Monthly Archives: May 2014

Discover a Database! World at War: Understanding Conflict and Society

WorldatwarThis week we continue to look at information about the USMA Library’s subscription databases.

Today’s featured database, Word at War, is a rich collection of resources dedicated to looking at War with the goal of developing a greater understanding of conflict and the societies affected by this phenomenon throughout recorded history. The database covers 13 periods from Ancient Greece to the present, providing unique insights into the military conflicts that have defined the world’s identity.

Features
• Provides complete overviews of more than 40 wars, with timelines, causes and consequences, portraits of opponents, and links to supporting facts, figures, primary sources, and audiovisual content
• The Idea Exchange tab supports student inquiry into historical dilemmas posed by Enduring Questions like “Did the Paris Peace Settlement that officially ended World War I make World War II inevitable?” and “Was the United States justified in dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki?”
• Includes 9,000 authoritative reference entries, including biographies and discussions of important places, events, movements, ideas, artifacts, and organizations
• More than 10,000 primary sources, including photos, maps, personal accounts, and video and audio clips for analyses or enhancing lectures

Who should use this collection?

Cadets who are taking classes in Sociology, American Politics, American History, International Relations, Comparative Politics.

Users will be able to:
• Research and find detailed collections of documents relating to geographical, political, and historical coverage of world conflict along with analysis of individual societies during specific time periods and conflicts.
• Access content with question and analysis through the Idea Exchange tab to provoke deeper thought on subject matter related to conflict and society.
• Use basic and advanced search queries as well as options to search by categories, wars, and regions.

Tips for searching World at War

• Search by categories, wars and regions by selecting one or more at a time.
• Use quick search box to get started with keyword searching of content
• Use the click here for time saving tips link to expand search capabilities.
As always, ask a Librarian for help if you have any questions about any of our research products!

Contents contributed by Reference Librarian, Darrell Hankins

Library Transitions to STAP Hours

Beginning Monday, May 19th and running until Friday, June 13th, USMA Library will transition to STAP operating hours:

  • Sundays: 1300-2100
  • Mondays: 0700-2100
  • Tuesdays: 0700-2100
  • Wednesdays: 0700-2100
  • Thursdays: 0700-2100
  • Fridays: 0700-1630
  • Saturdays: CLOSED

USMA Library will be open 0700-2100 on Memorial Day, though primarily in support of special events. Limited service is available that day.

Library summer hours will begin on Saturday, June 14th.

Cadets Learn about Rare Books and Life at the Academy in the 19th Century

elaine checkOn 28 and 30 April, cadets enrolled in the EN102 plebe (freshman) English course visited the Library to see a selection of rare books and manuscripts. On display were such disparate treasures as De civitate dei (Venice, 1485), the earliest printed book in Special Collections; Londinopolis (London, 1657), a guidebook to London just before the Great Fire of 1667; Ben Jonson’s Plays (London, 1667); Cadet George S. Patton’s annotated copy of the textbook Elements of Strategy; period reproductions of the Kelmscott Chaucer and Morte d’Arthur; and fine editions of more recent classics like A Farewell to Arms, Gone with the Wind and To Kill a Mockingbird.

Ed A second table illustrated the role literature played in the lives of cadets in the nineteenth century, when diversions were few and news from the outside world was limited, especially after the last boat went down the Hudson in late autumn. The Library was only open to cadets once a week, on Saturday afternoons; books that were borrowed had to be returned on Monday. Circulation records, which begin in 1824, show cadets checking out the same book for weeks on end in order to finish it. Many of these books are still part of today’s library, held now in Special Collections.

EN102 cadets who visited were able to examine well-thumbed biographies like first Chief Justice John Marshall’s Life of Washington (1822), the Langhorne translation of Plutarch’s Lives (1822) and Hazlitt’s Life of Napoleon (1848). Nineteenth century cadets also devoured poetry: the works of Lord Byron and other British poets and, not surprisingly, Edgar Allen Poe. Histories and travel books like A Year in Spain by a Young American (1830) were heavily read, as were magazines like the Edinburgh Review, the Westminster Review and Harper’s Weekly with its serialized chapters by Charles Dickens. As the library grew, so did its fiction collection; at mid-century by far the most popular were Sir Walter Scott’s Waverley novels, followed closely by those of Washington Irving, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and James Fenimore Cooper. Some examples from each of these categories were on show.

