Category Archives: Week in Review

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

Week in Review – 28 February 2014

Library Survey Comments: Collections and Digital Collections

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 collections and digital collections. Comments are listed by bullets and responses are in green italic text.

  • Special Collections digital offerings could be easier to navigate and added to more frequently. Would like for the recent Superintendent reports to be on-line. Also all Howitzers. Seems like the library should have a UFR in place to digitize more of Special Collections each year.
  • I have had problems getting a clear view of what we have in the special collections. For instance, whose papers/personal documents, etc are available to us.

We agree. Technology has not helped our digital collection initiatives as the software repository we use has been extremely unreliable for several years. This spring we plan to move these collections to a new off-site hosting provider that should significantly improve our ability to maintain and add to these collections. We also are prioritizing staff work in the area of digital metadata creation that will allow us to broaden efforts to provide digital collections. We do have many finding aids for special collections and archives available on our website currently.

  • For EECS, the key services are the IEEE and ACM online digital libraries. These are expensive but essential. The Library’s paper collection is nearly useless for our needs. AKO provides valuable access to the 24×7 Referenceware collection of pop technical material. When similar material in other collections is needed for projects and research, we include it in the project budget. The Library’s paper collections of such material are too thin and out-of-date to be useful. This is okay. Books like this have a useful life of perhaps 3-5 years and shrinking, and perhaps a thousand would have to be on hand to provide a reasonable chance that cadets and faculty members could find what they need. In fact, I suggest the Library stop further purchases of such material in these lean times. There is very little ROI. The upshot is that the main value of the physical library to the EECS disciplines is as a beautiful study space for individuals and groups.

We understand the disciplinary differences in the value of print collections and we do try to adjust collection policies and practices accordingly. That said, we do not want to forsake any area of the collection and welcome suggestions of core titles, publishers, and subjects to inform your departmental academic support statement.

  • It would be interesting to see if anyone uses the books.

They do! In 2012-13 we circulated more than 56,000 items from our monograph, DVD, and audiovisual collections.

  • I know the library does not have large collections due to lack of funds and space, but I feel the staff does a great job finding resources we need via library loan or other methods. The staff is very responsive to our needs.

Space is actually not a problem for us … though funding often is.

  • I find myself using the AKO Safari Books Online resources or my account at the last university I was at.

We also recommend using resources available on AKO. If there are things you think we should have here locally though, please let us know.

  • I have never used the library since I can get all of the journal articles I need on line. If I need a book, I usually just buy it.

No need to buy things yourself (unless you really want to build your own library, which we certainly understand). Just let your library liaison know what you need.

  • Will you please get Web of Science? This can help students find interconnected sources, and as an instructor I could quickly check a student’s sources to see if they hit all the main references – particularly on a subject on which I am not well-versed. I used this in grad school and it was a super-big time saver.

We have had Web of Science in the past, though it has not been identified as a top, mission-critical resource. Cost of this resource is also a consideration (in the mid-five-figure neighborhood for USMA). We are always committed to finding ways to acquire mission-essential resources. Please make sure those items are included in your academic support statements and that your liaison is aware of the need.

  • Subscribe to more journals.
  • Expand digital access to science journals
  • Increase the availability of full content electronic media.
  • More digital access to engineering peer reviewed journals
  • There have been a few journal titles and books that aren’t available in my work in environmental sociology, but I would imagine there is very little need for these.
  • The most important service for me is subscriptions to online journals. Specifically physics (lasers and optics)
  • More is always better in terms of journal access. I use a wide variety, so I can’t recommend any one particular journal.
  • I would like to see the catalog expand significantly by following input by faculty regarding what they would like to have access to.
  • I wish there were more audio book available from the consortium of associated web libraries. Other than that, great library that more should utilize.
  • Foreign movies in the 8 languages that we teach would be a welcome addition. Must have English subtitles.
  • Printed magazines in different languages. Sometimes it’s easier to grab the magazine and read rather than turn on the computer, connect to wireless (not always reliable), find the website, open the document and start reading. Thanks!
  • I would like to see more published primary works, especially English ones like the Calendar of State Papers and the Historical Manuscripts Commission collections. These would allow cadets access to published primary documents from government sources and officials, especially for the 17th through 19th centuries.
  • Digital access to journals and digests speeds up research, but cost may be prohibitive. There are several electronic resources that this institute SHOULD have, and to its credit, the MUST HAVES are being addressed.
  • I work in a science that is poorly represented with respect to percentage of faculty as well as cadet interests in specializing in the field at West Point. I do understand that. However, I would expect that — am I to be producing research results at par with colleagues from other departments — the library resources in my field would be more helpful to me in accomplishing my goals.
  • Last year (AY13) a cadet did complain to me the library had no or very few books on physical training.

When budgets allow, we do acquire new monographs, journals, and audiovisual materials when requested to do so. Please make sure you have submitted a request through your liaison for any materials you wish to see added. Also make sure your departmental academic support statement accurately includes materials you feel are essential to support the curriculum.

  • Please keep the electronic access to many journals…that has assisted me greatly in work here.
  • The only service I use is the digital subscriptions to IEEE and ACM.
  • Online resources such as IEEE, ACM, and others are essential. Please sustain!
  • Please continue the access to digital subscriptions, especially the engineering resources such as IEEE eXplore. While expensive, they are the most valuable resource the library offers to my engineering students.

We intend to keep as much as we can that is useful. Please make sure your departmental academic support statement accurately reflects the priorities you have for content so we can be sure you have what you need.

  • Get rid of the print journals and invest more into online access. Our online access to science journals is embarrassing.

Hopefully you have recently noticed our changes on the second floor in the current periodicals area where it is clear how few journals we now acquire in paper. While we have reduced our paper subscriptions, we have steadily increased our electronic subscriptions. We now provide access to tens of thousands of full text journals. If there are specific titles or packages you feel are mission, please let your liaison know and add them to your department’s academic support statement.

  • Put far more funding into electronic resources.

More than 90% of our appropriated funding for library resources is allocated to digital products.

  • I would like to see more NY Times Bestseller non-fiction books make it to the library more quickly. Books by authors such as Malcom Gladwell and books on topics in higher education. Could you have more new releases and not just mostly books on war and military?

Your request is noted and we will look at acquiring these sorts of titles more rapidly.

  • It would be nice to have Naxos (Digital Music Library) access again.

Naxos is a great product and if there are curricular requirements for this, please let us know.

  • I think the process for faculty to suggest book/periodical purchases is cumbersome and awkward. I’m not sure why I have to go through my dept library liaison–why can’t that email just go to the library?

Individual academic departments set up their own internal processes for requesting materials among their faculty. In some departments, faculty are encouraged to directly work with their library liaison. We recommend you work with your colleagues to streamline the process.

  • The foreign language collection (especially for my language) is very weak. It is difficult to request new books for purchase. Also, I would like to see the ability to put books used in courses on reserve, but if the library does not have the book that I need in the first place, it therefore wouldn’t be able to reserve it. We use the library as a source for the capstone and research papers primarily, which is a shame as it could be a much better resource for other courses if the resources were there.

Please suggest some titles or specific subject areas for your language, and work with your department and library liaison to make the process for requesting materials more efficient. As noted in the response previous to this one, we can accept requests just about any way your department wants to coordinate sending them. We do offer course reserves, and can order materials to be placed there for courses. Just let us know what you need.

  • The resources allocated to collection development continue to be woefully inadequate for a premiere undergraduate research library.

It is true that our funding levels are below those of the institutions that we consider our peers. See our annual Program Review for more data and discussion on this. It is a point routinely raised by the Library.

  • Seems like the shelves have a lot of old versions but lack newer nonfiction books, especially if they are not directly related to military history or policy. While it’s great to retain these older books, some of them have outdated material that is not useful for researching the current status of a particular topic. Sorry to be so vague…I have found this across the board, whether travel books, social policy, military retirement, women’s issues…
  • A lot of the books are outdated.

Your comment is noted, and we have just completed a collection analysis that will allow us to do some more accurate and data-based management of our collection, particularly the items that are unused and easily available from other locations. While space is not a limiting factor for us, making the shelves useful and browseable is valuable. We agree that making sure that the materials found there are relevant is important.

  • Please resubscribe to StratFor. There are a number of strategic studies resources that approach it, but none quite meets the quality and timeliness of this source.

We would recommend working with a librarian so we can learn exactly what you are seeking to find. In many cases, the content in Stratfor is available freely on the web from other sources.

  • Don’t overdo the public functions (meetings, displays) at the expense of collections holding.

Maintaining the best resources to support the curriculum and ensuring that our users are trained to use those resources will remain our top priorities.

  • I rated the library’s collection adequate because in the field I study – military history – the library seems to retain a fair number of books and scholarship from 20-30 years past and fewer of the cutting edge scholarship. Suggestion: reach out to the humanities departments and ask whether they would like faculty to volunteer to help advise the library on specific subject areas. For example, I study the French empire in the 19th and 20th centuries. I would be happy, if asked to review the library’s collection and make a list of books that should stay, books that are somewhat outdated and could go to storage, and some new books to order. I would probably recommend that some older books both stay and go. Of course this runs the problem of creating a library that caters to particular faculty interests, but maybe we could at least help advise on some of the major categories. I have no idea if other university libraries do this, or how it is that they maintain the best collections.

Please see the other responses regarding collection management. This is an ongoing issue and partnering with faculty and subject-area experts is certainly a possibility and is beneficial. We will promote this with our liaisons, and you should feel free to contact yours directly to discuss this in more detail.

Next week, we’ll look at comments regarding library services and facilities.

