

Food for Thought

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

  • “The federal government made enough money on student loans over the last year that, if it wanted, it could provide maximum-level Pell Grants of $5,645 to 7.3 million college students. The $41.3-billion profit for the 2013 fiscal year is down $3.6 billion from the previous year but still enough to pay for one year of tuition at the University of Michigan for 2,955,426 Michigan residents. It’s a higher profit level than all but two companies in the world: Exxon Mobil cleared $44.9 billion in 2012, and Apple cleared $41.7 billion.” – Detroit Free Press, Federal government books $41.3 billion in profits on student loans.
  • “The British marketing research agency Voxburner recently surveyed more than 1,400 people, ages 16 to 24, about their media-consumption habits. The survey found that 62% of the respondents said they prefer printed books to e-books.” – Young people prefer printed books to e-books, survey finds – latimes.com
  • “Google’s “deep learning” clusters of computers churn through massives chunks of data looking for patterns—and it seems they’ve gotten good at it. So good, in fact, that Google announced at the Machine Learning Conference in San Francisco that its deep learning clusters have learned to recognize objects on their own.” – How Google’s “Deep Learning” Is Outsmarting Its Human Employees ⚙ Co.Labs ⚙ code community
  • “Facing pressure to combat drug use and sexual assault at the Air Force Academy, the Air Force has created a secret system of cadet informants to hunt for misconduct among students. Cadets who attend the publicly-funded academy near Colorado Springs must pledge never to lie. But the program pushes some to do just that: Informants are told to deceive classmates, professors and commanders while snapping photos, wearing recording devices and filing secret reports. For one former academy student, becoming a covert government operative meant not only betraying the values he vowed to uphold, it meant being thrown out of the academy as punishment for doing the things the Air Force secretly told him to do.” – Secretive Air Force program recruits academy cadets to inform on colleagues and disavows them – U.S. – Stripes
  • “So what you have is an increasing number of brilliant PhD graduates arriving every year into the market hoping to secure a permanent position as a professor and enjoying freedom and high salaries, a bit like the rank-and-file drug dealer hoping to become a drug lord. To achieve that, they are ready to forgo the income and security that they could have in other areas of employment by accepting insecure working conditions in the hope of securing jobs that are not expanding at the same rate. Because of the increasing inflow of potential outsiders ready to accept this kind of working conditions, this allows insiders to outsource a number of their tasks onto them, especially teaching, in a context where there are increasing pressures for research and publishing. The result is that the core is shrinking, the periphery is expanding, and the core is increasingly dependent on the periphery. In many countries, universities rely to an increasing extent on an “industrial reserve army” of academics working on casual contracts because of this system of incentives.” – How Academia Resembles a Drug Gang | Alexandre Afonso
  • “Some functions of physical books that seem to have no digital place are nevertheless being retained. An author’s autograph on a cherished title looked as if it would become a relic. But Apple just applied for a patent to embed autographs in electronic titles. Publishers still commission covers for e-books even though their function — to catch the roving eye in a crowded store — no longer exists. What makes all this activity particularly striking is what is not happening. Some features may be getting a second life online, but efforts to reimagine the core experience of the book have stumbled. Dozens of publishing start-ups tried harnessing social reading apps or multimedia, but few caught on.” – Out of Print, Maybe, but Not Out of Mind – NYTimes.com
  • “Publishers have long bemoaned Africa’s lack of a “book culture” but some hope that the advent of smartphones and the internet could help change this, writes journalist Chris Matthews. The 566% increase in worldwide internet usage since the start of the millennium might appear staggering but not when compared with Africa, where online activity has grown by an astonishing 3,606%. Continue reading the main story “ Start Quote For us in Africa ‘bookless’ societies are indeed pre-book societies” Henry Chakava in 1997 More than 160 million people are now connected throughout the continent, mostly on mobile phones. With internet access surging and connectivity increasing, the doors are being thrown open to digital publishing.” – BBC News – Will e-publishing help Africa discover the joy of reading?
  • “The United States’ standings haven’t improved dramatically because we as a nation haven’t addressed the main cause of our mediocre PISA performance — the effects of poverty on students,” Dennis Van Roekel, president of the National Education Association, the nation’s largest teachers union, said in a statement.” – American 15-Year-Olds Lag, Mainly in Math, on International Standardized Tests – NYTimes.com
  • “The National Library of Norway is planning to digitize all the books by the mid 2020s. Yes. All. The. Books. In Norwegian, at least. Hundreds of thousands of them. Every book in the library’s holdings. By law, “all published content, in all media, [must] be deposited with the National Library of Norway,” so when the library is finished scanning, the entire record of a people’s language and literature will be machine-readable and sitting in whatever we call the cloud in 15 years. – Norway Just Decided to Digitize All the Norwegian Books
  • “The nature of work itself is changing for knowledge workers. During this decade, location will cease to be a barrier; many types of work will done as micro-tasks; and we will be collaborating in new ways. Not only will our employers take our offices away, but they will also expect us to be at their beck and call—and live balanced and healthy lives according to corporate standards. I know this isn’t all great, but that is the future we are headed into—whether we like it or not.” – The Scary And Amazing Future Of Work | XPRIZE
  • “The median grade in Harvard College is indeed an A-. The most frequently awarded grade in Harvard College is actually a straight A.” – Substantiating Fears of Grade Inflation, Dean Says Median Grade at Harvard College Is A-, Most Common Grade Is A | News | The Harvard Crimson
  • “During the period the study covers, 10,919 silent feature films of U.S. origin were released and only 14% of those still exist in their original 35mm format. Of those, 5% are incomplete and 11% are only available in foreign versions or lower-quality formats. Librarian of Congress James H. Billington called the state of America’s silent film heritage an “alarming and irretrievable loss to our nation’s cultural record.” – Survey Finds 70% Of American Silent Movies Have Been Lost To Time Or Neglect – Deadline.com
  • “The average debt that borrowers of student loans had at graduation continued to rise last year, climbing to $29,400 for the class of 2012, according to a new report released Wednesday by the Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS). This year’s figure, based on TICAS calculations of federal data collected every four years, is up by more than 25 percent compared with the group’s $24,450 estimate for the class of 2008.” – Average student debt for borrowers in 2012 climbed over $29,000 | Inside Higher Ed

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