Week in Review – 28 March 2014

Spring 2014 Updates from ConnectNY

Our statewide resource-sharing consortium, ConnectNY, has had an busy winter and looks forward to a busy spring with a number of initiatives ongoing and upcoming. Below are some brief updates on significant ConnectNY projects that will affect our services and users:

Leadership Transition

Our Executive Director, Bart Harloe, has announced his intent to retire at the end of the calendar year. Toward that end, ConnectNY has contracted with John Helmer, Executive Director of the Orbis/Cascade Alliance, to help facilitate the transition by preparing the ConnectNY Council to undertake a succession planning conversation that will, in turn, lead to a successful search outcome. The immediate objective of the leadership conversation with John and the ConnectNY Council is to review current organizational practices with a view toward developing a realistic set of expectations regarding the role of the new administrator that will be responsible for coordinating the consortium’s activities in the future. The ConnectNY Council will meet in May at Siena College with John to help finalize planning for our recruitment this fall.

Annual Meeting

The 2014 Annual Meeting will be held in June at Canisius College in Buffalo.

New Loan Rules in Effect

Effective January 7, 2014 all books checked out to CNY patrons have a loan period of 42 days. In order to implement this new policy a number of best practices and procedures were developed and shared on the CNY website: http://connectny.org/cny-home/staff-information/circulation-changes/

One of the challenges of accomplishing this new set of policies and procedures was to develop a set of practices that would allow for effective recall functionality within the CNY system. In order to facilitate this latter objective, CNY has also developed a set of FAQs that should help address most of the questions that might arise in the near term future: http://connectny.org/cny-home/staff-information/circulation-and-recall-faqs/

In the meantime, CNY libraries will be assessing how the new loan rule actually plays out over the course of the 2014 spring semester with a view toward assessing the impact of the new loan rule and making any needed adjustments over the summer months as a lead-in to the next academic year.

Pilot Peer to Peer Sharing Project with NExpress

At the fall meeting at Hobart and William Smith, there was strong show of hands in support of the idea of pilot Peer to Peer project with NExpress. NExpress is a consortium of New England colleges and includes Colby, Bates, Bowdoin, Middlebury, Northeastern, Wellesley and Williams. This pilot project would allow patrons of either system to cross-request materials from either consortium via the online catalog. This would significantly expand the number of items available for direct borrowing for our users, and there is less overlap between our two consortia in terms of holdings than one might think. We hope to see this begin in summer or fall.


We continue our consortial demand-driven e-book acquisition project, and this summer hope to engage more with publishers on how to make this content available and affordable for libraries. ProQuest has agreed to support a forum in NYC where consortia and publishers can get together and explore issues around group pricing for e-books, Demand Driven Acquisitions (DDA), ILL and E-books, and the perennial issue of e-textbooks and pricing for group purchasing. ConnectNY is part of the planning group for this effort.  Attendance will be by invitation only and we hope to have good representation from the ConnectNY community, as well as from other consortia around the country.

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 28 Mar 2014 Week in Review  Creative Arts Project 0700-2100
Sat 29 Mar 2014 0900-2100
Sun 30 Mar 2014 Board of Visitors Board of Visitors 1100-2315
Mon 31 Mar 2014 Board of Visitors  Board of Visitors 0700-2315
Tue 1 Apr 2014 Division Heads Sec. Veterans Affairs 0700-2315
Wed 2 Apr 2014 CTC Conference 0700-2315
Thu 3 Apr 2014 Diversity Leadership Summit  Dean’s Staff Meeting  All Library Staff WP Negotiation Conference 0700-2315
Fri 4 Apr 2014 Diversity Leadership Summit  Week in Review WP Negotiation Conference 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 921 983 597 240
Gate Count 5,844 5,620 5,416 837
ILL Article Requests 49 48 77 32
ILL Book Requests 19 27 22 21
Administrative Services
DV Tours 1 0 0 0
Significant Events Hosted 2 2 2 0
Events/Meetings Attended 20 26 23 0
Information Gateway
Reference Questions 82 85 69 5
Library Instruction Sessions 1 1 0 0
Cadets Attending Sessions 13 9 0 0
Materials Processing
Items Added – Books 155 110 306 102
Items Added – Digital 0 0 3,360 0
Items Added – GovDocs 146 34 137 42
Items Added – Other 0 2 1 34
Continuing Resource Check-Ins 235 88 100 69
Special Collections & Archives
Reference Inquiries 49 47 55 31
Research Visits < 1 hour 10 8 22 0
Research Visits < 1 day 3 3 2 0
Research Visits > 1 day 0 0 0 1
Instruction Sessions 0 0 0 0
Cadets Taught 0 0 0 0
Systems Management
Library Home Page Visits 4,447 4,893 3,890 1,776
LibGuides Visits 561 621 512 301
Digital Collections Visits 277 294 280 287
Facebook Visits 17 16 19
Public Printer Prints 7,849 7,865 6,704 319
Public Printer Copies 632 441 44 25
Public Printer Scans 197 44 1,316 381