MSS Table

The use of our Special Collections in direct support of the Academy’s
curriculum is both educational and fun. If past history holds, the cadets
who visited during EN 102 will return to us in the future.

 Contents contributed by Susan Lintelmann, Manuscripts Curator

Week in Review – 9 May 2014

IT Strategy Survey: An Overview Perspective

Several weeks ago, a select though broad population at the Academy was asked to contribute to a survey regarding IT service and priorities. More than 400 individuals participated and the data helps provide some insight into overall IT satisfaction in a number of different areas, as well as give us a look at where the community places high priority on IT service. This data will be fed into our IT Strategy group for consideration as we look at our institutional priorities for the coming year.

The linked document below provides a high level look at the survey responses for the entire population. There are three goals within the mission of our IT Strategy group and each goal has several areas of focus underneath.

  • Goal 1: We require technology that is enabling, efficient, and innovative to best equip cadets with the awareness, experience and skills our Nation will need in the future.
  • We seek a technology infrastructure that is transparent, ubiquitous, and responsive to
    rapidly changing curricular and institutional requirements.
  • We seek an operational environment that is stable, secure, open, mission-oriented, and
    appropriate for delivering an outstanding undergraduate education for cadets.

In the document, each goal is listed along with the specific areas of focus underneath. Each goal and area is labeled by number (G1A3 is Goal 1, Area 3).

A few takeaways:

  • Overall satisfaction is generally good across nearly all areas. Neutral/Don’t know answers are a significant portion of responses as well.
  • The second goal regarding infrastructure has a generally higher level of satisfaction than our support and environment.
  • Responses tended to be consistent with themselves. If a person was very satisfied with one service, they tended to be very satisfied with many. Negative opinions tracked the same way.
  • Only one area had both a statistically low satisfaction rating and a statistically high dissatisfaction rating (G1A2) which involved providing an area wherein customers can test new technologies for us in an educational environment without the restrictions imposed by DA policy and regulation
  • When it came to prioritization, G1A1 (Improve efforts to enable cadets in their use of technology), G1A4 (Ensure users have access to responsive first line client support trained in the applications and hardware being used), G2A2 (Provide an ever-present and capable data network), and G3A1 (Promote technologies which enable staff and faculty to perform their essential duties with ease) were each placed significantly higher than other areas.

IT Strategy 2014 Overview

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 9 May 2014 D-Day Ceremony Week in Review Retirement Ceremony 0700-2100
Sat 10 May 2014 TEEs 0900-2100
Sun 11 May 2014 1100-2315
Mon 12 May 2014 TEEs  Academic Luncheon 0700-2315
Tue 13 May 2014  TEEs Supt. Brief / Division Heads Retirement Ceremony 0700-2315
Wed 14 May 2014  TEEs Dean’s Staff Meeting Liaisons 0700-2315
Thu 15 May 2014 TEEs 0700-2315
Fri 16 May 2014 TEEs Week in Review Retirement Ceremony 0700-2315

USMA Library Metrics

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

7APR-13APR 14APR-20APR 21APR-27APR 28APR-4MAY
Access Services
Items Charged Out 1,045 895 555 523
Gate Count 5,313 5,238 5,035 10,056
ILL Article Requests 42 23 24 25
ILL Book Requests 9 9 14 11
Administrative Services
DV Tours 0 0 0 1
Significant Events Hosted 2 5 2 7
Events/Meetings Attended 18 25 20 12
Information Gateway
Reference Questions 85 78 42 29
Library Instruction Sessions 0 1 0 0
Cadets Attending Sessions 0 9 0 0
Materials Processing
Items Added – Books 84 94 113 31
Items Added – Digital 34,907 557 34 38
Items Added – GovDocs 56 15 44 63
Items Added – Other 1 0 0 0
Continuing Resource Check-Ins 100 175 86 70
Special Collections & Archives
Reference Inquiries 41 38 58
Research Visits < 1 hour 6 14 5
Research Visits < 1 day 4 1 4
Research Visits > 1 day 1 1 0
Instruction Sessions 0 0 0
Cadets Taught 0 0 0
Systems Management
Library Home Page Visits 4,654 5,804 4,135 3,509
LibGuides Visits 496 666 513 411
Digital Collections Visits 248 298 282 260
Facebook Visits 42 45 35 44
Public Printer Prints 5,702 8,437 8,887 17,223
Public Printer Copies 410 231 298 630
Public Printer Scans 155 105 47 151

