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.