Author Archives: Christopher Barth

USMA Library 2013-15 Program Review Available

201315LibraryProgramReview_Page_01The USMA Library 2013-15 Program Review is now available from the library website. The review is prepared annually each summer as both a look back at the previous academic year and a look ahead to the next. The document includes:

  •  A look at our upcoming work on organizational and service design.
  • Mission, Vision, and Goals
  • Brief snapshots of activities from the 2013-14 academic year.
  • Statistics and graphs of service and collection metrics.
  • Reports on our 2013-14 academic year organizational objectives.
  • A strategic awareness and vision for the future of academic library services and the profession of academic librarianship.
  • Assessment data and review.
  • Information on liaison support to academic departments.
  • Our 2014-15 academic year organizational objectives.

It is a privilege to work with the team that makes our library services, collections, and facilities the best that they can be each day. This report captures some of our efforts in doing so. We look forward to a productive 2014-15 academic year.

Week in Review – 27 June 2014

Midsummer Report #1

Updates have been few and far between so far this summer with travel and other leave. However, work in the USMA Library continues at what I perceive to be a higher than normal clip so far. Here are brief notes on many of the things going on:

  • Strategic Planning Work – Library Staff worked through organizational design and planning in late May into early June. That work will continue to influence our planning over the coming year as we evaluate how best to implement some of those ideas into our current design.
  • 2013-15 Program Review – Work on this is continuing (though slowly). I will hopefully have a draft to share in the next ten days or so.
  • ConnectNY Annual Meeting – The directors of ConnectNY schools met in Buffalo in mid-June for our annual meeting. Discussed were plans to recruit a new executive director, the benefits of CRL membership, our e-book pilot program, and several organizational matters. Our e-book program will be continuing, although with some changes to the purchasing structure. We are also looking to expand the program to other vendors.
  • Archives Leadership Institute – I served on the faculty of the 2014 Archives Leadership Institute sponsored by the NHPRC and held at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. The participants, drawn from a variety of institutions across the country, worked through a week-long intensive experience focusing on development of leadership skills in the areas of generative/asset-based thinking, advocacy, digital content, project management, and my area of focus strategic visioning and team development.
  • Recruitments – We continue to work through several recruitments and have just announced a recruitment for a new Associate Director for Systems.
  • Communications Team Changes – Our Communications Team has reconfigured for the coming year. Special thanks to Karen Shea, Heather Goyette, and Suzanne Christoff who are rotating off after great service. Joining the team (Laura Mosher and myself) are Lauren Hall, Barbara Maroney, Alicia Mauldin-Ware, and Manja Yirka.
  • Blog Changes – We will very soon move staff-only blog communications over to a new site called StaffNotes. There should be no change to the public blog except for some better tools for sharing and disseminating public content.
  • Physical Renovations –  Work is wrapping up on the Haig Room floor refinishing and we expect contractor work to conclude next week. New furniture for the space will be arriving and some existing chairs are being refinished. We will be working to implement some new policies regarding access and use in order to monitor more closely use of the space. Electrical work on the second floor is planned for July, and we are continuing to move forward in the process to build and install a new service desk in the rotunda. New bollards for the loading ramp are also expected to be installed in the coming months.
  • Bartlett Hall North Furniture – We have begun taking delivery of new furniture for our collection spaces in Bartlett Hall North. This is resulting in careful choreography of filing cabinets as we shuffle out the old and make way for the new.
  • Middle States Accreditation – Much work is ongoing to prepare a report to our primary accrediting body due next June. The Library is contributing content on our program and assessments as part of this effort and an update brief was provided to the Superintendent this week on this work.
  • New Cadet Briefs – Many library-folk are planning our annual briefs for new cadets, which this year will take place the week of July 7th.
  • Interpretive Panels for the Library Terrace – We are now finally proofing final designs for the historical panels to be installed on the terrace. Hopefully final approvals will be forthcoming and fabrication/installation can move forward.
  • A/V Upgrades – We are still awaiting final programming/installation work to be completed in several library classrooms. Once that work is complete we will be arranging training for staff on operation of some of the new equipment.

