Monthly Archives: April 2014

Words as Waving Poppies – War Poetry Anthologies and Criticism in the USMA Library Collection

           Field

April is National Poetry Month…and since much of our focus here at West Point is on war, taking a look at war poetry resources in our collection is a good way to close out the month that celebrates poetry. War has long been a source of inspiration for writers, prompting recognition of the bravery and patriotism involved in service to a cause, or reacting to the damage and destruction to life and property that often result from such conflicts. Poems about war often reflect both points of view, as can be seen in the poem quoted to introduce this article. That’s part of what makes war poetry – and in fact, all poetry – so difficult and rewarding to read: the conflict between the head and the heart, the ideas of duty and the fear of death, the thoughts of victory and the reality of loss are often all wrapped up in one poem, capturing the range of human emotion in an economy of words, and making the experiences of the individual universal.

One way to approach reading the poetry of war is to choose a specific conflict and find an anthology or collection of poems that arose from that particular war. Here in the USMA Library, we have several excellent anthologies covering various wars, and the first one we’ll feature collects works that arose from a conflict we spend a lot of time studying here at West Point: the Civil War.

wordsWords for the Hour: a New Anthology of American Civil War Poetry edited by Faith Barrett and Christanne Miller, brings together poems from the entire Civil War era, highlighting antebellum poetry, writings leading up to the war, poems from the years of battle, and poetry written during the aftermath of the conflict. In addition, the editors have provided a section for collections of poems by individual authors, including Emily Dickinson, Herman Melville, John Greenleaf Whittier and Walt Whitman. Their arrangement of poetry in chronological order, along with a Civil War timeline and a list of source collections from which they obtained many of the included poems, helps the reader understand the context and impact of the works showcased in this excellent collection.

PenguinWith The Penguin Book of First World War Poetry, editor George Walter has collected poems by both well-known and unknown writers and arranged them together in themes to provide readers with differing perspectives on common experiences. Women writing about the home front and anonymous soldiers’ songs round out the collection. The introduction discusses the role and scope of First World War poetry anthologies and looks at how these works have been viewed and understood over time. With a notes section that includes context and explanations for the poems, Walter has prepared a collection that provides an excellent overview of the genre.

cambridgeIn the Cambridge Poets of the Great War: An Anthology, editor Michael Copp has arranged selected poetry of the First World War era into sections such as “Early Days,” “Over There,” “Comradeship,” and “Loss and Remembrance,” to highlight the themes explored by the writers of the time. The volume includes a lengthy introduction, in which Copp provides biographical information about the authors, details of the incidents described in many of the poems, and commentary and criticism of several of the featured poems. The balance of the book is given over to the poems themselves, thematically grouped, and includes indexes of authors, titles and first lines for ease of reference.

In The War Poets: an Anthology of the War Poetry of the 20th Century edited by Oscar Williams, in addition to poetry by well-known poets (some of whom served in the military), a large section of the book is devoted to the poems of soldiers of the armed forces of England and America. Thus, the experiences of those who served – in the trenches, in the planes, in the ranks – during both the First and Second World Wars, are represented with poems about daily life in the service, memories of home, and the consequences of battle. The book also includes a section of “Comments by the Poets,” in which various authors provide their observations on war and poetry, and the connection between the two.

PoetryofwoldwarsPoetry of the World Wars, edited by Michael Foss, includes but a brief introduction, and lets the poems of two World Wars stand on their own, interspersed with small but affecting illustrations (most without credit). Poems from each conflict are gathered into thematic chapters, and many well-known poets are represented in this volume.

Of course, readers often have favorite poets, or poets who they know have written about a specific topic, and that’s a great starting point for reading poetry – and in the USMA Library, looking up a poet using the “Author” search option in Scout or in our catalog is the easiest way to find books written by poets whose work you admire. The USMA Library has countless books of poetry by a wide variety of poets; here we’ll look at just one that is relevant to our current topic.

tapsonthewallTaps on the Walls: Poems from the Hanoi Hilton   by John Borling MAJ GEN USAF, Ret. is an example of a collection of poems by a single author in a single volume. Borling was a prisoner of war in Vietnam for over six years, and the poetry in this book is a record of the way he survived, and helped others to do the same, under brutal and often hopeless conditions. Tapping in code on the walls of their cells, he and his fellow prisoners tapped out their own names and the names of their family members, messages of hope and strength, jokes and prayers…and poems. The poems he has set forth in this book are his memories and experiences from that time, forty years ago, when poetry helped keep him and his comrades alive. With an introduction by his fellow POW (and now Senator) John McCain, this book is a testament to the ways that poetry can help and heal.

Another way to explore the poetry of war is to take an academic approach, and read literary criticism written about either a single poet’s work or about a selection of thematically-related poems by different authors. As with any academic library, the USMA library collection includes probably thousands of volumes that provide literary criticism of prose and poetry; what follows is a small selection of criticism on the poems of war.

surviivorssongsSurvivors’ Songs: from Maldon to the Somme by Jon Stallworthy – this book is an exploration of poetic encounters with war, including essays on such writers as Rupert Brooke, Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen. Stallworthy, a poet himself and a Fellow of the British Academy, sets the poetry and prose of the First World War in a wider context, examining the meaning these poems have for survivors of warfare – both past and future.

spirt

Spirit Above Wars: a Study of the English Poetry of the Two World Wars by A. Banerjee takes its title from a quote in a letter from Robert Graves to Wilfred Owen in 1917 (‘For God’s sake cheer up and write more optimistically – The war’s not ended yet but a poet should have a spirit above wars.’). In keeping with that dictate, Banerjee has given us a volume in which the poems of war have been re-examined and connected to the larger traditions of poetry, showing the ways in which “war poetry” enlarges all poetic traditions.

mondernenglishModern English War Poetry by Tim Kendall focuses on a number of well-known poets who wrote on war, including Rudyard Kipling, Wilfred Owen, W. H. Auden, and Ted Hughes. Each chapter is an in-depth exploration of the poet and his or her war writing, covering many different eras, with the exception of two notable chapters. In one, “Sky-Conscious: Poetry of the Blitz,” Kendall examines the widespread references in war poetry to airborne attacks and their effects, addressing poems by a wide selection of authors; in “The Few to Profit: Poets Against War,” he again expands beyond the well-known poets covered in depth in his book to look at how many different writers have given us poems that protest against war, across a multitude of conflicts and cultures.

With Memories of a Lost War: American Poetic Responses to the Vietnam War, author and critic Subarno Chattarji introduces us to poems written during and after the conflict in Vietnam, predominantly by veterans, but including other voices as well. Beginning with “Politics and Poetry,” continuing through “Veteran Poetry: Combat Experience,” and “The Aftermath,” and ending with “The Other: Vietnamese Poetic representations,” Chattarji collects poems that address the Vietnam War from diverse perspectives, giving the reader exposure to a wide range of experiences and examining the multitude of emotions that continue to affect both those who participated and those who protested the war.

American War Poetry is a contribution to the field of war poetry criticism by USMA alumni and former Superintendent William J. Lennox, Jr. (USMA 1971). In this, the dissertation he completed to obtain his PhD, Lennox examines poetry written by Americans during and about five separate wars: the American Revolution, the Civil War, the First and Second World Wars, and the Vietnam War. Observing in his introduction that “the first extant poetic work of Western literature, the Illiad, addresses…war,” Lennox goes on to describe how poems on the different wars are an important sub-genre of American poetry, with trends and themes that relate to each other and to contemporary and traditional American culture and thought – even over vast distances of time and geography.

You don’t need the excuse of a poetry month to pick up a book of poetry – or to delve into the world of literary criticism to help you understand and appreciate the poems of your favorite writers. Even though National Poetry Month has come to a close, all of the war poetry resources referenced in this article – and many more! – are available here in the USMA Library. Come on in and check one out!

Contents contributed by Laura Mosher, Reference & Liaison Librarian

 

Week in Review – 25 April 2014

Use of Mobile Devices for Cadets Likely to Expand

Conversations and briefings have been underway this week discussing the plans for technology requirements for the Corps of Cadets next year. Though final plans are not yet settled, it is likely that all cadets will be asked to have mobile tablet computers (e.g. iPads) in addition to their laptops. This requirement is being driven by several factors including the cost-saving opportunities of some e-textbooks, and expansion of mobile-enabled content within some areas of the curriculum.

This academic year, nearly all Firsties were required to have iPads in support of the History of the Military Art text, which was published in e-book form only for iPad. That program has been quite successful in most areas that have to do with instruction. The largest deployment issues have been related to wireless use of tablets in the classrooms.

Expansion of this program to cover more cadets will change how cadets use information resources, including the library. I think we will see a move to adopt more e-textbooks over the next couple of academic years, which will likely drive use of other e-books available from sources such as the library. We will continue to see pressure on networks to support additional devices (although a significant upgrade for cadet bandwidth is also planned to mitigate any effect on Academy bandwidth). As we think about future services and collections, we will want to consider the fact that our primary target population will all have mobile technology designed for reading e-texts.

