Monthly Archives: January 2014

Week in Review – 31 January 2014

Facility Planning – 2nd Floor Changes & New Security Perimeter

This spring and summer will see a number of changes coming to several library spaces as we continue to develop more defined collection and exhibit engagement spaces as well as begin to implement a better security perimeter for both our people and our collections.

In April, we will complete the process to review and move our reference collection in order to free up space for a flexible exhibit/engagement area. To launch this new area we will be hosting an exhibit on loan from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. Fighting the Fires of Hate: America and the Nazi Book Burnings will explore how book burnings became a potent symbol in America’s battle against Nazism and why they continue to resonate with the public—in film, literature, and political discourse—to this day. This exhibit is being brought to West Point in collaboration with the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies.

After the exhibit departs we will be installing some new flexible furniture into the space in the northwest corner of the 2nd floor for cadet study and collaboration. We will also be expanding our permanent exhibit facilities in order to display materials from our own collections. This week we are moving forward to arrange for purchase of some of these furniture pieces. A tentative floor plan and photographs of the furniture is below.

FloorPlan NewBanquette NewChair NewTable

The three banquettes will not have high backs, and the tables and chairs are designed to be easily moved and reconfigured. We plan to add additional electric outlets in the floor to support use of these furniture pieces. Eventually we plan to relocate the USMA Class Ring case into this space as well.

Visitors through the library rotunda late this week and into the weekend will see blue tape on the west and south entrances intended to show approximate placements of new security gates. As part of our plan to provide better overall security in Jefferson Hall, we are intending to redraw our collection security perimeter on the first floor which will mean new security gates for each entrance into the first floor rotunda area. Our current plan calls for wide entrances on both the west and east sides, and we are considering what layout might work best for the south entrance. Comment is welcome from staff as we work toward a final decision on our gate installation next week.

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 31 Jan 2014 Week in Review 0700-2100
Sat 1 Feb 2014 Admissions/Football Academic Brief 0900-1700
Sun 2 Feb 2014 1100-2315
Mon 3 Feb 2014 0700-2315
Tue 4 Feb 2014 Division Heads / Liaisons 0700-2315
Wed 5 Feb 2014 0700-2315
Thu 6 Feb 2014 Flipper Dinner Dean’s Staff  All Library Staff 0700-2315
Fri 7 Feb 2014 Yearling Winter Weekend Week in Review 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 88 431 298 521
Gate Count 321 3,030 3,456 3,143
ILL Article Requests 16 19 19
ILL Book Requests 11 12 30
Administrative Services
DV Tours 0 0 0 0
Significant Events Hosted 0 1 3 1
Events/Meetings Attended 1 20 25 19
Information Gateway
Reference Questions 0 16 20 31
Library Instruction Sessions 0 2 14 8
Cadets Attending Sessions 0 32 186 79
Materials Processing
Items Added – Books 101 44 83 46
Items Added – Digital 1 5,604 733 0
Items Added – GovDocs 33 144 97 339
Items Added – Other 0 0 0 10
Continuing Resource Check-Ins 72 79 79 66
Special Collections & Archives
Reference Inquiries 3 34 36 40
Research Visits < 1 hour 0 2 5 9
Research Visits < 1 day 0 2 1 5
Research Visits > 1 day 0 0 0 0
Instruction Sessions 0 0 1 2
Cadets Taught 0 0 15 24
Systems Management
Library Home Page Visits 957 2,728 3,014 3,168
LibGuides Visits 124 574 360 414
Digital Collections Visits 235 216 238 260
Facebook Visits 16 30 20
Public Printer Prints 255 20,584 5,824 2,642
Public Printer Copies 352 281 215 378
Public Printer Scans 2 137 25 23