Midsummer report #2 is planned to be published on 25 July.

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 27 Jun 2014 Week in Review 0700-1630
Sat 28 Jun 2014 CLOSED
Sun 29 Jun 2014 CLOSED
Mon 30 Jun 2014 0700-1630
Tue 1 Jul 2014 USMAPS Change of Command Division Heads 0700-1630
Wed 2 Jul 2014 R-Day 0700-1630
Thu 3 Jul 2014 0700-1630
Fri 4 Jul 2014 Independence Day CLOSED CLOSED

USMA Library Metrics

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

26MAY-1JUN 2JUN-8JUN 9JUN-15JUN 16JUN-22JUN
Access Services
Items Charged Out 168 228 244 186
Gate Count 2,956 1,712 1,203 1,218
ILL Article Requests 6 6 7 23
ILL Book Requests 5 5 10 9
Administrative Services
DV Tours 0 0 0 0
Significant Events Hosted 5 1 0 0
Events/Meetings Attended 11 17 17 9
Information Gateway
Reference Questions 7 8 5 5
Library Instruction Sessions 1 2 0 1
Cadets Attending Sessions 3 22 0 19
Materials Processing
Items Added – Books 34 107 84 70
Items Added – Digital 2 0 1,411 904
Items Added – GovDocs 13 8 9 7
Items Added – Other 23 12 0 28
Continuing Resource Check-Ins 93 96 79 74
Special Collections & Archives
Reference Inquiries 9 38 32
Research Visits < 1 hour 9 4 9
Research Visits < 1 day 3 4 6
Research Visits > 1 day 0 1 2
Instruction Sessions 0 1 1
Cadets Taught 0 17 17
Systems Management
Library Home Page Visits 1,496 1,694 1,563 1,575
LibGuides Visits 183 234 245 256
Digital Collections Visits 399 299 272 249
Facebook Visits 18 26 31 15
Public Printer Prints 4,569 1,784 896 2,517
Public Printer Copies 50 109 26 26
Public Printer Scans 255 316 276 260

