Category Archives: Week in Review

A (mostly) weekly wrap-up of activity and action by the USMA Library.

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.

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.

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.

Week in Review – 11 April 2014

Opening Up the Second Floor of Jefferson Hall

This morning, moving crews dismantled the remaining surplus shelving in our former reference area, making way for our incoming traveling exhibit from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum which will arrive next week. Images of the newly cleared space are below.

New Exhibit Area New Exhibit Area New Exhibit Area

Following the traveling exhibition, this space will have additional electrical outlets installed as well as some new flexible furniture for cadet academic use. We will also be installing some exhibit cases to highlight materials from the USMA Library collections.

Preparatory Reading for USMA Library Strategic Planning

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)

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 11 Apr 2014  Sandhurst Week in Review Cadet Fine Arts Forum 0700-2100
Sat 12 Apr 2014  Sandhurst 0900-2100
Sun 13 Apr 2014 1100-2315
Mon 14 Apr 2014  Library Committee MSA Colloquium / Opera Forum 0700-2315
Tue 15 Apr 2014 Division Heads / WPLDS Brief MSA Colloquium 0700-2315
Wed 16 Apr 2014 Communications Team / WPLDS Brief Phi Kappa Phi Induction 0700-2315
Thu 17 Apr 2014 BG(R) Eisenhower Funeral  Dean’s Staff Meeting USACE Briefing 0700-2315
Fri 18 Apr 2014 Week in Review Minority Admission Visitation Program 0700-2100

USMA Library Metrics

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

10MAR-16MAR 17MAR-23MAR 24MAR-30MAR 31MAR-6APR
Access Services
Items Charged Out 597 240 829 991
Gate Count 5,416 837 5,519 5,292
ILL Article Requests 77 32 40 30
ILL Book Requests 22 21 22 15
Administrative Services
DV Tours 0 0 1 0
Significant Events Hosted 2 0 1 4
Events/Meetings Attended 23 0 22 18
Information Gateway
Reference Questions 69 5 61 98
Library Instruction Sessions 0 0 0 1
Cadets Attending Sessions 0 0 0 40
Materials Processing
Items Added – Books 306 102 121 54
Items Added – Digital 3,360 0 0 0
Items Added – GovDocs 137 42 70 48
Items Added – Other 1 34 16 54
Continuing Resource Check-Ins 100 69 78 165
Special Collections & Archives
Reference Inquiries 55 31 27 25
Research Visits < 1 hour 22 0 6 6
Research Visits < 1 day 2 0 6 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 3,890 1,776 3,844 4,825
LibGuides Visits 512 301 477 627
Digital Collections Visits 280 287 304 327
Facebook Visits 19 31
Public Printer Prints 6,704 319 5,511 6,916
Public Printer Copies 44 25 641 421
Public Printer Scans 1,316 381 14 39

Food for Thought

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

  • “Feedback is great for telling you what you did wrong. It’s terrible at telling you what you should do next.” – Phil Libin
  • “In describing his experience teaching at West Point, Dr. Stapell started by describing the first rule that West Point teachers are given—you’re not allowed to lecture—at all! …What? Isn’t that what college teaching IS? And wouldn’t you expect a place with such a military history and an authoritarian approach to underscore this traditional teaching method—of having one expert individual lecture and provide information to a bunch of young, dutiful students? They don’t lecture at West Point? At all?So this seemed surprising to the folks in the audience. And, of course, the next question is begged—what DO they do at this esteemed, larger-than-life institution? How do they educate—how do they create such great leaders? Apparently, according to Dr. Stapell, this educational method is 100 percent activity-based. The classrooms have boards on all four sides of the room—and all cadets are charged with engaging in activities related to the material throughout the class. Get in a group, discuss the material, write notes on the board—come up with a set of implications for modern life—tell the class about it. You’ve all read about this famous historical figure—discuss as a group his positive and negative attributes—and controversies regarding his life—and give a presentation to the rest of us—teach US about what his life and work implies about how the world operates now. Etc. In this context, students are constantly engaged and empowered—they own their education. They own how much they learn and how much others learn. How much education will happen within the confines of a given class? This is up to each and every individual cadet—with the professor who is tasked not with teaching them, per se, but, rather, with getting them to teach one another.” – Great Leaders Are Made: An evolutionary perspective on the Thayer method of teaching used at West Point
  • “The odds are 50/50 that the Internet will be effectively destroyed by cyberattacks by 2025. If the Net goes down, there will be terrible costs as we reboot the economy.” Robert E. McGrath, a retired software engineer who participated in critical developments of the World Wide Web, on the future of the internet.
  • “Humans now are trained to scan for the most important bits of information and move on, like how we read online. But that’s not how you’re supposed to read Moby Dick, or Middlemarch. Longer sentences require concentration and attention, not a break to check Twitter every 45 seconds. The Internet, and how it has changed our reading habits, is making it difficult for people, particularly young people, to read classic works of literature because our brains are trained to bob and weave from one piece of writing to the next. And 600 pages is just so many pages, you know? Pagination is like, the worst thing to happen to my life, and without a “Read All” option? Melville definitely needed a UX developer.” – The Internet Is Probably Ruining Your Life, Marriage – The Wire
  • “As students delve into content within any unit, especially where they’re given choices in selecting their topic, natural gaps will occur in their understanding. There will still be a need for context and background knowledge as they work to research and process their sources. It’s unlikely that, even when given guidelines to narrow the possibilities, students working independently will all end up focusing in the same place. When students work in groups, or as individuals, their products will be varied, and often — at first glance — seem disconnected, dissimilar, and separate. And it’s here, in these seemingly disjointed moments, that the expertise of the teacher is crucial to uniting the class’s learning. Teachers need to create the dynamic that transforms individual moments into a broader experience where the class benefits from the complete range of learning that has taken place. And this can happen in different ways such as discussions, class blogs, back-channels, or any number of sharing activities, as the teacher solidifies the learning mosaic created by the class.” – Teachers’ Most Powerful Role? Adding Context | MindShift
  • “Increasingly, institutions of higher education have lost their focus on the academic activities at the core of their mission,” the association said in its report. “The spending priority accorded to competitive athletics too easily diverts the focus of our institutions from teaching and learning to scandal and excess.” – Colleges Increasing Spending on Sports Faster Than on Academics, Report Finds – NYTimes.com
  • “To sum up: higher education has overbuilt capacity for a student demand which has started to wane. America has overshot its carrying capacity for college and university population, and our institutions are scrambling for strategic responses.” – Essay considers whether higher education in the U.S. has peaked | Inside Higher Ed
  • “They came in through the Chinese takeout menu. Unable to breach the computer network at a big oil company, hackers infected with malware the online menu of a Chinese restaurant that was popular with employees. When the workers browsed the menu, they inadvertently downloaded code that gave the attackers a foothold in the business’s vast computer network.” – Hackers Lurking in Vents and Soda Machines – NYTimes.com
  • “The Internet is different. With so much information, hyperlinked text, videos alongside words and interactivity everywhere, our brains form shortcuts to deal with it all — scanning, searching for key words, scrolling up and down quickly. This is nonlinear reading, and it has been documented in academic studies. Some researchers believe that for many people, this style of reading is beginning to invade when dealing with other mediums as well. “We’re spending so much time touching, pushing, linking, scroll­ing and jumping through text that when we sit down with a novel, your daily habits of jumping, clicking, linking is just ingrained in you,” said Andrew Dillon, a University of Texas professor who studies reading. “We’re in this new era of information behavior, and we’re beginning to see the consequences of that.” – Serious reading takes a hit from online scanning and skimming, researchers say – The Washington Post
  • “Relying on age and experience has been the way of the business world since the beginnings of the industrial era in the 18th century. It’s clear to me that in the present and future Information Age, however, older isn’t necessarily better when it comes to brands and services.” – Myth of Age Experience in Innovation Equation | Bill Donius
  • “You see, textbook publishers market to professors who pick the books, not students who pay for them—where Apple and Amazon have traditionally directed their marketing. The key to innovation, these companies say, is to not try to beat the big publishing houses at their own game. “Their customer base is not the student,” says Nathan Schultz, the chief content officer at Chegg, which offers textbook rentals, e-textbooks and online study help. “Their customer base is the faculty member and, in some cases, the actual institution.” And every year brings a fresh batch of students looking to start college off right, making them wary of waiting for delivery of an online book, let alone experimenting with other ways of learning the material, says Texts.com CEO Peter Frank.” – Why Can’t E-Books Disrupt The Lucrative College Textbook Business? ⚙ Co.Labs ⚙ code community

