Week in Review – 21 February 2014

Library Survey Data: Library Services, Facilities, and Staff Meeting and Exceeding Mission Needs

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 quality of services, facilities and staff. Some notable findings:

  • Overall, quality of services, facilities, and staff is very high across the board.
  • Faculty see the quality of digital resources as higher than print resources.
  • Two-thirds of faculty see our tools for finding information (e.g. Scout) as meeting their needs and only 6% are dissatisfied. 26% of faculty don’t know about these systems.
  • The weakest area of knowledge among faculty is the process for requesting and ordering new materials. Only 47% expressed satisfaction with this process, while 46% indicated they are unaware of how to go about doing this. Only 6% expressed dissatisfaction.
  • Library facilities are seen as extremely good with 93% of faculty indicated they meet requirements. Only 2% indicated dissatisfaction with facilities.
  • The quality of library staff is indicated to be extremely high with 83% of respondents indicating staff meet or exceed their expectations of service with only 3% indicating dissatisfaction. 12% indicated that they do not know library staff in order to provide an assessment.

The biggest area of opportunity for the library as seen through this data is improved communication on how to acquire new materials. This also was an issue routinely raised in the comments (which we will see next week). USMA does have a smaller print collection than a school of our age and size would normally have. As we continue to acquire and pursue acquisition of deeper electronic backfiles of content, this will go a long way to improving access, however USMA also has excellent networks from which to gather materials to support the curriculum and in many cases relying upon those networks is the most cost efficient path to acquisition.

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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 21 Feb 2014 100th Night Weekend Week in Review 0700-2100
Sat 22 Feb 2014 100th Night Weekend Admissions/Football Academic Brief 0900-2100
Sun 23 Feb 2014 1100-2315
Mon 24 Feb 2014  Opera Forum 0700-2315
Tue 25 Feb 2014 Division Heads 0700-2315
Wed 26 Feb 2014  Kermit Roosevelt Lecture  / African American History Observance Communications Team 0700-2315
Thu 27 Feb 2014  Dean’s Staff West Point Security Conference (Model UN) 0700-2315
Fri 28 Feb 2014 Holocaust Remembrance Day Dean’s Recognition Ceremony Week in Review West Point Security Conference (Model UN) 0700-2100

USMA Library Metrics

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

20JAN-26JAN 27JAN-2FEB 3FEB-9FEB 10FEB-16FEB
Access Services
Items Charged Out 521 572 789
Gate Count 3,143 3,766 3,735 3,666
ILL Article Requests 19 32 9 22
ILL Book Requests 30 20 27 31
Administrative Services
DV Tours 0 1 0 0
Significant Events Hosted 1 2 2 2
Events/Meetings Attended 19 26 19 17
Information Gateway
Reference Questions 31 21 72 101
Library Instruction Sessions 8 5 1 3
Cadets Attending Sessions 79 77 15 42
Materials Processing
Items Added – Books 46 88 54 61
Items Added – Digital 0 1 0 3,829
Items Added – GovDocs 339 280 68 106
Items Added – Other 10 13 4 26
Continuing Resource Check-Ins 66 80 58 47
Special Collections & Archives
Reference Inquiries 40 41 41 21
Research Visits < 1 hour 9 7 4 8
Research Visits < 1 day 5 2 5 6
Research Visits > 1 day 0 0 2 0
Instruction Sessions 2 7 1 5
Cadets Taught 24 103 17 96
Systems Management
Library Home Page Visits 3,168 2,817 3,594 4,870
LibGuides Visits 414 387 490 759
Digital Collections Visits 260 257 264 270
Facebook Visits 15 30
Public Printer Prints 2,642 3,350 3,754 4,172
Public Printer Copies 378 350 264 257
Public Printer Scans 23 29 22 11