Food for Thought

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

  • “It serves to chill the unbridled, cost-free collection of data,” said Albert Gidari Jr., a partner at Perkins Coie who represents several technology companies. “And I think that’s a good thing.” The Justice Department disagrees, saying in a statement that new industry policies threaten investigations and put potential crime victims in greater peril. “These risks of endangering life, risking destruction of evidence, or allowing suspects to flee or intimidate witnesses are not merely hypothetical, but unfortunately routine,” department spokesman Peter Carr said, citing a case in which early disclosure put at risk a cooperative witness in a case. He declined to offer details because the case was under seal.” – Apple, Facebook, others defy authorities, increasingly notify users of secret data demands after Snowden revelations – The Washington Post
  • “A humanities culture that prizes thinking and writing will tend to look down on making and building as banausic—the kind of labor that can be outsourced to non-specialists. Digital humanities gains some of its self-confidence from the democratic challenge that it mounts to that old distinction. “Personally, I think Digital Humanities is about building things,” said Ramsay in a polarizing talk at the MLA convention in 2011, printed in Defining Digital Humanities. Unlike many theorists, however, he was willing to make this demand concrete: “Do you have to know how to code? I’m a tenured professor of digital humanities and I say ‘yes.’ ” Naturally, most humanities professors, even digital ones, do not know how to code, and Ramsay’s bluntness caused a backlash: “boy, did this get me in trouble,” he writes in a note to his essay. There is something admirable about this frankness: if digital humanities is to be a distinctive discipline, it should require distinctive skills.” – The limits of the digital humanities, by Adam Kirsch | New Republic
  • “The average employee spent only 48 minutes per day using Office, largely the Outlook email client, which consumed about 68 percent of that activity. Excel was in second place with 17 percent, or an average of 8 minutes per day, leaving Word and PowerPoint trailing with only 5 minutes and 2 minutes per day each.” – Microsoft Office applications barely used by many employees, new study shows – Techworld.com
  • “IBM’s Watson supercomputer has already mastered Jeopardy! and can even whip up an innovative recipe. Next step: it’ll be elected to the presidency after dominating against humans in a series of debates. The computer’s new Debater function is what it sounds like: after being given a topic, Watson will mine millions of Wikipedia articles until it determines the pros and cons of a controversial topic, and will the enumerate the merits of both sides. Argument over. Move along. Or, maybe not. … Watson searches Wikis for the pros and cons of banning the sale of violent videogames to minors. After less than a minute, the computer churns out a few points, but they’re conflicting: Watson suggests violent videogames both cause violent acts and that there is not a causal link between violent games and real violence. Which, in fact, is about right. Different studies have come to wildly different conclusions about the correlation between violence in games and violent acts. That’s why Watson doesn’t yet make value decisions about which side of a debate is “correct,” but only lists the points generally brought up by both sides. So you’ll still have to make up your own mind about what’s right. (Ugh, I know. Sorry.) But if nothing else, contrarianism just got a lot easier.” – IBM’s Watson Can Now Argue For You | Popular Science
  • “Commercial antivirus pioneer Symantec has finally admitted publicly what critics have been saying for years: the growing inability of the scanning software to detect the majority of malware attacks makes it “dead” and “doomed to failure,” according to a published report.” – Antivirus pioneer Symantec declares AV “dead” and “doomed to failure” | Ars Technica
  • “Over a lifetime, the average U.S. college graduate will earn at least $800,000 more than the average high school graduate, a study published Monday by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco shows. That’s after accounting for the high cost of college tuition and the four years of wages lost during the time it takes to complete a typical undergraduate degree, the researchers found.” – Skip College and Forfeit $800,000, Fed Study Says – NBC News.com