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

Week in Review – 4 April 2014

April News Notes for USMA Library

USMA is heading quickly into the final weeks of the spring semester, and happily some warmer weather seems to have arrived. Below are a number of updates on some significant initiatives and events taking place for the library over the next few weeks.

Strategic Planning Discussions

For the first time in a couple years, the library will be working through a strategic planning exercise among staff to help chart us on the right path for future services and staffing. As the Army undergoes one of the most significant restructurings in recent history following the draw-down from Iraq and Afghanistan, there will be changes to the Academy as a whole, and to the Library in particular. Our own library profession continues to evolve at a rapid rate, and we need to continually ask ourselves if how we design and accomplish our work meets the current and future needs of the library and the Academy. Late in April, we’ll begin some of these conversations, and continue them through May as we look forward to the 2014-15 academic year.

April is Anti-Terrorism Awareness Month

A reminder, that there will be a number of additional security procedures and simulations taking place through April. Some of these may involve the library. We are also working to maintain accountability for staff at all times. Staff are asked to please keep the outboard up-to-date to facilitate our ability to locate staff as needed during any exercises or drills.

Reference Area Changes

Next week we will have a moving crew onsite to dismantle the remaining empty reference shelves on the second floor of Jefferson Hall. This will be the most visible part of our work so far to redesign our primary service floor. The reference collection is now housed in the general collection, or in a smaller ready reference shelf available at the Reference Desk.

Fighting the Fires of Hate Exhibit Arrives

A traveling exhibition from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum arrives in mid-April and will be setup in the former reference area on the second floor. This exhibit is coming to West Point in cooperation with the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at West Point. The exhibit looks at how book burnings became a potent symbol in America’s fight against Nazism. Anyone with privileges to visit Jefferson Hall will be able to view the exhibit, which will remain on display through mid-June.

New Building Access System Fully Operational

After many months of work and transition, we will complete our transition to our CAC-based access system next Monday when the library closes that evening. All exterior entrances now allow employee access by CAC, and the public doors can now be centrally controlled by library staff. We will no longer be using physical keys to open and close the facility each day. These changes have not impacted regular user access to the facility.

Relocation of Circulation Desk Moves Forward

This week we met with DPW and some contractors to look at the work required to relocate the Circulation Desk into the rotunda. We believe we have now gotten on to a faster track to have this accomplished during the summer. This project will also help create a better-defined security perimeter for the library.

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 4 Apr 2014 Week in Review WP Negotiation Conference 0700-2100
Sat 5 Apr 2014 Secretary of Veterans Affairs 0900-2100
Sun 6 Apr 2014 Secretary of Veterans Affairs 1100-2315
Mon 7 Apr 2014 Supt Town Hall, Eisenhower Hall Secretary of Veterans Affairs 0700-2315
Tue 8 Apr 2014 Division Heads Secretary of Veterans Affairs 0700-2315
Wed 9 Apr 2014 Dean’s Staff Meeting Liaisons Haig Room A/V Repair 0700-2315
Thu 10 Apr 2014 0700-2315
Fri 11 Apr 2014 Sandhurst  Dean’s Recognition Ceremony Week in Review Cadet Fine Arts Forum 0700-2100

USMA Library Metrics

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

3MAR-9MAR 10MAR-16MAR 17MAR-23MAR 24MAR-30MAR
Access Services
Items Charged Out 983 597 240 829
Gate Count 5,620 5,416 837 5,519
ILL Article Requests 48 77 32 40
ILL Book Requests 27 22 21 22
Administrative Services
DV Tours 0 0 0 1
Significant Events Hosted 2 2 0 1
Events/Meetings Attended 26 23 0 22
Information Gateway
Reference Questions 85 69 5 61
Library Instruction Sessions 1 0 0 0
Cadets Attending Sessions 9 0 0 0
Materials Processing
Items Added – Books 110 306 102 121
Items Added – Digital 0 3,360 0 0
Items Added – GovDocs 34 137 42 70
Items Added – Other 2 1 34 16
Continuing Resource Check-Ins 88 100 69 78
Special Collections & Archives
Reference Inquiries 47 55 31 27
Research Visits < 1 hour 8 22 0 6
Research Visits < 1 day 3 2 0 6
Research Visits > 1 day 0 0 1 1
Instruction Sessions 0 0 0 0
Cadets Taught 0 0 0 0
Systems Management
Library Home Page Visits 4,893 3,890 1,776 3,844
LibGuides Visits 621 512 301 477
Digital Collections Visits 294 280 287 304
Facebook Visits 16 19
Public Printer Prints 7,865 6,704 319 5,511
Public Printer Copies 441 44 25 641
Public Printer Scans 44 1,316 381 14