Preparatory Reading for USMA Library Strategic Planning (Revised List #2)

In a few weeks, library staff will be spending some time doing some long-range strategic thinking about where we as an organization need to position ourselves to best serve the evolving needs of the U.S. Military Academy. In preparation for that work, I would ask that library staff review the following materials that should inform our thinking and planning:

  • Ithaka S+R US Library Survey 2013In the Ithaka S+R US Library Survey 2013 report we examine how the leaders of academic libraries are approaching systemic changes in their environment and the opportunities and constraints they face in leading their organizations. While exploring key topics covered in our 2010 survey of library directors, such as strategic planning, collecting practices, and library services, in 2013 we also introduced a new emphasis on organizational dynamics, leadership issues, and undergraduate services. (from their website)
  • NMC Horizon Report > 2014 Higher Education EditionThe NMC Horizon Report > 2014 Higher Education Edition is a collaborative effort between the NMC and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI), an EDUCAUSE Program. This eleventh edition describes annual findings from the NMC Horizon Project, an ongoing research project designed to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have an impact on learning, teaching, and creative inquiry in education. Six key trends, six significant challenges, and six emerging technologies are identified across three adoption horizons over the next one to five years, giving campus leaders and practitioners a valuable guide for strategic technology planning. The format of the report is new this year, providing these leaders with more in-depth insight into how the trends and challenges are accelerating and impeding the adoption of educational technology, along with their implications for policy, leadership and practice. (from their website)
  • The Academic Library of the Future (Only available on post to staff) – This report looks at the characteristics that constitute the “academic library of the future,” highlighting recent innovations that are most effective at reducing library costs and utilizing existing resources. Economic, technological, and socio-cultural factors are considered. (from the report)
  • Top 10 IT Issues(Added 18 April) This annual report looks at significant issues in information technology and information access in higher education and is issued by EDUCAUSE.
  • USMA Strategic Plan(Added 25 April) This is the U.S. Military Academy’s Strategic Plan put in place last year and describes the focus of the Academy for the next five years.
  • USMA Academic Program Strategic Plan(Added 25 April) This is the plan developed by the Office of the Dean that describes areas of strategic importance for the coming five years.

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 25 Apr 2014 Week in Review 0700-2100
Sat 26 Apr 2014  Special Olympics 0900-2100
Sun 27 Apr 2014 1100-2315
Mon 28 Apr 2014 Holocaust Remembrance Day  Philosophy Forum 0700-2315
Tue 29 Apr 2014 Division Heads 0700-2315
Wed 30 Apr 2014 Dean’s Staff Meeting African Symposium 0700-2315
Thu 1 May 2014 Projects Day Projects Day Projects Day 0700-2315
Fri 2 May 2014 Class of 1964 Reunion Week in Review Branch Education & Mentorship Program 0700-2100

USMA Library Metrics

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

24MAR-30MAR 31MAR-6APR 7APR-13APR 14APR-20APR
Access Services
Items Charged Out 829 991 1,045 895
Gate Count 5,519 5,292 5,313 5,238
ILL Article Requests 40 30 42 23
ILL Book Requests 22 15 9 9
Administrative Services
DV Tours 1 0 0 0
Significant Events Hosted 1 4 2 5
Events/Meetings Attended 22 18 18 25
Information Gateway
Reference Questions 61 98 85 78
Library Instruction Sessions 0 1 0 1
Cadets Attending Sessions 0 40 0 9
Materials Processing
Items Added – Books 121 54 84 94
Items Added – Digital 0 0 34,907 557
Items Added – GovDocs 70 48 56 15
Items Added – Other 16 54 1 0
Continuing Resource Check-Ins 78 165 100 175
Special Collections & Archives
Reference Inquiries 27 25 41 38
Research Visits < 1 hour 6 6 6 14
Research Visits < 1 day 6 4 4 1
Research Visits > 1 day 1 0 1 1
Instruction Sessions 0 0 0 0
Cadets Taught 0 0 0 0
Systems Management
Library Home Page Visits 3,844 4,825 4,654 5,804
LibGuides Visits 477 627 496 666
Digital Collections Visits 304 327 248 298
Facebook Visits 31 42 45
Public Printer Prints 5,511 6,916 5,702 8,437
Public Printer Copies 641 421 410 231
Public Printer Scans 14 39 155 105

Food for Thought

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

  • “The legislation, sponsored by Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), would swap the word “printing” for “publishing” to make the agency the Government Publishing Office. It also would change the top two GPO officials’ titles from “public printer” and “deputy public printer” to ”director” and “deputy director.” – Does the 153-year-old Government Printing Office need a digital-era name?
  • “Ad revenue accounted for the entirety of the losses for newspapers. Print ad revenues fell 8.6%, and overall, ad sales for newspapers declined 6.5%. A 3.7% jump in circulation revenue, including digital paywalls helped alleviate some of the losses. Digital advertising growth, while not growing as fast as some in the industry have hoped, continued to climb. Mobile ad spending soared 77%, although it still accounts for less than 1% of total newspaper revenue.” – Despite Paywalls, Newspapers Still Bled Red Ink in 2013
  • “The cost of providing everyone in this country with access to just one major academic publisher’s portfolio would be equal to the size of Russia’s defense budget. Add in Springer, Wiley, and others and maybe we start getting close to half trillion. Knowledge ain’t cheap! But when the cost of journal subscriptions is more than we pay for bombs, tanks, missiles, guns, fighter jets, ships, and so forth… that’s when you that something’s not right.” – WHAT IF OBAMA PAID FOR YOUR ELSEVIER SUBSCRIPTION? The Cost of Universal Knowledge Access – The Ubiquitous Librarian – The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • “He points out that Google lists its own products—from commerce to Google profiles—higher up than competitor results, even if the competitor website has more visitors. “This is called abuse of a dominant position,” he says. Despite this, the European Commission effectively sanctioned Google’s approach as long as Google offers a new advertising position at the start of the search list where the discriminated company can pay to advertise. “This is not a compromise,” said Döpfner, “this is the EU officially sanctioning your business model, which is called ‘protection money’ in less honorable circles.” Döpfner also makes reference to the “if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear” argument espoused at different times by Schmidt and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, pointing out that such words could also come from the “head of the Stasi” or another dictator’s intelligence agency. “Google knows more about every digital citizen than George Orwell dared to imagine in his wildest visions of 1984,” he says. Döpfner is particularly concerned about comments made by founder Larry Page, who said that there are lots of things the company would like to do but can’t do because they are illegal—pesky antitrust and privacy laws get in the way. Google has also expressed an interest in building floating working environments—for “seasteading.”” – Major media publisher admits it is “afraid of Google” | Ars Technica
  • “Quantity was key. De Graff knew that if he could print 100,000 paperbound books, production costs would plummet to 10 cents per copy. But it would be impossible for Pocket Books to turn a profit if it couldn’t reach hundreds of thousands of readers. And that would never happen as long as de Graff relied solely on bookstores for distribution. So de Graff devised a plan to get his books into places where books weren’t traditionally sold. His twist? Using magazine distributors to place Pocket Books in newsstands, subway stations, drugstores, and other outlets to reach the underserved suburban and rural populace. But if Pocket Books were going to sell, they couldn’t just stick to the highbrow. De Graff avoided the stately, color-coded covers of European paperbacks, which lacked graphics other than the publishers’ logos, and splashed colorful, eye-catching drawings on his books.” – How Paperbacks Transformed the Way Americans Read | Mental Floss
  • “I kind of hate to say it, since I am a librarian. We pay a lot of money for discovery tools. And then I go off and just use Google Scholar.” – As Researchers Turn to Google, Libraries Navigate the Messy World of Discovery Tools – Technology – The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • “The way that most students find jobs or connect with people is not by mailing out résumés,” Mr. King says. “It is by people finding each other on social media.”- Confronting the Myth of the ‘Digital Native’ – The Digital Campus 2014 – The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • “Sure, debt of close on $30,000 sounds like a lot. (Vox.com notes that that’s a monthly payment of $312 on a 10-year payment plan.) But those are averages. And averages, as everybody knows, mask wide variations. Moreover, that $29,400 debt is just the average among those that had debt. While nearly seven out of 10 bachelor’s graduates do, that figure doesn’t represent the financial position of more than 30% of those graduates. (If we’re considering the future of an entire generation, the fate of nearly a third of the group is worth considering.) The New America Foundation included a percentile breakdown of total debt among all those receiving bachelor’s degrees in 2012 (i.e., including those with no debt). The median debt load—which mutes the impact of very large and very small borrowers—was $16,900 in 2012, which looks a heck of a lot more manageable than $29,400.” – US student debt isn’t as scary as everyone says – Quartz
  • “Just under 66 percent of the class of 2013 was enrolled in college last fall, the lowest share of new graduates since 2006 and the third decline in the past four years, according to data released Tuesday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Among all 16- to 24-year-olds, school enrollment experienced its biggest decline in at least two decades. The report echoes other recent evidence that college enrollment has begun to ebb after surging during the recession.” – More High School Grads Decide College Isn’t Worth It | FiveThirtyEight
  • “Suspecting that some reviewers weren’t doing a thorough job on some conference papers, they put together a random gibberish paper generator for anyone who wanted to test whether reviewers were paying attention. Unfortunately, that software has since been used to get 120 pieces of gibberish published.” – Publishing stings find predatory journals, shoddy peer review | Ars Technica
  • “Books are organized by class, and are synced online, so if you’re too lazy to bring your iPad with you to Anthropology you can still follow along from any web-connected computer. Yuzu can be accessed via Internet Explorer or Safari 6.1/7 (standard-issue for school-locked computers), and everything you do can be pulled up on your tablet when you’re back at the dorm. Later in the semester when you opt to go to a playoff game rather than study for finals, all your notes can be pulled together on a single page for a high-speed court-side cram session.” – Barnes & Noble’s new app wants to change how you study
  • “The new rules, according to the people briefed on them, will allow a company like Comcast or Verizon to negotiate separately with each content company – like Netflix, Amazon, Disney or Google – and charge different companies different amounts for priority service. That, of course, could increase costs for content companies, which would then have an incentive to pass on those costs to consumers as part of their subscription prices.” – F.C.C., in ‘Net Neutrality’ Turnaround, Plans to Allow Fast Lane – NYTimes.com
  • “A key conclusion from this study is that mobile devices can help people develop, sustain and enhance their literacy skills,” lead author Mark West, of UNESCO, said in a statement. “This is important because literacy opens the door to life-changing opportunities and benefits.” – Cellphones ignite a ‘reading revolution’ in poor countries | The Verge
  • “In order for a defendant to be found liable for contributory copyright infringement there must first be evidence of direct infringement carried out by others. In other words, to proceed against Gawker, Tarantino’s lawyers needed to show that visitors to Gawker’s site who read the article in question actually clicked the links to AnonFiles or Scribd and went on to commit direct infringement on the script. “However, nowhere in these paragraphs or anywhere else in the Complaint does Plaintiff allege a single act of direct infringement committed by any member of the general public that would support Plaintiff’s claim for contributory infringement. Instead, Plaintiff merely speculates that some direct infringement must have taken place,” wrote U.S. District Judge John F. Walter in his ruling.” – Viewing Pirated Material Is Not Direct Copyright Infringement, Judge Tells Tarantino | TorrentFreak
  • “The government is too afraid to say it, but the internet is a utility. The data that flows to your home is just like water and electricity: it’s not a luxury or an option in 2014. The FCC’s original Open Internet rules failed precisely because it was too timid to say that out loud, and instead erected rules on a sketchy legal sinkhole that was destined to fail. As the WSJ reports, the FCC has once again decided against reclassifying broadband as a public utility. To declare the internet a public utility would go against the wishes of companies like Comcast and AT&T, which don’t want to be dumb pipes. It’s more lucrative to be cunning.” – It’s time for the FCC to stand up for Americans instead of ruining the internet
  • “You can log on today to take a Stanford or MIT computer science course right now. Yet applications to Stanford and MIT are going up, not down, because people don’t go to Stanford or MIT to take the computer science course. They go to Stanford and MIT to get a degree (which demonstrates that they were smart enough to get in and persistent enough to graduate), to make friends and lifelong collaborators and companions, and to go through a battery of experiences that will make them different and presumably more successful people. Online education and technology are doubtless going to change how we learn in the years ahead. Remote learning is inexpensive and brings down the cost of near-universal access. But the conception of education as “content” or even how we learn and absorb specific bodies of knowledge misses many of the key value drivers of educational institutions as they currently function.” – What’s College Good For? | Fast Company | Business Innovation
  • “Will the digital age mark another era of decline for libraries? To an observer from an earlier era, unfamiliar with the screens and devices now crowding out printed books, it may look that way at first. On the other hand, even the smallest device with a Web browser now promises access to a reserve of knowledge vast and varied enough to rival that of Alexandria. If the current digital explosion throws off a few sparks, and a few vestigial elements of libraries, like their paper books and their bricks-and-mortar buildings, are consigned to flames, should we be concerned? Isn’t it a net gain?” – The future of the library: How they’ll evolve for the digital age.
  • “If the new dictionary is printed – and publishers Oxford University Press say a print version will only appear if there is sufficient demand at the time – it will comprise 40 volumes, double the length of the second edition in 1989. Almost one third of a million entries were contained in the 21,730 pages of the second version of the OED, which sells for £750 and had been online since 2000, where it receives more than two million hits a month. The latest electronic edition of the OED acknowledges the difficulties of producing commercially-viable print versions, saying: “The English language is far too large and diverse to be fully recordable in a dictionary, even one the size of the OED.” – RIP for OED as world’s finest dictionary goes out of print – Telegraph

