Week in Review – 14 February 2014

Library Survey Data: Faculty Most Expect Library Use for Deeper Research Projects

This past semester, the Library Committee of Faculty Council conducted a survey of faculty regarding library services and resources designed to help inform the ABET self-study process underway this year. We’re spending a few weeks looking at some of the data results and considering how these can inform our work and programs. This week, we look at data on what types of assignments faculty expect cadets to use library resources. Some notable findings:

  • Overall, faculty expect the library to best support the curriculum through deeper research assignments (e.g. research papers and projects).
  • Overall, faculty do not expect the library to play an integral role in daily class work (e.g. homework or writs/WPR/TEEs).
  • Among faculty who expect library use for research papers, humanities, behavioral science, social sciences, military studies, and physical education faculty are most likely to expect cadet library use (69% of respondents)
  • Among faculty who expect library use for homework, math and science faculty are most likely to expect cadet library use (29% of respondents).
  • Among faculty who expect library use for projects, engineering faculty are most likely to expect cadet library use (63% of respondents).
  • Expectations of library use for cadet honors theses are remarkably low in all disciplines with a high of 36% in humanities/social sciences-related fields. This could perhaps be due to not all faculty overseeing honors theses and therefore not having expectations for their cadets for that purpose.

LibrarySurvey2013.004 LibrarySurvey2013.005

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 14 Feb 2014 MP Change of Command Week in Review 0700-2100
Sat 15 Feb 2014 Admissions/Football Academic Brief 0900-2100
Sun 16 Feb 2014 1300-2100
Mon 17 Feb 2014  Presidents Day 1300-2315
Tue 18 Feb 2014 Division Heads 0700-2315
Wed 19 Feb 2014 Dean’s Staff  Liasons 0700-2315
Thu 20 Feb 2014 0700-2315
Fri 21 Feb 2014 100th Night Weekend  Dean’s Recognition Ceremony Week in Review DMI Event 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 298 521 572 789
Gate Count 3,456 3,143 3,766 3,735
ILL Article Requests 19 19 32 9
ILL Book Requests 12 30 20 27
Administrative Services
DV Tours 0 0 1 0
Significant Events Hosted 3 1 2 2
Events/Meetings Attended 25 19 26 19
Information Gateway
Reference Questions 20 31 21 72
Library Instruction Sessions 14 8 5 1
Cadets Attending Sessions 186 79 77 15
Materials Processing
Items Added – Books 83 46 88 54
Items Added – Digital 733 0 1 0
Items Added – GovDocs 97 339 280 68
Items Added – Other 0 10 13 4
Continuing Resource Check-Ins 79 66 80 58
Special Collections & Archives
Reference Inquiries 36 40 41 41
Research Visits < 1 hour 5 9 7 4
Research Visits < 1 day 1 5 2 5
Research Visits > 1 day 0 0 0 2
Instruction Sessions 1 2 7 1
Cadets Taught 15 24 103 17
Systems Management
Library Home Page Visits 3,014 3,168 2,817 3,594
LibGuides Visits 360 414 387 490
Digital Collections Visits 238 260 257 264
Facebook Visits 20 15
Public Printer Prints 5,824 2,642 3,350 3,754
Public Printer Copies 215 378 350 264
Public Printer Scans 25 23 29 22