Food for Thought

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

  • “Called the Open Syllabus Project, their effort aims to build a large-scale online database of syllabi “as a platform for the development of new research, teaching, and administrative tools.” The scholars also want to start a broader conversation about sharing syllabi before universities wake up to find policies imposed on them from above. “The idea is to be proactive and to actually think about how we’re going to share—and share our classroom materials in a smart way,” says Dennis Tenen, one of the project’s leaders and an assistant professor of digital humanities and new-media studies at Columbia University.” – New Syllabus Archive Opens the ‘Curricular Black Box’ – Wired Campus – Blogs – The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • “Facebook knows if you hit any page that has a Like button it,” he said. “Same with TweetThis, unless the site goes out of the way to mask them, then these are specifically reporting them to social networks. This is why NSA loves it, is because they can go along for the ride. “One thing that we know that the NSA does on their non-US wiretaps is bind usernames to cookies so if you see a request for LinkedIn or YouTube or Yahoo, these are all sites that have user ID in the clear, all you need to do is see a request, and say I don’t know who this is or I know who this is, but then you look at the HTML body and look for the username. This is why the NSA went after Google ad networks, include user identification [broadcast] in the clear: ‘I am person X at this location.’” – Surprise, surprise: my online metadata actually reveals where I’ve been | Ars Technica
  • “Like physical books, ebooks should be made available for interlibrary loans “in a manner that is neither cumbersome nor awkward,” and the content should be able to be transferred “efficiently and electronically.” Libraries, not publishers, should decide for how long a reader can access an ebook, and readers themselves should not have to worry about publishers sharing their personal information without their consent. Finally, the library directors called on publishers to offer individual, unbundled titles, and the opportunity to purchase licenses without usage limits. “To summarize, we do not live in isolation,” the statement reads. “We all find ourselves impoverished — always indirectly and sometimes directly — when information fails to reach those in need. Our commitment to sharing is fundamental, as is our commitment to promoting and demanding models that make such sharing possible.” – Liberal arts college library directors ask publishers to ease ebook licensing restrictions | Inside Higher Ed
  • “If blocking Twitter is like putting a single phone number out of service, intercepting the DNS is like giving users an entire, fraudulent new phone book—and it’s a troubling escalation against Turkish internet users. The ban began with Twitter, used largely for the discussion of news and politics, then expanded to YouTube, which is far more popular in Turkey because people use it for entertainment as well. A 2012 paper estimates that a quarter of Turks over 18 had a YouTube account, compared to just a tenth for Twitter.” – Turkey’s online censorship just took a sinister Orwellian turn – Quartz
  • “A world without scarcity requires a major rethinking of economics, much as the decline of the agrarian economy did in the 19th century. How will our economy function in a world in which most of the things we produce are cheap or free? We have lived with scarcity for so long that it is hard even to begin to think about the transition to a post-scarcity economy. IP has allowed us to cling to scarcity as an organizing principle in a world that no longer demands it. But it will no more prevent the transition than agricultural price supports kept us all farmers. We need a post-scarcity economics, one that accepts rather than resists the new opportunities technology will offer us. Developing that economics is the great task of the 21st century.” – IP in a World Without Scarcity by Mark A. Lemley :: SSRN
  • “Over ten thousand of the collection’s maps are of New York and New Jersey, dating from 1852 to 1922, including property, zoning, and topographic maps. In addition, over one thousand of the maps depict Mid-Atlantic cities from the 16th to the 19th centuries, and over 700 are topographic maps of the Austro-Hungarian Empire between 1877 and 1914. That should be enough to keep any amateur or professional map-lover busy for a good long while” – New York Public Library Puts 20,000 Hi-Res Maps Online & Makes Them Free to Download and Use – Open Culture
  • “There is a risk,” he said, that “instead of having competition on price, service and better production methods, we’ll have competition on who has the best patent lawyer. “And if you go the other way and say never” allow software patents, he went on, “then what you do is you rule out real inventions with computers.” – Supreme Court Seems Wary of a Software Patent Case – NYTimes.com
  • “It is true that the plate tectonics of academia have been shifting since the 1970s, reducing the number of good jobs available in the field: “The profession has been significantly hollowed out by the twin phenomena of delayed retirements of tenure-track faculty and the continued ‘adjunctification’ of the academy,” Andrew Green, associate director at the Career Center at the University of California, Berkeley, told me. In the wake of these changes, there is no question that humanities doctorates have struggled with their employment prospects, but what is less widely known is between a fifth and a quarter of them go on to work in well-paying jobs in media, corporate America, non-profits, and government. Humanities Ph.D.s are all around us— and they are not serving coffee.” – What Can You Do With a Humanities Ph.D., Anyway? – Elizabeth Segran – The Atlantic
  • “The emerging problems highlight another challenge: bridging the “Grand Canyon,” as Mr. Lazer calls it, between “social scientists who aren’t computationally talented and computer scientists who aren’t social-scientifically talented.” As universities are set up now, he says, “it would be very weird” for a computer scientist to teach courses to social-science doctoral students, or for a social scientist to teach research methods to information-science students. Both, he says, should be happening.” – Recent Big-Data Struggles Are ‘Birthing Pains,’ Researchers Say – Research – The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • “In 1979, when the minimum wage was $2.90, a hard-working student with a minimum-wage job could earn enough in one day (8.44 hours) to pay for one academic credit hour. If a standard course load for one semester consisted of maybe 12 credit hours, the semester’s tuition could be covered by just over two weeks of full-time minimum wage work—or a month of part-time work. A summer spent scooping ice cream or flipping burgers could pay for an MSU education. The cost of an MSU credit hour has multiplied since 1979. So has the federal minimum wage. But today, it takes 60 hours of minimum-wage work to pay off a single credit hour, which was priced at $428.75 for the fall semester.” – The Myth of Working Your Way Through College – Svati Kirsten Narula – The Atlantic
  • “Participating libraries pick a list of scholarly books they want to make open access. They pool money to pay publishers a title fee for each of those books. The title fees are meant to cover the cost of publishing each book; publishers calculate what they think is fair and share those estimates with the Knowledge Unlatched group. In return for the title fees, the publishers make Creative Commons-licensed, DRM-free PDFs of the selected books available for free download through the OAPEN digital platform (OAPEN stands for Open Access Publishing in European Networks), the HathiTrust digital repository, and eventually the British Library. Authors and publishers decide which Creative Commons license they’re comfortable using. There’s no postpublication embargo period; the books will be available as soon as the publishers and Knowledge Unlatched can process and upload the PDFs. (Click here for a full list of the books selected for the pilot and whether they’ve been published and uploaded yet.)” – Libraries Test a Model for Setting Monographs Free – Wired Campus – Blogs – The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • “But a human life is not a database, nor is privacy the mere act of keeping data about ourselves hidden. In reality, privacy operates not like a door that’s kept either open or closed but like a fan dance, a seductive game of reveal and conceal. By that standard, the explosion of personal information online is giving rise to new mysteries, new unknowns. When you post a photo on Instagram, it offers up not just answers but hints at new questions: Who were you with and why? What were you feeling? What happened between the updates, and why was it left out? Secrets, creative concealments, the spaces between posts—this is where privacy flourishes today.” – Why Privacy Is Actually Thriving Online | Threat Level | WIRED
  • “44% of the city’s 291,000 tech jobs, salaried at a median hourly wage of $39.50 (49% above the NYC average), do not require a Bachelor’s degree.” – Almost Half Of NYC Tech Jobs Don’t Require A Bachelor’s Degree: Gothamist
  • “According to a paper titled “Digital Language Death,” just published in PLOS One, less than five percent of the 7,000 languages spoken today will ascend to the digital realm. Granted, languages have been dying as long as they’ve been spoken, but the Endangered Languages Project reports that “the pace at which languages are disappearing today has no precedent and is alarming.” András Kornai, author of the new paper, blames the internet for why we’re more likely to be speaking French than, say, Mandinka, in the future.” – The Internet Is Killing Most Languages | Motherboard
  • “The economically important 18-34 age group are more likely to say they are doing less shopping online (33% compared to an overall 26%). Online retailers who rely more on female shoppers should note that 29% of women surveyed said they have reduced how much they shop online (compared to 23% of men and 26% overall). When it comes to banking online 29% of folks in that 18-34 age bracket had cut back, as had 30% of those aged 65 and older.” – New Harris poll shows NSA revelations impact online shopping, banking, and more

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

Week in Review – 28 March 2014

Spring 2014 Updates from ConnectNY

Our statewide resource-sharing consortium, ConnectNY, has had an busy winter and looks forward to a busy spring with a number of initiatives ongoing and upcoming. Below are some brief updates on significant ConnectNY projects that will affect our services and users:

Leadership Transition

Our Executive Director, Bart Harloe, has announced his intent to retire at the end of the calendar year. Toward that end, ConnectNY has contracted with John Helmer, Executive Director of the Orbis/Cascade Alliance, to help facilitate the transition by preparing the ConnectNY Council to undertake a succession planning conversation that will, in turn, lead to a successful search outcome. The immediate objective of the leadership conversation with John and the ConnectNY Council is to review current organizational practices with a view toward developing a realistic set of expectations regarding the role of the new administrator that will be responsible for coordinating the consortium’s activities in the future. The ConnectNY Council will meet in May at Siena College with John to help finalize planning for our recruitment this fall.

Annual Meeting

The 2014 Annual Meeting will be held in June at Canisius College in Buffalo.