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 Feb 2014 Holocaust Remembrance Day Dean’s Recognition Ceremony Week in Review West Point Security Conference (Model UN) 0700-2100
Sat 1 Mar 2014 West Point Security Conference (Model UN) 0900-2100
Sun 2 Mar 2014 West Point Security Conference (Model UN) 1100-2315
Mon 3 Mar 2014 0700-2315
Tue 4 Mar 2014 Division Heads 0700-2315
Wed 5 Mar 2014  Dean’s Staff Liaisons 0700-2315
Thu 6 Mar 2014  Founders Day Dinner / DAD Diversity Visit  Bassett Farewell / All Library Staff Corbin Forum 0700-2315
Fri 7 Mar 2014 DAD Diversity Visit Week in Review Corbin Forum 0700-2100

USMA Library Metrics

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

27JAN-2FEB 3FEB-9FEB 10FEB-16FEB 17FEB-23FEB
Access Services
Items Charged Out 572 789 1,216 669
Gate Count 3,766 3,735 3,666 3,623
ILL Article Requests 32 9 22 28
ILL Book Requests 20 27 31 27
Administrative Services
DV Tours 1 0 0 1
Significant Events Hosted 2 2 2 3
Events/Meetings Attended 26 19 17 15
Information Gateway
Reference Questions 21 72 101 37
Library Instruction Sessions 5 1 3 0
Cadets Attending Sessions 77 15 42 0
Materials Processing
Items Added – Books 88 54 61 206
Items Added – Digital 1 0 3,829 429
Items Added – GovDocs 280 68 106 194
Items Added – Other 13 4 26 0
Continuing Resource Check-Ins 80 58 47 161
Special Collections & Archives
Reference Inquiries 41 41 21 31
Research Visits < 1 hour 7 4 8 4
Research Visits < 1 day 2 5 6 5
Research Visits > 1 day 0 2 0 1
Instruction Sessions 7 1 5 2
Cadets Taught 103 17 96 36
Systems Management
Library Home Page Visits 2,817 3,594 4,870 3,179
LibGuides Visits 387 490 759 397
Digital Collections Visits 257 264 270 276
Facebook Visits 15 30 14
Public Printer Prints 3,350 3,754 4,172 3,167
Public Printer Copies 350 264 257 303
Public Printer Scans 29 22 11 34

Food for Thought

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

  • “To be sure, Berkeley is an exception: according to the National Science Foundation, just 18.4% of computer science degrees were given to women (as of 2010), a trend that has been steadily decreasing since 1991, when it was a more impressive 29.6%. In an email, Professor Dan Garcia, who taught the Berkeley course last spring, tells us that he attributes the gender flip to a drastic transformation in the curriculum, including team-based project learning, opened-sourced materials, and opportunities to become teaching assistants. “The course & curriculum really does capture the “Beauty and Joy” of computing; learning can be a lot of fun,” he writes.” – Women Outnumber Men For The First Time In Berkeley’s Intro To Computer Science Course | TechCrunch
  • “The federal government subsidizes this academic aristocracy (made more exclusive by elite highly endowed schools giving admission preferences for children of alumni) in several ways. Big endowments such as Harvard’s probably often reap at least $1 billion annually from capital gains. They pay no income taxes on those gains; individuals pay 23.8 percent. They also pay no income taxes on dividend and interest income. The donations that form the endowments are deductible against donor income taxes, giving rich people the incentive to give to their already rich colleges, which in turn give preferences to alumni children.” – Cut Off Harvard to Save America – Bloomberg
  • “In 1984, it cost $10,000 a year to go to Duke University. Today, it’s $60,000 a year. “It’s staggering,” says Duke freshman Max Duncan, “especially considering that’s for four years.” But according to Jim Roberts, executive vice provost at Duke, that’s actually a discount. “We’re investing on average about $90,000 in the education of each student,” he says. Roberts is not alone in making the claim. In fact, it’s one most elite research institutions point to when asked about rising tuition.” – Duke: $60,000 A Year For College Is Actually A Discount : Planet Money : NPR
  • “Success can come from being in the right place at the right time. But it usually takes years spent building a culture, facilitating talent, making investment, and then seizing on the right moment.” – What the Netherlands’ complete dominance in speed skating says about success – Quartz
  • “The deal will also transform the debate over network neutrality regulation. Officially, Comcast’s deal with Netflix is about interconnection, not traffic discrimination. But it’s hard to see a practical difference between this deal and the kind of tiered access that network neutrality advocates have long feared. Network neutrality advocates are going to have to go back to the drawing board.” – Comcast’s deal with Netflix makes network neutrality obsolete
  • “The college of about 600 undergraduates announced last month it will eliminate 22 of its 52 faculty positions; it has cut 23 staff members and 16 of its 31 academic programs. College President Steven Titus said the goal of the cuts, which trimmed $3 million from a $20 million operating budget, are to get the college ready to grow. “We think there are opportunities to really move from a small local residential liberal arts college to a more regional institution,” Titus said. Others are less optimistic about what the cuts mean for the future of Iowa Wesleyan, a 171-year-old college in southeast Iowa.” – After deep cuts, can Iowa Wesleyan rebound? | Inside Higher Ed
  • “About 11.5% of student loan balances are 90 days delinquent or in default and that figure is often reported low because it does not include student loans in deferment or forbearance and the reason the loans are in that status is because people can’t afford them.” – Student Loans Continue to Be Ticking Time Bomb | Steve Rhode
  • “In an effort to increase access to this data, we are now revising our data-sharing policy for all PLOS journals: authors must make all data publicly available, without restriction, immediately upon publication of the article. Beginning March 3rd, 2014, all authors who submit to a PLOS journal will be asked to provide a Data Availability Statement, describing where and how others can access each dataset that underlies the findings. This Data Availability Statement will be published on the first page of each article.” – PLOS’ New Data Policy: Public Access to Data – EveryONE
  • “Sixteen of the papers appeared in publications by Springer, and more than 100 were published by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. The fraudulent papers were identified by Cyril Labbé, a computer scientist at Joseph Fourier University, in Grenoble, France. He developed a way to detect manuscripts produced by software called SCIgen. The program, invented by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2005, builds papers from randomly combined strings of words. Its inventors created it to prove that conferences would easily accept fraudulent papers.” – Publishers Withdraw More Than 120 Fake, Computer-Generated Papers – The Ticker – Blogs – The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • “Convenience technologies supposedly free us to focus on what matters, but sometimes the part that matters is what gets eliminated. Everyone knows that it is easier to drive to the top of a mountain than to hike; the views may be the same, but the feeling never is. By the same logic, we may evolve into creatures that can do more but find that what we do has somehow been robbed of the satisfaction we hoped it might contain.” – Why Making Technology Easier to Use Isn’t Always Good : The New Yorker
  • “What surprised us,” says Susanna Loeb, a professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Education, “was how clear the distinction was between math and English language arts, with math teachers teaching almost exclusively subject-specific skills and English teachers teaching skills that affect students’ later outcomes across other subjects.” The researchers examined the performances of 700,000 students in New York City in third through eighth grade from 2003 to 2010.” – Good English teachers improve math scores for students | Futurity
  • “University administrators have discovered that, to a remarkable degree, the more they charge for what they’re offering, the more people will want to buy it.” – How a Louis Vuitton bag can explain the higher education bubble – The Week

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

Week in Review – 21 February 2014

Library Survey Data: Library Services, Facilities, and Staff Meeting and Exceeding Mission Needs

This past semester, the Library Committee of Faculty Council conducted a survey of faculty regarding library services and resources designed to help inform the ABET self-study process underway this year. We’re spending a few weeks looking at some of the data results and considering how these can inform our work and programs. This week, we look at data on quality of services, facilities and staff. Some notable findings:

  • Overall, quality of services, facilities, and staff is very high across the board.
  • Faculty see the quality of digital resources as higher than print resources.
  • Two-thirds of faculty see our tools for finding information (e.g. Scout) as meeting their needs and only 6% are dissatisfied. 26% of faculty don’t know about these systems.
  • The weakest area of knowledge among faculty is the process for requesting and ordering new materials. Only 47% expressed satisfaction with this process, while 46% indicated they are unaware of how to go about doing this. Only 6% expressed dissatisfaction.
  • Library facilities are seen as extremely good with 93% of faculty indicated they meet requirements. Only 2% indicated dissatisfaction with facilities.
  • The quality of library staff is indicated to be extremely high with 83% of respondents indicating staff meet or exceed their expectations of service with only 3% indicating dissatisfaction. 12% indicated that they do not know library staff in order to provide an assessment.

The biggest area of opportunity for the library as seen through this data is improved communication on how to acquire new materials. This also was an issue routinely raised in the comments (which we will see next week). USMA does have a smaller print collection than a school of our age and size would normally have. As we continue to acquire and pursue acquisition of deeper electronic backfiles of content, this will go a long way to improving access, however USMA also has excellent networks from which to gather materials to support the curriculum and in many cases relying upon those networks is the most cost efficient path to acquisition.

LibrarySurvey2013.006LibrarySurvey2013.007LibrarySurvey2013.008LibrarySurvey2013.009LibrarySurvey2013.010LibrarySurvey2013.011LibrarySurvey2013.012

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 21 Feb 2014 100th Night Weekend Week in Review 0700-2100
Sat 22 Feb 2014 100th Night Weekend Admissions/Football Academic Brief 0900-2100
Sun 23 Feb 2014 1100-2315
Mon 24 Feb 2014  Opera Forum 0700-2315
Tue 25 Feb 2014 Division Heads 0700-2315
Wed 26 Feb 2014  Kermit Roosevelt Lecture  / African American History Observance Communications Team 0700-2315
Thu 27 Feb 2014  Dean’s Staff West Point Security Conference (Model UN) 0700-2315
Fri 28 Feb 2014 Holocaust Remembrance Day Dean’s Recognition Ceremony Week in Review West Point Security Conference (Model UN) 0700-2100

USMA Library Metrics

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

20JAN-26JAN 27JAN-2FEB 3FEB-9FEB 10FEB-16FEB
Access Services
Items Charged Out 521 572 789
Gate Count 3,143 3,766 3,735 3,666
ILL Article Requests 19 32 9 22
ILL Book Requests 30 20 27 31
Administrative Services
DV Tours 0 1 0 0
Significant Events Hosted 1 2 2 2
Events/Meetings Attended 19 26 19 17
Information Gateway
Reference Questions 31 21 72 101
Library Instruction Sessions 8 5 1 3
Cadets Attending Sessions 79 77 15 42
Materials Processing
Items Added – Books 46 88 54 61
Items Added – Digital 0 1 0 3,829
Items Added – GovDocs 339 280 68 106
Items Added – Other 10 13 4 26
Continuing Resource Check-Ins 66 80 58 47
Special Collections & Archives
Reference Inquiries 40 41 41 21
Research Visits < 1 hour 9 7 4 8
Research Visits < 1 day 5 2 5 6
Research Visits > 1 day 0 0 2 0
Instruction Sessions 2 7 1 5
Cadets Taught 24 103 17 96
Systems Management
Library Home Page Visits 3,168 2,817 3,594 4,870
LibGuides Visits 414 387 490 759
Digital Collections Visits 260 257 264 270
Facebook Visits 15 30
Public Printer Prints 2,642 3,350 3,754 4,172
Public Printer Copies 378 350 264 257
Public Printer Scans 23 29 22 11