Food for Thought

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

  • “Boosting the skills and earning power of the children of 19th-century farmers and labourers took little more than offering schools where they could learn to read, write and do algebra. Pushing a large proportion of college graduates to complete graduate work successfully will be harder and more expensive. Perhaps cheap and innovative online education will indeed make new attainment possible. But as Mr Cowen notes, such programmes may tend to deliver big gains only for the most conscientious students. Another way in which previous adaptation is not necessarily a good guide to future employment is the existence of welfare. The alternative to joining the 19th-century industrial proletariat was malnourished deprivation. Today, because of measures introduced in response to, and to some extent on the proceeds of, industrialisation, people in the developed world are provided with unemployment benefits, disability allowances and other forms of welfare. They are also much more likely than a bygone peasant to have savings. This means that the “reservation wage”—the wage below which a worker will not accept a job—is now high in historical terms. If governments refuse to allow jobless workers to fall too far below the average standard of living, then this reservation wage will rise steadily, and ever more workers may find work unattractive. And the higher it rises, the greater the incentive to invest in capital that replaces labour. Everyone should be able to benefit from productivity gains—in that, Keynes was united with his successors. His worry about technological unemployment was mainly a worry about a “temporary phase of maladjustment” as society and the economy adjusted to ever greater levels of productivity. So it could well prove. However, society may find itself sorely tested if, as seems possible, growth and innovation deliver handsome gains to the skilled, while the rest cling to dwindling employment opportunities at stagnant wages.” The future of jobs: The onrushing wave | The Economist
  • “I fear we are witnessing the “death of expertise”: a Google-fueled, Wikipedia-based, blog-sodden collapse of any division between professionals and laymen, students and teachers, knowers and wonderers – in other words, between those of any achievement in an area and those with none at all. By this, I do not mean the death of actual expertise, the knowledge of specific things that sets some people apart from others in various areas. There will always be doctors, lawyers, engineers, and other specialists in various fields. Rather, what I fear has died is any acknowledgement of expertise as anything that should alter our thoughts or change the way we live.” – The Death Of Expertise
  • “It’s of huge significance because Paramount is the first studio to make this policy known,” said Jan-Christopher Horak, director of the UCLA Film & Television Archive. “For 120 years, film and 35 mm has been the format of choice for theatrical presentations. Now we’re seeing the end of that. I’m not shocked that it’s happened, but how quickly it has happened.” – Paramount stops releasing major movies on film –
  • “The rise of this consumer-surveillance economy is the uncomfortable and ironic backdrop to the outrage about the N.S.A. snooping. We feel violated. We don’t know who has been reading our most tender emails. But why then were we pouring all our personal information into remote corporations to begin with?” – Jaron Lanier in Digital Passivity – Int’l NYT’s Turning Points 2014 series
  • “So, there you have it. From a table of membership in different groups we have gotten a picture of a kind of social network between individuals, a sense of the degree of connection between organizations, and some strong hints of who the key players are in this world. And all this—all of it!—from the merest sliver of metadata about a single modality of relationship between people. I do not wish to overstep the remit of my memorandum but I must ask you to imagine what might be possible if we were but able to collect information on very many more people, and also synthesize information from different kinds of ties between people! For the simple methods I have described are quite generalizable in these ways, and their capability only becomes more apparent as the size and scope of the information they are given increases. We would not need to know what was being whispered between individuals, only that they were connected in various ways. The analytical engine would do the rest! I daresay the shape of the real structure of social relations would emerge from our calculations gradually, first in outline only, but eventually with ever-increasing clarity and, at last, in beautiful detail—like a great, silent ship coming out of the gray New England fog.” – Using Metadata to find Paul Revere – Kieran Healy
  • “Although it’s not a perfect analogy, I like to think about MOOCs as kind of the education equivalents of cloud computing servers. Cloud servers in many ways are not as good as physical servers, but in some ways they’re much better. Cloud servers cost a lot less to get started on, they’re easier to use and to access, and they enable the kind of experimentation that helped fuel the startup boom over the past few years. Because it doesn’t take millions in venture capital just to buy enough gear to get a web company off the ground.” – Harvard and MIT make a compelling case for MOOCs — Tech News and Analysis
