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 …

16DEC-22DEC 23DEC-29DEC 30DEC-5JAN 6JAN-12JAN
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 Amazon.com 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? – NYTimes.com
  • “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 – latimes.com

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