Food for Thought

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

  • “As classrooms become more electronically connected, public schools around the country are exploring whether they can use virtual learning as a practical solution to unpredictable weather, effectively transforming the traditional snow day into a day of instruction. About a third of school districts in the United States already have “significant one-to-one initiatives,” where students and teachers are given laptops and can work away from school on some assignments, said Ann Flynn, the director of education technology at the National School Boards Association. A byproduct “could be their application in times of health crises or in weather emergencies,” Ms. Flynn said.”Snow Day? That’s Great. Now Log In. Get to Class. – NYTimes.com
  • “We are transforming the entire university,” said Linda Schott, Presque Isle’s president. “In the next four years, for sure, all of our programs will be proficiency-based.” That means students will progress through in-person, online and hybrid degree programs by demonstrating that they are proficient in required concepts, which faculty members will work to develop. Schott said the university will start by converting general education requirements, and then move to majors.” – University of Maine at Presque Isle drops grades for proficiencies across its curriculums | Inside Higher Ed
  • “The Internet from every angle has always been a house of cards held together with defective duct tape. It’s a miracle that anything works at all. Those who understand a lot of the technology involved generally hate it, but at the same time are astounded that for end users, things seem to usually work rather well.” – Insane Coding: HTTP 308 Incompetence Expected
  • “A joint research group consisting of NASA and the MIT Lincoln Lab have been successfully shooting lasers full of internet back and forth from a spacecraft orbiting the Moon since October. The results of this laser based communication system showed a possible 622MB per second (that’s megabit, not megabyte) transmission rate. These speeds are affected by a number of variables, including the position of the spaceship relative to the Sun and the condition of the atmosphere at the time of transmission. Unlike some forms of laser communication, this transmission post has proven it can even transmit data through thin clouds. In one test an HD video was sent to the Moon and back in 7 seconds, an impressively short trip compared to how long it takes to fire up Netflix here on Earth.” – The moon now has a better internet connection than you do | Science! | Geek.com
  • “For the paper industry, the stakes are high. The digital age has ravaged sales of envelopes, office paper, catalogues and pulp products, with industry analysts saying that demand for paper products dropped 5 percent on average in each of the past five years. Mills have closed, and thousands of employees have been laid off. So Consumers for Paper Options and industry officials have raised the banner of the digital divide, warning that putting government services online is creating hurdles for many Americans. Runyan said his group is not against technology but rather is for choice: “If there are Americans who can’t use an iPhone to navigate the Internet, there ought to be an option for them.” – Group tries to slow federal government’s move away from paper to the Web – The Washington Post
  • “The report, “Academic Libraries: 2012,” provides an array of statistics about the status of academic libraries. Comparing the data for 2012 to those from a comparable report in 2008 reveals some trends about the shape of their collections and staffs, among other things. Among them: The 3,793 academic libraries had just under 1.099 billion books in their collections, compared to 1.052 billion held by the 3,827 academic libraries in 2008. In 2008, the libraries had 102 million ebooks, less than 10 percent the size of their paper collections. In 2012, they had 250 million ebooks, almost 25 percent the size of their paper collections. The libraries had 93,438 FTE staff in 2008, including 27,000 librarians, about 7,500 full-time-equivalent professional staff, and about 24,000 student assistants. Those numbers had dropped by 2012, to 85,752 full-time-equivalent employees, about 26,000 librarians, and about 20,500 student assistants.” – Academic Libraries’ Collections, Employees and Services | Inside Higher Ed
  • “The radio station’s entire physical music collection—more than 50 years’ worth of accumulation—is now part of the Fine Arts Library’s Historical Music Recordings Collection. The library’s collection, which already had some 200,000 items in all formats, is one of the largest in the nation. The rare transaction came after KUTX, KUT’s music outlet, digitized its music holdings. The digitizing project began more than a year ago in preparation for the station’s move from quarters on the campus to a brand-new building nearby.” – U. of Texas Library Buys 64,000 CDs and LPs From Campus Radio Station – Wired Campus – Blogs – The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • “I probably shouldn’t say this, but I will. Had we been transparent about this from the outset right after 9/11—which is the genesis of the 215 program—and said both to the American people and to their elected representatives, we need to cover this gap, we need to make sure this never happens to us again, so here is what we are going to set up, here is how it’s going to work, and why we have to do it, and here are the safeguards… We wouldn’t have had the problem we had. What did us in here, what worked against us was this shocking revelation. I don’t think it would be of any greater concern to most Americans than fingerprints. Well people kind of accept that because they know about it. But had we been transparent about it and say here’s one more thing we have to do as citizens for the common good, just like we have to go to airports two hours early and take our shoes off, all the other things we do for the common good, this is one more thing.” – Clapper: We should have disclosed NSA bulk data collection in 2001 | Ars Technica
  • “The authors looked at 1.5 million papers published in the US from 1985-2008. The biggest change they found was in the frequency of Chinese names among authors, which jumped from 4.79% in 1985 to 14.45% in 2006. English names dropped from 56.6% in 1985 to 45.56% in 2008. European names dropped from 13.47% to 11.18% over the same period. But even as diversity increased, the authors found a significant degree of homophily or a tendency to associate with similar people in scientific research. US scientists of the same ethnicity end up co-authoring papers with each other at a significantly higher rate. Yet, publishing with other authors of the same ethnicity was associated with papers that appeared in lower impact journals and fewer citations.” – Here’s what you can tell from the names at the top of a research paper – Quartz
  • “Human intelligence is so multifaceted, so complex, so varied, that no standardized testing system can be expected to capture it,” says William Hiss, the study’s main author. Hiss is the former dean of admissions at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine — one of the nation’s first test-optional schools — and has been conducting similar research for a number of years.” – New Study: SAT Scores Have No Bearing On College Success | MindShift
  • “The researchers found that there is only one aspect of work that “results in happiness levels that are similar to those experienced when not working”—casual interactions with colleagues. In other words, the only part of work we seem not rank above the flu is socializing at work. So if the best way to be happy at work is to chat with your colleagues, why aren’t we encouraging more socializing? Well, because it’s business. And business, for the most part, still operates under the principle of efficiency to drive productivity.” – How The Knowledge Economy Is Redefining Work | Fast Company | Business Innovation
  • “Since the crowdfunding campaign began on Feb. 10, the project has raised just over $2,000. If they can raise the other $48,000 within the next 52 days, they plan to print the contents of English Wikipedia as a collection of 1,000 books of 1,200 pages each. If that doesn’t help quantify Wikipedia’s size for you, keep in mind that the first volume of this alphabetically organized reference set will only cover A through A76 Motorway. Unlike traditional print encyclopedia sets, this one will not be hawked door-to-door by salesmen. The plan is to display the printed version in a case more than 32 feet long and 8 feet high at the annual Wikimania conference in London in August. If there is interest beyond that, the set may then go on an exhibition tour around the world.” – The Daily Dot – These guys are raising money for a 1,193,014-page paper Wikipedia
  • “It’s complicated in that there are copyright laws and licensing provisions that we have to make sure the software complies with,” Ms. Blake says. “We didn’t really have a model for how it’s supposed to work.” Librarians worry about being sued for copyright violations by publishers, who fear they’ll lose sales if they allow e-book lending. “It’s scary and kind of the Wild West,” she says.” – Library Consortium Tests Interlibrary Loans of e-Books – Technology – The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • “This is the challenge for instructors: to design courses so that students will be intrinsically motivated. How do we do this? Lang recommends working to connect your course material to issues your students are already interested in; centering courses around challenging and intriguing questions, rather than around mere material to be covered; and providing a variety of forms of assessment to give students a number of opportunities to demonstrate their mastery to you. However you do it, some careful planning before the semester starts can help create a course in which students are motivated to learn, and don’t feel the need to cheat.” – Why Students Cheat—and 3 Ways to Stop Them | Vitae
  • “Best-selling author James Patterson is giving away $1 million of his own money to independent bookstores. On Wednesday, Patterson announced the first round of 55 stores to receive over $267,000 in funds. The remaining $750,000 will be given out in stages throughout the year. Patterson’s publisher, Hachette Book Group, released a statement saying the author feels that bookstores are vital to communities and that they leave a lasting love of reading in children and adults.” – Author James Patterson giving $1M to bookstores – Yahoo News
  • “[T]he statements were and still are supported by reputable secondary sources,” wrote Wikimedia Foundation lawyer Michelle Paulson in a blog post published Friday. “The Greek Wikipedia community decided, through discussion, that they were appropriate for the article. Mr. Katsanevas has ignored these facts and is now using the legal system against those who do not share his financial means and influence.” Liourdis, who writes on Greek Wikipedia as “Diu,” faces monetary and criminal penalties over the article he edited. The article mentions that Katsanevas was called a “family disgrace” in the will of his father-in-law, former Greek Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou. In the will, Papandreou also accused Katsanevas of trying to exploit his name to further his political ambitions.” – Wikipedia mounts courtroom defense for editor sued by politician | Ars Technica
  • “Information literacy combines a repertoire of abilities, practices, and dispositions focused on expanding one’s understanding of the information ecosystem, with the proficiencies of finding, using and analyzing information, scholarship, and data to answer questions, develop new ones, and create new knowledge, through ethical participation in communities of learning and scholarship.” – A new definition of information literacy as outlined in the Framework for Information Literacy in Higher Education, part one of which was released in draft form today. The Framework is the result of an ACRL task force updating the 14-year-old Information Literacy Competency Standards.
  • “The project’s backers say knowledge is a human right—one they intend to provide even in countries where dictators have thus far limited access. “We exist to support the flow of independent news, information, and debate that people need to build free, thriving societies,” said Peter Whitehead, president of the Media Development Investment Fund, Outernet’s backer. “It enables fuller participation in public life, holds the powerful to account and protects the rights of the individual.” – There are billions of people without internet access. What if they get it from space? – Quartz

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

Week in Review – 14 February 2014

Library Survey Data: Faculty Most Expect Library Use for Deeper Research Projects

This past semester, the Library Committee of Faculty Council conducted a survey of faculty regarding library services and resources designed to help inform the ABET self-study process underway this year. We’re spending a few weeks looking at some of the data results and considering how these can inform our work and programs. This week, we look at data on what types of assignments faculty expect cadets to use library resources. Some notable findings:

  • Overall, faculty expect the library to best support the curriculum through deeper research assignments (e.g. research papers and projects).
  • Overall, faculty do not expect the library to play an integral role in daily class work (e.g. homework or writs/WPR/TEEs).
  • Among faculty who expect library use for research papers, humanities, behavioral science, social sciences, military studies, and physical education faculty are most likely to expect cadet library use (69% of respondents)
  • Among faculty who expect library use for homework, math and science faculty are most likely to expect cadet library use (29% of respondents).
  • Among faculty who expect library use for projects, engineering faculty are most likely to expect cadet library use (63% of respondents).
  • Expectations of library use for cadet honors theses are remarkably low in all disciplines with a high of 36% in humanities/social sciences-related fields. This could perhaps be due to not all faculty overseeing honors theses and therefore not having expectations for their cadets for that purpose.