  • “A federal judge in Washington has issued a key order in one of the many ongoing mass-BitTorrent piracy lawsuits in the United States. The judge ruled that a complaint from the “Elf-Man” movie studio is insufficient because the IP address evidence does not prove that an account holder is guilty of copyright infringement.” – Judge: IP-Address Does Not Prove Copyright Infringement | TorrentFreak
  • “If you are the sort of person who believes that TV and the Internet have turned American culture into a post-literate scrubland full of cat GIFs and reality TV spinoffs, then this news will probably reinforce your worst suspicions. But buried beneath it, I think there’s an optimistic story to tell about American book culture. It’s about the kids.” – The Decline of the American Book Lover – Jordan Weissmann – The Atlantic
  • “28% of American adults ages 18 and older read an e-book in the past year, up from 17% in 2011.” – 10 Facts About Americans and Public Libraries
  • “the way that tech often does disrupt industries – by affecting parts of the industry that no-one paid attention to but which were actually key leverage points. Not many magazine people thought of themselves as being in the trucking and light-manufacturing business, for example, but they were, and that was why the internet had such an impact on them. But the opposite can also be true – there are industries where tech doesn’t look important but is actually crucial, but there are also industries where tech looks crucial but doesn’t actually matter very much at all” – Ignorance — Benedict Evans
  • “While in the past, many librarians have encouraged patrons to eschew Wikipedia in favor of library databases and secondary sources, they are now starting to work together, in recognition of the fact that today’s students often rely on the Internet and Wikipedia for their initial overview. Libraries are working to make sure they are part of the pipeline so that students following the crowdsourced Wikipedia bibliography back to full-text references will find libraries as the end point if not always the starting point.” – Librarypedia: The Future of Libraries and Wikipedia – The Digital Shift
  • “Deep inside the $1.1 trillion Consolidated Appropriations Act for 2014 is a provision that requires federal agencies under the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education portion of the bill with research budgets of $100 million or more to provide the public with online access to the research that they fund within 12 months of publication in a peer-reviewed journal. According to the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), this means approximately $31 billion of the total $60 billion annual U.S. investment in taxpayer-funded research will become openly accessible. “This is an important step toward making federally funded scientific research available for everyone to use online at no cost,” said SPARC Executive Director Heather Joseph in a news release. The language in the appropriations bill mirrors that in the White House open access memo from last year, and a National Institutes of Health public access program enacted in 2008.” – Half of taxpayer funded research will soon be available to the public
  • “You must reward people for failing, he says. If not, they won’t take risks and make breakthroughs. If you don’t reward failure, people will hang on to a doomed idea for fear of the consequences. That wastes time and saps an organisation’s spirit.”- BBC News – Secret Google lab ‘rewards staff for failure’
  • “Top-ranked liberal-arts colleges are failing to provide their students with a rigorous higher education even as many of them have steadily increased tuition and administrative spending in recent years, the American Council of Trustees and Alumni asserted in a report released on Monday.” – Prestigious Liberal-Arts Colleges Are Said to Fall Short on Academic Quality – The Ticker – Blogs – The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • “Those of us in the traditional academy could have a hand in shaping that future, but doing so will require us to relax our obsessive focus on elite students, institutions, and faculty. It will require us to stop regarding ourselves as irreplaceable occupiers of sacred roles, and start regarding ourselves as people who do several jobs society needs done, only one of which is creating new knowledge. It will also require us to abandon any hope of restoring the Golden Age. It was a nice time, but it wasn’t stable, and it didn’t last, and it’s not coming back. It’s been gone ten years more than it lasted, in fact, and in the time since it ended, we’ve done more damage to our institutions, and our students, and our junior colleagues, by trying to preserve it than we would have by trying to adapt. Arguing that we need to keep the current system going just long enough to get the subsidy the world owes us is really just a way of preserving an arrangement that works well for elites—tenured professors, rich students, endowed institutions—but increasingly badly for everyone else.” – » The End of Higher Education’s Golden Age Clay Shirky