New Loan Rules in Effect

Effective January 7, 2014 all books checked out to CNY patrons have a loan period of 42 days. In order to implement this new policy a number of best practices and procedures were developed and shared on the CNY website: http://connectny.org/cny-home/staff-information/circulation-changes/

One of the challenges of accomplishing this new set of policies and procedures was to develop a set of practices that would allow for effective recall functionality within the CNY system. In order to facilitate this latter objective, CNY has also developed a set of FAQs that should help address most of the questions that might arise in the near term future: http://connectny.org/cny-home/staff-information/circulation-and-recall-faqs/

In the meantime, CNY libraries will be assessing how the new loan rule actually plays out over the course of the 2014 spring semester with a view toward assessing the impact of the new loan rule and making any needed adjustments over the summer months as a lead-in to the next academic year.

Pilot Peer to Peer Sharing Project with NExpress

At the fall meeting at Hobart and William Smith, there was strong show of hands in support of the idea of pilot Peer to Peer project with NExpress. NExpress is a consortium of New England colleges and includes Colby, Bates, Bowdoin, Middlebury, Northeastern, Wellesley and Williams. This pilot project would allow patrons of either system to cross-request materials from either consortium via the online catalog. This would significantly expand the number of items available for direct borrowing for our users, and there is less overlap between our two consortia in terms of holdings than one might think. We hope to see this begin in summer or fall.

e-Books

We continue our consortial demand-driven e-book acquisition project, and this summer hope to engage more with publishers on how to make this content available and affordable for libraries. ProQuest has agreed to support a forum in NYC where consortia and publishers can get together and explore issues around group pricing for e-books, Demand Driven Acquisitions (DDA), ILL and E-books, and the perennial issue of e-textbooks and pricing for group purchasing. ConnectNY is part of the planning group for this effort.  Attendance will be by invitation only and we hope to have good representation from the ConnectNY community, as well as from other consortia around the country.

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 28 Mar 2014 Week in Review  Creative Arts Project 0700-2100
Sat 29 Mar 2014 0900-2100
Sun 30 Mar 2014 Board of Visitors Board of Visitors 1100-2315
Mon 31 Mar 2014 Board of Visitors  Board of Visitors 0700-2315
Tue 1 Apr 2014 Division Heads Sec. Veterans Affairs 0700-2315
Wed 2 Apr 2014 CTC Conference 0700-2315
Thu 3 Apr 2014 Diversity Leadership Summit  Dean’s Staff Meeting  All Library Staff WP Negotiation Conference 0700-2315
Fri 4 Apr 2014 Diversity Leadership Summit  Week in Review WP Negotiation Conference 0700-2100

USMA Library Metrics

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

24FEB-2MAR 3MAR-9MAR 10MAR-16MAR 17MAR-23MAR
Access Services
Items Charged Out 921 983 597 240
Gate Count 5,844 5,620 5,416 837
ILL Article Requests 49 48 77 32
ILL Book Requests 19 27 22 21
Administrative Services
DV Tours 1 0 0 0
Significant Events Hosted 2 2 2 0
Events/Meetings Attended 20 26 23 0
Information Gateway
Reference Questions 82 85 69 5
Library Instruction Sessions 1 1 0 0
Cadets Attending Sessions 13 9 0 0
Materials Processing
Items Added – Books 155 110 306 102
Items Added – Digital 0 0 3,360 0
Items Added – GovDocs 146 34 137 42
Items Added – Other 0 2 1 34
Continuing Resource Check-Ins 235 88 100 69
Special Collections & Archives
Reference Inquiries 49 47 55 31
Research Visits < 1 hour 10 8 22 0
Research Visits < 1 day 3 3 2 0
Research Visits > 1 day 0 0 0 1
Instruction Sessions 0 0 0 0
Cadets Taught 0 0 0 0
Systems Management
Library Home Page Visits 4,447 4,893 3,890 1,776
LibGuides Visits 561 621 512 301
Digital Collections Visits 277 294 280 287
Facebook Visits 17 16 19
Public Printer Prints 7,849 7,865 6,704 319
Public Printer Copies 632 441 44 25
Public Printer Scans 197 44 1,316 381

Food for Thought

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

  • “In Washington, budget cuts have left the nation’s research complex reeling. Labs are closing. Scientists are being laid off. Projects are being put on the shelf, especially in the risky, freewheeling realm of basic research. Yet from Silicon Valley to Wall Street, science philanthropy is hot, as many of the richest Americans seek to reinvent themselves as patrons of social progress through science research. The result is a new calculus of influence and priorities that the scientific community views with a mix of gratitude and trepidation. “For better or worse,” said Steven A. Edwards, a policy analyst at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, “the practice of science in the 21st century is becoming shaped less by national priorities or by peer-review groups and more by the particular preferences of individuals with huge amounts of money.”Billionaires With Big Ideas Are Privatizing American Science – NYTimes.com
  • “But, in the area of patentable subject matter, the Supreme Court’s decisions have been a disaster. The Court has created mass confusion, making it almost impossible to discern whether certain innovations, particularly as to software, are patentable. Alice provides the Supreme Court an opportunity to provide guidance in the law, particularly in the software industry. Let’s hope the Court takes it. It is time for some clarity – innovation depends on it.” – Is The Supreme Court About To Rule That Software Is Ineligible For Patent Protection? – Forbes
  • “But unlike your home PC, which will be on its own after April 8, ATMs will still get security updates and other necessary operating system maintenance—so long as they pay up. Britain’s five biggest banks—all five of them—are unprepared and are negotiating agreements with Microsoft so the company will continue support. As Reuters reports, it will cost each bank about $100 million total to both maintain support and also get the system upgraded.” – Windows XP still runs on 95 percent of the ATMs in the world, says Reuters.
  • “Information is only of value if you can get it to people who can do something with it. Sharing is power.” – General Stanley McChrystal
  • “The fear isn’t that big data discriminates. We already know that it does. It’s that you don’t know if you’ve been discriminated against.” – How Can We Build Ethics Into Big Data?
  • “Education is what people do to you, learning is what you do to yourself.” – MIT Media Lab director Joi Ito
  • “Keurig’s next generation of coffee machines will have a way to prevent any coffee not licensed by Keurig from brewing in the machine as early as this fall.” – Ars Technica
  • “A study at Indiana University found that “as many as 50% of papers are never read by anyone other than their authors, referees and journal editors.” That same study concluded that “some 90% of papers that have been published in academic journals are never cited.” That is, nine out of 10 academic papers—which both often take years to research, compile, submit, and get published, and are a major component by which a scholar’s output is measured—contribute little to the academic conversation.” – Killing Pigs and Weed Maps: The Mostly Unread World of Academic Papers – Pacific Standard: The Science of Society
  • “Take a second to be amazed at what [MOOCs] still represent for most people in most places: whatever new subject you happen to be curious about, there is probably a free online course out there to take, on your schedule. The people complaining about this feat, this possibility, seem the same sort to complain that the internet connection on their plane is slow. But sometimes, it’s okay to wow before we whine.” – I took an online class—and actually liked it – Quartz
  • “According to Credit.com’s analysis of the data, nearly half of the $1.2 trillion of education debt that’s currently on the books belongs to students who are still in school, and thus not yet required to make payments.” – As Many As 1-in-3 Student Loans May Be Delinquent – Consumerist
  • “Economists have noted how work hours for white collar, college-educated workers began to become extreme in about the 1980s, and at the same time, social surveys were picking up a heightened sense of economic insecurity in this same group. Some people say we’re working more because we want more stuff (like that stupid Cadillac commercial that made me so angry I wrote a piece about it). While it’s true that household debt and spending on “luxury” items have gone up at the same time, it’s also true that wages have been stagnating and the costs of basic things like health care, housing, and education have gone through the roof—the cost of college has blown up nearly 900 percent in recent decades. When was the last time anyone outside hedge fund managers and the 1 percent got a 900 percent raise? Against that backdrop comes technology and the ability to be connected 24/7 – which leads to a feeling of constantly being “on call,” that you can never quite get away from work, that the boundaries that used to keep work more contained have bled and spilled over into the hours of the day that used to be for family, for self, for leisure, for sleep.” – America’s Workers: Stressed Out, Overwhelmed, Totally Exhausted – Rebecca J. Rosen – The Atlantic
  • “State data reveals that from 2000 to 2012, the number of bookstores in Manhattan fell almost 30 percent, to 106 stores from 150. Jobs, naturally, have suffered as well: Annual employment in bookstores has decreased 46 percent during that period, according to the state’s Department of Labor.” – Surging Rents Force Booksellers From Manhattan – NYTimes.com
  • “They tended to be at the hub” of illicit exchanges of test information, says Adam Lowther, one of seven investigators who dug into details of cheating that has embarrassed the Air Force and on Thursday brought down virtually the entire operational command of the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont. At least 82 missile launch officers face disciplinary action, but it was the four “librarians” who allegedly facilitated the cheating, in part by transmitting test answers via text message. One text included a photo of a classified test answer, according to Lt. Gen. Stephen Wilson, who announced the probe’s findings Thursday.” – At core of nuke cheating ring: 4 ‘librarians’ – Yahoo News