  • “Most people under 40 probably would agree police should never have the right to rummage through our entire lives without a particular purpose based on probable cause.Yet during arguments, Justice Roberts insinuated that police might reasonably suspect a person who carries two cellphones of being a drug dealer. Is he unaware that a large portion of the DC political class with which he associates – including many of his law clerks – carries both a personal and business phone, daily? The chief justice of the Supreme Court of the United States may have proved this week that he can throw out tech lingo like “Facebook” and even “Fitbit”, but he is trapped in the closet from reality. This is not the first time justices have opened themselves up to mockery for their uninitiated take on tech issues. Just last week, in the copyright case against Aereo, the justices’ verbal reach seemed to exceed their grasp, as they inadvertently invented phrases like “Netflick” and “iDrop”, among others. Before that, many ripped Justice Roberts for seemingly not knowing the difference between a pager and email. And then there was the time when a group of them tried to comprehend text messages, or when the justices and counsel before them agreed that “any computer group of people” could write most software “sitting around the coffee shop … over the weekend.” (Hey, at least Ginsburg reads Slate.)” – Technology law will soon be reshaped by people who don’t use email | Trevor Timm | Comment is free | theguardian.com
  • “They are deliberately harming the service they deliver to their paying customers,” Taylor wrote. “They are not allowing us to fulfil the requests their customers make for content.” Which six ISPs are we talking about here? Taylor stops short of naming them, but he still manages to shame them. “Five of those congested peers are in the United States and one is in Europe,” he said. “There are none in any other part of the world. All six are large Broadband consumer networks with a dominant or exclusive market share in their local market. In countries or markets where consumers have multiple Broadband choices (like the UK) there are no congested peers.” – Level 3 calls out Comcast, TWC and others for ‘deliberately harming’ their own broadband service – Yahoo News
  • “Take notes by hand, and you have to process information as well as write it down. That initial selectivity leads to long-term comprehension. “I don’t think we’re gonna get more people to go back to notebooks necessarily,” Mueller said. “Tablets might be the best of both worlds—you have to choose what to write down, but then you have the electronic copy.” – To Remember a Lecture Better, Take Notes by Hand – Robinson Meyer – The Atlantic
  • “On Monday (May 5) Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law that will impose fines on creators or promoters of books, music, theater performances, and films that contain profanity. In addition, existing works that contain profanity will have to carry warning labels. This law takes effect July 1; a similar law that affects bloggers with more than 3,000 daily page views will take effect in August. Although the definition of “foul language” is not made clear, a panel of experts can be called in to determine if a particular word qualifies as profanity.” – New Russian Law Will Ban All Profanity In The Arts | IdeaFeed | Big Think
  • “The shift to digital that has demolished some print publications is very much generational. And, from a generational perspective, this shift is only just beginning. Media consumers in their 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s grew up reading newspapers and magazines. Old habits die hard. Many of these consumers will never be as comfortable with digital as they are with paper, and they will keep reading newspapers and magazines until the day they die. But media consumers in the 0s, 10s, 20s, and 30s have no such print habits or allegiances. To them, the idea of printing information on a dead tree and then trucking it to houses and newsstands seems ludicrous, old-fashioned, inconvenient, and wasteful. To these folks, paper-based publications are a pain to carry and search, easy to misplace, and hard to share, and the information in them is outdated the moment it appears. For those who weren’t raised on paper, digital is superior in almost every way.” – Media Usage By Age – Business Insider
  • “The Navy is making 365 devices at first, with more to follow. The Navy plans to send about five to each submarine to be shared between multiple people. Each reader is preloaded with 300 books that will never change. The selection includes modern fiction like Tom Clancy and James Patterson, who are popular in the Navy, as well as nonfiction, the classics, and “a lot of naval history,” says Carrato. The library program is supposed to make sailors feel more at home when they’re abroad. But the limited selection — a small subset of the Navy’s 108,000 digital library titles — reflects the military’s culture of imposed discipline. iPads, Kindles, and Nooks would also allow sailors to download whatever titles they want (although finding an internet signal would still be a challenge). The NeRD lets the Navy control their reading habits just as it does with their diet and sleep schedule.” – The Navy just announced an e-reader designed for life on a submarine | The Verge