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

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Traveling Exhibition “Fighting the Fires of Hate: America and the Nazi Book Burnings” Opens

USHMM ExhibitA traveling exhibition from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Fighting the Fires of Hate: America and the Nazi Book Burnings is now open for the West Point community and their guests on the second floor of the Jefferson Hall Library and Learning Center. This exhibition is sponsored by the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at West Point, in partnership with the U.S. Military Academy Library and will be at West Point until June 11, 2014.

Due to security and access restrictions in place for Jefferson Hall and the central area of West Point, the exhibition is not open to the general public.

On May 10, 1933, just a few months after Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany and a full six years before World War II, university students across Nazi Germany burned thousands of books in an ominous “cleansing” of the “un-German spirit” from German culture. Writings by scores of German and foreign authors, including Helen Keller, Ernest Hemingway, and Sigmund Freud, were consumed in spectacularly staged bonfires. Americans quickly condemned the events as hostile to the spirit of democracy and the freedom of expression. Their orchestrated book burnings across Germany would come to underscore German-Jewish writer Heinrich Heine’s 19th century warning, “Where one burns books, one soon burns people.”

The exhibition provides a vivid look at the first steps the Nazis took to suppress freedom of expression and the strong response that occurred in the United States both immediately and in the years thereafter. The exhibition focuses on how the book burnings became a potent symbol during World War II in America’s battle against Nazism and concludes by examining their continued impact on our public discourse.

“Americans were deeply offended by the book burnings, which were a gross assault against their core values,” said U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Director Sara J. Bloomfield. “Their response was intense, in fact so strong that throughout the war the government used the book burnings to help define the nature of the enemy to the American public. Unfortunately, the systematic murder of Europe’s Jews was not seen as a compelling case for fighting Nazism.”

The exhibition concludes with the postwar years, exploring how the Nazi book burnings have continued to resonate in American politics, literature, and popular culture. It features postwar evocations of book burnings, including a McCarthy-era speech in which President Eisenhower urged Dartmouth graduates, “Don’t join the book burners”; films such as Pleasantville and Field of Dreams; episodes of The Waltons and M*A*S*H; the death threats against Salman Rushdie; and the public burning of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books.

Top 15 Most Borrowed Movies and Books Revealed

Someone recently asked us to name the most borrowed DVDs or Books in the Library. Based on our statistics, the following two lists reveal the results in descending order. We’ve included only the top 15 titles but we’ve got lots more to choose from!

DVDs

Number one on the most borrowed list for DVDs.

  • Olympus Has Fallen
  •  Looper
  •  Zero Dark Thirty
  • Argo
  • The Hobbit
  • Silver Linings Playbook
  • Life of Pi
  • 21 Jump Street
  • 42: The Jackie Robinson Story
  •  Cloud Atlas
  •  Jack Reacher
  •  Flight
  • 21
  • Oblivion
  • GI Joe

Books

Books

Number one on the most borrowed list for books.

  • My share of the task : a memoir / Stanley McChrystal
  • The fault in our stars / John Green
  • Democracy’s fourth wave? : digital media and the Arab Spring
    / Philip N. Howard and Muzammil M. Hussain
  • Inside cyber warfare / Jeffrey Carr
  • The Boston Tea Party : the foundations of revolution/ James M. Volo
  • Al-Shabaab in Somalia : the history and ideology of a militant Islamist group, 2005-2012 / Stig Jarle Hansen
  • The Arab spring : new patterns for democracy and international law
    / Edited by Carlo Panara and Gary Wilson
  • The world until yesterday : what can we learn from traditional societies?/ Jared Diamond
  • Bleeding talent : how the US military mismanages great leaders and why it’s time for a revolution / Tim Kane
  • Rwanda, Inc. : how a devastated nation became an economic model for the developing world / Patricia Crisafulli and Andrea Redmond
  • Berlin on the brink : the blockade, the airlift, and the early Cold War
    / Daniel F. Harrington
  • Arab Spring in Egypt : revolution and beyond/ edited by Bahgat Korany, Rabab El-Mahdi
  • War from the ground up : twenty-first century combat as politics/ Emile Simpson
  • The ocean at the end of the lane / Neil Gaiman
  • Doctor Sleep : a novel / Stephen King

If there is a book or DVD that you would like the Library to purchase, you can visit the Library website to learn how.