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

Manja Yirka Hired As Serials Librarian



The United States Military Academy Library is pleased   to announce that it has hired Manja Yirka as its new Serials Librarian. A woman of many talents, Manja brings a wealth of experience and interests to USMA. All told, she has worked in six different types of libraries: medical, pharmaceutical, military, engineering, academic and public. As Serials Librarian she will primarily be responsible for the acquisition, collection, organization, cataloging and general management of the Library’s periodicals and continuing resources. She is a welcome member of the Materials Processing Division.

This is Manja’s second time around at West Point, having previously worked at Keller Army Hospital following her family’s returned from a five year tour in Frankfurt, Germany. Croatian by descent but born and raised in Ohio, she is fluent in Croatian, and has a reasonable understanding of Russian and German. Manja worked for many years as a Contract Linguist for the Federal Bureau of Investigation and also as a Medical Librarian for The Dana Medical Library, University of Vermont Medical School in Burlington. She was Engineering Librarian for the US Army Corps of Engineers in Frankfurt, and Senior Librarian for Pfizer Corporation, Pearl River, NY.

Manja attended Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, where she received a BA in Russian Language (with a minor Art History) and a Master of Science degree in Library Science (with a concentration in Medical Librarianship). She studied German at the University of Maryland (Frankfurt, Germany campus), has a Certificate in Systems Analysis and Design from Marist College, attended graduate business classes at Iona College in New Rochelle, NY and studied Historic Preservation, Studio Art and Art History at the University of Vermont. She is currently a member of the Wallkill River School of Art where she has taken classes in pastel and watercolor painting.

Recently married, Manja and her husband Jim (who she met on produced their own Do-it-Yourself barn wedding with the help of their adult children. They currently reside in Middletown, NY where they enjoy spending time gardening together, and gatherings with their four children, family and friends.

On behalf of the entire UMSA Library staff we would like say welcome, Manja!

A few questions for Manja:

 What inspired you to learn Russian?

I switched to Russian as my major, after doing so poorly in Calculus that I was put on academic probation for a semester. Russian came somewhat easy for me, having grown up speaking Croatian, also a Slavic language. I thought I would teach, following in the footsteps of my father, but my student teaching experience was anything but pleasant. I had to ask myself, “Now what!?”

I chose to get a Masters in Library Science. My sister had gotten her library degree and found interesting employment and that influenced me to do the same. I’ve always been a service-oriented person and I found it fulfilling to help research a topic, locate a book or find a critical piece of information. I also love using technology to improve processes whether at home or at work. My brother is a librarian as well. Three siblings, all librarians.

 You lived abroad for five years – any favorite places you’ve visited or lived?

I loved visiting Croatia, most especially the Adriatic coastline. Happening upon Ronchamp, the famous church designed by le Corbusier, was a delight when out for a ride in the eastern French countryside.

What was one of the toughest challenges you have faced as a librarian?

Facilitating the consolidation of 7 libraries into one. We had six weeks time to do the physical part of this move and we succeeded. In addition to the short time line, there was a frenzy of having to toss all the bound volumes we could neither keep nor give away. As a librarian, I had an emotionally difficult time throwing volume upon volume of bound journals into recycle bins. That which had once held scientific discoveries was now reduced to paper to be tossed.

 What do you like to do when you’re not at work?

In spring and summer I can often be found in the garden, on the bike trail or tennis court with my husband. Having studied Historic Preservation, I love the idea of repurposing old buildings into useful structures and I’m always up for a house project. As soon as weather permits, I’ll be on the roof of my house rebuilding the chimney.








Discover a Database! United Nations Treaty Collection

By Laura Mosher
Reference Librarian


Today’s featured database, the United Nations Treaty Collection (UNTC), is a great resource for anyone studying foreign/international relations – either the relationships between the US and other world powers, or those among/between countries throughout the world.  The UNTC includes several smaller collections, most notably the United Nations Treaty Series, where you can find information and copies of treaties and international agreements that have been registered or filed and recorded with the Secretariat of the United Nations. In addition, the UNTC offers a database that gives information on the status of over 550 major international agreements deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, updated daily, covering wide a range of subject matter, such as Human Rights, Disarmament, Commodities, Refugees, the Environment and the Law of the Sea.

  • Who should use this collection: Cadets taking classes that focus on International Relations.
  • What those users will find:
  • Full text multilateral treaties deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations and those formerly deposited with the League of Nations.
  • Bilateral and multilateral treaties registered with and published by the United Nations Secretariat.
  • Detailed treaty references and full texts in all authentic language(s).

Tips for searching UNTC:

Follow the link to the United Nations Treaty Collection under the “Military and Government” heading of the USMA Library’s “Databases by Topic” page.

  • Select the “Overview” page to link to all of the collections offered by the UNTC.
  • To discover all the documents that relate to a particular country or topic, use the search box on the Home Page.
  • For more specific search options, such as type of document, language or effective dates, for example, choose “Advanced Search” and take advantage of the many options!

As always, ask a Librarian for help if you have any questions about any of our research products!