LibrarySurvey2013.004 LibrarySurvey2013.005

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 Feb 2014 MP Change of Command Week in Review 0700-2100
Sat 15 Feb 2014 Admissions/Football Academic Brief 0900-2100
Sun 16 Feb 2014 1300-2100
Mon 17 Feb 2014  Presidents Day 1300-2315
Tue 18 Feb 2014 Division Heads 0700-2315
Wed 19 Feb 2014 Dean’s Staff  Liasons 0700-2315
Thu 20 Feb 2014 0700-2315
Fri 21 Feb 2014 100th Night Weekend  Dean’s Recognition Ceremony Week in Review DMI Event 0700-2100

USMA Library Metrics

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

13JAN-19JAN 20JAN-26JAN 27JAN-2FEB 3FEB-9FEB
Access Services
Items Charged Out 298 521 572 789
Gate Count 3,456 3,143 3,766 3,735
ILL Article Requests 19 19 32 9
ILL Book Requests 12 30 20 27
Administrative Services
DV Tours 0 0 1 0
Significant Events Hosted 3 1 2 2
Events/Meetings Attended 25 19 26 19
Information Gateway
Reference Questions 20 31 21 72
Library Instruction Sessions 14 8 5 1
Cadets Attending Sessions 186 79 77 15
Materials Processing
Items Added – Books 83 46 88 54
Items Added – Digital 733 0 1 0
Items Added – GovDocs 97 339 280 68
Items Added – Other 0 10 13 4
Continuing Resource Check-Ins 79 66 80 58
Special Collections & Archives
Reference Inquiries 36 40 41 41
Research Visits < 1 hour 5 9 7 4
Research Visits < 1 day 1 5 2 5
Research Visits > 1 day 0 0 0 2
Instruction Sessions 1 2 7 1
Cadets Taught 15 24 103 17
Systems Management
Library Home Page Visits 3,014 3,168 2,817 3,594
LibGuides Visits 360 414 387 490
Digital Collections Visits 238 260 257 264
Facebook Visits 20 15
Public Printer Prints 5,824 2,642 3,350 3,754
Public Printer Copies 215 378 350 264
Public Printer Scans 25 23 29 22

Food for Thought

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

  • “The fact that there are more PhD candidates than academic jobs isn’t necessarily a market failure; it can potentially suit both sides. As a PhD student, for several years you’re paid to study something you care about and learn how to think creatively. In return, the university gets cheap teaching labor. That may be a reasonable trade. The failure happens at the end when many skilled, smart people feel trapped in the lowest tier of academia. The process could work better if universities acknowledged the realities, stopped brainwashing students, and did more to prepare them for jobs outside of academia.”Get a PhD—but leave academia as soon as you graduate – Quartz
  • “The fact that people increasingly use the Internet with a smartphone, and only a smartphone, has disrupted television, books and news, among other things, and media companies have scrambled to adjust. Wikipedia, the world’s fifth-largest website, but one with a relatively minuscule operating budget, has been especially slow to adapt to a mobile world. Knowledge Pace Changes and additions to Wikipedia have declined, possibly because of a shift to mobile platforms, where users are far less likely to edit entries in the online encyclopedia. Percentage change from the previous year in the number of Wikipedia edits, by month 100 % 50 –50 Jan. ’12 July ’12 Jan. ’13 July ’13 A high level of bot activity related to a new Wikimedia project caused an unusual spike in March. Source: Wikimedia Foundation Only 20 percent of the readership of the English-language Wikipedia comes via mobile devices, a figure substantially lower than the percentage of mobile traffic for other media sites, many of which approach 50 percent. And the shift to mobile editing has lagged even more. Just 1 percent of changes to Wikipedia articles in all the more than 250 languages are made via mobile devices; for example, since July, there have been 200,000 mobile English-language edits, compared with 20 million total edits.” – Wikipedia vs. the Small Screen – NYTimes.com
  • “Our main purpose of achieving excellence is attracting the best human talent. If we have the best human talent, then the $100 million will come, because they will be winners in writing grants, they will excite philanthropic donors to give Caltech funding and they will increase the visibility of the whole institute.” What this means is that decision-makers at Caltech spend “an enormous amount of time making sure that we identify the best available and have the resources to attract them”, Rosakis continues. “We take our hiring to be our first priority. We hire people and we give them everything they need to succeed. Other places would hire three or four people for the same position and let them compete. We trust that we have made a good choice, and we give them enough gold so that they cannot say that they failed [for lack of] material resources.” – Caltech: secrets of the world’s number one university | Features | Times Higher Education
  • “Supporting operations through the sale of works of art fundamentally undermines the core role of the arts in education and the integrity of an educational institution. Preserving public trust is critical to all nonprofit institutions,” the letter said. “Treating art as a fungible asset and using collections to pay for operating expenses will also significantly undermine future fund-raising for operations. If a museum or university can meet its short term operating needs by selling art, why would a donor bother giving money when there are so many other nonprofits facing severe financial challenges? Selling art to support operations is not viable as a long-term financial strategy; it is the equivalent of spending down endowment principal.” – College sells painting for $25 million to build endowment | Inside Higher Ed
  • “Authenticity on the web is a slippery idea. Deep down we all want it (that’s human nature!), but earnestness on social media isn’t just uncomfortable, it’s embarrassing. Sites like Facebook and Twitter have conditioned us to believe that we deserve to be listened to—not just by our family and intimate circle of confidants, but also by the 900 “friends” we have on Facebook. The things we share tend to be superficial, impersonal and self-promotional. There’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, I’d argue that’s the way it should be. Those 900 friends on Facebook aren’t our therapists, so there’s no reason we should act like they are. But Bader and Byttow like to believe there’s a place for a more authentic web, and they hope Secret will give rise to it. In this imagined digital utopia, snark will be replaced with self-awareness and kindness. Under a thin veil of anonymity, people will be able to say what’s on their mind no matter how cheesy, horrifying or lame it might be.” – Secrecy Is the Key to the Next Phase of Social Networking | Wired Design | Wired.com
  • “At the moment, those people are obsessed with how they read books—whether it’s on a Kindle or an iPad or on printed pages. This conversation, though important, takes place in the shallows and misses the deeper currents that, in the digital age, are pushing American culture under the control of ever fewer and more powerful corporations. Bezos is right: gatekeepers are inherently élitist, and some of them have been weakened, in no small part, because of their complacency and short-term thinking. But gatekeepers are also barriers against the complete commercialization of ideas, allowing new talent the time to develop and learn to tell difficult truths. When the last gatekeeper but one is gone, will Amazon care whether a book is any good?” – George Packer: Is Amazon Bad for Books? : The New Yorker
  • “An older millennial with a college degree is earning a median full-time salary of $45,500 a year — $17,500 more than the median salary of $28,000 for full-time workers with just a high school diploma, a new Pew Research Center report finds. That’s the largest pay disparity between young high school- and college-educated workers in at least four generations, the report released Tuesday finds. It’s also further evidence that people with less education are at higher risk of getting left behind in the economic recovery.” – Value of College? For Millennials, $17,500 a Year – NBC News.com
  • “With the speed that life is going these days, people don’t want to wait longer for a sequel,” Susan Wasson, an Albuquerque bookseller told the Times. “I know I feel that way. When I like a book, I don’t want to wait a year for the sequel.” Curling up with a book and living in that world for a day isn’t new, but for a whole book series? There’s a big difference between a binge of every episode in a day, as Netflix allows, and a binge of a series of books over several months. But still, the point remains: people want resolutions, and they want them ASAP.” – Publishers Want to Bring Binge Consumption to Books – The Wire
  • “Education does provide a necessary credentialing function, and theoretically, an improved MOOC could provide such a service. But the credential is only part—and a relatively small part at that—of what education provides for us in our quest for a secure and stable life. It’s the process of being educated that has a far bigger impact on one’s life trajectory, and not just in the knowledge we learn and the skills we acquire.” – MOOCs and public demand for higher education.

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

Week in Review – 7 February 2014

Library Survey Data: Faculty Expect Their Cadets to Use Library Services Less Than They Do

This past semester, the Library Committee of Faculty Council conducted a survey of faculty regarding library services and resources designed to help inform the ABET self-study process underway this year. Over the next several weeks, we’ll look at some of the data results and consider how these can inform our work and programs. This week, we look at data on how often faculty use library services and resources and how often they expect their cadets to do so. Generally, a broad majority of faculty use the library regularly, and expect their cadets to do the same, however faculty have lower expectations of use by their cadets than they do of themselves. This holds true across all disciplines.

Some notable findings:

  • 63% of faculty use library services at least monthly, while only 49% of faculty expect their cadets to do the same.
  • 11% of faculty report never using library services for themselves, while 12% never expect their cadets to do so.
  • More faculty say they use the library more than five times per semester than any other category.
  • More faculty say they expect cadets to use the library less than three times per semester than any other category.
  • Academic rank affects expectations of library use. Instructors are much less likely to expect library use while 64% of professors expect at least monthly library usage by cadets.
  • Course directors are more likely to use library services and much more likely to expect cadets to do so.
  • Library use and expectations of use are highest in Humanities, Behavioral Sciences, Social Sciences, Military Studies, and Physical Education. They are lowest in Math and Science.

LibrarySurvey2013.001LibrarySurvey2013.002

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 Feb 2014  Yearling Winter Weekend Week in Review 0700-2100
Sat 8 Feb 2014  Yearling Winter Weekend / Polar Fest Admissions/Football Academic Brief 0900-1700
Sun 9 Feb 2014 1100-2315
Mon 10  Feb 2014 Opera Forum 0700-2315
Tue 11 Feb 2014 Division Heads / Liaisons 0700-2315
Wed 12 Feb 2014  Dean’s Staff 0700-2315
Thu 13 Feb 2014 0700-2315
Fri 14 Feb 2014 MP Change of Command Week in Review  Admissions Minority Visitation Program 0700-2100

USMA Library Metrics

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

6JAN-12JAN 13JAN-19JAN 20JAN-26JAN 27JAN-2FEB
Access Services
Items Charged Out 431 298 521 572
Gate Count 3,030 3,456 3,143 3,766
ILL Article Requests 16 19 19 32
ILL Book Requests 11 12 30 20
Administrative Services
DV Tours 0 0 0 1
Significant Events Hosted 1 3 1 2
Events/Meetings Attended 20 25 19 26
Information Gateway
Reference Questions 16 20 31 21
Library Instruction Sessions 2 14 8 5
Cadets Attending Sessions 32 186 79 77
Materials Processing
Items Added – Books 44 83 46 88
Items Added – Digital 5,604 733 0 1
Items Added – GovDocs 144 97 339 280
Items Added – Other 0 0 10 13
Continuing Resource Check-Ins 79 79 66 80
Special Collections & Archives
Reference Inquiries 34 36 40 41
Research Visits < 1 hour 2 5 9 7
Research Visits < 1 day 2 1 5 2
Research Visits > 1 day 0 0 0 0
Instruction Sessions 0 1 2 7
Cadets Taught 0 15 24 103
Systems Management
Library Home Page Visits 2,728 3,014 3,168 2,817
LibGuides Visits 574 360 414 387
Digital Collections Visits 216 238 260 257
Facebook Visits 30 20
Public Printer Prints 20,584 5,824 2,642 3,350
Public Printer Copies 281 215 378 350
Public Printer Scans 137 25 23 29