Week in Review – 18 April 2014

News Notes from Around the Library

  • Our traveling exhibition from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Fighting the Fires of Hate, has arrived and been installed on the second floor of Jefferson Hall. A full announcement of the exhibition will be made next week.
  • The Library received the West Point Class Ring from BG John S.D. Eisenhower (USMA 1944), son of GA Dwight D. Eisenhower (USMA 1915), and installed the ring in the ring case. A more complete announcement on this new gift will be forthcoming.
  • The Library Committee of Faculty Council met this past Monday to review in more detail the results of the faculty survey from last fall. Outprocessing firsties will now be taking a very similar version of that survey as they clear the library over the next several weeks. This will allow us to compare perspectives from both faculty and cadets.
  • Library staff participated in briefings on the West Point Leadership Development System this week and discussed how we as staff can impact the development of these leadership skills and outcomes among cadets.
  • Next week there will be evaluators visiting many post facilities to evaluate anti-terrorism measures. Please be familiar with our previously distributed policies and guidance for both evacuation and shelter-in-place and be watchful for any security risks in and around Jefferson Hall. Anyone without ID and not in uniform should be approached and asked for identification. Badge holders are available at the Circulation Desk if required.
  • This coming Thursday, April 24th, there will be a training exercise in Central Area to simulate a security incident. That event is likely to impact library operations through the morning as we respond to direction from incident responders.

Preparatory Reading for USMA Library Strategic Planning (Revised List)

In a few weeks, library staff will be spending some time doing some long-range strategic thinking about where we as an organization need to position ourselves to best serve the evolving needs of the U.S. Military Academy. In preparation for that work, I would ask that library staff review the following materials that should inform our thinking and planning:

  • Ithaka S+R US Library Survey 2013In the Ithaka S+R US Library Survey 2013 report we examine how the leaders of academic libraries are approaching systemic changes in their environment and the opportunities and constraints they face in leading their organizations. While exploring key topics covered in our 2010 survey of library directors, such as strategic planning, collecting practices, and library services, in 2013 we also introduced a new emphasis on organizational dynamics, leadership issues, and undergraduate services. (from their website)
  • NMC Horizon Report > 2014 Higher Education EditionThe NMC Horizon Report > 2014 Higher Education Edition is a collaborative effort between the NMC and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI), an EDUCAUSE Program. This eleventh edition describes annual findings from the NMC Horizon Project, an ongoing research project designed to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have an impact on learning, teaching, and creative inquiry in education. Six key trends, six significant challenges, and six emerging technologies are identified across three adoption horizons over the next one to five years, giving campus leaders and practitioners a valuable guide for strategic technology planning. The format of the report is new this year, providing these leaders with more in-depth insight into how the trends and challenges are accelerating and impeding the adoption of educational technology, along with their implications for policy, leadership and practice. (from their website)
  • The Academic Library of the Future (Only available on post to staff) – This report looks at the characteristics that constitute the “academic library of the future,” highlighting recent innovations that are most effective at reducing library costs and utilizing existing resources. Economic, technological, and socio-cultural factors are considered. (from the report)
  • Top 10 IT Issues(Added 18 April) This annual report looks at significant issues in information technology and information access in higher education and is issued by EDUCAUSE.

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 18 Apr 2014 Week in Review 0700-2100
Sat 19 Apr 2014 0900-2100
Sun 20 Apr 2014  Easter Sunday 1300-2315
Mon 21 Apr 2014 0700-2315
Tue 22 Apr 2014 Division Heads Annual Relationship Panel 0700-2315
Wed 23 Apr 2014  Mission Command Conference  Dean’s Staff Meeting 0700-2315
Thu 24 Apr 2014 Mission Command Conference / ATFP Exercise ATFP Exercise ATFP Exercise / CFE Seminar 0700-2315
Fri 25 Apr 2014 Earth Day  Dean’s Recognition Ceremony Week in Review 0700-2100

USMA Library Metrics

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

17MAR-23MAR 24MAR-30MAR 31MAR-6APR 7APR-13APR
Access Services
Items Charged Out 240 829 991 1,045
Gate Count 837 5,519 5,292 5,313
ILL Article Requests 32 40 30 42
ILL Book Requests 21 22 15 9
Administrative Services
DV Tours 0 1 0 0
Significant Events Hosted 0 1 4 2
Events/Meetings Attended 0 22 18 18
Information Gateway
Reference Questions 5 61 98 85
Library Instruction Sessions 0 0 1 0
Cadets Attending Sessions 0 0 40 0
Materials Processing
Items Added – Books 102 121 54 84
Items Added – Digital 0 0 0 34,907
Items Added – GovDocs 42 70 48 56
Items Added – Other 34 16 54 1
Continuing Resource Check-Ins 69 78 165 100
Special Collections & Archives
Reference Inquiries 31 27 25 41
Research Visits < 1 hour 0 6 6 6
Research Visits < 1 day 0 6 4 4
Research Visits > 1 day 1 1 0 1
Instruction Sessions 0 0 0 0
Cadets Taught 0 0 0 0
Systems Management
Library Home Page Visits 1,776 3,844 4,825 4,654
LibGuides Visits 301 477 627 496
Digital Collections Visits 287 304 327 248
Facebook Visits 31 42
Public Printer Prints 319 5,511 6,916 5,702
Public Printer Copies 25 641 421 410
Public Printer Scans 381 14 39 155