Week in Review – 17 January 2014

Spring Semester Arrives – Short Status Updates

As we wrap up the second week of the semester, I thought I’d list out the projects/initiatives that I’ve spent some time working on or supporting this past week:

  • PaperCut, our new print management system launched this past Monday and generally has worked quite well and the transition has been relatively smooth. One of the biggest issues we face is cadets who do not have a current barcode on their CAC registered in our library system. That is required in order to be able to authenticate and release the print jobs. Cadets who receive an error at the release stations should visit the Circulation Desk to make sure that their information is up-to-date.
  • We are in the final stages of finalizing the arrangements for the exhibit Fighting the Fires of Hate to be hosted in the library later this term on loan from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. The Superintendent and Dean have both enthusiastically approved this partnership between the Library and the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies.
  • Telephone interviews have been underway for our Access Services Librarian and our Digital Projects and Metadata Librarian positions. Announcements are expected to posted soon for our Facility Support Technician and Systems Librarian.
  • We will be meeting this week to plan out more detail for next steps in moving forward with our Circulation Desk move. We would like to get this contracted soon.
  • I expect we will move ahead to fully transition to off-hours CAC access for our doors in the next ten days. I will share more information about that process next week. We are still awaiting installation of the door switch at the Circulation Desk.
  • I am now working to prepare some DPOM changes for library operations as a result of the new security and access policies put forth by the Superintendent. This will result in changes to the website as well. I hope we will have some visitor badges available in the Admin office at some point before too long.
  • Late last term, the Library Committee of Faculty Council conducted a survey of faculty regarding library services/use, primarily for use in the ABET accreditation work that is ongoing this year. I’ve begun to sort through some of that data in more detail and hope to some information to share more widely soon.
  • Some changes continue to the blog after we reworked portions of the subscription and permissions systems over the holidays. Additional changes can be expected as we continue to fine-tune.
  • The administration-folk have been working to clean up our Sharepoint site in preparation of the upcoming server migration. Other divisions have also been doing some of this as well.
  • ConnectNY has begun the process of strategic thinking regarding our Executive Director position as Bart Harloe has announced he intends to step down later this year. A series of phone calls/web meetings are planned throughout the spring to coordinate this transition.
  • I am revising our plans for Code Red operations given the new guidance and policy forthcoming from the Superintendent. I will have more to share on this shortly.
  • Work continues on revising our emergency response materials.
  • Tables and cabinets currently in the basement will soon be moving across the street to the West Point Room in Bartlett Hall.
  • We are considering grant opportunities to support a partnership with the Combating Terrorism Center to make available some of the archival and historical collections of materials relating to terrorism.

In addition to those items is the standard array of regular meetings/check-ins, and my history class has covered the founding of the Massachusetts Bay Colony to the Seven Years’ War.

Questions are welcome if more information on a given topic would be useful.

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 17 Jan 2014 Week in Review Cyber Security Conference 0700-2100
Sat 18 Jan 2014 500th Night Weekend 0900-1700
Sun 19 Jan 2014  500th Night Weekend 1300-2100
Mon 20 Jan 2014  Martin Luther King Jr. Day 1300-2315
Tue 21 Jan 2014 MLK Luncheon Division Heads / Liaisons 0700-2315
Wed 22 Jan 2014  Communication Team 0700-2315
Thu 23 Jan 2014 RMC Weekend  Dean’s Staff 0700-2315
Fri 24 Jan 2014 RMC Weekend Week in Review 0700-2315

USMA Library Metrics

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

Access Services
Items Charged Out 335 130 88 431
Gate Count 5,071 319 321 3,030
ILL Article Requests 8 16
ILL Book Requests 7 11
Administrative Services
DV Tours 0 0 0 0
Significant Events Hosted 0 0 1 3
Events/Meetings Attended 17 1 1 20
Information Gateway
Reference Questions 9 0 0 16
Library Instruction Sessions 0 0 0 2
Cadets Attending Sessions 0 0 0 32
Materials Processing
Items Added – Books 100 100 101 44
Items Added – Digital 0 0 1 5,604
Items Added – GovDocs 33 32 33 144
Items Added – Other 0 0 0 0
Continuing Resource Check-Ins 72 71 72 79
Special Collections & Archives
Reference Inquiries 17
Research Visits < 1 hour 0
Research Visits < 1 day 0
Research Visits > 1 day 0
Instruction Sessions 0
Cadets Taught 0
Systems Management
Library Home Page Visits 1,935 694 957 2,728
LibGuides Visits 205 104 124 574
Digital Collections Visits 176 199 235 216
Facebook Visits 39 5 16 30
Public Printer Prints 8,595 46 255 20,584
Public Printer Copies 294 7 352 281
Public Printer Scans 72 0 2 137