Food for Thought

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

  • “Only yesterday a smart young Ph.D. student told me his supreme goal was to keep himself from checking his email more than once an hour, though he doubted he would achieve such iron discipline in the near future. At present it was more like every five to ten minutes. So when we read there are more breaks, ever more frequent stops and restarts, more input from elsewhere, fewer refuges where the mind can settle. It is not simply that one is interrupted; it is that one is actually inclined to interruption. Hence more and more energy is required to stay in contact with a book, particularly something long and complex.” – Reading: The Struggle by Tim Parks | NYRblog | The New York Review of Books
  • “Public libraries now outnumber retail bookstores by two to one in the United States, and are fast becoming the only in-person book browsing option for the residents of many communities.” – Library Vendors Make Business Case to Publishers | BEA 2014 – The Digital Shift
  • “Nothing’s really free on the Internet. From search engines and email to social media and online publishing, if you’re not entering in your credit card number somewhere, you’re paying in a different way. As the adage goes, if you’re not the consumer, then you’re the product. You’re either paying with your eyeballs on advertisements, or with your personal data that gets sold to advertisers. If this is true of the Internet, then the same logic applies for the “Internet of Things.” This is the buzzword for the fast emerging trend of everyday objects being embedded with sensors. These sensors, which are networked over the web, collect, store, and analyze torrents of data—usually by transmitting data to remote “cloud” servers—about how people use the products the sensors are attached to. Some examples include personal devices like wristbands that measure vital signs, domestic appliances like “smart” thermostats, or automobiles that keep track of how, where, and when we drive.”  – Insurance Vultures and the Internet of Things
  • “There is nothing better than fuzzy language to wreak havoc – or facilitate consensus. Ludwig Wittgenstein argued that philosophical puzzles are really just a consequence of the misuse of language. By contrast, the art of diplomacy is to find language that can hide disagreement.” – The Mismeasure of Technology | Project Syndicate | Big Think
  • “The measure, included in the Obama administration’s proposed transportation bill, would specify that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has the authority to set restrictions on the apps and later order changes if they are deemed dangerous, much the way it currently regulates mechanical features of cars. The measure has the support of automakers, which already mostly comply with voluntary guidelines for built-in navigation systems, but it has run into stiff opposition from technology companies, which say that any such law would be impractical and impossible to enforce. It’s another example, they say, of federal regulators trying vainly to keep up with a rapidly changing industry.” – Agency Aims to Regulate Map Aids in Vehicles – NYTimes.com
  • “State and local governments are currently prohibited from enacted taxes on Internet access, but the 1998 law banning them is set to expire this year. Unless new legislation goes forward, state legislatures and city councils could start eyeing Web surcharges in order to fill dwindling coffers. The Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act would extend that ban indefinitely.” – Lawmakers push to ban taxes on Internet service | TheHill
  • “The bureaucratization of scholarship in the humanities is simply spirit-crushing. I may prepare an article on … my research area, for publication in a learned journal, and my RAE line manager focuses immediately on the influence of the journal, the number of citations of my text, the amount of pages written, the journal’s publisher. Interference by these academic managers is pervasive and creeping. Whether my article is any good, or advances scholarship in the field, are quickly becoming secondary issues. All this may add to academic ‘productivity,’ but is it worth selling our collective soul for?” – How Corporate IT Enslaved Academe – The Chronicle Review – The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • “Forty years ago, when a college education wasn’t required to get ahead financially, the bachelor’s degree was the mechanism for acquiring a broad general education. The skills-training part came later, in graduate and professional schools or from an employer. Now college students are expected to acquire that general education in tandem with skills training—as well as to rack up outside-the-classroom experiences through research projects, internships, or study abroad. And all of that is stuffed into the traditional four-year undergraduate education. As the cost of college has spiraled upward in the past decade, parents and students have become focused more than ever on employment preparation and graduating on time. Intellectual discovery and exploration are no longer a priority. It’s too expensive.” – The Overworked Bachelor’s Degree Needs a Makeover – Commentary – The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • “The results of their investigation, published on 16 June in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, reveal that some universities are paying nearly twice what universities of seemingly similar size and research output pay for access to the very same journals. For example, the University of Wisconsin, Madison, paid Elsevier $1.22 million in 2009 for a bundle of journals, while the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor—an almost identical university in staff size and number of Ph.D. students—paid $2.16 million for the same bundle. At Science’s request, the authors even calculated a potential measure of how good or bad a deal U.S. universities are getting, providing a graphic view of the price spread. (AAAS, Science’s publisher, offers bundled pricing for its three journals but was not included in the analysis.)” – How much did your university pay for your journals? | Science/AAAS | News