Food for Thought

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

  • “Both colleges and employers must embrace three-year bachelors degrees; the traditional four years is an arbitrary number that just extends the time in education. Institutions can also reduce costs by adapting to the modern age and offer more online learning. But they will only do this is if the government limits the ability of students to pay the prevailing high tuition costs.The current model has inflated spending beyond the nation’s means, with colleges reaping the rewards while the government takes all the risks and graduates drown in debt. With an abrupt crisis unlikely, hard action may be delayed for years, allowing the noose to tighten on an already fragile economy.” – These charts explain what’s behind America’s soaring college costs – Quartz
  • “The bill, in the Florida Senate, would require that undergraduate course textbooks remain in use for at least three years at state institutions, unless a professor successfully appealed to administrators to change course materials more frequently. The bill would also require professors to post assigned textbooks at least two weeks before registration for a new term, forcing them to choose course materials up to seven months before the first day of class. Supporters of the bill, SB 530, say it would lower financial barriers to higher education for students who struggle to afford rising textbook costs, which they attribute in part to frequent turnover in course materials. But professors worry that the bill would force them to teach dated research and entangle them in onerous regulations.” – Professors Would Have to Use Same Textbook for 3 Years Under Florida Bill – Administration – The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • “Hull House offered a variety of services that seem like precursors to the services that libraries are providing today. Like the Arizona libraries that have added public health nurses, Addams and her Hull House co-founder Ellen Gates Starr “volunteered as on-call doctors when the real doctors either didn’t show up or weren’t available.” They also “acted as midwives, saved babies from neglect, prepared the dead for burial, nursed the sick, and sheltered domestic violence victims.” Volunteers “held classes in literature, history, art, domestic activities (such as sewing),” and practical courses such as bookbinding, “which was timely—given the employment opportunities in the growing printing trade,” which sounds a lot like the free computer classes offered by many public libraries today.” – What 21st-century libraries can learn from this 19th-century institution – Quartz
  • “They seem to be after everyone and everything,” one Seattle-area bookstore owner, Roger Page, fulminated on his store’s blog last year. He added, “I believe there is a real chance that they will ruin the publishing world.” – Bookstores in Seattle Soar, and Embrace an Old Nemesis: Amazon.com – NYTimes.com
  • “Comcast is so concerned about all those other products explicitly because they aren’t just the company that plugs the broadband wire into your home. Comcast is already not only your carrier but also your content — and if they get their way they’ll become your gatekeeper to everyone else’s content, too.” – The Comcast Merger Isn’t About Lines On A Map; It’s About Controlling The Delivery Of Information – Consumerist
  • “This boardroom is about the only thing that hasn’t changed around here,” he told a visitor, sitting at an antique conference table in the heart of Wyndeham’s printing plant here. “Everything else in this plant is different. All the equipment has been changed, and so have the people.” In many ways, printing itself has gone digital. Industrial-strength laser printers enable big printing plants to make quick and cost-effective small-batch runs on demand. Even Wyndeham’s big offset machines — which print from lithographic plates created from digital files — are so highly automated that a crew of just a dozen or so can put them through their paces. “This is almost a peopleless business now,” Mr. Kingston said as he walked through the huge but mostly deserted printing hall. “At one point we had 350 people in this plant. Now we have 114. But the amount of work has more than doubled.” – Leaner and More Efficient, British Printers Push Forward in Digital Age – NYTimes.com
  • “18% of online adults have had important personal information stolen such as their Social Security Number, credit card, or bank account information. That’s an increase from the 11% who reported personal information theft in July 2013.
    21% of online adults said they had an email or social networking account compromised or taken over without their permission.The same number reported this experience in a July 2013 survey.” – More online Americans say they’ve experienced a personal data breach | Pew Research Center
  • “Most people in my discipline,” said James Grossman, executive director of the American Historical Association, “if they hear the words ‘authentic assessment,’ ‘high-impact educational practices,’ or ‘essential learning outcomes’ will run as fast as they can in the opposite direction.” That is especially the case, Mr. Grossman said, at top-tier research universities. “Nobody is going to flunk the University of Texas or Princeton on their next round of accreditation,” he said, “so no faculty member is going to take it seriously, which means this gobbledygook is something they simply have to forebear for a certain period of time.”- Educators Point to a ‘Crisis of Mediocre Teaching’ – Graduate Students – The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • “The part-timers are often considered “invisible faculty,” because they rarely participate in academic life and typically bolt from campus the moment class ends. That researchers still know little about them — or how well they do their jobs — is especially startling given that a little more than half of all college faculty members are now part-timers, and they far outnumber full-time faculty members on most community college campuses.” – The College Faculty Crisis – NYTimes.com
  • “Nationally, from 2001 to May 2013, the number of librarians fell by 9 percent. In New Mexico, there are 48 percent fewer librarians than there were in 2001. In Michigan, there was a 36 percent drop. But there are states where the number of librarians has risen; at the top of the list is Idaho, where there are 167 percent more librarians. But most places that have seen an increase didn’t have many librarians in the first place (Idaho only had 240 in 2001).” – Where Are America’s Librarians? | FiveThirtyEight
  • “What we’re concerned about is the death spiral — this continuing downward momentum for some institutions,” said Susan Fitzgerald, an analyst at Moody’s Investors Service in New York. “We will see more closures than in the past.” – Small U.S. Colleges Battle Death Spiral as Enrollment Drops – Bloomberg
  • “It is a golden age for librarians, historians and scholars and it is the sweep of digital tools in the humanities that make it so,” he says. “In the past, if you wanted to study the evolution of language for a PhD or the roles of women in different eras, you had to do all the grunt work with references and citations all done by hand. Now it can be done by machine at an astonishing rate.” – How to preserve the web’s past for the future – FT.com
  • “The records we received show that the face recognition component of NGI may include as many as 52 million face images by 2015. By 2012, NGI already contained 13.6 million images representing between 7 and 8 million individuals, and by the middle of 2013, the size of the database increased to 16 million images. The new records reveal that the database will be capable of processing 55,000 direct photo enrollments daily and of conducting tens of thousands of searches every day.” – FBI Plans to Have 52 Million Photos in its NGI Face Recognition Database by Next Year | Electronic Frontier Foundation
  • “Unfortunately, most teachers are not in a position to share excitement with students. About 70% are classified as disengaged, which puts them on par with the workforce as a whole. This is surprising in some ways, because teachers score close to the top on measures that indicate that they find meaning in their life and see work as a calling. Unfortunately, the structures that teachers are working in–which may include high-stakes standardized testing and value-added formulas that evaluate their performance based on outside factors–seem to tug against their happiness. “The real bummer is they don’t feel their opinions matter,” Busteed says. K-12 teachers scored dead last among 12 occupational groups in agreeing with the statement that their opinions count at work, and also dead last on “My supervisor creates an open and trusting environment.” K-12 teachers scored dead last among 12 occupational groups in agreeing with the statement that their opinions count at work, and also dead last on “My supervisor creates an open and trusting environment.” – How Engaged Are Students and Teachers in American Schools? | MindShift
  • “The ability to reach everyone I know in one place is no longer a novelty. We don’t want to see daily updates from everyone we meet in perpetuity.” – Facebook’s friend problem | The Verge
  • “Researchers found 75% of men would opt for the big screen version of a story, while 30% admitted they had not picked up a book since they were at school. Being too busy, not enjoying reading or spending time online were all blamed for reading less. Men also tended to be slower readers and less likely to finish books.” – BBC News – Men ‘giving up’ on books to watch films or go online
  • ““When people can’t apply for jobs or access government services because they don’t have access from home, public libraries must be there for them,” said Linda Lord, a librarian in Maine. “Where else are they going to go? Police station? Town hall? I don’t think so.” Though 62 percent of libraries offer the only free computer and Internet access in their communities, only 9 percent say they have the high-capacity connections needed to support the computers, Wi-Fi and technological training necessary for an increasingly paperless world. Some libraries connect to the Web at speeds that barely allow them to stream video services — less than 3 megabits per second — though many are now operating at up to 10 mbps. The goal is to upgrade all connections to at least 100 mbps.” – Libraries Seek High-Speed Broadband – NYTimes.com
  • “In this survey, 92 percent of IT personnel admitted that they did, indeed, sneak peeks — under the guise of doing their job, you understand — at the details buried in workers’ computers. The other 8 percent work in monasteries. At least that’s my assumption. Perhaps you won’t be surprised at the things these IT snoopers (42 percent of whom where female) see. Eighty-two percent observe the obvious — workers wafting onto social media sites of varying hues, rather than being what used to be called productive. Surely even work is social these days. Fifty-seven percent insist that a huge problem is e-mail attachments of dubious provenance being opened. I have no evidence that any of these IT managers work for US Airways. Fifty-two percent say that workers download games onto their office computers. And don’t get them started about the unauthorized USB and other devices that get plugged into the precious office machines. It seems there’s also a lot of pirating going on in office time and on office equipment; 45 percent said they had seen evidence. But perhaps the most enjoyable of all is observing just how many people in your office are applying for other jobs. Thirty-nine percent of IT managers said that, oh, yes, they’d seen job applications flying on work computers.” – Big Brother really is watching you (It’s your IT manager) – CNET
  • “Technology means that no matter what kind of job you have — even if you’re alone in a truck on an empty road — your company can now measure everything you do. In Earle’s case, those measurements go into a little black box in the back of his truck. At the end of the day, the data get sent to Paramus, N.J., where computers crunch through the data from UPS trucks across the country. ‘The data are about as important as the package for us,’ says Jack Levis, who’s in charge of the UPS data. It’s his job to think about small amounts of time and large amounts of money. ‘Just one minute per driver per day over the course of a year adds up to $14.5 million,’ Levis says.” – The Data-Driven Optimization of the Worker – Alexis C. Madrigal – The Atlantic

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

It’s National Library Week!

This week, the USMA Library joins libraries in schools, campuses and communities nationwide in celebrating National Library Week.  It is a time to take note of the contributions of our nation’s libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support. This year’s theme is “Lives change @ your library.”

In honor of National Library Week, we would like to share the American Library Association’s Declaration for the Right to Libraries, which outlines thoughts and beliefs on why libraries are essential to a democratic society.

UntitledDeclaration for the Right to Libraries

In the spirit of the United States Declaration of Independence and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we believe that libraries are essential to a democratic society. Every day, in countless communities across our nation and the world, millions of children, students and adults use libraries to learn, grow and achieve their dreams. In addition to a vast array of books, computers and other resources, library users benefit from the expert teaching and guidance of librarians and library staff to help expand their minds and open new worlds. We declare and affirm our right to quality libraries -public, school, academic, and special – and urge you to show your support by signing your name to this Declaration for the Right to Libraries.

LIBRARIES EMPOWER THE INDIVIDUAL. Whether developing skills to succeed in school, looking for a job, exploring possible careers, having a baby, or planning retirement, people of all ages turn to libraries for instruction, support, and access to computers and other resources to help them lead better lives.

LIBRARIES SUPPORT LITERACY AND LIFELONG LEARNING. Many children and adults learn to read at their school and public libraries via story times, research projects, summer reading, tutoring and other opportunities. Others come to the library to learn the technology and information skills that help them answer their questions, discover new interests, and share their ideas with others.

LIBRARIES STRENGTHEN FAMILIES. Families find a comfortable, welcoming space and a wealth of resources to help them learn, grow and play together.

LIBRARIES ARE THE GREAT EQUALIZER. Libraries serve people of every age, education level, income level, ethnicity and physical ability. For many people, libraries provide resources that they could not otherwise afford – resources they need to live, learn, work and govern.

LIBRARIES BUILD COMMUNITIES. Libraries bring people together, both in person and online, to have conversations and to learn from and help each other. Libraries provide support for seniors, immigrants and others with special needs.

LIBRARIES PROTECT OUR RIGHT TO KNOW. Our right to read, seek information, and speak freely must not be taken for granted. Libraries and librarians actively defend this most basic freedom as guaranteed by the First Amendment.

LIBRARIES STRENGTHEN OUR NATION. The economic health and successful governance of our nation depend on people who are literate and informed. School, public, academic, and special libraries support this basic right.

LIBRARIES ADVANCE RESEARCH AND SCHOLARSHIP. Knowledge grows from knowledge. Whether doing a school assignment, seeking a cure for cancer, pursuing an academic degree, or developing a more fuel efficient engine, scholars and researchers of all ages depend on the knowledge and expertise that libraries and librarians offer.

LIBRARIES HELP US TO BETTER UNDERSTAND EACH OTHER. People from all walks of life come together at libraries to discuss issues of common concern. Libraries provide programs, collections, and meeting spaces to help us share and learn from our differences.

LIBRARIES PRESERVE OUR NATION’S CULTURAL HERITAGE. The past is key to our future. Libraries collect, digitize, and preserve original and unique historical documents that help us to better understand our past, present and future.

For more information about how libraries contribute to our American way of life visit the American Library Association webpage.