Food for Thought

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

  • “So if you have a one hundred IQ you’re going to be average, you have an average intelligence and that is just the way you were born and that’s the way you’re going to be. If you have less than a one hundred IQ you’re never going to be above average. It’s just what you’ve got. That’s not what IQ is divining at all. IQ tests and every other sort of intelligence or achievement tests are revealing skills that you have, capabilities. This is what intelligence experts now say. Robert Sternberg who is now at Tufts was at Yale for many years and is arguably the leading thinker in intelligence. He now articulates that intelligence is not a set of innate capabilities that is static. It’s a set of skills that we acquire.” – Intelligence is Not Static. It’s a Set of Skills that We Acquire | In Their Own Words | Big Think
  • “Bullying has always been around. What’s changed is our reaction: Heightened media coverage of a few exceptional, tragic cases has created the illusion of a bullying epidemic, and lawmakers have responded by applying 21st-century principles of surveillance and legal control to teenagers — thus creating, in schools, a security state writ small.” – Spy Kids: We’re Snooping on Students to Stop Them From Snooping on Each Other – – News – San Francisco – SF Weekly
  • “Today, if you peeked through the curtains of any living-room on an average night you’d find more than half of us focused not on our family, nor even the television, but on the other screen on our laps.” – How technology is changing our likes and loves – Telegraph
  • “Five years ago, Southern New Hampshire University was a 2,000-student private school struggling against declining enrollment, poor name recognition, and teetering finances. Today, it’s the of higher education. The school’s burgeoning online division has 180 different programs with an enrollment of 34,000. Students are referred to as “customers.” It undercuts competitors on tuition. And it deploys data analytics for everything from anticipating future demand to figuring out which students are most likely to stumble. “We are super-focused on customer service, which is a phrase that most universities can’t even use,” says Paul LeBlanc, SNHU’s president.” – Southern New Hampshire University: How Paul LeBlanc’s tiny school has become a giant of higher education.
  • “Time is our most precious currency. So it’s significant that we are being encouraged, wherever possible, to think of our attention not as expenditure but as consumption. This blurring of labor and entertainment forms the basis, for example, of the financial alchemy that conjures deca-billion-dollar valuations for social-networking companies.” – How Do E-Books Change the Reading Experience? –
  • “Put simply, the masses hate experts. If forced to choose between the advice of the learned and the vague impressions of other people just like themselves, the masses invariably turn to the latter. The upper elite still try to pronounce judgments and lead, but fewer and fewer of those down below pay attention.” – The Smartest Book About Our Digital Age Was Published in 1929 – The Daily Beast
  • “Analog or digital, no work will have much influence if it doesn’t stick around to be cited or argued with. The technological advances that make digital-humanities work possible also put it at risk of obsolescence, as software and hardware decay or become outmoded. Somebody—or a team of somebodies, often based in academic libraries or digital-scholarship centers—has to conduct regular inspections and make sure that today’s digital scholarship doesn’t become tomorrow’s digital junk.” – Born Digital, Projects Need Attention to Survive – Technology – The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • “As I was reading the book, I stumbled across an unfamiliar word and, rather hilariously, ended up tapping the printed page until it finally occurred to me that the book wasn’t going to offer me built-in dictionary and Wikipedia access. It’s odd how three years or so changes you.” – The Book and I: How the iPad has changed my reading life | TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog
  • “But a more advanced library management system for the two libraries, shared help-desk services and the possibility of increased cross-registration for students are fair game for collaboration. The colleges have partnered formally and informally in the past (most notably sharing library services), and the Mellon grant — one of a series the foundation is providing — will help them broaden their collaboration. The four-year project focuses on updating the library management system, sharing library staff and creating a single research portal for students of both colleges.” – Liberal arts colleges pool their resources | Inside Higher Ed
  • “About 17 percent of books in France are now sold online, compared with about just 3 percent in 2005, according to the Ministry of Culture. Four out of every five of those online sales goes through Amazon…
    The proposed ban on free shipping must still receive final approval from the lower house of parliament… Once it is enacted, Amazon and its online competitors will have to choose between offering less expensive shipping or less expensive books. The total discount won’t be able to exceed 5 percent — ensuring that books bought online will be more expensive than those bought in stores.” – France says ‘Non’ to the digital age | The Great Debate
  • “They found several trends that were often found in successful books, including heavy use of conjunctions such as “and” and “but” and large numbers of nouns and adjectives. Less successful work tended to include more verbs and adverbs and relied on words that explicitly describe actions and emotions such as “wanted”, “took” or “promised”, while more successful books favoured verbs that describe thought processes such as “recognised” or “remembered”. To find “less successful” books for their tests, the researchers scoured Amazon for low-ranking books in terms of sales. They also included Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol, despite its commercial success, because of “negative critiques if had attracted from media”.” – Scientists find secret to writing a best-selling novel – Telegraph
  • “We know everyone who breaks the law, we know when you’re doing it. We have GPS in your car, so we know what you’re doing. By the way, we don’t supply that data to anyone,” – Ford Exec: ‘We Know Everyone Who Breaks The Law’ Thanks To Our GPS In Your Car | Business Insider
  • “From January to August of last year, John Bohannon submitted an academic study to 304 peer-reviewed scientific journals. All of the them were open access journals, a newer breed of digital-only academic publications that are free for readers but often charge researchers to publish. Bohannon’s study concerned a molecule, extracted from a lichen, that appeared to show promise as a treatment for cancer. It was accepted for publication by 157 of the journals—slightly over half. There was only one problem. Bohannon isn’t a scientist; he’s a journalist. And he completely made up the study. Actually he did more than that. He deliberately inserted unscientific material to test whether or not it would be caught by the journals’ peer reviewers.” – A shocking number of academic journals have accepted studies that are totally fake – Quartz
  • ““Though e-books are rising in popularity, print remains the foundation of Americans’ reading habits,” Pew researchers wrote in a release on the survey’s results. “Most people who read e-books also read print books, and just 4% of readers are “e-book only.” Overall, 89% of those who had read an e-book had also read a book in print.” – E-books are on the rise, but print books rebound and endure –

