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 …

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.