  • “It’s about time we started asking ourselves: what are we leaving behind for future generations? When our descendants look back on the computer revolution, what will they still have access to?” – Saving old software from extinction in the age of cloud computing | Ars Technica
  • “Western Governors, one of several colleges offering this kind of education, doesn’t look like what most people imagine when they think of “college.” That’s not just because it’s online — the university has done away with lectures, discussion sections, midterms and even grades. Instead, students take a pre-test for each subject area they have to learn. They’re given a mentor with a graduate degree in the field they’re studying and access to textbooks, tutorials, and other resources. Eventually, they’re assessed on how well they understand the concepts. They need about the equivalent of a B on the assessment to move on.” – The top-ranked teacher education program doesn’t have classes – Vox
  • “Unfortunately, the way computer science is currently taught in high school tends to throw students into the programming deep end, reinforcing the notion that code is just for coders, not artists or doctors or librarians. But there is good news: Researchers have been experimenting with new ways of teaching computer science, with intriguing results. For one thing, they’ve seen that leading with computational thinking instead of code itself, and helping students imagine how being computer savvy could help them in any career, boosts the number of girls and kids of color taking—and sticking with—computer science. Upending our notions of what it means to interface with computers could help democratize the biggest engine of wealth since the Industrial Revolution.” – Is Coding the New Literacy? | Mother Jones
  • “People no longer have to come to a library to get information,” she says, “so the library has to get people coming in for different reasons. Students need somewhere to socialize, create things and collaborate.” – What Does the Next-Generation School Library Look Like? | MindShift
  • “So let me explain why I like to pay taxes for schools even tough I don’t personally have a kid in school; I don’t like living in a country with a bunch of stupid people.” – John Green (Crash course World History #34: Samourai, Daimyo, Matthew Perry, and Nationalism)
  • “In 10 or 20 years, when we judge the great universities, it will not just be on their research but on the reach of their teaching,” Mr. Levin told The Chronicle on Wednesday.” – Coursera Chief: Reach of Teaching Will Define Great Universities – Wired Campus – Blogs – The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • “There are two main reasons that people who go to college earn more than everyone else. One is that they are hopefully learning something in college that is going to help them in their future careers. Another is that smarter people tend to go to college, and they were going to be more productive regardless. So when you’re trying to measure the college premium, you have to look a little deeper than just saying, How much do people who go to college make versus how much do people who don’t go to college make? It’s not an apples-to-apples comparison.” – Smart People Go to College, and Other Twists in Measuring the Value of a Degree – Students – The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • “With all of the video content available today, more and more of us are spending our lives in our heads – simulating the experiences of others from the comfort of our homes. As our lives become more and more sedentary, we need more and more content to watch. Fortunately, there is no shortage of imagination in this world and, when there is, “reality” can be commodified and packaged as television programming. The result of all this content consumption is that much of what we learn is not learned through first-hand experience, but by observing others. And, unfortunately, much of what we’re observing is incomplete or has little relation to the way things actually are. When we see a TV drama about the meth trade (Breaking Bad), we build a mental model of what things are like in that subculture – even if the series has little relation to the actual workings of the industry. When we watch Lauren Conrad and her friends on Laguna Beach, we think that the life of a young socialite in LA consists of 24/7 parties, Bentleys, and passionate trysts on various darkened beaches. However, in actuality, these unbelievably enticing scenes are constructed by clever producers to make fairly normal and mundane existences seem truly unbelievable . All of this is to say that our lives today are getting filled with disembodied knowledge – that is, knowledge gleaned by mental machination and simulation, not by active real-world experience.” – The Floating Brain: Learning in the 21st Century | WikiMind | Big Think
  • “When Mary Margaret Vojtko died last September—penniless and virtually homeless and eighty-three years old, having been referred to Adult Protective Services because the effects of living in poverty made it seem to some that she was incapable of caring for herself—it made the news because she was a professor. That a French professor of twenty-five years would be let go from her job without retirement benefits, without even severance, sounded like some tragic mistake. In the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette op-ed that broke the story, Vojtko’s friend and attorney Daniel Kovalik describes an exchange he had with a caseworker from Adult Protective Services: “The caseworker paused and asked with incredulity, ‘She was a professor?’ I said yes. The caseworker was shocked; this was not the usual type of person for whom she was called in to help.” A professor belongs to the professional class, a professor earns a salary and owns a home, probably with a leafy yard, and has good health insurance and a retirement account. In the American imagination, a professor is perhaps disheveled, but as a product of brainy eccentricity, not of penury. In the American university, this is not the case.” – The Teaching Class by Rachel Riederer – Guernica / A Magazine of Art & Politics