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

Week in Review – 14 March 2014

Library Survey Comments: Staffing and General Comments

In addition to the questions asked on the recent survey of faculty regarding library services, those taking the survey were invited to make any general comments. Those responses have been sorted out into different categories, grouped together with similar comments, and we have prepared responses where appropriate. This week is a look at comments that relate to library staffing and general/miscellaneous thoughts. Comments are listed by bullets and responses are in green italic text.

  • The staff are wonderful. I wish that they wore nametags so that I express my appreciation more personally.

Nearly all our staff should be wearing name tags, and with the new security changes our CACs as well!

  • Train library staff a bit better in ILL and other cross-library lending programs. They’re not bad, but could be a bit better.
  • Need to employ research librarians that actually know how to do research and locate things. I asked for a journal ranking a little while ago and this person had no idea what I was asking.

We have an ongoing program of training for staff. While we strive to know as much as we can about everything (since that what libraries do), we know we can always continue to build and broaden our skills. We will make sure that staff continue to be aware of our cross-library lending programs. We are also working to integrate networks like ConnectNY directly into Scout so that finding and acquiring those resources will be even easier to do.

  • We need to have librarians in the library! A library in an institution of higher education should not have a staff of people without degrees in library science.

Approximately half of USMA Library staff have a master’s degree in library science, which is a higher ratio than many other academic libraries. That said, we do not believe that a graduate degree in library science is a prerequisite to delivering outstanding library service and we have a team of dedicated and talented librarians and library technicians who support every service we provide to our users. We could not do the work we do without any of our team members. We’re sure all our academic departments have non-Ph.D. staff that provide critical support to the curriculum and our teaching daily. We do too.

  • Admittedly anecdotal, nonetheless: My spouse was treated rudely by a staff member when she attempted to pick up her already applied for library card. It was almost as if the staff member wanted to make it difficult for her to obtain the card. I don’t know a name and don’t want to get anyone in trouble, but broadly addressing behavior standards may be in order.

We regularly reinforce the requirement for good service with all staff.

  • Improve visibility/engagement of library staff with the junior (rotating) faculty so that all instructors are aware of the awesome resources available.

An excellent suggestion that we agree with wholeheartedly. We are working to better integrate our liaisons into their academic departments and have been recently considering some new ways to get to know new faculty. Suggestions on how to do this are always welcome.

Miscellaneous/General Comments

  • A limit on articles that can be checked out is very unsuitable for literature searches.

We’re not sure what limits you may be running into, so please let a reference librarian know what issues you may be having so we can address.

  • Develop a more robust funding line through AOG to augment regular funding.

Agreed. We do have some gift funds now, although they are very targeted to support collecting materials (usually just print books) in a specific subject. It is a priority for us to build more unrestricted gift funds to support the overall program and to provide some alternate funding sources. The Library was not included as a target funding priority for the current campaign, which limits how much we can pursue this right now.

  • The library staff is probably the BEST I’ve ever been around during 1 bachelor’s degree and 2 master’s degrees. Just phenomenal work by Chris Barth and staff.
  • The staff is very helpful and willing to help.
  • The facilities are excellent and so is the staff. Honestly, no suggestions as I find the library services are wonderful.
  • I have no suggestions at this time.
  • I am very impressed with the facilities here. I have used research libraries at 1 other teaching college and 2 tier 1 research colleges other than WP in the last decade and this is the best. The reason my students and I don’t utilize the library is that I teach classes that aren’t research intensive and my research is being hindered my career distractions right now.
  • The library is exceptional. I don’t have a research intensive course so my cadets don’t use it often.
  • Collaboration space (sharing of information) and access to digital collections on-line are the two most important services provided at the library for my engineering students.
  • Keep up the great work. I have had great success with electronic and physical sources for my research. It has helped me stay active doing research in the field of structural stability.
  • The library has a great and helpful staff!!
  • Keep up the good work!
  • The collection seems very small for an institution of this size, but being part of the New York sharing system helps. Getting books from sister libraries is fast and efficient. I would love to have a digital microfilm reader/printer available at all times.
  • The library staff are great and Chris Barth’s leadership and vision are impressive. Most problems are not the fault of the library. They are the fault of the funding process.
  • I have no meaningful input. I’ve used the library too few times to generalize with confidence. The times I have used the library, the staff was excellent, I found the texts I needed, the web-resources I needed, and have no deficiencies to note!
  • I have only used the library on rare occasion but the staff has always been very helpful. I do not have any suggestions at this time.
  • Thank you for all the hard work and effort that goes into our library!
  • Not as applicable to students taking modern physics, most additional resources can be found in physics library.
  • Part of the issue is that this is an undergraduate academy and not an advanced degree granting Research University – so perhaps judging against that metric is unfair. The electronic holdings are sufficient to fill the gap in physical holdings for undergraduate projects. Part of the issue is that there is relatively little time for Cadets to research topics. Scholarly research is usually last minute with Cadets reporting what is easily accessible. To an extent, I cannot blame them; they are here to become 2nd Lieutenants and not to become students of an academic discipline. Their career and vocation is the Army and not Civil and Mechanical Engineering or some other discipline. The Cadets admit that they are here to survive the experience and graduate, to do so the requirement is to pass. There is no real incentive to excel because they have a secure job when they leave and can opt for a graduate school additional service requirement and worry about graduate admissions in 6 to 8 years. In fact, being a ‘goat’ is somewhat of an honor.
  • Keep up the good work!
  • I have never received anything but outstanding support from the Library.
  • My field of research is quite narrow, so I would not expect our library to have tremendous holdings in my area. I use ConnectNY and ILL a lot (especially the former) and they serve my needs very well!
  • Library is great overall.
  • Having electronic access to journal articles at our desks is AMAZING and would be very much appreciated. Having excellent search engines to find material is also appreciated.
  • Personnel have always been wonderful.
  • If I was a student, I’d use the library all the time.
  • LIBRARIANS: While our hours are too limited and the collection could be larger, the library staff is phenomenal, and after using several academic libraries and DOD archives, probably the best with whom I have worked. They are knowledgeable and go out of their way to integrate with the academic departments in order to assist cadets on specific course material. (Mike Arden and Laura Mosher are excellent examples here.) Maintain, promote, and reward this relationship.
  • The ILL process is great – I’ve ordered a number of books and they come in really quickly. Overall the staff is always really helpful and friendly.