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

Discover a Database! JSTOR

jstoreHere’s another entry in our continuing series of brief articles featuring information about the USMA Library’s subscription databases.

It’s a safe bet that most of our patrons have at least a passing acquaintance with today’s featured database, JSTOR. Patrons encounter JSTOR content in a variety of ways:

  • Articles from JSTOR are included in results found when patrons use our new search tool SCOUT.
  • Articles that are in JSTOR collections are indexed by Google, so performing a search in Google Scholar and clicking on an article title will often lead a searcher right back to the USMA Library’s JSTOR interface.
  • Savvy patrons find and use the links to JSTOR provided in our lists of databases or in the Research Guides that USMA Librarians prepare for specific discipline areas.

Why is JSTOR so popular, and why do we librarians advise our patrons to use it so often? Two big reasons: All articles are available in full text, and all are from scholarly (per reviewed) journals. The third big reason? You are almost guaranteed to find something on any topic taught in classes here at West Point.. Another great aspect of JSTOR is the fact that the entire run of the journals they carry is included (up to the last 3 or 5 years – more on this in a moment). So, if a journal which is part of our subscription began publishing in 1898…our patrons have access to every issue back to the beginning. Note that since JSTOR includes the entire run of the journals it carries, there is generally a 3-5 year “moving wall” that covers the most recently published issues; this period gives the original journal publisher time to recoup their investment with subscription and single-copy sales before the issues become part of the JSTOR archive. So – the only reason not to go to JSTOR is if you’re looking for the very latest issues of a particular journal.

  • Who should use this collection: Pretty much everyone!

What those users will find: Scholarly articles and reviews about pretty much everything! Well…let’s just say: a LOT. The USMA Library’s JSTOR subscription includes collections that cover:

  • Economics
  • History
  • Geography
  • Religious studies
  • Area studies
  • Biology
  • Medicine
  • Political science
  • International relations
  • Mathematics
  • Public administration
  • Management
  • Literature, law…you get the picture.

Tips for searching JSTOR:

  • Follow the link to the JSTOR under the “General” heading of the USMA Library’s “Databases by Topic” page.
  • There’s a quick search box right on the front page, but to be a power searcher, click on “Advanced Search” to get to an expanded page of search options – where you can use “AND,” “OR,” and “NOT” to narrow or broaden your results, and proximity operators to make sure your results bring back items that include your keywords within 5, 10 or 25 words of each other.
  • You can also narrow by item type; since many journals include book reviews, if you are looking only for articles, you can indicate that. However, there are times when a book review will point you to a book that the USMA Library owns, and that you might not have found otherwise – so take advantage of serendipity when you can!
  • In the Advanced Search form, you can also narrow by discipline, if you like. However – beware of limiting by date. Scholarly articles can be published anytime on anything, so limiting by date won’t restrict results to the time of your event or topic, but to the time an article was published.
  • We advise not using the date range limiter unless you’re trying to find a very specific article.

As always, ask a Librarian for help if you have any questions about any of our research products!

Contents contributed by Laura Mosher, Reference & Liaison Librarian

Week in Review – 2 May 2014

Budget Planning for the Remainder of FY14

Even though we are just entering the seventh month of the fiscal year, we are already finishing up and finalizing plans for all expenditures through the end of September due to the lead times required for contracting. Not all of our proposed projects are funded and we are submitting a significant number of unfunded requests in the event that we get some end-of-year allocations that we can apply to these projects. Here is a brief run-down of some of the things we are working toward through the rest of this fiscal year:

  • All existing library resources
  • Regular supplies/ongoing collection development
  • New floor-mounted electric outlets for the second floor – these will be placed both in our new exhibition space as well as on the far east side of the floor to facilitate relocating our microfilm machines. This work is scheduled for June/July.
  • Security system upgrades/life-cycle – this would include replacement of some central pieces of equipment as well as potentially replace the entire access system for interior doors. This is being pursued as part of our overall plan to rethink security for both personnel and collections.
  • Haig Room maintenance/equipment – we plan to refinish the floor of the Haig Room this summer as well as purchase new tables that will store much better in the pantry. We have already improved the main storage closest with wall protectors to minimize scraping of chairs. We are still considering whether to repair or replace many of the existing chairs.
  • Rotunda renovations – we continue to be on track to install a new Circulation desk and collection security system.
  • New study room chairs – we hope to replace some or potentially all the chairs in our classroom/study spaces. These are getting to the end of the functional lifespan. We plan to order several different colors and assign them each to a floor to make it easier to keep track of what belongs where.
  • New lighting system – our current system was old when the building was built and is no longer supported. As parts continue to die off it will be more problematic to repair.
  • A portable lift to change light bulbs – the most significant barrier to getting our light bulbs replaced is the fact that a rental lift is required to reach many of them. We will be looking to acquire a lift that can change nearly all the bulbs in the building so we don’t get so dark again in the future.
  • Retractable lighting for 4th-5th floor stairs – the lights over this section of ours stairs are inaccessible by lifts. We need to have a system installed to allow those lamps to be lowered to a point where the bulbs can be replaced.
  • New digital archive/e-book content – we have several proposals for new digital content from JSTOR and some other vendors that we would like to acquire to expand our digital content.
  • Site license to the New York Times website/smartphone app – this would replace the print paper readership program, though we do have this content elsewhere in our resources.
  • AV equipment for JH 513 – we are considering adding an AV setup into this space to bring it up to the same infrastructure as our other classrooms.
  • Window washing – rather than let our windows become opaque with dirt, we would like to have them cleaned to to bottom and are exploring options with DPW on how to accomplish this.
  • New microform equipment – we are considering next steps for microform equipment as some of our current scanning equipment is reaching end-of-life.
  • Shade support contract – we would like to have an agreement in place for maintenance of the shades.
  • Refurnishing the staff lounge – we have talked about this but don’t have specific plans yet in mind on what to do.

As you can see, our current list is pretty deep, though we are continuing to identify items for FY15. Please share anything you think we should consider.

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 2 May 2014  Class of 1964 Reunion / Scouting Camporee Week in Review Branch Education & Mentorship Program 0700-2100
Sat 3 May 2014 Reunion / Retiree Appreciation Day / Parade (AM) / Scouting Camporee 0900-2100
Sun 4 May 2014 Strings Concert 1100-2315
Mon 5 May 2014 Supt LPD (GS-11 and above) 0700-2315
Tue 6 May 2014 Division Heads Logistics Event 0700-2315
Wed 7 May 2014 Dean’s Staff Meeting  ConnectNY Directors Meeting @ Siena College Strategy Case Competition 0700-2315
Thu 8 May 2014 WTU Closure Ceremony  All Staff Meeting WTU Closure Rainsite 0700-2315
Fri 9 May 2014 D-Day Ceremony Week in Review Retirement Ceremony 0700-2100

USMA Library Metrics

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

31MAR-6APR 7APR-13APR 14APR-20APR 21APR-27APR
Access Services
Items Charged Out 991 1,045 895 555
Gate Count 5,292 5,313 5,238 5,035
ILL Article Requests 30 42 23 24
ILL Book Requests 15 9 9 14
Administrative Services
DV Tours 0 0 0 0
Significant Events Hosted 4 2 5 2
Events/Meetings Attended 18 18 25 20
Information Gateway
Reference Questions 98 85 78 42
Library Instruction Sessions 1 0 1 0
Cadets Attending Sessions 40 0 9 0
Materials Processing
Items Added – Books 54 84 94 113
Items Added – Digital 0 34,907 557 34
Items Added – GovDocs 48 56 15 44
Items Added – Other 54 1 0 0
Continuing Resource Check-Ins 165 100 175 86
Special Collections & Archives
Reference Inquiries 25 41 38 58
Research Visits < 1 hour 6 6 14 5
Research Visits < 1 day 4 4 1 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 4,825 4,654 5,804 4,135
LibGuides Visits 627 496 666 513
Digital Collections Visits 327 248 298 282
Facebook Visits 31 42 45 35
Public Printer Prints 6,916 5,702 8,437 8,887
Public Printer Copies 421 410 231 298
Public Printer Scans 39 155 105 47