Food for Thought

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

  • “As classrooms become more electronically connected, public schools around the country are exploring whether they can use virtual learning as a practical solution to unpredictable weather, effectively transforming the traditional snow day into a day of instruction. About a third of school districts in the United States already have “significant one-to-one initiatives,” where students and teachers are given laptops and can work away from school on some assignments, said Ann Flynn, the director of education technology at the National School Boards Association. A byproduct “could be their application in times of health crises or in weather emergencies,” Ms. Flynn said.”Snow Day? That’s Great. Now Log In. Get to Class. – NYTimes.com
  • “We are transforming the entire university,” said Linda Schott, Presque Isle’s president. “In the next four years, for sure, all of our programs will be proficiency-based.” That means students will progress through in-person, online and hybrid degree programs by demonstrating that they are proficient in required concepts, which faculty members will work to develop. Schott said the university will start by converting general education requirements, and then move to majors.” – University of Maine at Presque Isle drops grades for proficiencies across its curriculums | Inside Higher Ed
  • “The Internet from every angle has always been a house of cards held together with defective duct tape. It’s a miracle that anything works at all. Those who understand a lot of the technology involved generally hate it, but at the same time are astounded that for end users, things seem to usually work rather well.” – Insane Coding: HTTP 308 Incompetence Expected
  • “A joint research group consisting of NASA and the MIT Lincoln Lab have been successfully shooting lasers full of internet back and forth from a spacecraft orbiting the Moon since October. The results of this laser based communication system showed a possible 622MB per second (that’s megabit, not megabyte) transmission rate. These speeds are affected by a number of variables, including the position of the spaceship relative to the Sun and the condition of the atmosphere at the time of transmission. Unlike some forms of laser communication, this transmission post has proven it can even transmit data through thin clouds. In one test an HD video was sent to the Moon and back in 7 seconds, an impressively short trip compared to how long it takes to fire up Netflix here on Earth.” – The moon now has a better internet connection than you do | Science! | Geek.com
  • “For the paper industry, the stakes are high. The digital age has ravaged sales of envelopes, office paper, catalogues and pulp products, with industry analysts saying that demand for paper products dropped 5 percent on average in each of the past five years. Mills have closed, and thousands of employees have been laid off. So Consumers for Paper Options and industry officials have raised the banner of the digital divide, warning that putting government services online is creating hurdles for many Americans. Runyan said his group is not against technology but rather is for choice: “If there are Americans who can’t use an iPhone to navigate the Internet, there ought to be an option for them.” – Group tries to slow federal government’s move away from paper to the Web – The Washington Post
  • “The report, “Academic Libraries: 2012,” provides an array of statistics about the status of academic libraries. Comparing the data for 2012 to those from a comparable report in 2008 reveals some trends about the shape of their collections and staffs, among other things. Among them: The 3,793 academic libraries had just under 1.099 billion books in their collections, compared to 1.052 billion held by the 3,827 academic libraries in 2008. In 2008, the libraries had 102 million ebooks, less than 10 percent the size of their paper collections. In 2012, they had 250 million ebooks, almost 25 percent the size of their paper collections. The libraries had 93,438 FTE staff in 2008, including 27,000 librarians, about 7,500 full-time-equivalent professional staff, and about 24,000 student assistants. Those numbers had dropped by 2012, to 85,752 full-time-equivalent employees, about 26,000 librarians, and about 20,500 student assistants.” – Academic Libraries’ Collections, Employees and Services | Inside Higher Ed
  • “The radio station’s entire physical music collection—more than 50 years’ worth of accumulation—is now part of the Fine Arts Library’s Historical Music Recordings Collection. The library’s collection, which already had some 200,000 items in all formats, is one of the largest in the nation. The rare transaction came after KUTX, KUT’s music outlet, digitized its music holdings. The digitizing project began more than a year ago in preparation for the station’s move from quarters on the campus to a brand-new building nearby.” – U. of Texas Library Buys 64,000 CDs and LPs From Campus Radio Station – Wired Campus – Blogs – The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • “I probably shouldn’t say this, but I will. Had we been transparent about this from the outset right after 9/11—which is the genesis of the 215 program—and said both to the American people and to their elected representatives, we need to cover this gap, we need to make sure this never happens to us again, so here is what we are going to set up, here is how it’s going to work, and why we have to do it, and here are the safeguards… We wouldn’t have had the problem we had. What did us in here, what worked against us was this shocking revelation. I don’t think it would be of any greater concern to most Americans than fingerprints. Well people kind of accept that because they know about it. But had we been transparent about it and say here’s one more thing we have to do as citizens for the common good, just like we have to go to airports two hours early and take our shoes off, all the other things we do for the common good, this is one more thing.” – Clapper: We should have disclosed NSA bulk data collection in 2001 | Ars Technica
