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.