Food for Thought

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

  • “As such, the enhanced e-book can finally solve the endemic problems posed by academics who want to show their colleagues how they arrived at their conclusions but also want to make their work appealing to readers beyond their discipline (the “crossover” book). For publishers, if a book can address two or more readerships, it can be marketed at a more attractive price.” – What Enhanced E-Books Can Do for Scholarly Authors – The Digital Campus 2014 – The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • “Researchers report that smaller groups actually tend to make more accurate decisions, while larger assemblies may become excessively focused on only certain pieces of information.” – More brains don’t always lead to better decisions | Futurity
  • “Indeed, some of the worst evaluations I ever got were for hands-down the best teaching I’ve ever done—which I measured by the revolutionary metric of “the students were way better at German walking out than they were walking in.” Alas, this took work, and some of the Kinder attempted to stage a mutiny on evaluation day. Little did they know that a “too much work” dig is the #humblebrag of the academy—and, indeed, anything less on evals is seen as pandering at best, and out-and-out grade-bribery at worst.” – Student evaluations of college professors are biased and worthless.
  • “Tablets are for entertainment purposes, not for writing papers and doing class projects—key components of higher education,” Mr. Hanley said in a news release about the study. “After graduation and getting a job, you can afford to splurge on entertainment.” – Students Prefer Smartphones and Laptops to Tablets, Study Finds – Wired Campus – Blogs – The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • “While big data is revolutionizing commerce and government for the better, it is also supercharging the potential for discrimination,” said Wade Henderson, president and chief executive officer of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. Some employers might worry that if an applicant lives far enough away from a job, he or she may not stay in the position for long. As more jobs move out of the city and into the suburbs, this could create a hiring system based on class. “You’re essentially being dinged for a job for really arbitrary characteristics,” said Chris Calabrese, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union. “Use of this data has a real impact on peoples’ lives.”- White House: Discrimination potential in data use – Yahoo News
  • “Librarians, the news media, defense lawyers and civil liberties groups on the right and left are trying to convince the justices that they should take a broad view of the privacy issues raised when police have unimpeded access to increasingly powerful devices that may contain a wealth of personal data: emails and phone numbers, photographs, information about purchases and political affiliations, books and a gateway to even more material online. “Cellphones and other portable electronic devices are, in effect, our new homes,” the American Civil Liberties Union said in a court filing that urged the court to apply the same tough standards to cellphone searches that judges have historically applied to police intrusions into a home. Under the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment, police generally need a warrant before they can conduct a search. The warrant itself must be based on “probable cause,” evidence that a crime has been committed. But in the early 1970s, the Supreme Court carved out exceptions for officers dealing with people they have arrested. The court was trying to set clear rules that allowed police to look for concealed weapons and prevent the destruction of evidence. Briefcases, wallets, purses and crumpled cigarette packs all are fair game if they are being carried by a suspect or within the person’s immediate control.” – Supreme Court takes on privacy in digital age – Yahoo News
  • “Among the other collections that have been digitized are 3,400 glass plates documenting the daily lives of African-Americans in South Carolina and Alabama, immigrants at Ellis Island and Seminole Indians in Florida in the late 19th century; records of expeditions by Carl S. Lumholtz, an ethnographer, to Mexico during the same period; lantern slides of plants, animals and people around the world; and programs for school children during the 20th century. “We constantly find things that surprise us, even pictures of the museum,” he said. “Looking at an image that looks pretty regular, we look a little closer and there’s a doorway or a window that we didn’t know was there. We recently rediscovered a panorama photo print that had been rolled up like a little white cigar. It wasn’t from Asia or Africa. It was on Central Park West, shot in 1922 to 1924 from the steps of the New-York Historical Society looking due north. ” – By Digitizing Images, Museum Opens a Window Into the Past – NYTimes.com
  • “The free national newspaper collection, contained in the British Library newsroom, will unlock more than 300 years of British history dating back to the English civil war. It fills more than 20 linear kilometres of shelf space. With access to newspapers on digital and microfilm, along with collections of TV and radio broadcast news and the archiving of 1bn domain web pages per year, it promises to be a valuable source of information for researchers.” – British Library newsroom has 750m pages of newspapers and magazines | Media | theguardian.com
  • “Control over the sequence and duration of word processing is the most important variable that supports reading,” they note. Research suggests that most readers don’t tend to saccade fluidly across a page; instead, between 10 and 15 percent of the time, our saccades take us in the wrong direction. Experimental work has suggested that these reversals, technically termed regressions, happen for a reason. Regressions, for example, are much more common in sentences that are prone to misinterpretations.” – Speed reading apps may kill comprehension | Ars Technica