Library Classroom Audio-Visual Equipment Being Upgraded

Audio-visual equipment upgrades are now underway in library classrooms and collaborative spaces in Jefferson Hall. This work will replace some aging equipment and bring new capabilities such as smart boards into some spaces once the upgrade process is complete. Installers are working room-by-room and after the initial physical installation, some rooms will require new programming with the controller equipment to be able to work with the new hardware. Thanks for your patience as we work through the upgrade process.

Week in Review – 11 April 2014

Opening Up the Second Floor of Jefferson Hall

This morning, moving crews dismantled the remaining surplus shelving in our former reference area, making way for our incoming traveling exhibit from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum which will arrive next week. Images of the newly cleared space are below.

New Exhibit Area New Exhibit Area New Exhibit Area

Following the traveling exhibition, this space will have additional electrical outlets installed as well as some new flexible furniture for cadet academic use. We will also be installing some exhibit cases to highlight materials from the USMA Library collections.

Preparatory Reading for USMA Library Strategic Planning

In a few weeks, library staff will be spending some time doing some long-range strategic thinking about where we as an organization need to position ourselves to best serve the evolving needs of the U.S. Military Academy. In preparation for that work, I would ask that library staff review the following materials that should inform our thinking and planning:

  • Ithaka S+R US Library Survey 2013In the Ithaka S+R US Library Survey 2013 report we examine how the leaders of academic libraries are approaching systemic changes in their environment and the opportunities and constraints they face in leading their organizations. While exploring key topics covered in our 2010 survey of library directors, such as strategic planning, collecting practices, and library services, in 2013 we also introduced a new emphasis on organizational dynamics, leadership issues, and undergraduate services. (from their website)
  • NMC Horizon Report > 2014 Higher Education EditionThe NMC Horizon Report > 2014 Higher Education Edition is a collaborative effort between the NMC and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI), an EDUCAUSE Program. This eleventh edition describes annual findings from the NMC Horizon Project, an ongoing research project designed to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have an impact on learning, teaching, and creative inquiry in education. Six key trends, six significant challenges, and six emerging technologies are identified across three adoption horizons over the next one to five years, giving campus leaders and practitioners a valuable guide for strategic technology planning. The format of the report is new this year, providing these leaders with more in-depth insight into how the trends and challenges are accelerating and impeding the adoption of educational technology, along with their implications for policy, leadership and practice. (from their website)
  • The Academic Library of the Future (Only available on post to staff) – This report looks at the characteristics that constitute the “academic library of the future,” highlighting recent innovations that are most effective at reducing library costs and utilizing existing resources. Economic, technological, and socio-cultural factors are considered. (from the report)

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 11 Apr 2014  Sandhurst Week in Review Cadet Fine Arts Forum 0700-2100
Sat 12 Apr 2014  Sandhurst 0900-2100
Sun 13 Apr 2014 1100-2315
Mon 14 Apr 2014  Library Committee MSA Colloquium / Opera Forum 0700-2315
Tue 15 Apr 2014 Division Heads / WPLDS Brief MSA Colloquium 0700-2315
Wed 16 Apr 2014 Communications Team / WPLDS Brief Phi Kappa Phi Induction 0700-2315
Thu 17 Apr 2014 BG(R) Eisenhower Funeral  Dean’s Staff Meeting USACE Briefing 0700-2315
Fri 18 Apr 2014 Week in Review Minority Admission Visitation Program 0700-2100

USMA Library Metrics

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

10MAR-16MAR 17MAR-23MAR 24MAR-30MAR 31MAR-6APR
Access Services
Items Charged Out 597 240 829 991
Gate Count 5,416 837 5,519 5,292
ILL Article Requests 77 32 40 30
ILL Book Requests 22 21 22 15
Administrative Services
DV Tours 0 0 1 0
Significant Events Hosted 2 0 1 4
Events/Meetings Attended 23 0 22 18
Information Gateway
Reference Questions 69 5 61 98
Library Instruction Sessions 0 0 0 1
Cadets Attending Sessions 0 0 0 40
Materials Processing
Items Added – Books 306 102 121 54
Items Added – Digital 3,360 0 0 0
Items Added – GovDocs 137 42 70 48
Items Added – Other 1 34 16 54
Continuing Resource Check-Ins 100 69 78 165
Special Collections & Archives
Reference Inquiries 55 31 27 25
Research Visits < 1 hour 22 0 6 6
Research Visits < 1 day 2 0 6 4
Research Visits > 1 day 0 1 1 0
Instruction Sessions 0 0 0 0
Cadets Taught 0 0 0 0
Systems Management
Library Home Page Visits 3,890 1,776 3,844 4,825
LibGuides Visits 512 301 477 627
Digital Collections Visits 280 287 304 327
Facebook Visits 19 31
Public Printer Prints 6,704 319 5,511 6,916
Public Printer Copies 44 25 641 421
Public Printer Scans 1,316 381 14 39

Food for Thought

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

  • “Feedback is great for telling you what you did wrong. It’s terrible at telling you what you should do next.” – Phil Libin
  • “In describing his experience teaching at West Point, Dr. Stapell started by describing the first rule that West Point teachers are given—you’re not allowed to lecture—at all! …What? Isn’t that what college teaching IS? And wouldn’t you expect a place with such a military history and an authoritarian approach to underscore this traditional teaching method—of having one expert individual lecture and provide information to a bunch of young, dutiful students? They don’t lecture at West Point? At all?So this seemed surprising to the folks in the audience. And, of course, the next question is begged—what DO they do at this esteemed, larger-than-life institution? How do they educate—how do they create such great leaders? Apparently, according to Dr. Stapell, this educational method is 100 percent activity-based. The classrooms have boards on all four sides of the room—and all cadets are charged with engaging in activities related to the material throughout the class. Get in a group, discuss the material, write notes on the board—come up with a set of implications for modern life—tell the class about it. You’ve all read about this famous historical figure—discuss as a group his positive and negative attributes—and controversies regarding his life—and give a presentation to the rest of us—teach US about what his life and work implies about how the world operates now. Etc. In this context, students are constantly engaged and empowered—they own their education. They own how much they learn and how much others learn. How much education will happen within the confines of a given class? This is up to each and every individual cadet—with the professor who is tasked not with teaching them, per se, but, rather, with getting them to teach one another.” – Great Leaders Are Made: An evolutionary perspective on the Thayer method of teaching used at West Point
  • “The odds are 50/50 that the Internet will be effectively destroyed by cyberattacks by 2025. If the Net goes down, there will be terrible costs as we reboot the economy.” Robert E. McGrath, a retired software engineer who participated in critical developments of the World Wide Web, on the future of the internet.
  • “Humans now are trained to scan for the most important bits of information and move on, like how we read online. But that’s not how you’re supposed to read Moby Dick, or Middlemarch. Longer sentences require concentration and attention, not a break to check Twitter every 45 seconds. The Internet, and how it has changed our reading habits, is making it difficult for people, particularly young people, to read classic works of literature because our brains are trained to bob and weave from one piece of writing to the next. And 600 pages is just so many pages, you know? Pagination is like, the worst thing to happen to my life, and without a “Read All” option? Melville definitely needed a UX developer.” – The Internet Is Probably Ruining Your Life, Marriage – The Wire
  • “As students delve into content within any unit, especially where they’re given choices in selecting their topic, natural gaps will occur in their understanding. There will still be a need for context and background knowledge as they work to research and process their sources. It’s unlikely that, even when given guidelines to narrow the possibilities, students working independently will all end up focusing in the same place. When students work in groups, or as individuals, their products will be varied, and often — at first glance — seem disconnected, dissimilar, and separate. And it’s here, in these seemingly disjointed moments, that the expertise of the teacher is crucial to uniting the class’s learning. Teachers need to create the dynamic that transforms individual moments into a broader experience where the class benefits from the complete range of learning that has taken place. And this can happen in different ways such as discussions, class blogs, back-channels, or any number of sharing activities, as the teacher solidifies the learning mosaic created by the class.” – Teachers’ Most Powerful Role? Adding Context | MindShift
  • “Increasingly, institutions of higher education have lost their focus on the academic activities at the core of their mission,” the association said in its report. “The spending priority accorded to competitive athletics too easily diverts the focus of our institutions from teaching and learning to scandal and excess.” – Colleges Increasing Spending on Sports Faster Than on Academics, Report Finds – NYTimes.com
  • “To sum up: higher education has overbuilt capacity for a student demand which has started to wane. America has overshot its carrying capacity for college and university population, and our institutions are scrambling for strategic responses.” – Essay considers whether higher education in the U.S. has peaked | Inside Higher Ed
  • “They came in through the Chinese takeout menu. Unable to breach the computer network at a big oil company, hackers infected with malware the online menu of a Chinese restaurant that was popular with employees. When the workers browsed the menu, they inadvertently downloaded code that gave the attackers a foothold in the business’s vast computer network.” – Hackers Lurking in Vents and Soda Machines – NYTimes.com
  • “The Internet is different. With so much information, hyperlinked text, videos alongside words and interactivity everywhere, our brains form shortcuts to deal with it all — scanning, searching for key words, scrolling up and down quickly. This is nonlinear reading, and it has been documented in academic studies. Some researchers believe that for many people, this style of reading is beginning to invade when dealing with other mediums as well. “We’re spending so much time touching, pushing, linking, scroll­ing and jumping through text that when we sit down with a novel, your daily habits of jumping, clicking, linking is just ingrained in you,” said Andrew Dillon, a University of Texas professor who studies reading. “We’re in this new era of information behavior, and we’re beginning to see the consequences of that.” – Serious reading takes a hit from online scanning and skimming, researchers say – The Washington Post
  • “Relying on age and experience has been the way of the business world since the beginnings of the industrial era in the 18th century. It’s clear to me that in the present and future Information Age, however, older isn’t necessarily better when it comes to brands and services.” – Myth of Age Experience in Innovation Equation | Bill Donius
  • “You see, textbook publishers market to professors who pick the books, not students who pay for them—where Apple and Amazon have traditionally directed their marketing. The key to innovation, these companies say, is to not try to beat the big publishing houses at their own game. “Their customer base is not the student,” says Nathan Schultz, the chief content officer at Chegg, which offers textbook rentals, e-textbooks and online study help. “Their customer base is the faculty member and, in some cases, the actual institution.” And every year brings a fresh batch of students looking to start college off right, making them wary of waiting for delivery of an online book, let alone experimenting with other ways of learning the material, says Texts.com CEO Peter Frank.” – Why Can’t E-Books Disrupt The Lucrative College Textbook Business? ⚙ Co.Labs ⚙ code community