Food for Thought

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

  • “The International Studies Association, a scholarly association with 6,200 members, announced on Monday that editors of its journals should be banned from blogging, according to the Guardian. The group said that the move was necessary for “maintaining and promoting a professional environment.” The news of the proposal came via the president of the ISA’s foreign policy analysis section Stephen Saideman, who was opposed to the ban. After the ISA’s announcement, Saideman took to his personal blog posting the proposal text and outlining his reasons at why he thought it’s laughable. “If we are concerned about professionalism of editors as they communicate with the outside world, we need to ask editors not to blog, not to tweet, not to engage in Facebook or any other social media,” Saideman wrote. “Moreover, we need to worry about other forms of communication, too, right? such as writing op-eds or appearing on TV/radio, right?”Blogging deemed beneath the hallowed halls of academia | Internet & Media – CNET News
  • “The GAO said it could take as long as 40 years to figure the true costs of the program because there are so many variables, from the overall interest rate environment to the number of students who take advantage of different repayment options. In the meantime, the government is stuck using estimates that can vary greatly based on several factors, most important the amount students pay in interest and what it costs the government itself to borrow. The government readjusts its models each year based on more recent data, which can lead to highly volatile results. One year the budget assumed loans taken out in 2008 made the government $9.09 per hundred dollars borrowed. The next year it estimated the very same loans cost the government 24¢ per hundred dollars.” – Student Loan Costs Hard to Figure for U.S. Government: GAO Report – Businessweek
  • “Academics: prepare your computers for text-mining. Publishing giant Elsevier says that it has now made it easy for scientists to extract facts and data computationally from its more than 11 million online research papers. Other publishers are likely to follow suit this year, lowering barriers to the computer-based research technique. But some scientists object that even as publishers roll out improved technical infrastructure and allow greater access, they are exerting tight legal controls over the way text-mining is done.” – Elsevier opens its papers to text-mining : Nature News & Comment
  • “The tl;dr version is that Adobe is going to start pushing for ebook vendors to provide support for the new DRM in March, and when July rolls Adobe is going to force the ebook vendors to stop supporting the older DRM. (Hadrien Gardeur, Paul Durrant, and Martyn Daniels concur on this interpretation.) This means that any app or device which still uses the older Adobe DRM will be cut off. Luckily for many users, that penalty probably will not affect readers who use Kobo or Google reading apps or devices; to the best of my knowledge neither uses the Adobe DRM internally. And of course Kindle and Apple customers won’t even notice, thanks to those companies’ wise decision to use their own DRM. But everyone else just got screwed.” – Adobe to Require New Epub DRM in July, Expects to Abandon Existing Users – The Digital Reader
  • “The two best predictors of kids’ school success are the parents’ education and the family income,” Hyde said. “It’s just a meaningless comparison” if you pit single-sex schools against coed schools that differ on those measures. When you control for factors like affluence and parental education, the studies showing the advantages of single-sex classrooms “just aren’t supported by science,” she said.” – Study: Single-sex education offers no benefits | Al Jazeera America
  • “The report, “Labor Intensive or Labor Expensive: Changing Staffing and Compensation Patterns in Higher Education,” says that new administrative positions—particularly in student services—drove a 28-percent expansion of the higher-ed work force from 2000 to 2012. The report was released by the Delta Cost Project, a nonprofit, nonpartisan social-science organization whose researchers analyze college finances. What’s more, the report says, the number of full-time faculty and staff members per professional or managerial administrator has declined 40 percent, to around 2.5 to 1.” – Administrator Hiring Drove 28% Boom in Higher-Ed Work Force, Report Says – Administration – The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • “Funding cuts be damned: more than 16,000 public library branches in the U.S. serve 96.4 percent of the population, according to the “State of America’s Libraries Report 2013” by the American Library Association. (The ALA was founded in 1876, the same year the Dewey decimal system was developed.) Public libraries circulated 2.46 billion materials last year, the greatest volume in 10 years. Over this same period, the circulation of children’s book and materials increased by more than 28 percent. Attendance at library-hosted programs for kids hit 60.5 million in 2013. But it’s not just for kids: public libraries nationwide hosted 3.75 million public programs, and attendance for those events, too, is growing, indicating, as the ALA report put it, “an increased demand for these services.” Unsurprisingly, public computers at libraries are also in high demand—and libraries have responded by doubling the number available over the last 10 years.” – Who Says Libraries Are Going Extinct? – Pacific Standard: The Science of Society
  • “Traditional workplace design has a tendency to overvalue the meeting and undervalue the discussion .” – Denise Mieko Cherry via
  • “Berkeley, like other California public institutions, has suffered from state budget cuts since the recession, and the library has taken some of the biggest blows. It’s lost 21, or about 25 percent, of its career librarians through attrition since 2003 – 19 since 2009 alone. It’s lost even more support staff. That means far fewer available librarians to teach on-site research classes and to help students and professors locate the materials they need to work. But budgets cuts also have threatened the library’s ability to maintain resources – mostly the more than 90,000 journal subscriptions faculty and students report using, with some costing $25,000 annually, Jones said. “It’s hard when a faculty member says to you, ‘I need you to buy this journal,’ and you say, ‘What would you like me to cancel so we can buy that?’” (Library expenditures on serials have increased more than 400 percent since the late 1980s, compared to a 188 percent increase for library expenditures over all.)” – Faculty win fight to preserve Berkeley libraries | Inside Higher Ed
  • “Twitter is sharing its massive trove of data with the academic world — for free. The social networking outfit has long sold access to its enormous collection of tweets — a record of what the people of the world are doing and saying — hooking companies like Google and Yahoo into the “Twitter fire hose.” But now, through a new grant program, it wants to make it easier for social scientists and other academics to explore its tweet archive, which stretches back to 2006. Twitter previously worked with researchers from Johns Hopkins University to predict where flu outbreaks will hit, and the new program aims to open doors for similar projects. The company is now accepting applications from researchers, who have until March 15 to submit a proposal.” – Twitter Opens Its Enormous Archives to Data-Hungry Academics | Wired Enterprise | Wired.com
  • “I want a Web that’s open, works internationally, works as well as possible, and is not nation-based,” Berners-Lee told the audience, which included Martha Lane Fox, Jake Davis (aka Topiary) and Lily Cole. He suggested one example to the contrary: “What I don’t want is a Web where the Brazilian government has every social network’s data stored on servers on Brazilian soil. That would make it so difficult to set one up.” – Tim Berners-Lee: We need to re-decentralize the Web | Ars Technica
  • “My point was that although we may have been justified at putting them in front of the public in the early days, we have no such justification any more. Not when we have much better finding tools that cover not just the books and journals in our collections, but articles and so much more. But more importantly, as studies like that at Utrecht University have pointed out, information discovery has left the building. So it’s time to move on. Take that anachronistic library catalog and turn it back into what it really only ever was — an inventory control system. That’s right, put it back into the back room where it has really always belonged. And stop saying “OPAC”. For cryin’ out loud. Just stop.” – The OPAC is Dead – The Digital Shift
  • “Do you have yet another term paper due? You could spend hours in the library, researching related academic articles, pouring over the text, and looking for an insightful thesis to pursue. You could cram on the weekend, double-down on a second draft, hit up TA’s office hours, and revise accordingly. Or you could hire an unemployed professor to do the work for you. I did—and I got an A-. Unemployed Professors connects privileged, unmotivated college students with professors across a variety of fields. Since 2011, it’s operated a black market for homework. Of course, the practice has always existed, but the Internet has made it all the easier to operate, and with teachers increasingly desperate for a paycheck, it’s starting to become a viable form of income for educators.” – The Daily Dot – Inside the black market for college homework

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

Week in Review – 31 January 2014

Facility Planning – 2nd Floor Changes & New Security Perimeter

This spring and summer will see a number of changes coming to several library spaces as we continue to develop more defined collection and exhibit engagement spaces as well as begin to implement a better security perimeter for both our people and our collections.

In April, we will complete the process to review and move our reference collection in order to free up space for a flexible exhibit/engagement area. To launch this new area we will be hosting an exhibit on loan from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. Fighting the Fires of Hate: America and the Nazi Book Burnings will explore how book burnings became a potent symbol in America’s battle against Nazism and why they continue to resonate with the public—in film, literature, and political discourse—to this day. This exhibit is being brought to West Point in collaboration with the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies.

After the exhibit departs we will be installing some new flexible furniture into the space in the northwest corner of the 2nd floor for cadet study and collaboration. We will also be expanding our permanent exhibit facilities in order to display materials from our own collections. This week we are moving forward to arrange for purchase of some of these furniture pieces. A tentative floor plan and photographs of the furniture is below.

FloorPlan NewBanquette NewChair NewTable

The three banquettes will not have high backs, and the tables and chairs are designed to be easily moved and reconfigured. We plan to add additional electric outlets in the floor to support use of these furniture pieces. Eventually we plan to relocate the USMA Class Ring case into this space as well.

Visitors through the library rotunda late this week and into the weekend will see blue tape on the west and south entrances intended to show approximate placements of new security gates. As part of our plan to provide better overall security in Jefferson Hall, we are intending to redraw our collection security perimeter on the first floor which will mean new security gates for each entrance into the first floor rotunda area. Our current plan calls for wide entrances on both the west and east sides, and we are considering what layout might work best for the south entrance. Comment is welcome from staff as we work toward a final decision on our gate installation next week.

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 31 Jan 2014 Week in Review 0700-2100
Sat 1 Feb 2014 Admissions/Football Academic Brief 0900-1700
Sun 2 Feb 2014 1100-2315
Mon 3 Feb 2014 0700-2315
Tue 4 Feb 2014 Division Heads / Liaisons 0700-2315
Wed 5 Feb 2014 0700-2315
Thu 6 Feb 2014 Flipper Dinner Dean’s Staff  All Library Staff 0700-2315
Fri 7 Feb 2014 Yearling Winter 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 …

30DEC-5JAN 6JAN-12JAN 13JAN-19JAN 20JAN-26JAN
Access Services
Items Charged Out 88 431 298 521
Gate Count 321 3,030 3,456 3,143
ILL Article Requests 16 19 19
ILL Book Requests 11 12 30
Administrative Services
DV Tours 0 0 0 0
Significant Events Hosted 0 1 3 1
Events/Meetings Attended 1 20 25 19
Information Gateway
Reference Questions 0 16 20 31
Library Instruction Sessions 0 2 14 8
Cadets Attending Sessions 0 32 186 79
Materials Processing
Items Added – Books 101 44 83 46
Items Added – Digital 1 5,604 733 0
Items Added – GovDocs 33 144 97 339
Items Added – Other 0 0 0 10
Continuing Resource Check-Ins 72 79 79 66
Special Collections & Archives
Reference Inquiries 3 34 36 40
Research Visits < 1 hour 0 2 5 9
Research Visits < 1 day 0 2 1 5
Research Visits > 1 day 0 0 0 0
Instruction Sessions 0 0 1 2
Cadets Taught 0 0 15 24
Systems Management
Library Home Page Visits 957 2,728 3,014 3,168
LibGuides Visits 124 574 360 414
Digital Collections Visits 235 216 238 260
Facebook Visits 16 30 20
Public Printer Prints 255 20,584 5,824 2,642
Public Printer Copies 352 281 215 378
Public Printer Scans 2 137 25 23