  • “In 10 years, every lab and hospital will have a 3-D printing machine that can print living cells.” – How 3-D Printing Can Help To Cure Cancer
  • “For this essay, Mr. Perelman has entered only one keyword: “privacy.” With the click of a button, the program produced a string of bloated sentences that, though grammatically correct and structurally sound, have no coherent meaning. Not to humans, anyway. But Mr. Perelman is not trying to impress humans. He is trying to fool machines.” – Writing Instructor, Skeptical of Automated Grading, Pits Machine vs. Machine – Technology – The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • “Even the greatest advancements in technology can’t replace the need for fostering creativity. Children will never fit neatly into any type of data-driven boxes. As modernity continues to make life more complicated, and our challenges seemingly compacted, then creativity will always be required to invent new solutions and new ways of seeing the world.” – Creativity Must Be at the Center of Education | Big Think @ GESF | Big Think
  • “For many people who have spent their lives working in higher education, mass higher education and research universities make for a perfect fit: Together they express both the public service and the intellectual ambitions of educators. And during most of the 20th century, especially the years between 1950 and 1975, the two big ideas grew and flourished in tandem. But they aren’t the same idea. Mass higher education, conceptually, is practical, low cost, skills oriented, and mainly concerned with teaching. It caught on because state legislatures and businesses saw it as a means of economic development and a supplier of personnel, and because families saw it as a way of ensuring a place in the middle class for their children. Research universities, on the other hand, grant extraordinary freedom and empowerment to a small, elaborately trained and selected group of people whose mission is to pursue knowledge and understanding without the constraints of immediate practical applicability under which most of the rest of the world has to operate. Some of their work is subsidized directly by the federal government and by private donors, but they also live under the economic protection that very large and successful institutions can provide to some of their component parts.” – The Soul of the Research University – The Chronicle Review – The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • “The complaint argued that the book “encourages children to use violence against their fathers,” and demanded that the library “pay for damages resulting from the book.” The library’s Materials Review Committee, which takes all complaints, even those of obvious trolls, “very seriously,” declined to remove Hop on Pop. They described it as “humorous” and “well-loved,” and pointed out how many times it’s made best children’s book lists.” – Toronto Library Asked to Ban Hop on Pop to Protect Dads
  • “When the cost of collecting information on virtually every interaction falls to zero, the insights that we gain from our activity, in the context of the activity of others, will fundamentally change the way we relate to one another, to institutions, and with the future itself. We will become far more knowledgeable about the consequences of our actions; we will edit our behavior more quickly and intelligently.” – Patrick Tucker, author of The Naked Future: What Happens In a World That Anticipates Your Every Move?, on what digital life will be like in 2025.
  • “When Evan and Will got called in to meet with the Postmaster General they were joined by the USPS’s General Counsel and Chief of Digital Strategy. But instead, Evan recounts that US Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe “looked at us” and said “we have a misunderstanding. ‘You disrupt my service and we will never work with you.’” Further, “‘You mentioned making the service better for our customers; but the American citizens aren’t our customers—about 400 junk mailers are our customers. Your service hurts our ability to serve those customers.”’ According to Evan, the Chief of Digital Strategy’s comments were even more stark, “[Your market model] will never work anyway. Digital is a fad. It will only work in Europe.” Evan and Will would later call the meeting one of the most “surreal moments of their lives.” – Outbox vs. USPS: How the Post Office Killed Digital Mail | InsideSources
  • “My Librarian takes a big step toward humanizing the online library experience. It could also give the library a tactical advantage over online booksellers like Amazon.” – The Oregonian reports on My Librarian.
  • “Maybe it’s time to start thinking of paper and screens another way: not as an old technology and its inevitable replacement, but as different and complementary interfaces, each stimulating particular modes of thinking. Maybe paper is a technology uniquely suited for imbibing novels and essays and complex narratives, just as screens are for browsing and scanning. “Reading is human-technology interaction,” says literacy professor Anne Mangen of Norway’s University of Stavenger. “Perhaps the tactility and physical permanence of paper yields a different cognitive and emotional experience.” This is especially true, she says, for “reading that can’t be done in snippets, scanning here and there, but requires sustained attention.” – Why the Smart Reading Device of the Future May Be … Paper | Science | WIRED
  • “Not only are girls the better students in every subject tested, that has been the case for at least 100 years. Boys may very well be in crisis when it comes to the classroom, but if so, that’s the way it’s always been.” – Here’s 100 Years of Proof That Girls Are Better Students Than Boys – NationalJournal.com

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