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

“I’ll take the Medal!” John H. B. Latrobe Designs Original Kosciusko Monument

Latrobemonument

We all know that the Thomas Jefferson statue located in the rotunda of Jefferson Hall was designed by a former member of the class of 1968, James N. Muir, but did you also know he was not the first non-graduate to design a prominent monument here at the academy?  Follow us back in time to 1824.

John H. B. Latrobe was appointed from Maryland and admitted to the United States Military Academy on September 28, 1818, at the age of fifteen years, five months.   John’s father, Benjamin H. Latrobe of Baltimore, was a prominent architect who designed many public buildings and oversaw the construction of the United States Capitol.

Sadly, Benjamin Latrobe’s untimely death from yellow fever in 1820 eventually compelled John to resign from the academy to provide for his family. On the effective date of his resignation, December 31, 1821, John was just six months shy of graduation and stood first in his class. Register records indicate that he excelled in drawing, as he was one of three cadets who acted as Assistant Teacher in Drawing.

Latrobe became a student of law in the practice of a family friend, but his association with the academy was not over. A few years later The National Gazette, Literary Register: Principles and Men posted the following advertisement:

United States Military Academy, West Point, October, 1824

A GOLD MEDAL, of fifty dollar’s value, will be given by the Corps of Cadets of the United States Military Academy, for the best Design of a Monument to the Memory of Gen. Thad’s Kosciusko.  The Monument is to be erected at West Point, on the spot known by the name of Kosciusko’s Garden.  This place is formed by a table rock, situated  on the bank of the Hudson 41 feet above the level of the Plain, and measuring 34 ½ feet wide.  It is a rude romantic spot, and bears the name of Kosciusko’s Garden, because it had once been his favourite retreat in his leisure moments.  Design to be exhibited by the  1st of January, 1825.

Communications addressed to

JAS. S THOMPSON,
P.M. MARTIN,
T.H. RIDGELY
Committee of Cadets

The Kosciuszko monument was not an “official” project, as it was undertaken by a committee of cadets and funded by voluntary contribution from the Corps.

An account of Latrobe’s association with the monument is included in John E. Semmes’ John H. B. Latrobe and his times:  1803-1891 (Baltimore, Md: The Norman, Remington Co., c1917):

I cannot now fix the date, but it must have been in 1824 or 1825, that I saw an
advertisement in a New York paper, offering a prize of $50.00, or a gold medal of that value, for the best design of a monument to the memory of Kosciuszko, to be erected at  West Point.  As I had not given up my pencil, I became a competitor, and had the good fortune to succeed.  The Kosciuszko monument on the capital of the North Eastern  bastion of Fort Clinton is of my design.  But a grave question arose when I was informed of  my success,-should I take the medal or the money?  The latter was greatly needed, for my dear mother had her own troubles in making headway against narrow means.  There was considerable consultation, and we both, my mother and myself, settled the matter, saying, ‘We would have gotten along if you had failed, the medal will be an inheritance for your children.’

Latrobeletter

Latrobe’s submittal included not only the sketch of his proposed design for the monument, but also went on to propose an alternate location.  On February 28, 1825, Cadet J.S. Thompson, Chairman of the Committee, informed Latrobe that his submission had been accepted as the model for the monument.  On March 10, 1825, Latrobe wrote, “Let Kosciuszko simply be the inscription (on the Monument) and on the lowest steps in smaller character, ‘Erected by the Corps of Cadets of the USMA’, and while your river flows and your country exists, no one will be at loss to understand the Monument, its purpose, and its location.”  This illustrated letter (featured below) and other documentation of the monument is included among our Special Collections and Archives.  You will note that the featured photograph of the monument, from an 1868 Class Album, depicts the monument as originally constructed based on Latrobe’s design.  The statue of Kosciuszko was added in 1913; but that’s another story…

Contents contributed by Archives Curator Alicia Mauldin-Ware

Week in Review – 4 April 2014

April News Notes for USMA Library

USMA is heading quickly into the final weeks of the spring semester, and happily some warmer weather seems to have arrived. Below are a number of updates on some significant initiatives and events taking place for the library over the next few weeks.

Strategic Planning Discussions

For the first time in a couple years, the library will be working through a strategic planning exercise among staff to help chart us on the right path for future services and staffing. As the Army undergoes one of the most significant restructurings in recent history following the draw-down from Iraq and Afghanistan, there will be changes to the Academy as a whole, and to the Library in particular. Our own library profession continues to evolve at a rapid rate, and we need to continually ask ourselves if how we design and accomplish our work meets the current and future needs of the library and the Academy. Late in April, we’ll begin some of these conversations, and continue them through May as we look forward to the 2014-15 academic year.

April is Anti-Terrorism Awareness Month

A reminder, that there will be a number of additional security procedures and simulations taking place through April. Some of these may involve the library. We are also working to maintain accountability for staff at all times. Staff are asked to please keep the outboard up-to-date to facilitate our ability to locate staff as needed during any exercises or drills.

Reference Area Changes

Next week we will have a moving crew onsite to dismantle the remaining empty reference shelves on the second floor of Jefferson Hall. This will be the most visible part of our work so far to redesign our primary service floor. The reference collection is now housed in the general collection, or in a smaller ready reference shelf available at the Reference Desk.

Fighting the Fires of Hate Exhibit Arrives

A traveling exhibition from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum arrives in mid-April and will be setup in the former reference area on the second floor. This exhibit is coming to West Point in cooperation with the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at West Point. The exhibit looks at how book burnings became a potent symbol in America’s fight against Nazism. Anyone with privileges to visit Jefferson Hall will be able to view the exhibit, which will remain on display through mid-June.

New Building Access System Fully Operational

After many months of work and transition, we will complete our transition to our CAC-based access system next Monday when the library closes that evening. All exterior entrances now allow employee access by CAC, and the public doors can now be centrally controlled by library staff. We will no longer be using physical keys to open and close the facility each day. These changes have not impacted regular user access to the facility.

Relocation of Circulation Desk Moves Forward

This week we met with DPW and some contractors to look at the work required to relocate the Circulation Desk into the rotunda. We believe we have now gotten on to a faster track to have this accomplished during the summer. This project will also help create a better-defined security perimeter for the library.

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 4 Apr 2014 Week in Review WP Negotiation Conference 0700-2100
Sat 5 Apr 2014 Secretary of Veterans Affairs 0900-2100
Sun 6 Apr 2014 Secretary of Veterans Affairs 1100-2315
Mon 7 Apr 2014 Supt Town Hall, Eisenhower Hall Secretary of Veterans Affairs 0700-2315
Tue 8 Apr 2014 Division Heads Secretary of Veterans Affairs 0700-2315
Wed 9 Apr 2014 Dean’s Staff Meeting Liaisons Haig Room A/V Repair 0700-2315
Thu 10 Apr 2014 0700-2315
Fri 11 Apr 2014 Sandhurst  Dean’s Recognition Ceremony Week in Review Cadet Fine Arts Forum 0700-2100

USMA Library Metrics

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

3MAR-9MAR 10MAR-16MAR 17MAR-23MAR 24MAR-30MAR
Access Services
Items Charged Out 983 597 240 829
Gate Count 5,620 5,416 837 5,519
ILL Article Requests 48 77 32 40
ILL Book Requests 27 22 21 22
Administrative Services
DV Tours 0 0 0 1
Significant Events Hosted 2 2 0 1
Events/Meetings Attended 26 23 0 22
Information Gateway
Reference Questions 85 69 5 61
Library Instruction Sessions 1 0 0 0
Cadets Attending Sessions 9 0 0 0
Materials Processing
Items Added – Books 110 306 102 121
Items Added – Digital 0 3,360 0 0
Items Added – GovDocs 34 137 42 70
Items Added – Other 2 1 34 16
Continuing Resource Check-Ins 88 100 69 78
Special Collections & Archives
Reference Inquiries 47 55 31 27
Research Visits < 1 hour 8 22 0 6
Research Visits < 1 day 3 2 0 6
Research Visits > 1 day 0 0 1 1
Instruction Sessions 0 0 0 0
Cadets Taught 0 0 0 0
Systems Management
Library Home Page Visits 4,893 3,890 1,776 3,844
LibGuides Visits 621 512 301 477
Digital Collections Visits 294 280 287 304
Facebook Visits 16 19
Public Printer Prints 7,865 6,704 319 5,511
Public Printer Copies 441 44 25 641
Public Printer Scans 44 1,316 381 14