Food for Thought

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

  • “In Washington, budget cuts have left the nation’s research complex reeling. Labs are closing. Scientists are being laid off. Projects are being put on the shelf, especially in the risky, freewheeling realm of basic research. Yet from Silicon Valley to Wall Street, science philanthropy is hot, as many of the richest Americans seek to reinvent themselves as patrons of social progress through science research. The result is a new calculus of influence and priorities that the scientific community views with a mix of gratitude and trepidation. “For better or worse,” said Steven A. Edwards, a policy analyst at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, “the practice of science in the 21st century is becoming shaped less by national priorities or by peer-review groups and more by the particular preferences of individuals with huge amounts of money.”Billionaires With Big Ideas Are Privatizing American Science – NYTimes.com
  • “But, in the area of patentable subject matter, the Supreme Court’s decisions have been a disaster. The Court has created mass confusion, making it almost impossible to discern whether certain innovations, particularly as to software, are patentable. Alice provides the Supreme Court an opportunity to provide guidance in the law, particularly in the software industry. Let’s hope the Court takes it. It is time for some clarity – innovation depends on it.” – Is The Supreme Court About To Rule That Software Is Ineligible For Patent Protection? – Forbes
  • “But unlike your home PC, which will be on its own after April 8, ATMs will still get security updates and other necessary operating system maintenance—so long as they pay up. Britain’s five biggest banks—all five of them—are unprepared and are negotiating agreements with Microsoft so the company will continue support. As Reuters reports, it will cost each bank about $100 million total to both maintain support and also get the system upgraded.” – Windows XP still runs on 95 percent of the ATMs in the world, says Reuters.
  • “Information is only of value if you can get it to people who can do something with it. Sharing is power.” – General Stanley McChrystal
  • “The fear isn’t that big data discriminates. We already know that it does. It’s that you don’t know if you’ve been discriminated against.” – How Can We Build Ethics Into Big Data?
  • “Education is what people do to you, learning is what you do to yourself.” – MIT Media Lab director Joi Ito
  • “Keurig’s next generation of coffee machines will have a way to prevent any coffee not licensed by Keurig from brewing in the machine as early as this fall.” – Ars Technica
  • “A study at Indiana University found that “as many as 50% of papers are never read by anyone other than their authors, referees and journal editors.” That same study concluded that “some 90% of papers that have been published in academic journals are never cited.” That is, nine out of 10 academic papers—which both often take years to research, compile, submit, and get published, and are a major component by which a scholar’s output is measured—contribute little to the academic conversation.” – Killing Pigs and Weed Maps: The Mostly Unread World of Academic Papers – Pacific Standard: The Science of Society
  • “Take a second to be amazed at what [MOOCs] still represent for most people in most places: whatever new subject you happen to be curious about, there is probably a free online course out there to take, on your schedule. The people complaining about this feat, this possibility, seem the same sort to complain that the internet connection on their plane is slow. But sometimes, it’s okay to wow before we whine.” – I took an online class—and actually liked it – Quartz
  • “According to Credit.com’s analysis of the data, nearly half of the $1.2 trillion of education debt that’s currently on the books belongs to students who are still in school, and thus not yet required to make payments.” – As Many As 1-in-3 Student Loans May Be Delinquent – Consumerist
  • “Economists have noted how work hours for white collar, college-educated workers began to become extreme in about the 1980s, and at the same time, social surveys were picking up a heightened sense of economic insecurity in this same group. Some people say we’re working more because we want more stuff (like that stupid Cadillac commercial that made me so angry I wrote a piece about it). While it’s true that household debt and spending on “luxury” items have gone up at the same time, it’s also true that wages have been stagnating and the costs of basic things like health care, housing, and education have gone through the roof—the cost of college has blown up nearly 900 percent in recent decades. When was the last time anyone outside hedge fund managers and the 1 percent got a 900 percent raise? Against that backdrop comes technology and the ability to be connected 24/7 – which leads to a feeling of constantly being “on call,” that you can never quite get away from work, that the boundaries that used to keep work more contained have bled and spilled over into the hours of the day that used to be for family, for self, for leisure, for sleep.” – America’s Workers: Stressed Out, Overwhelmed, Totally Exhausted – Rebecca J. Rosen – The Atlantic
  • “State data reveals that from 2000 to 2012, the number of bookstores in Manhattan fell almost 30 percent, to 106 stores from 150. Jobs, naturally, have suffered as well: Annual employment in bookstores has decreased 46 percent during that period, according to the state’s Department of Labor.” – Surging Rents Force Booksellers From Manhattan – NYTimes.com
  • “They tended to be at the hub” of illicit exchanges of test information, says Adam Lowther, one of seven investigators who dug into details of cheating that has embarrassed the Air Force and on Thursday brought down virtually the entire operational command of the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. At least 82 missile launch officers face disciplinary action, but it was the four “librarians” who allegedly facilitated the cheating, in part by transmitting test answers via text message. One text included a photo of a classified test answer, according to Lt. Gen. Stephen Wilson, who announced the probe’s findings Thursday.” – At core of nuke cheating ring: 4 ‘librarians’ – Yahoo News

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