Week in Review on Hiatus

The next Week in Review will be published 28 March.

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 14 Mar 2014 Plebe Parent Weekend Week in Review 0600-1630
Sat 15 Mar 2014  Plebe Parent Weekend Plebe Parent Weekend 0800-1000
Sun 16 Mar 2014 Spring Leave CLOSED
Mon 17 Mar 2014  Spring Leave 0700-1630
Tue 18 Mar 2014  Spring Leave 0700-1630
Wed 19 Mar 2014  Spring Leave 0700-1630
Thu 20 Mar 2014  Spring Leave 0700-1630
Fri 21 Mar 2014 Spring Leave 0700-1630

USMA Library Metrics

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

10FEB-16FEB 17FEB-23FEB 24FEB-2MAR 3MAR-9MAR
Access Services
Items Charged Out 1,216 669 921 983
Gate Count 3,666 3,623 5,844 5,620
ILL Article Requests 22 28 49 48
ILL Book Requests 31 27 19 27
Administrative Services
DV Tours 0 1 0 1
Significant Events Hosted 2 3 2 2
Events/Meetings Attended 17 15 20 26
Information Gateway
Reference Questions 101 37 82 85
Library Instruction Sessions 3 0 1 1
Cadets Attending Sessions 42 0 13 9
Materials Processing
Items Added – Books 61 206 155 110
Items Added – Digital 3,829 429 0 0
Items Added – GovDocs 106 194 146 34
Items Added – Other 26 0 0 2
Continuing Resource Check-Ins 47 161 235 88
Special Collections & Archives
Reference Inquiries 21 31 49 47
Research Visits < 1 hour 8 4 10 8
Research Visits < 1 day 6 5 3 3
Research Visits > 1 day 0 1 0 0
Instruction Sessions 5 2 0 0
Cadets Taught 96 36 0 0
Systems Management
Library Home Page Visits 4,870 3,179 4,447 4,893
LibGuides Visits 759 397 561 621
Digital Collections Visits 270 276 277 294
Facebook Visits 30 14 17 16
Public Printer Prints 4,172 3,167 7,849 7,865
Public Printer Copies 257 303 632 441
Public Printer Scans 11 34 197 44

Food for Thought

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

  • “The internet promised to feed our minds with knowledge. What have we learned? That our minds need more than that.” – The problem with too much information – Dougald Hine – Aeon
  • “Whether they work at a big research university, a small four-year college, or something in between, academic-library directors share a “resounding dedication” to teaching information literacy to undergraduates. Beyond that, the priorities they set for their libraries depend on the size and nature of their institutions and how many (or few) resources they have to work with.” – What Matters to Academic-Library Directors? Information Literacy – Wired Campus – Blogs – The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • “Practice is great! But practice alone won’t make you Yo Yo Ma.” – Scientists Debunk The Myth That 10,000 Hours Of Practice Makes You An Expert
  • “Academic libraries have been at the leading edge of technologically driven change for many years. Library services, from what I can see, have had to change at a faster rate than other academic services. Where teaching has changed mostly at the margins (so far), academic libraries have had to pivot from a regime of information scarcity (the card catalog, subscriptions, collections, etc.) to one of information abundance (Google). From purchasing journals to licensing databases. From housing books to providing collaborative work spaces. Has any part of the modern university changed more in the past 20 years than the library?” – Why the Academic Library Should Lead Higher Ed Change | Inside Higher Ed
  • “Today, the San Francisco-based literary startup Plympton launched an online fiction service called Rooster. It’s sold by subscription. It’s priced by the month. And it automatically delivers regular content to your iPhone or iPad. In other words, it’s a book service that looks a lot like a magazine service. And it’s just the latest example of how books are being packaged like magazines. With Rooster, readers pay $5 per month in exchange for a stream of bite-sized chunks of fiction. Each chunk takes just 15 minutes or so to read, and over the course of a month, they add up to two books. The service builds on the success of Plympton’s Daily Lit, which emails you classic literature in five-minute installments.” – The Future of Books Looks a Lot Like Netflix | Wired Business | Wired.com
  • “The Wikipedian in Residence will, according to the job announcement, help to “expand coverage on Wikipedia of topics relevant to Houghton collections.” He or she will add sources for existing Wikipedia pages and create new pages “on notable topics.” The person will also “provide appropriate formatting and metadata (and OCR cleanup in the case of texts) to upload public domain content to Wikimedia and Wikisource, and facilitate the use of such materials by other Wikipedia users.” – Harvard’s Looking for a ‘Wikipedian in Residence’ – Megan Garber – The Atlantic
  • “If you asked people in 1989 what they needed to make their life better, it was unlikely that they would have said that a decentralized network of information nodes that are linked using hypertext.” – If you asked people in 1989… | chris dixon’s blog
  • “According to the official narrative, monitoring metadata is no big deal. But two Stanford University researchers wanted to see how “sensitive” metadata actually was. So they enlisted hundreds of volunteers to install an app called “MetaPhone” on their Androids to pick up that metadata over several months. What they found shocked them. “Participants had calls with Alcoholics Anonymous, gun stores, sexually transmitted disease clinics, strip clubs, and much more.” – The NSA Can Learn All Your Secrets From Your Phone Metadata
  • “A key theme in these survey findings is that many people see acquiring information as a highly social process in which trusted helpers matter,” Lee Rainie, Director of the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project and a main author of the report said. “One of the main resources that people tap when they have questions is the networks of expertise. Even some of the most self-sufficient information consumers in our sample find that libraries and librarians can be part of their networks when they have problems to solve or decisions to make.” – PBS Newshour: Turns out the most engaged library users also biggest tech users

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

Week in Review – 7 March 2014

Library Survey Comments: Services and Facilities

In addition to the questions asked on the recent survey of faculty regarding library services, those taking the survey were invited to make any general comments. Those responses have been sorted out into different categories, grouped together with similar comments, and we have prepared responses where appropriate. This week is a look at comments that relate to library services and facilities. Comments are listed by bullets and responses are in green italic text.

  • I would love to see a digital pull where students and faculty and staff could request books online and then come in to pick them up at circulation.

We will consider this as a service.

  • Scout search engine is not very useful for research in scholarly works. I direct cadets away from it to the catalog and specific disciplinary databases such as Historical Abstracts.
  • Nothing specific, but I’d prefer to use Google Scholar or Web of Knowledge than navigating the website for journals.
  • Having the link to ConnectNY present in our own library search (as it used to be) was more efficient. So, if a book is not found in our own library search, I used to be able to simply click the Connect NY. Now, I have to go to the left sidebar and launch ConnectNY and then re-enter the info. Not a big deal, but it’s just one of those small things that helps save a little time.
  • The new Scout system may prove beneficial in the future, but presently it is a significant downgrade. The former website provided few links but of a high quality (think Google). Now with scout we get lots of links to a great deal of worthless information (think every other search engine from 10 years ago)
  • The search engine for finding a journal article is too complicated.

Did you know that Scout has one-click limiters to scholarly and peer-reviewed journals? It also can limit with one-click to the catalog or by many other facets. We think Scout significantly improves the ability for the community to quickly target sophisticated searches to the types of material you want without worrying about which information silo it came from. It is however a new tool and doesn’t work quite the same way the old systems did. We hope you’ll set aside some time to explore it and maybe arrange a training session with your liaison. We plan to soon directly integrate ConnectNY resources into Scout, which we think will even improve the old experience.