  • “The authors looked at 1.5 million papers published in the US from 1985-2008. The biggest change they found was in the frequency of Chinese names among authors, which jumped from 4.79% in 1985 to 14.45% in 2006. English names dropped from 56.6% in 1985 to 45.56% in 2008. European names dropped from 13.47% to 11.18% over the same period. But even as diversity increased, the authors found a significant degree of homophily or a tendency to associate with similar people in scientific research. US scientists of the same ethnicity end up co-authoring papers with each other at a significantly higher rate. Yet, publishing with other authors of the same ethnicity was associated with papers that appeared in lower impact journals and fewer citations.” – Here’s what you can tell from the names at the top of a research paper – Quartz
  • “Human intelligence is so multifaceted, so complex, so varied, that no standardized testing system can be expected to capture it,” says William Hiss, the study’s main author. Hiss is the former dean of admissions at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine — one of the nation’s first test-optional schools — and has been conducting similar research for a number of years.” – New Study: SAT Scores Have No Bearing On College Success | MindShift
  • “The researchers found that there is only one aspect of work that “results in happiness levels that are similar to those experienced when not working”—casual interactions with colleagues. In other words, the only part of work we seem not rank above the flu is socializing at work. So if the best way to be happy at work is to chat with your colleagues, why aren’t we encouraging more socializing? Well, because it’s business. And business, for the most part, still operates under the principle of efficiency to drive productivity.” – How The Knowledge Economy Is Redefining Work | Fast Company | Business Innovation
  • “Since the crowdfunding campaign began on Feb. 10, the project has raised just over $2,000. If they can raise the other $48,000 within the next 52 days, they plan to print the contents of English Wikipedia as a collection of 1,000 books of 1,200 pages each. If that doesn’t help quantify Wikipedia’s size for you, keep in mind that the first volume of this alphabetically organized reference set will only cover A through A76 Motorway. Unlike traditional print encyclopedia sets, this one will not be hawked door-to-door by salesmen. The plan is to display the printed version in a case more than 32 feet long and 8 feet high at the annual Wikimania conference in London in August. If there is interest beyond that, the set may then go on an exhibition tour around the world.” – The Daily Dot – These guys are raising money for a 1,193,014-page paper Wikipedia
  • “It’s complicated in that there are copyright laws and licensing provisions that we have to make sure the software complies with,” Ms. Blake says. “We didn’t really have a model for how it’s supposed to work.” Librarians worry about being sued for copyright violations by publishers, who fear they’ll lose sales if they allow e-book lending. “It’s scary and kind of the Wild West,” she says.” – Library Consortium Tests Interlibrary Loans of e-Books – Technology – The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • “This is the challenge for instructors: to design courses so that students will be intrinsically motivated. How do we do this? Lang recommends working to connect your course material to issues your students are already interested in; centering courses around challenging and intriguing questions, rather than around mere material to be covered; and providing a variety of forms of assessment to give students a number of opportunities to demonstrate their mastery to you. However you do it, some careful planning before the semester starts can help create a course in which students are motivated to learn, and don’t feel the need to cheat.” – Why Students Cheat—and 3 Ways to Stop Them | Vitae
  • “Best-selling author James Patterson is giving away $1 million of his own money to independent bookstores. On Wednesday, Patterson announced the first round of 55 stores to receive over $267,000 in funds. The remaining $750,000 will be given out in stages throughout the year. Patterson’s publisher, Hachette Book Group, released a statement saying the author feels that bookstores are vital to communities and that they leave a lasting love of reading in children and adults.” – Author James Patterson giving $1M to bookstores – Yahoo News
  • “[T]he statements were and still are supported by reputable secondary sources,” wrote Wikimedia Foundation lawyer Michelle Paulson in a blog post published Friday. “The Greek Wikipedia community decided, through discussion, that they were appropriate for the article. Mr. Katsanevas has ignored these facts and is now using the legal system against those who do not share his financial means and influence.” Liourdis, who writes on Greek Wikipedia as “Diu,” faces monetary and criminal penalties over the article he edited. The article mentions that Katsanevas was called a “family disgrace” in the will of his father-in-law, former Greek Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou. In the will, Papandreou also accused Katsanevas of trying to exploit his name to further his political ambitions.” – Wikipedia mounts courtroom defense for editor sued by politician | Ars Technica
  • “Information literacy combines a repertoire of abilities, practices, and dispositions focused on expanding one’s understanding of the information ecosystem, with the proficiencies of finding, using and analyzing information, scholarship, and data to answer questions, develop new ones, and create new knowledge, through ethical participation in communities of learning and scholarship.” – A new definition of information literacy as outlined in the Framework for Information Literacy in Higher Education, part one of which was released in draft form today. The Framework is the result of an ACRL task force updating the 14-year-old Information Literacy Competency Standards.
  • “The project’s backers say knowledge is a human right—one they intend to provide even in countries where dictators have thus far limited access. “We exist to support the flow of independent news, information, and debate that people need to build free, thriving societies,” said Peter Whitehead, president of the Media Development Investment Fund, Outernet’s backer. “It enables fuller participation in public life, holds the powerful to account and protects the rights of the individual.” – There are billions of people without internet access. What if they get it from space? – Quartz

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