Food for Thought

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

  • “Boosting the skills and earning power of the children of 19th-century farmers and labourers took little more than offering schools where they could learn to read, write and do algebra. Pushing a large proportion of college graduates to complete graduate work successfully will be harder and more expensive. Perhaps cheap and innovative online education will indeed make new attainment possible. But as Mr Cowen notes, such programmes may tend to deliver big gains only for the most conscientious students. Another way in which previous adaptation is not necessarily a good guide to future employment is the existence of welfare. The alternative to joining the 19th-century industrial proletariat was malnourished deprivation. Today, because of measures introduced in response to, and to some extent on the proceeds of, industrialisation, people in the developed world are provided with unemployment benefits, disability allowances and other forms of welfare. They are also much more likely than a bygone peasant to have savings. This means that the “reservation wage”—the wage below which a worker will not accept a job—is now high in historical terms. If governments refuse to allow jobless workers to fall too far below the average standard of living, then this reservation wage will rise steadily, and ever more workers may find work unattractive. And the higher it rises, the greater the incentive to invest in capital that replaces labour. Everyone should be able to benefit from productivity gains—in that, Keynes was united with his successors. His worry about technological unemployment was mainly a worry about a “temporary phase of maladjustment” as society and the economy adjusted to ever greater levels of productivity. So it could well prove. However, society may find itself sorely tested if, as seems possible, growth and innovation deliver handsome gains to the skilled, while the rest cling to dwindling employment opportunities at stagnant wages.” The future of jobs: The onrushing wave | The Economist
  • “I fear we are witnessing the “death of expertise”: a Google-fueled, Wikipedia-based, blog-sodden collapse of any division between professionals and laymen, students and teachers, knowers and wonderers – in other words, between those of any achievement in an area and those with none at all. By this, I do not mean the death of actual expertise, the knowledge of specific things that sets some people apart from others in various areas. There will always be doctors, lawyers, engineers, and other specialists in various fields. Rather, what I fear has died is any acknowledgement of expertise as anything that should alter our thoughts or change the way we live.” – The Death Of Expertise
  • “It’s of huge significance because Paramount is the first studio to make this policy known,” said Jan-Christopher Horak, director of the UCLA Film & Television Archive. “For 120 years, film and 35 mm has been the format of choice for theatrical presentations. Now we’re seeing the end of that. I’m not shocked that it’s happened, but how quickly it has happened.” – Paramount stops releasing major movies on film – latimes.com
  • “The rise of this consumer-surveillance economy is the uncomfortable and ironic backdrop to the outrage about the N.S.A. snooping. We feel violated. We don’t know who has been reading our most tender emails. But why then were we pouring all our personal information into remote corporations to begin with?” – Jaron Lanier in Digital Passivity – Int’l NYT’s Turning Points 2014 series
  • “So, there you have it. From a table of membership in different groups we have gotten a picture of a kind of social network between individuals, a sense of the degree of connection between organizations, and some strong hints of who the key players are in this world. And all this—all of it!—from the merest sliver of metadata about a single modality of relationship between people. I do not wish to overstep the remit of my memorandum but I must ask you to imagine what might be possible if we were but able to collect information on very many more people, and also synthesize information from different kinds of ties between people! For the simple methods I have described are quite generalizable in these ways, and their capability only becomes more apparent as the size and scope of the information they are given increases. We would not need to know what was being whispered between individuals, only that they were connected in various ways. The analytical engine would do the rest! I daresay the shape of the real structure of social relations would emerge from our calculations gradually, first in outline only, but eventually with ever-increasing clarity and, at last, in beautiful detail—like a great, silent ship coming out of the gray New England fog.” – Using Metadata to find Paul Revere – Kieran Healy
  • “Although it’s not a perfect analogy, I like to think about MOOCs as kind of the education equivalents of cloud computing servers. Cloud servers in many ways are not as good as physical servers, but in some ways they’re much better. Cloud servers cost a lot less to get started on, they’re easier to use and to access, and they enable the kind of experimentation that helped fuel the startup boom over the past few years. Because it doesn’t take millions in venture capital just to buy enough gear to get a web company off the ground.” – Harvard and MIT make a compelling case for MOOCs — Tech News and Analysis
  • “A federal judge in Washington has issued a key order in one of the many ongoing mass-BitTorrent piracy lawsuits in the United States. The judge ruled that a complaint from the “Elf-Man” movie studio is insufficient because the IP address evidence does not prove that an account holder is guilty of copyright infringement.” – Judge: IP-Address Does Not Prove Copyright Infringement | TorrentFreak
  • “If you are the sort of person who believes that TV and the Internet have turned American culture into a post-literate scrubland full of cat GIFs and reality TV spinoffs, then this news will probably reinforce your worst suspicions. But buried beneath it, I think there’s an optimistic story to tell about American book culture. It’s about the kids.” – The Decline of the American Book Lover – Jordan Weissmann – The Atlantic
  • “28% of American adults ages 18 and older read an e-book in the past year, up from 17% in 2011.” – 10 Facts About Americans and Public Libraries
  • “the way that tech often does disrupt industries – by affecting parts of the industry that no-one paid attention to but which were actually key leverage points. Not many magazine people thought of themselves as being in the trucking and light-manufacturing business, for example, but they were, and that was why the internet had such an impact on them. But the opposite can also be true – there are industries where tech doesn’t look important but is actually crucial, but there are also industries where tech looks crucial but doesn’t actually matter very much at all” – Ignorance — Benedict Evans
  • “While in the past, many librarians have encouraged patrons to eschew Wikipedia in favor of library databases and secondary sources, they are now starting to work together, in recognition of the fact that today’s students often rely on the Internet and Wikipedia for their initial overview. Libraries are working to make sure they are part of the pipeline so that students following the crowdsourced Wikipedia bibliography back to full-text references will find libraries as the end point if not always the starting point.” – Librarypedia: The Future of Libraries and Wikipedia – The Digital Shift
  • “Deep inside the $1.1 trillion Consolidated Appropriations Act for 2014 is a provision that requires federal agencies under the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education portion of the bill with research budgets of $100 million or more to provide the public with online access to the research that they fund within 12 months of publication in a peer-reviewed journal. According to the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), this means approximately $31 billion of the total $60 billion annual U.S. investment in taxpayer-funded research will become openly accessible. “This is an important step toward making federally funded scientific research available for everyone to use online at no cost,” said SPARC Executive Director Heather Joseph in a news release. The language in the appropriations bill mirrors that in the White House open access memo from last year, and a National Institutes of Health public access program enacted in 2008.” – Half of taxpayer funded research will soon be available to the public
  • “You must reward people for failing, he says. If not, they won’t take risks and make breakthroughs. If you don’t reward failure, people will hang on to a doomed idea for fear of the consequences. That wastes time and saps an organisation’s spirit.”- BBC News – Secret Google lab ‘rewards staff for failure’
  • “Top-ranked liberal-arts colleges are failing to provide their students with a rigorous higher education even as many of them have steadily increased tuition and administrative spending in recent years, the American Council of Trustees and Alumni asserted in a report released on Monday.” – Prestigious Liberal-Arts Colleges Are Said to Fall Short on Academic Quality – The Ticker – Blogs – The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • “Those of us in the traditional academy could have a hand in shaping that future, but doing so will require us to relax our obsessive focus on elite students, institutions, and faculty. It will require us to stop regarding ourselves as irreplaceable occupiers of sacred roles, and start regarding ourselves as people who do several jobs society needs done, only one of which is creating new knowledge. It will also require us to abandon any hope of restoring the Golden Age. It was a nice time, but it wasn’t stable, and it didn’t last, and it’s not coming back. It’s been gone ten years more than it lasted, in fact, and in the time since it ended, we’ve done more damage to our institutions, and our students, and our junior colleagues, by trying to preserve it than we would have by trying to adapt. Arguing that we need to keep the current system going just long enough to get the subsidy the world owes us is really just a way of preserving an arrangement that works well for elites—tenured professors, rich students, endowed institutions—but increasingly badly for everyone else.” – » The End of Higher Education’s Golden Age Clay Shirky

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

Week in Review – 17 January 2014

Spring Semester Arrives – Short Status Updates

As we wrap up the second week of the semester, I thought I’d list out the projects/initiatives that I’ve spent some time working on or supporting this past week:

  • PaperCut, our new print management system launched this past Monday and generally has worked quite well and the transition has been relatively smooth. One of the biggest issues we face is cadets who do not have a current barcode on their CAC registered in our library system. That is required in order to be able to authenticate and release the print jobs. Cadets who receive an error at the release stations should visit the Circulation Desk to make sure that their information is up-to-date.
  • We are in the final stages of finalizing the arrangements for the exhibit Fighting the Fires of Hate to be hosted in the library later this term on loan from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. The Superintendent and Dean have both enthusiastically approved this partnership between the Library and the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies.
  • Telephone interviews have been underway for our Access Services Librarian and our Digital Projects and Metadata Librarian positions. Announcements are expected to posted soon for our Facility Support Technician and Systems Librarian.
  • We will be meeting this week to plan out more detail for next steps in moving forward with our Circulation Desk move. We would like to get this contracted soon.
  • I expect we will move ahead to fully transition to off-hours CAC access for our doors in the next ten days. I will share more information about that process next week. We are still awaiting installation of the door switch at the Circulation Desk.
  • I am now working to prepare some DPOM changes for library operations as a result of the new security and access policies put forth by the Superintendent. This will result in changes to the website as well. I hope we will have some visitor badges available in the Admin office at some point before too long.
  • Late last term, the Library Committee of Faculty Council conducted a survey of faculty regarding library services/use, primarily for use in the ABET accreditation work that is ongoing this year. I’ve begun to sort through some of that data in more detail and hope to some information to share more widely soon.
  • Some changes continue to the blog after we reworked portions of the subscription and permissions systems over the holidays. Additional changes can be expected as we continue to fine-tune.
  • The administration-folk have been working to clean up our Sharepoint site in preparation of the upcoming server migration. Other divisions have also been doing some of this as well.
  • ConnectNY has begun the process of strategic thinking regarding our Executive Director position as Bart Harloe has announced he intends to step down later this year. A series of phone calls/web meetings are planned throughout the spring to coordinate this transition.
  • I am revising our plans for Code Red operations given the new guidance and policy forthcoming from the Superintendent. I will have more to share on this shortly.
  • Work continues on revising our emergency response materials.
  • Tables and cabinets currently in the basement will soon be moving across the street to the West Point Room in Bartlett Hall.
  • We are considering grant opportunities to support a partnership with the Combating Terrorism Center to make available some of the archival and historical collections of materials relating to terrorism.

In addition to those items is the standard array of regular meetings/check-ins, and my history class has covered the founding of the Massachusetts Bay Colony to the Seven Years’ War.

Questions are welcome if more information on a given topic would be useful.

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 17 Jan 2014 Week in Review Cyber Security Conference 0700-2100
Sat 18 Jan 2014 500th Night Weekend 0900-1700
Sun 19 Jan 2014  500th Night Weekend 1300-2100
Mon 20 Jan 2014  Martin Luther King Jr. Day 1300-2315
Tue 21 Jan 2014 MLK Luncheon Division Heads / Liaisons 0700-2315
Wed 22 Jan 2014  Communication Team 0700-2315
Thu 23 Jan 2014 RMC Weekend  Dean’s Staff 0700-2315
Fri 24 Jan 2014 RMC Weekend Week in Review 0700-2315

USMA Library Metrics

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

16DEC-22DEC 23DEC-29DEC 30DEC-5JAN 6JAN-12JAN
Access Services
Items Charged Out 335 130 88 431
Gate Count 5,071 319 321 3,030
ILL Article Requests 8 16
ILL Book Requests 7 11
Administrative Services
DV Tours 0 0 0 0
Significant Events Hosted 0 0 1 3
Events/Meetings Attended 17 1 1 20
Information Gateway
Reference Questions 9 0 0 16
Library Instruction Sessions 0 0 0 2
Cadets Attending Sessions 0 0 0 32
Materials Processing
Items Added – Books 100 100 101 44
Items Added – Digital 0 0 1 5,604
Items Added – GovDocs 33 32 33 144
Items Added – Other 0 0 0 0
Continuing Resource Check-Ins 72 71 72 79
Special Collections & Archives
Reference Inquiries 17
Research Visits < 1 hour 0
Research Visits < 1 day 0
Research Visits > 1 day 0
Instruction Sessions 0
Cadets Taught 0
Systems Management
Library Home Page Visits 1,935 694 957 2,728
LibGuides Visits 205 104 124 574
Digital Collections Visits 176 199 235 216
Facebook Visits 39 5 16 30
Public Printer Prints 8,595 46 255 20,584
Public Printer Copies 294 7 352 281
Public Printer Scans 72 0 2 137