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

Spring 2014 Library Service Announcements

Print Management System Deploys in the Library

In an effort to encourage and promote good printing practices, the Library
will be deploying a new system called PaperCut effective Monday, 13 January
2014. Systems like PaperCut are installed on nearly all other college and
university campuses as a tool to help manage printing. Here are some of the
specifics that users who print to library printers will need to know as we
move to the new system:

  • Public printers in the library will be attached to the new system and
    anyone printing to those printers will need to map the printers through the
    proper print server. Effective Friday, 10 January 2014, the old print queues
    will be deleted. At that time, all users will be required to map the new
    printers. More information on how to do this is available at the reference
    or circulation desks in the Library.
  • Cadets will be initially assigned individual print allowances of 300 pages
    per semester. When jobs are printed, the total number of pages printed are
    decremented from the total. In the case that a user meets or exceeds their
    total, they can request additional allowance be given. Faculty and staff
    will not have specific quotas assigned.
  • There will be no charge to cadets for printing allowances, however
    printing in the library is a service provided to support academic work. Jobs
    printed in the library should be academic in nature.
  • Individual print jobs should be fifty pages or less and should be printed
    on letter size only. In the case that exceptions are required to these
    parameters, users may speak with a library staff person.
  • After submitting a print job to be printed, users will need to release the
    job using their CAC at the new workstation located next to our printers.
    This will help eliminate unclaimed print jobs. Jobs that are not claimed
    within one hour will be cleaned out of the queue automatically.

Our goal is to improve awareness of printing and help encourage thought
about what needs to be printed and what does not. We will continue to
provide free printing in support of cadet academic work and this system is
not a step toward changing that policy. We do want to expand awareness that
printing is an expensive service to provide that has the capability of
generating significant waste. In times of restricted resources, managing
services like printing efficiently is a priority for the entire community.

As always, cadets should allow plenty of time to print jobs in the library.
Questions regarding this new system may be directed to the reference or
circulation desks.

RefWorks No Longer Available

Due to technical issues that impair reliable and full use of the citation
management tool RefWorks on the USMA network, USMA Library has not renewed
our contract to provide RefWorks as an online bibliographic and citation
management tool. This change was effective 1 January 2014. Based on service
usage data, we know this has impacted only a small subset of users. We are
continuing to review alternative products that 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.

Security and Access Changes for Jefferson Hall

With the revised access policies implemented in November, access to
Jefferson Hall is now restricted to cadets, faculty, and staff. All other
visitors (including graduates, parents, and other cadet guests) must be
escorted by appropriately credentialed and authorized personnel. The east
entrance door is no longer a public entrance or exit. All building guests
should enter and exit via the west or south doors.