Food for Thought

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

  • “The fact that there are more PhD candidates than academic jobs isn’t necessarily a market failure; it can potentially suit both sides. As a PhD student, for several years you’re paid to study something you care about and learn how to think creatively. In return, the university gets cheap teaching labor. That may be a reasonable trade. The failure happens at the end when many skilled, smart people feel trapped in the lowest tier of academia. The process could work better if universities acknowledged the realities, stopped brainwashing students, and did more to prepare them for jobs outside of academia.”Get a PhD—but leave academia as soon as you graduate – Quartz
  • “The fact that people increasingly use the Internet with a smartphone, and only a smartphone, has disrupted television, books and news, among other things, and media companies have scrambled to adjust. Wikipedia, the world’s fifth-largest website, but one with a relatively minuscule operating budget, has been especially slow to adapt to a mobile world. Knowledge Pace Changes and additions to Wikipedia have declined, possibly because of a shift to mobile platforms, where users are far less likely to edit entries in the online encyclopedia. Percentage change from the previous year in the number of Wikipedia edits, by month 100 % 50 –50 Jan. ’12 July ’12 Jan. ’13 July ’13 A high level of bot activity related to a new Wikimedia project caused an unusual spike in March. Source: Wikimedia Foundation Only 20 percent of the readership of the English-language Wikipedia comes via mobile devices, a figure substantially lower than the percentage of mobile traffic for other media sites, many of which approach 50 percent. And the shift to mobile editing has lagged even more. Just 1 percent of changes to Wikipedia articles in all the more than 250 languages are made via mobile devices; for example, since July, there have been 200,000 mobile English-language edits, compared with 20 million total edits.” – Wikipedia vs. the Small Screen – NYTimes.com
  • “Our main purpose of achieving excellence is attracting the best human talent. If we have the best human talent, then the $100 million will come, because they will be winners in writing grants, they will excite philanthropic donors to give Caltech funding and they will increase the visibility of the whole institute.” What this means is that decision-makers at Caltech spend “an enormous amount of time making sure that we identify the best available and have the resources to attract them”, Rosakis continues. “We take our hiring to be our first priority. We hire people and we give them everything they need to succeed. Other places would hire three or four people for the same position and let them compete. We trust that we have made a good choice, and we give them enough gold so that they cannot say that they failed [for lack of] material resources.” – Caltech: secrets of the world’s number one university | Features | Times Higher Education
  • “Supporting operations through the sale of works of art fundamentally undermines the core role of the arts in education and the integrity of an educational institution. Preserving public trust is critical to all nonprofit institutions,” the letter said. “Treating art as a fungible asset and using collections to pay for operating expenses will also significantly undermine future fund-raising for operations. If a museum or university can meet its short term operating needs by selling art, why would a donor bother giving money when there are so many other nonprofits facing severe financial challenges? Selling art to support operations is not viable as a long-term financial strategy; it is the equivalent of spending down endowment principal.” – College sells painting for $25 million to build endowment | Inside Higher Ed
  • “Authenticity on the web is a slippery idea. Deep down we all want it (that’s human nature!), but earnestness on social media isn’t just uncomfortable, it’s embarrassing. Sites like Facebook and Twitter have conditioned us to believe that we deserve to be listened to—not just by our family and intimate circle of confidants, but also by the 900 “friends” we have on Facebook. The things we share tend to be superficial, impersonal and self-promotional. There’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, I’d argue that’s the way it should be. Those 900 friends on Facebook aren’t our therapists, so there’s no reason we should act like they are. But Bader and Byttow like to believe there’s a place for a more authentic web, and they hope Secret will give rise to it. In this imagined digital utopia, snark will be replaced with self-awareness and kindness. Under a thin veil of anonymity, people will be able to say what’s on their mind no matter how cheesy, horrifying or lame it might be.” – Secrecy Is the Key to the Next Phase of Social Networking | Wired Design | Wired.com
  • “At the moment, those people are obsessed with how they read books—whether it’s on a Kindle or an iPad or on printed pages. This conversation, though important, takes place in the shallows and misses the deeper currents that, in the digital age, are pushing American culture under the control of ever fewer and more powerful corporations. Bezos is right: gatekeepers are inherently élitist, and some of them have been weakened, in no small part, because of their complacency and short-term thinking. But gatekeepers are also barriers against the complete commercialization of ideas, allowing new talent the time to develop and learn to tell difficult truths. When the last gatekeeper but one is gone, will Amazon care whether a book is any good?” – George Packer: Is Amazon Bad for Books? : The New Yorker
  • “An older millennial with a college degree is earning a median full-time salary of $45,500 a year — $17,500 more than the median salary of $28,000 for full-time workers with just a high school diploma, a new Pew Research Center report finds. That’s the largest pay disparity between young high school- and college-educated workers in at least four generations, the report released Tuesday finds. It’s also further evidence that people with less education are at higher risk of getting left behind in the economic recovery.” – Value of College? For Millennials, $17,500 a Year – NBC News.com
  • “With the speed that life is going these days, people don’t want to wait longer for a sequel,” Susan Wasson, an Albuquerque bookseller told the Times. “I know I feel that way. When I like a book, I don’t want to wait a year for the sequel.” Curling up with a book and living in that world for a day isn’t new, but for a whole book series? There’s a big difference between a binge of every episode in a day, as Netflix allows, and a binge of a series of books over several months. But still, the point remains: people want resolutions, and they want them ASAP.” – Publishers Want to Bring Binge Consumption to Books – The Wire
  • “Education does provide a necessary credentialing function, and theoretically, an improved MOOC could provide such a service. But the credential is only part—and a relatively small part at that—of what education provides for us in our quest for a secure and stable life. It’s the process of being educated that has a far bigger impact on one’s life trajectory, and not just in the knowledge we learn and the skills we acquire.” – MOOCs and public demand for higher education.

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