Food for Thought

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

  • “So if you have a one hundred IQ you’re going to be average, you have an average intelligence and that is just the way you were born and that’s the way you’re going to be. If you have less than a one hundred IQ you’re never going to be above average. It’s just what you’ve got. That’s not what IQ is divining at all. IQ tests and every other sort of intelligence or achievement tests are revealing skills that you have, capabilities. This is what intelligence experts now say. Robert Sternberg who is now at Tufts was at Yale for many years and is arguably the leading thinker in intelligence. He now articulates that intelligence is not a set of innate capabilities that is static. It’s a set of skills that we acquire.” – Intelligence is Not Static. It’s a Set of Skills that We Acquire | In Their Own Words | Big Think
  • “Bullying has always been around. What’s changed is our reaction: Heightened media coverage of a few exceptional, tragic cases has created the illusion of a bullying epidemic, and lawmakers have responded by applying 21st-century principles of surveillance and legal control to teenagers — thus creating, in schools, a security state writ small.” – Spy Kids: We’re Snooping on Students to Stop Them From Snooping on Each Other – – News – San Francisco – SF Weekly
  • “Today, if you peeked through the curtains of any living-room on an average night you’d find more than half of us focused not on our family, nor even the television, but on the other screen on our laps.” – How technology is changing our likes and loves – Telegraph
  • “Five years ago, Southern New Hampshire University was a 2,000-student private school struggling against declining enrollment, poor name recognition, and teetering finances. Today, it’s the Amazon.com of higher education. The school’s burgeoning online division has 180 different programs with an enrollment of 34,000. Students are referred to as “customers.” It undercuts competitors on tuition. And it deploys data analytics for everything from anticipating future demand to figuring out which students are most likely to stumble. “We are super-focused on customer service, which is a phrase that most universities can’t even use,” says Paul LeBlanc, SNHU’s president.” – Southern New Hampshire University: How Paul LeBlanc’s tiny school has become a giant of higher education.
  • “Time is our most precious currency. So it’s significant that we are being encouraged, wherever possible, to think of our attention not as expenditure but as consumption. This blurring of labor and entertainment forms the basis, for example, of the financial alchemy that conjures deca-billion-dollar valuations for social-networking companies.” – How Do E-Books Change the Reading Experience? – NYTimes.com
  • “Put simply, the masses hate experts. If forced to choose between the advice of the learned and the vague impressions of other people just like themselves, the masses invariably turn to the latter. The upper elite still try to pronounce judgments and lead, but fewer and fewer of those down below pay attention.” – The Smartest Book About Our Digital Age Was Published in 1929 – The Daily Beast
  • “Analog or digital, no work will have much influence if it doesn’t stick around to be cited or argued with. The technological advances that make digital-humanities work possible also put it at risk of obsolescence, as software and hardware decay or become outmoded. Somebody—or a team of somebodies, often based in academic libraries or digital-scholarship centers—has to conduct regular inspections and make sure that today’s digital scholarship doesn’t become tomorrow’s digital junk.” – Born Digital, Projects Need Attention to Survive – Technology – The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • “As I was reading the book, I stumbled across an unfamiliar word and, rather hilariously, ended up tapping the printed page until it finally occurred to me that the book wasn’t going to offer me built-in dictionary and Wikipedia access. It’s odd how three years or so changes you.” – The Book and I: How the iPad has changed my reading life | TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog
  • “But a more advanced library management system for the two libraries, shared help-desk services and the possibility of increased cross-registration for students are fair game for collaboration. The colleges have partnered formally and informally in the past (most notably sharing library services), and the Mellon grant — one of a series the foundation is providing — will help them broaden their collaboration. The four-year project focuses on updating the library management system, sharing library staff and creating a single research portal for students of both colleges.” – Liberal arts colleges pool their resources | Inside Higher Ed
  • “About 17 percent of books in France are now sold online, compared with about just 3 percent in 2005, according to the Ministry of Culture. Four out of every five of those online sales goes through Amazon…
    The proposed ban on free shipping must still receive final approval from the lower house of parliament… Once it is enacted, Amazon and its online competitors will have to choose between offering less expensive shipping or less expensive books. The total discount won’t be able to exceed 5 percent — ensuring that books bought online will be more expensive than those bought in stores.” – France says ‘Non’ to the digital age | The Great Debate
  • “They found several trends that were often found in successful books, including heavy use of conjunctions such as “and” and “but” and large numbers of nouns and adjectives. Less successful work tended to include more verbs and adverbs and relied on words that explicitly describe actions and emotions such as “wanted”, “took” or “promised”, while more successful books favoured verbs that describe thought processes such as “recognised” or “remembered”. To find “less successful” books for their tests, the researchers scoured Amazon for low-ranking books in terms of sales. They also included Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol, despite its commercial success, because of “negative critiques if had attracted from media”.” – Scientists find secret to writing a best-selling novel – Telegraph
  • “We know everyone who breaks the law, we know when you’re doing it. We have GPS in your car, so we know what you’re doing. By the way, we don’t supply that data to anyone,” – Ford Exec: ‘We Know Everyone Who Breaks The Law’ Thanks To Our GPS In Your Car | Business Insider
  • “From January to August of last year, John Bohannon submitted an academic study to 304 peer-reviewed scientific journals. All of the them were open access journals, a newer breed of digital-only academic publications that are free for readers but often charge researchers to publish. Bohannon’s study concerned a molecule, extracted from a lichen, that appeared to show promise as a treatment for cancer. It was accepted for publication by 157 of the journals—slightly over half. There was only one problem. Bohannon isn’t a scientist; he’s a journalist. And he completely made up the study. Actually he did more than that. He deliberately inserted unscientific material to test whether or not it would be caught by the journals’ peer reviewers.” – A shocking number of academic journals have accepted studies that are totally fake – Quartz
  • ““Though e-books are rising in popularity, print remains the foundation of Americans’ reading habits,” Pew researchers wrote in a release on the survey’s results. “Most people who read e-books also read print books, and just 4% of readers are “e-book only.” Overall, 89% of those who had read an e-book had also read a book in print.” – E-books are on the rise, but print books rebound and endure – latimes.com

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

Spring 2014 Library Service Announcements

Print Management System Deploys in the Library

In an effort to encourage and promote good printing practices, the Library
will be deploying a new system called PaperCut effective Monday, 13 January
2014. Systems like PaperCut are installed on nearly all other college and
university campuses as a tool to help manage printing. Here are some of the
specifics that users who print to library printers will need to know as we
move to the new system:

  • Public printers in the library will be attached to the new system and
    anyone printing to those printers will need to map the printers through the
    proper print server. Effective Friday, 10 January 2014, the old print queues
    will be deleted. At that time, all users will be required to map the new
    printers. More information on how to do this is available at the reference
    or circulation desks in the Library.
  • Cadets will be initially assigned individual print allowances of 300 pages
    per semester. When jobs are printed, the total number of pages printed are
    decremented from the total. In the case that a user meets or exceeds their
    total, they can request additional allowance be given. Faculty and staff
    will not have specific quotas assigned.
  • There will be no charge to cadets for printing allowances, however
    printing in the library is a service provided to support academic work. Jobs
    printed in the library should be academic in nature.
  • Individual print jobs should be fifty pages or less and should be printed
    on letter size only. In the case that exceptions are required to these
    parameters, users may speak with a library staff person.
  • After submitting a print job to be printed, users will need to release the
    job using their CAC at the new workstation located next to our printers.
    This will help eliminate unclaimed print jobs. Jobs that are not claimed
    within one hour will be cleaned out of the queue automatically.

Our goal is to improve awareness of printing and help encourage thought
about what needs to be printed and what does not. We will continue to
provide free printing in support of cadet academic work and this system is
not a step toward changing that policy. We do want to expand awareness that
printing is an expensive service to provide that has the capability of
generating significant waste. In times of restricted resources, managing
services like printing efficiently is a priority for the entire community.

As always, cadets should allow plenty of time to print jobs in the library.
Questions regarding this new system may be directed to the reference or
circulation desks.

RefWorks No Longer Available

Due to technical issues that impair reliable and full use of the citation
management tool RefWorks on the USMA network, USMA Library has not renewed
our contract to provide RefWorks as an online bibliographic and citation
management tool. This change was effective 1 January 2014. Based on service
usage data, we know this has impacted only a small subset of users. We are
continuing to review alternative products that provide this service and USMA
Library maintains a guide on citation management
(http://usma.libguides.com/content.php?pid=180086&sid=1514951) that
contains information about different citation formats and tools. Specific
tools that can replace RefWorks include EasyBib and Zotero. Users who wish
to continue to use the RefWorks service can continue their account as a
personal subscription, or export their data for use in other products.
Please contact your library liaison for additional questions regarding
citation management tools and services.

Security and Access Changes for Jefferson Hall

With the revised access policies implemented in November, access to
Jefferson Hall is now restricted to cadets, faculty, and staff. All other
visitors (including graduates, parents, and other cadet guests) must be
escorted by appropriately credentialed and authorized personnel. The east
entrance door is no longer a public entrance or exit. All building guests
should enter and exit via the west or south doors.

Bags, laptops, or other personal effects should never be left unattended in
Jefferson Hall. All unattended bags will be reported to the MPs and screened
appropriately.

Guidance on Library Assistance for Cadets

One of the best ways for cadets to get an extra leg up on their academic
work is to partner with a librarian to better take advantage of the services
and materials available through the USMA Library. Personal appointments with
librarians are available for consultation and guidance. When possible,
setting appointments between 0745-1630 will ensure the availability of the
best subject specialist, though evening appointments can also be arranged.
To arrange a time to meet, stop by or email the Reference Desk staff with
your name and topic of research.

Stay Connected to the Library

We’d love to keep you up-to-date throughout the year on library news and
programs. You can follow our blog: http://blog.usmalibrary.org/, like us on
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/USMALibrary, or follow us on Twitter:
http://www.twitter.com/USMALibrary.

Week in Review – 13 December 2013

Print Management Deploying on 13 January

In an effort to encourage and promote good printing practices, the Library will be deploying a new system called PaperCut to help us oversee printing next month. Systems like PaperCut are installed on nearly all other college and university campuses as a tool to help manage printing and encourage good printing practices. We will be sharing more specific information in the coming weeks about how the system will work, however here are some of the broad strokes:

  • Public printers in the library will be attached to the new system and anyone printing to those printers will need to map the printers through the proper print server.
  • Users will have individual print allowances, and when jobs are printed, the pages printed are decremented from the total. Allowances will be set generously, and in the case that a user meets or exceeds their total, they can request additional allowance be given. There will no charge for allowances, and the expectation is that jobs are academic in nature.
  • Individual jobs will be held at the printer for release. This will help significantly reduce the number of unclaimed print jobs. Users will authenticate a release station next to the printer with the barcode on their CAC and then their job will print.

Our goal is to improve awareness of printing and help encourage thought about what needs to be printed and what does not. We are not seeking to make money or even seek cost recovery in providing the service. We do know however that there is a tremendous amount of waste when printing is completely unmanaged as it has been at USMA. We want to make a positive impact on how we as a community manage our printing resources.