  • More selections of Popular authors for Recreational Use. I’m not quite sure if the Library has this already, but maybe have E-book capability so patrons can borrow to read with their Nook or Kindle.

We will continue to focus on rotating in a wide variety of selections into our Class of 1953 leisure reading collection. ConnectNY is also a great resource for additional authors and titles as well. We do offer tens of thousands of e-book titles through our online catalog, though generally they are not compatible with Kindles or Nooks. They often are compatible with other e-reading software titles for iPads or Android devices. The Post Library and AKO offer access to many popular reading titles for Kindle and other e-readers however. West Point residents are also eligible for library cards at some local public libraries like Cornwall Public Library, which also offers e-books for digital e-readers.

  • Rules for use of electronic books is often confusing. Is there a tutorial that helps using these materials in various formats?

Confusing is an understatement and we sincerely wish that publishers could agree to help us make this content available more easily. We do have a guide available that helps with one of our largest e-book packages: http://usma.libguides.com/ebl-cny. Please speak with your liaison with specific questions and we can help to make sure you have access in the best and most efficient way.

  • I’m horrified by the willingness of the administration to simply eliminate Interlibrary Loan at the first budgetary crisis. NO RESEARCH can be accomplished either by cadets or faculty during these periods which means that the MISSION cannot be accomplished–full stop.

Please know that the administration did not make an intentional choice to eliminate interlibrary loan services. USMA Library (and the entire Dean’s Directorate) lost all appropriated funding for several months last year. As such we were prohibited by federal spending regulations from incurring financial obligations that includes the shipment of materials. West Point even ran out of postage meter funds for a period of time. The Dean and Library are acutely aware of the disruption that these funding issues caused and we have worked to find alternate ways to continue these services in the future. Fun fact: during the 2012-13 academic year, USMA Library ran for almost four months without any significant expenditures except personnel. Doing so required an incredible amount of flexibility and creative thinking on the part of library staff. We know it was not a perfect situation, but most services continued even when those charged with resourcing our operations completely failed to do so.

  • The tool I find most useful for looking up electronic journal articles is Citation Linker. However, the link to this page is not easy to find. I have it bookmarked, but a more prominent display on the website could benefit others.

Thank you for the suggestion. We will consider this.

  • Continue to improve webpage / web services.

We no longer consider our website ever “done.” We will regularly make changes and improvements. Suggestions and comments are always welcome.

  • In-processing for instructors should include the library so that requests can be immediately made through the loan programs.

Most departments include the library in their new instructor orientations and we are considering other more broad initiatives. Please tell your colleagues who organize your in-processing that this should be a priority. We would be glad to work with them.

  • Improve ability to access resources outside of West Point intranet and add wireless access to non-government computers & mobile devices.

Nearly all our licensed resources are available from off-post. Please talk with your library liaison if you have questions about accessing them. We do offer a small network for personally-owned devices and hope to expand this functionality. You can see a reference librarian for information on how to access the network.

  • Please add the capability to export metadata for all resources both physical and online. For instance, the website makes recommendations for citations but does not allow you to export the info in the BIBTEX format. This would be VERY helpful for research. Thank you for what you do.

We will look into how this can be accomplished. Thank you for the suggestion.

  • Provide more information to the faculty as to how we can keep up with research trends (especially coming right from grad school) – does the USMA library have journal subscriptions? I don’t know.

We have many journal subscriptions. Please ask to set an appointment with your department’s library liaison. We would love to help you learn more about the library and our services.

  • The wireless bandwidth is too limited and slow to support cadet learning in the peak evening hours.

As you may know, USMA has recently improved available bandwidth. Ultimately, this is out of the control of the library however. The concern is certainly noted however.

  • Probably makes sense to turn the library’s printers/copiers into a profit-center or, at the very least, a break-even proposition going forward — just like every other college or university in America.

We now have print management that will help to curb waste. We are not planning to move to cost recovery for this, though we continue to work with other bodies at USMA to reinforce the idea that not all services are cheap and easy to provide (network bandwidth being another).

  • Do not close the library to cadets during football or similar.

Our hours of operation are always under consideration. For times when we know all cadets have other assigned duties (e.g. football games), it is difficult for us to justify staffing the facility as the number of research/study-related visitors is extremely low or zero. We currently maintain 103.25 hours service hours per week, all with professional staff.

  • Unfortunately I have not used the Library for anything but an alternate place to hold class.
  • I use the meeting rooms quite often. The staff are helpful in reserving the rooms.

We hope the classrooms have worked well for you.

  • The bathrooms are very clean. Specifically the shower in the basement. Whoever is responsible for cleaning deserves some kudos.

I think more people just found out there is a shower in our basement bathroom!

  • It would be great if the library could establish some workspace for faculty members, like other universities do.
  • This critique probably can’t be fixed, but it’s a shame there aren’t designated research carrels for faculty – probably 6-8 would be plenty – where we could keep library books (accessible to the staff if needed for cadet work) and get out of the office to work on research. The science departments have labs to do work (I assume) but the humanities use the library. It would have been so great if we’d had carrels like the ones in the old library (or like found in many other university libraries). I go to the library several times a week to work so that I can leave the distractions of the office environment, and so I have to take my work with me every time.

We know this is a service that many research libraries offer graduate students and faculty. It is less common for undergraduate libraries (though they often have study carrels for honors students). Unfortunately these were not designed into the facility and retrofitting this sort of space would require significant amount of public use space to be made private-use only.

  • The microfilm readers need to be placed in a dark room. There’s too much glare by the big windows.

Having too much light is not a problem all libraries have. We will continue to look for a way to address this. The biggest issue is making sure all the microfilm also can move with the readers.

  • Recommend an on-line support request process for reserving rooms.

We are working to build an online room reservation form. This will initially support the Haig Room, but our intent is to expand it to all spaces in the library.

  • I never understood why the library has carpet. It seems the cost to clean, maintain and replace would have been better served with a better floor option. For example Thayer Hall.

Carpet is beneficial from a sound management perspective, though keeping it clean is certainly an issue, particularly in the winter. Most academic libraries today are carpeted, though we will continue to watch our higher-traffic areas to consider what types of flooring make sense there.

  • It is very important to keep the library open on a liberal schedule. It is the premiere useful study space on post and its availability is essential in the support of cadets who are striving for excellence.

We work to maximize our hours given the constraints that exist on cadet time. While many academic libraries stay open later, we are required to close prior to TAPS. In compensation, we are open earlier than many other libraries because our cadets are in class earlier than most college students.

  • HOURS: This library has some of the most restrictive hours of any college or university library I have observed. While I understand that this is in part due to the cadet schedule and to funding, some library closures are inexcusable. For instance, there is absolutely no reason that the library should be closed for parades when the library could simply close blinds and allow non-parading cadets and faculty (and faculty research is important, even if our primary focus is cadets) to work. (I understand that this is not a library level decision.)

As noted in the previous response, decisions on library hours are primarily driven by the cadet schedule, and they are certainly more restricted in their time than other college students. The Library closes during parades at the direction of the Superintendent to ensure that the atmosphere of the parade is not disrupted. Keeping people away from the windows during those events is an issue if the facility is open, and many of the visitors are not cadets and faculty, but visitors seeking a better view.

Next week, we’ll look at comments regarding library staff and general thoughts.