Food for Thought

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

  • “Called the Open Syllabus Project, their effort aims to build a large-scale online database of syllabi “as a platform for the development of new research, teaching, and administrative tools.” The scholars also want to start a broader conversation about sharing syllabi before universities wake up to find policies imposed on them from above. “The idea is to be proactive and to actually think about how we’re going to share—and share our classroom materials in a smart way,” says Dennis Tenen, one of the project’s leaders and an assistant professor of digital humanities and new-media studies at Columbia University.” – New Syllabus Archive Opens the ‘Curricular Black Box’ – Wired Campus – Blogs – The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • “Facebook knows if you hit any page that has a Like button it,” he said. “Same with TweetThis, unless the site goes out of the way to mask them, then these are specifically reporting them to social networks. This is why NSA loves it, is because they can go along for the ride. “One thing that we know that the NSA does on their non-US wiretaps is bind usernames to cookies so if you see a request for LinkedIn or YouTube or Yahoo, these are all sites that have user ID in the clear, all you need to do is see a request, and say I don’t know who this is or I know who this is, but then you look at the HTML body and look for the username. This is why the NSA went after Google ad networks, include user identification [broadcast] in the clear: ‘I am person X at this location.’” – Surprise, surprise: my online metadata actually reveals where I’ve been | Ars Technica
  • “Like physical books, ebooks should be made available for interlibrary loans “in a manner that is neither cumbersome nor awkward,” and the content should be able to be transferred “efficiently and electronically.” Libraries, not publishers, should decide for how long a reader can access an ebook, and readers themselves should not have to worry about publishers sharing their personal information without their consent. Finally, the library directors called on publishers to offer individual, unbundled titles, and the opportunity to purchase licenses without usage limits. “To summarize, we do not live in isolation,” the statement reads. “We all find ourselves impoverished — always indirectly and sometimes directly — when information fails to reach those in need. Our commitment to sharing is fundamental, as is our commitment to promoting and demanding models that make such sharing possible.” – Liberal arts college library directors ask publishers to ease ebook licensing restrictions | Inside Higher Ed
  • “If blocking Twitter is like putting a single phone number out of service, intercepting the DNS is like giving users an entire, fraudulent new phone book—and it’s a troubling escalation against Turkish internet users. The ban began with Twitter, used largely for the discussion of news and politics, then expanded to YouTube, which is far more popular in Turkey because people use it for entertainment as well. A 2012 paper estimates that a quarter of Turks over 18 had a YouTube account, compared to just a tenth for Twitter.” – Turkey’s online censorship just took a sinister Orwellian turn – Quartz
  • “A world without scarcity requires a major rethinking of economics, much as the decline of the agrarian economy did in the 19th century. How will our economy function in a world in which most of the things we produce are cheap or free? We have lived with scarcity for so long that it is hard even to begin to think about the transition to a post-scarcity economy. IP has allowed us to cling to scarcity as an organizing principle in a world that no longer demands it. But it will no more prevent the transition than agricultural price supports kept us all farmers. We need a post-scarcity economics, one that accepts rather than resists the new opportunities technology will offer us. Developing that economics is the great task of the 21st century.” – IP in a World Without Scarcity by Mark A. Lemley :: SSRN
  • “Over ten thousand of the collection’s maps are of New York and New Jersey, dating from 1852 to 1922, including property, zoning, and topographic maps. In addition, over one thousand of the maps depict Mid-Atlantic cities from the 16th to the 19th centuries, and over 700 are topographic maps of the Austro-Hungarian Empire between 1877 and 1914. That should be enough to keep any amateur or professional map-lover busy for a good long while” – New York Public Library Puts 20,000 Hi-Res Maps Online & Makes Them Free to Download and Use – Open Culture
  • “There is a risk,” he said, that “instead of having competition on price, service and better production methods, we’ll have competition on who has the best patent lawyer. “And if you go the other way and say never” allow software patents, he went on, “then what you do is you rule out real inventions with computers.” – Supreme Court Seems Wary of a Software Patent Case – NYTimes.com
  • “It is true that the plate tectonics of academia have been shifting since the 1970s, reducing the number of good jobs available in the field: “The profession has been significantly hollowed out by the twin phenomena of delayed retirements of tenure-track faculty and the continued ‘adjunctification’ of the academy,” Andrew Green, associate director at the Career Center at the University of California, Berkeley, told me. In the wake of these changes, there is no question that humanities doctorates have struggled with their employment prospects, but what is less widely known is between a fifth and a quarter of them go on to work in well-paying jobs in media, corporate America, non-profits, and government. Humanities Ph.D.s are all around us— and they are not serving coffee.” – What Can You Do With a Humanities Ph.D., Anyway? – Elizabeth Segran – The Atlantic
  • “The emerging problems highlight another challenge: bridging the “Grand Canyon,” as Mr. Lazer calls it, between “social scientists who aren’t computationally talented and computer scientists who aren’t social-scientifically talented.” As universities are set up now, he says, “it would be very weird” for a computer scientist to teach courses to social-science doctoral students, or for a social scientist to teach research methods to information-science students. Both, he says, should be happening.” – Recent Big-Data Struggles Are ‘Birthing Pains,’ Researchers Say – Research – The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • “In 1979, when the minimum wage was $2.90, a hard-working student with a minimum-wage job could earn enough in one day (8.44 hours) to pay for one academic credit hour. If a standard course load for one semester consisted of maybe 12 credit hours, the semester’s tuition could be covered by just over two weeks of full-time minimum wage work—or a month of part-time work. A summer spent scooping ice cream or flipping burgers could pay for an MSU education. The cost of an MSU credit hour has multiplied since 1979. So has the federal minimum wage. But today, it takes 60 hours of minimum-wage work to pay off a single credit hour, which was priced at $428.75 for the fall semester.” – The Myth of Working Your Way Through College – Svati Kirsten Narula – The Atlantic
  • “Participating libraries pick a list of scholarly books they want to make open access. They pool money to pay publishers a title fee for each of those books. The title fees are meant to cover the cost of publishing each book; publishers calculate what they think is fair and share those estimates with the Knowledge Unlatched group. In return for the title fees, the publishers make Creative Commons-licensed, DRM-free PDFs of the selected books available for free download through the OAPEN digital platform (OAPEN stands for Open Access Publishing in European Networks), the HathiTrust digital repository, and eventually the British Library. Authors and publishers decide which Creative Commons license they’re comfortable using. There’s no postpublication embargo period; the books will be available as soon as the publishers and Knowledge Unlatched can process and upload the PDFs. (Click here for a full list of the books selected for the pilot and whether they’ve been published and uploaded yet.)” – Libraries Test a Model for Setting Monographs Free – Wired Campus – Blogs – The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • “But a human life is not a database, nor is privacy the mere act of keeping data about ourselves hidden. In reality, privacy operates not like a door that’s kept either open or closed but like a fan dance, a seductive game of reveal and conceal. By that standard, the explosion of personal information online is giving rise to new mysteries, new unknowns. When you post a photo on Instagram, it offers up not just answers but hints at new questions: Who were you with and why? What were you feeling? What happened between the updates, and why was it left out? Secrets, creative concealments, the spaces between posts—this is where privacy flourishes today.” – Why Privacy Is Actually Thriving Online | Threat Level | WIRED
  • “44% of the city’s 291,000 tech jobs, salaried at a median hourly wage of $39.50 (49% above the NYC average), do not require a Bachelor’s degree.” – Almost Half Of NYC Tech Jobs Don’t Require A Bachelor’s Degree: Gothamist
  • “According to a paper titled “Digital Language Death,” just published in PLOS One, less than five percent of the 7,000 languages spoken today will ascend to the digital realm. Granted, languages have been dying as long as they’ve been spoken, but the Endangered Languages Project reports that “the pace at which languages are disappearing today has no precedent and is alarming.” András Kornai, author of the new paper, blames the internet for why we’re more likely to be speaking French than, say, Mandinka, in the future.” – The Internet Is Killing Most Languages | Motherboard
  • “The economically important 18-34 age group are more likely to say they are doing less shopping online (33% compared to an overall 26%). Online retailers who rely more on female shoppers should note that 29% of women surveyed said they have reduced how much they shop online (compared to 23% of men and 26% overall). When it comes to banking online 29% of folks in that 18-34 age bracket had cut back, as had 30% of those aged 65 and older.” – New Harris poll shows NSA revelations impact online shopping, banking, and more

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