  • “The library purchased two drones with some leftover money from a grant to remodel its facility with new technology. These drones are capable of taking aerial video and photography. The library’s hope is to integrate new technology to its services. In the past year, the library has worked to expand its “Digital Media Commons” in an effort to promote digital learning. Now, USF’s library is taking it a step further by giving students the opportunity to operate the drones, which are valued at $1,500 apiece.” – University library to lend drones to students – CNN.com
  • “robots are always part of the future. Little bits of that future break off and become part of the present, but when that happens, those bits cease to be “robots.” In 1945, a modern dishwasher would have been a miracle, as exotic as the space-age appliances in The Jetsons. But now, it’s just a dishwasher” – The Future Is All Robots. But Will We Even Notice?
  • “College in today’s economy is like sunscreen on a scorchingly hot afternoon: You have to see the people who didn’t apply it to fully appreciate how important it is. The same way a blistering sun both makes sunscreen feel ineffective and makes it more crucial than ever, recessions can both make a college degree seem ineffective and make it more important than ever.” – How College Is Like Sunscreen – Derek Thompson – The Atlantic
  • “Ninety-four percent of professional workers put in 50 or more hours, and nearly half work 65 or above. All workers have managed to cut down on our time on the job by 112 hours over the last 40 years, but we’re far behind other countries: The French cut down by 491 hours, the Dutch by 425, and Canadians by 215 in the same time period. Workers in Ireland and the Netherlands are also working less. We’re also increasing our productivity, getting more done in the time we spend at work. It went up by nearly 25 percent between 2000 and 2012.” – Workaholism in America Is Hurting the Economy | New Republic
  • “They sounded less worried about whether publishing an open-access book would hurt their careers. Social media have already opened things up, Mr. Schaberg pointed out. “Twitter has had a leveling effect on the economy of prestige and reputation,” he said.” – In the Digital Era, Print Still Gets Plenty of Love From Scholars – Wired Campus – Blogs – The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • “The bottom line, it seems to me, is that for the first time in hundreds of years we have options for how we disseminate scholarship. Instead of calling for more money to prop up a traditional model that was never particularly viable in the first place, we need to embrace a variety of alternatives.” – Can Libraries Help Stop this Madness? | Peer to Peer Review
  • “In mid-May, the Boston Library Consortium, which represents 17 academic libraries in New England, received an abrupt and unsettling phone call from ebrary, an e-book library owned by the aggregator ProQuest. A company representative said 11 academic publishers, including major players like Taylor & Francis and Oxford University Press, would be raising the cost of short-term e-book loans effective June 1. In some cases the increase would be as much as 300 percent. The suddenness, scale, and timing of the changes—shortly before the end of one fiscal year, with money already committed for the next—left the consortium and its member libraries feeling ambushed. “There was a very, very deep collective sigh of, ‘Oh my gosh, not again,’” says Susan M. Stearns, the consortium’s executive director.” – College Libraries Push Back as Publishers Raise Some E-Book Prices – Technology – The Chronicle of Higher Education

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

Library Transitions to Summer Hours

Effective Friday, June 13th, USMA Library will transition to our summer hours. We will now be open Monday through Friday from 0700-1630. We will be closed all Saturdays, Sundays, and on Independence Day.

Effective Monday, August 11th, we will begin our Reorganization Week hours, and effective Monday, August 18th, we will resume full hours of operation for fall semester.

As always, all hours of operation are posted to our website.

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.

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.

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.

Week in Review – 25 April 2014

Use of Mobile Devices for Cadets Likely to Expand

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

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

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

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

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

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

USMA Library Events

The events below will likely affect USMA Library and Jefferson Hall operations in the coming week.

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

USMA Library Metrics

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

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

Food for Thought

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Week in Review – 18 April 2014

News Notes from Around the Library

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

Preparatory Reading for USMA Library Strategic Planning (Revised List)

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

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

USMA Library Events

The events below will likely affect USMA Library and Jefferson Hall operations in the coming week.

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

USMA Library Metrics

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

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

Food for Thought

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

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

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

Library Classroom Audio-Visual Equipment Being Upgraded

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