Bags, laptops, or other personal effects should never be left unattended in
Jefferson Hall. All unattended bags will be reported to the MPs and screened

Guidance on Library Assistance for Cadets

One of the best ways for cadets to get an extra leg up on their academic
work is to partner with a librarian to better take advantage of the services
and materials available through the USMA Library. Personal appointments with
librarians are available for consultation and guidance. When possible,
setting appointments between 0745-1630 will ensure the availability of the
best subject specialist, though evening appointments can also be arranged.
To arrange a time to meet, stop by or email the Reference Desk staff with
your name and topic of research.

Stay Connected to the Library

We’d love to keep you up-to-date throughout the year on library news and
programs. You can follow our blog:, like us on
Facebook:, or follow us on Twitter:

Linda Larsen Accepts New Position in EEO

Linda Larsen, our Library Technician responsible for government documents on our Materials Processing team has accepted a new position at West Point as an EEO Specialist in the Equal Employment Opportunity office. This is an area of work that Linda has long been interested in, and though we are sad to see her leave the library, we are pleased for her to be able to pursue this new opportunity in a field that enjoys. Her final day in the library will be 24 January. More information will be forthcoming about an event to thank her for her service the library.

Discover a Database! American Periodical Series Online

By Laura Mosher
Reference Librarian

Welcome to our new series of articles, each one focusing on a specific database that is offered through the USMA Library. In each article, we’ll explore a different, perhaps unfamiliar, database; explain a bit about what information it includes and why it might be useful, and provide some tips on searching for just the right bit of info for that paper or research project you are working on.

Today’s featured database is perfect for the History major, or anyone who is doing research into America’s past: the American Periodical Series Online (aka American Periodicals). This collection, offered through ProQuest, provides digitized reproductions of more than eleven hundred 18th and 19th century American newspapers and periodicals. The titles include popular publications such as Vanity Fair and Ladies Home Journal along with specific-interest publications like the National Police Gazette and American Architect, and cover a wide range of American history and experience. Featured magazines included writings by huge names in American Literature (Mark Twain, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Edgar Allan Poe), as well articles that reflect the changes in American society and culture during times of turmoil,  such as the American Revolution and the Civil War Era. Since the periodicals in this collection are digitized from the originals, all content is visible – from the usual articles, editorials & editorial cartoons, and obituaries, to artwork, images, and advertising.

  • Who should be using this database: Cadets taking American History classes.
  • What those users will find: A rich source of writing about all aspects of the American experience through the 18th and 19th centuries (the American Revolution; the Gilded Age; the Lewis & Clark expedition; Westward expansion; the US during the Great War; the Great Depression; the Industrial Revolution)

Tips for searching:

  • Use those operators! Choosing “AND” between search terms makes your result set smaller (and more narrow), while choosing “OR” between search terms makes your result list bigger.
  • Use those drop downs! Specify that your term should be in the Title or Author field, or if you want a specific publication, specific a word or name and choose “Publication Title.”
  • Limit by date of publication to get articles written at the time an event occurred.
  • Looking for an editorial cartoon about America’s entry into WW I, or an obituary of someone famous? Limit your results by document type.

As always, ask a Librarian for help if you have any questions about any of our research products!

Online Learning Opportunities with

Now that the New Year has arrived, why not take the opportunity to learn a new skill or brush up on an old one? One way to do this is to take advantage of the online tutorials offered on, a program that USMA Library staff members can access through our affiliation with the Southeastern New York Library Resource Council.

The library offers over 2,326 online courses that teach software, business, creative skills, and more. The easy-to-follow video tutorials are designed for all levels of learners, and are available when and where you are ready to learn.” Sample course topics include:  How to build leadership skills, Online Marketing, Presentation/Design and Delivery and Time management fundamentals. The course list also includes, but is not limited to, tutorials on: Microsoft Office, Word, Excell, Photoshop, Microsoft Access, PowerPoint, Publisher, iTunes, and WordPress, Google and Podcasting.

Before you can access one of the tutorials on, you must first register at  Once you register, you will receive a confirmation via email from Southeastern that contains a password for sign in.  There may be a waiting period as there are a fixed number of licenses for release.  Registration will give you access to the site for 30 days, but you can re-register after that period if you would like to continue taking courses. . can be accessed from home or work with the given password.

Professional Engagement Team