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 7 Mar 2014 DAD Diversity Visit Week in Review Corbin Forum 0700-2100
Sat 8 Mar 2014 Corbin Forum 0900-2100
Sun 9 Mar 2014 Daylight Saving Time Begins 1100-2315
Mon 10 Mar 2014 Retirement Ceremony / Opera Forum 0700-2315
Tue 11 Mar 2014 Division Heads 0700-2315
Wed 12 Mar 2014 0700-2315
Thu 13 Mar 2014  Dean’s Staff 0700-2315
Fri 14 Mar 2014 Plebe Parent Weekend Week in Review 0700-2100

USMA Library Metrics

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

3FEB-9FEB 10FEB-16FEB 17FEB-23FEB 24FEB-2MAR
Access Services
Items Charged Out 789 1,216 669 921
Gate Count 3,735 3,666 3,623 5,844
ILL Article Requests 9 22 28 49
ILL Book Requests 27 31 27 19
Administrative Services
DV Tours 0 0 1 0
Significant Events Hosted 2 2 3 2
Events/Meetings Attended 19 17 15 20
Information Gateway
Reference Questions 72 101 37 82
Library Instruction Sessions 1 3 0 1
Cadets Attending Sessions 15 42 0 13
Materials Processing
Items Added – Books 54 61 206 155
Items Added – Digital 0 3,829 429 0
Items Added – GovDocs 68 106 194 146
Items Added – Other 4 26 0 0
Continuing Resource Check-Ins 58 47 161 235
Special Collections & Archives
Reference Inquiries 41 21 31 49
Research Visits < 1 hour 4 8 4 10
Research Visits < 1 day 5 6 5 3
Research Visits > 1 day 2 0 1 0
Instruction Sessions 1 5 2 0
Cadets Taught 17 96 36 0
Systems Management
Library Home Page Visits 3,594 4,870 3,179 4,447
LibGuides Visits 490 759 397 561
Digital Collections Visits 264 270 276 277
Facebook Visits 15 30 14 17
Public Printer Prints 3,754 4,172 3,167 7,849
Public Printer Copies 264 257 303 632
Public Printer Scans 22 11 34 1,531

Food for Thought

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

  • “By evaluating a heap of existing recipes and looking at what flavor-imparting molecules their ingredients contain, the computer can come up with radical combinations. One of the IBM food truck’s current recipes, the “Swiss-Thai Asparagus Quiche,” brings together Swiss gruyère, Greek feta, and Thai curry spices. If IBM keeps churning out combos like that, it’ll give fusion cuisine a run for its money.” – Watch out, creative class: Robots are coming after your jobs, too – Quartz
  • “Shareholder activism on ethical grounds is no new thing, and quite effective in certain areas. The $828.9 billion Government Pension Fund – Global of Norway, for instance, the world’s largest pension fund, excludes certain companies from investment on ethical grounds, and publishes a widely followed blacklist of corporations that it condemns, on grounds ranging from environmental damage to violation of the Geneva Convention. Would it be too difficult to envisage an investor as well as an academic boycott of companies that, for example, oppose open access to scientific research? Think about it.” – Reed Elsevier realizes restricting research raises revenues TeleRead: News and views on e-books, libraries, publishing and related topics
  • “The general picture is even bigger than the question of transferring online courses — it’s the question of transferring any courses,” aid Richard Ekman, president of the Council of Independent Colleges. “Most colleges or universities believe that their own courses are special.” – At Bowdoin and other colleges, online course credit gets a second look | Inside Higher Ed
  • “Examining public data from 279 courses from the most popular MOOC providers (Udacity, Coursera, edX), researcher Katy Jordan finds that the average course enrolls about 43,000 students. About 6.5% of those stick around ’til the end. When looking at the number of students who engaged at least a little bit with course materials, the number of completion jumps to 9.8%.” – Study: Massive Online Courses Enroll An Average Of 43,000 Students, 10% Completion | TechCrunch
  • “If we are to give students the right tools to navigate an increasingly math-driven world, we must teach them early on that mathematics is not just about numbers and how to solve equations but about concepts and ideas. It’s about things like symmetry groups, which physicists have used to predict subatomic particles — from quarks to the Higgs boson — and describe their interactions. Or Riemannian geometry, which goes far beyond the familiar Euclidean geometry, and which enabled Einstein to realize that the space we inhabit is curved. Or clock arithmetic — in which adding four hours to 10 a.m. does not get you to 14 but to 2 p.m. — which forms the basis of modern cryptography, protects our privacy in the digital world and, as we’ve learned, can be easily abused by the powers that be. We also need to convey to students that mathematical truths are objective, persistent and timeless. They are not subject to changing authority, fads or fashion. A mathematical statement is either true or false; it’s something we all agree on. To paraphrase William Blake, mathematics “cleanses the doors of perception.” – How our 1,000-year-old math curriculum cheats America’s kids – latimes.com
  • “42% said they believed a “motherboard” was “the deck of a cruise ship.” A motherboard is usually a circuit board that holds many of the key components of a computer.” – 1 in 10 Americans think HTML is an STD, study finds – latimes.com
  • “It is well known that America’s military dominates both the air and the sea. What’s less celebrated is that the US has also dominated the spectrum, a feat that is just as critical to the success of operations. Communications, navigation, battlefield logistics, precision munitions—all of these depend on complete and unfettered access to the spectrum, territory that must be vigilantly defended from enemy combatants. Having command of electromagnetic waves allows US forces to operate drones from a hemisphere away, guide cruise missiles inland from the sea, and alert patrols to danger on the road ahead. Just as important, blocking enemies from using the spectrum is critical to hindering their ability to cause mayhem, from detonating roadside bombs to organizing ambushes. As tablet computers and semiautonomous robots proliferate on battlefields in the years to come, spectrum dominance will only become more critical. Without clear and reliable access to the electromagnetic realm, many of America’s most effective weapons simply won’t work.” – Inside the New Arms Race to Control Bandwidth on the Battlefield | Threat Level | Wired.com
  • “Angwin says that among other things she bought “a $230 service that encrypted my data in the Internet cloud; a $35 privacy filter to shield my laptop screen from coffee-shop voyeurs; and a $420 subscription to a portable Internet service to bypass untrusted connections,” among other things. While this may seem excessive, Angwin says that it’s worth it to avoid attacks from hackers and to avoid having everything she does online tracked by major tech companies. What this really boils down to is how much you’re willing to let Google, Facebook and other tech firms stalk you.” – The cost of online privacy: $2,200 a year – Yahoo News
  • “Too much of the public discourse on the value of higher education is driven by staid understanding of universities as degree mills that are easily replaced by online counterparts. But there is tremendous value in a campus, and universities would be well served to emphasize it and support its underlying activities. Likewise, MOOCs and other online education platforms need to recognize these factors to truly add or complement their vaue. We need to be careful here, or we really will end up with a situation where there are, as famously predicted, only 10 universities left in the world. Or we end up with a bunch of isolated online courses without a shared culture.” – Colleges Need to Act Like Startups — Or Risk Becoming Obsolete | Wired Opinion | Wired.com
  • “With its single-serving coffee pods, Green Mountain Coffee has transformed the business of brew. Pop a capsule into one of the company’s Keurig machines, and the machine will instantly churn out your daily caffeine dose. But Green Mountain doesn’t want copycats taking the business it pioneered away. That’s why CEO Brian Kelley says its new coffee makers will include technology that prevents people from using pods from other companies. The approach has been compared to DRM restrictions that limit the sharing of digital music and video online. But more than just curbing your coffee choices, Green Mountain’s protections portend the kind of closed system that could gut the early promise of the Internet of Things — a promise that hinges on a broad network of digital, connected devices remaking the everyday world.” – Why Copyrighted Coffee May Cripple the Internet of Things | Wired Business | Wired.com
  • “We are facing one of the biggest struggles of our times: the challenge for institutions is to treat their stakeholders (e.g users, employees, consumers, audience) as humans, not as data points.” – Tricia Wang “The Conceit of Oracles

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