Stay tuned for more information regarding the new system which will appear shortly after the beginning of the spring term.

Clearer Communication on Leadership/Accountability for Library Staff Coming Soon

As we continue reviewing and refining our emergency response planning, we would like to make some improvements in internal communication regarding who exactly is in charge, and who is or is not on duty. During the normal duty day, determining who is in charge is not a difficult thing, however half of our service hours fall during evenings and weekends and we have not always made specific designations regarding who is in charge on-site during those off-hours. Similarly, we have our shared outboard to track staff who are on leave or TDY, but we also want to make that data more accessible and visible.

To accomplish these ends, we will soon start issuing an email each weekday morning that specifies the leadership in charge for that day, which will include an evening/weekend librarian-in-charge. That individual will be the primary POC for all library operations during their shift. Other staff working the evening/weekend shift will also be listed. We will also include the names of staff who are on leave/TDY. This should help to provide a quick summary of information each day that could be useful in many different ways.

Keeping the outboard up-to-date is very important, and we will be tracking that regularly. Thank you to everyone for helping to keep it as accurate as possible. Comments as we begin to roll this out are welcome.

Week in Review on Holiday Hiatus

The next issue of the Week in Review will be published 10 January 2014.

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 13 Dec 2013 Week in Review 0600-2100
Sat 14 Dec 2013 Go ARMY! Beat Navy! CLOSED
Sun 15 Dec 2013 1100-2100
Mon 16 Dec 2013  Holiday Party 0700-2315
Tue 17 Dec 2013 TEEs Division Heads 0700-2315
Wed 18 Dec 2013  TEEs Dean’s Staff 0700-2315
Thu 19 Dec 2013 TEEs 0700-2315
Fri 20 Dec 2013 TEEs / December Graduation Holiday Party 0700-2315

USMA Library Metrics

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

11NOV-17NOV 18NOV-24NOV 25NOV-2DEC 3DEC-9DEC
Access Services
Items Charged Out 1,067 1,155 372 746
Gate Count n/a n/a n/a n/a
ILL Article Requests 18
ILL Book Requests 16
Administrative Services
DV Tours 0 0 0 0
Significant Events Hosted 2 5 1 4
Events/Meetings Attended 8 27 8 23
Information Gateway
Reference Questions 69 72 23 40
Library Instruction Sessions 0 1 0 0
Cadets Attending Sessions 0 7 0 0
Materials Processing
Items Added – Books 32 77 31 67
Items Added – Digital 128 311 0 2
Items Added – GovDocs 26 276 123 44
Items Added – Other 0 0 0 0
Continuing Resource Check-Ins 70 91 28 128
Special Collections & Archives
Reference Inquiries 36 39 28 41
Research Visits < 1 hour 7 13 5 3
Research Visits < 1 day 0 0 0 4
Research Visits > 1 day 1 0 0 0
Instruction Sessions 1 2 0 0
Cadets Taught 12 21 0 0
Systems Management
Library Home Page Visits 6,747 7,339 2,229 4,604
LibGuides Visits 767 794 237 504
Digital Collections Visits 286 249 136 187
Facebook Visits 12 26 10 33
Public Printer Prints 10,031 13,232 3,228 10,493
Public Printer Copies 276 474 66 87
Public Printer Scans 87 22 33 1,619

Food for Thought

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

  • “At least 7,776 languages are in use in the greater offline world … Less than five percent of languages in use now exist online.” How the Internet is killing the world’s languages
  • “The analysis shows that a high number of tweets does not correspond to a high number of citations in peer-reviewed journals – a method of measuring impact that is generally accepted by the scientific community. As a result, the number one article on the list of researchers, dealing with an altered gene during radiation exposure, was tweeted 963 times but only received nine academic citations. An article on a similar topic, in the wake of the Fukushima explosion, had 30 citations compared to its 639 tweets. “The most popular scientific articles on Twitter stress health implications or have a humourous or surprising component. This suggests that articles having the broadest scientific impact do not have the widest distribution,” Haustein said.” – Peer-review science is taking off on Twitter, but who is tweeting what and why?
  • “I think the truth is it’s really not going to get better under the old model,” said Rick Staisloff, a consultant who is the former vice president for finance and administration at the College of Notre Dame of Maryland. Houghton President Shirley Mullen said the crisis in higher ed is now of a greater magnitude than any she has seen. “I don’t believe there is any going back” she said. “I just don’t think that’s the case. I think whatever happens going forward is something different than we’ve seen before – I don’t think we know exactly what that’s going to look like.” – Private colleges remain under the weather | Inside Higher Ed
  • “I readily acknowledge that the traditional liberal arts education is not for everyone, and that not all young people want to or will attend college immediately after high school. But we need to ensure that every young person has the academic, social, and financial tools to get to college eventually. Otherwise, we run the risk of sorting students onto a vocational training path of potentially limited options based in subtle and not-so-subtle ways on where they live, where they were born, and how much money their parents make.” – Americans who say “college isn’t for everyone” never mean their own kids – Quartz
  • “I’m convinced that creative breakthroughs and innovative solutions require creative listening. Unfortunately, it’s an all-too-rare skill in many organizations. In fact, just the opposite happens. When someone shares a “crazy idea,” the instinct is to cite all the reasons why it wouldn’t work—shutting it down with a “No, but” response.” – Why Better Listeners are Better Innovators | Design Thinking
  • “A federal judge in New York threw out claims by independent bookstores that Amazon and the big publishing houses conspired to create a monopoly by using technical measures to ensure that ebooks bought on Amazon could only be read on Kindle devices and apps. In a ruling published on Monday, US District Judge Jed Rakoff rejected the notion that Amazon’s “device specific DRM” (digital rights management) provided any benefit to the publishers and described the bookstores’ claim as “threadbare.” – Indie bookstores lose case over DRM on Amazon Kindle — Tech News and Analysis
  • “We all know what distorting incentives have done to finance and banking. The incentives my colleagues face are not huge bonuses, but the professional rewards that accompany publication in prestigious journals – chiefly Nature, Cell and Science. These luxury journals are supposed to be the epitome of quality, publishing only the best research. Because funding and appointment panels often use place of publication as a proxy for quality of science, appearing in these titles often leads to grants and professorships. But the big journals’ reputations are only partly warranted. While they publish many outstanding papers, they do not publish only outstanding papers. Neither are they the only publishers of outstanding research.” – How journals like Nature, Cell and Science are damaging science | Randy Schekman | Comment is free | The Guardian
  • “And so, no matter how appealing the idea of open access is, and how consonant with the core values of academic life, it may run into obstacles other than the one usually cited, which is greed. Those who want to make money from academic publications may be less of a problem, in the long run, than academics who can’t resist the temptation to offload some of what they think of as—and what may often be fairly described as—the drudgeries of teaching. Few of us are as committed to open access as Aaron Swartz was: We may say we don’t like the power that has fallen into the hands of the big aggregators and distributors, but our behavior, when faced with the genuine services those companies provide, indicates something different. Are we willing to change that behavior, to take on greater responsibility for instructing our students in the quest for reliable sources and genuine knowledge?” – JSTOR’s Hidden Power – Alan Jacobs – The Atlantic
  • “In the old days, it used to be your milkman coming to your house every week,” Agarwal says. “I think in five years I could imagine…some significant fraction of the population having an Amazon truck coming to their house every week.” This reality, he believes, is “way closer than drones.” – Amazon’s Drones Are Useless. But Its Trucks Could Crush UPS | Wired Business | Wired.com
  • “People are going to keep reading books, but the question is what form will win out. The answer is probably all of them.” – Duke Academic Press on the future of the book. Also see how writers and designers envision it.
  • “Results not only need to be novel and exciting, they must also be correct. Students learn in elementary school that the scientific method involves investigating hypotheses. And hypotheses don’t always turn out to be right. Literature analysis by Nature, however, found a pervasive tendency for journals to only publish “positive” studies. Papers that bear out the tested hypotheses represented 90% of all articles. Failure has a place in science, but not in science journals.” – Fraud in the Ivory Tower

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

Week in Review – 6 December 2013

Jefferson Hall Security and Access Updates

We are continuing to review and assess our security and access policies and procedures along with most others at West Point. Below are some notable updates that all staff and visitors to Jefferson Hall should be aware of regarding access:

  • Jefferson Hall remains accessible only to cadets, faculty and staff. All others must be escorted by a properly-credentialed individual. USMA will have a visitor badge system soon that will allow authorized visitors to move through Central Area unescorted. More information will be forthcoming about that badge and authorization process.
  • All civilians are required to keep their CAC displayed when moving around the facility and Central Area. We should also be challenging any unbadged individuals within Central Area, and especially anyone without credentials inside of Jefferson Hall. All individuals inside the library must be in uniform, or have proper credentials displayed.
  • The west entrance is now open for regular use. Now that a guard is posted at the north end of Thayer Road, access has been restored.
  • The east entrance remains closed as an emergency exit only. Employees should only use this entrance as a last resort and should remember to resecure the entrance if it is used.
  • The CAC access system in Jefferson Hall has been activated and soon we will modify our access procedures for after-hour employee access. All individuals assigned to Jefferson Hall will access Jefferson Hall with their CAC, and will no longer use physical keys. More information about this will be forthcoming shortly.
  • Planning continues to relocate the Circulation service point to the main floor for better overall facility and collection security.

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 6 Dec 2013 Week in Review 0700-2100
Sat 7 Dec 2013 0900-2100
Sun 8 Dec 2013 Opera Forum 1300-2100
Mon 9 Dec 2013 Army/Navy Week Begins 0700-2315
Tue 10 Dec 2013 Division Heads 0700-2315
Wed 11 Dec 2013 Dean’s Staff  Liaisons 0700-2315
Thu 12 Dec 2013 Army/Navy Bonfire 0700-2315
Fri 13 Dec 2013  Modified Class Day / Last Day of Classes  Library Committee 0600-2100

USMA Library Metrics

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

4NOV-10NOV 11NOV-17NOV 18NOV-24NOV 25NOV-2DEC
Access Services
Items Charged Out 1,067 1,155 372
Gate Count n/a 5,237 6,664 2,628
ILL Article Requests 20 18
ILL Book Requests 24 16
Administrative Services
DV Tours 0 0 0 0
Significant Events Hosted 2 2 5 1
Events/Meetings Attended 23 8 27 8
Information Gateway
Reference Questions 77 69 72 23
Library Instruction Sessions 2 0 1 0
Cadets Attending Sessions 4 0 7 0
Materials Processing
Items Added – Books 33 32 77 31
Items Added – Digital 128 128 311 0
Items Added – GovDocs 26 26 276 123
Items Added – Other 0 0 0 0
Continuing Resource Check-Ins 70 70 91 28
Special Collections & Archives
Reference Inquiries 37 36 39 28
Research Visits < 1 hour 11 7 13 5
Research Visits < 1 day 1 0 0 0
Research Visits > 1 day 0 1 0 0
Instruction Sessions 1 1 2 0
Cadets Taught 5 12 21 0
Systems Management
Library Home Page Visits 4,937 6,747 7,339 2,229
LibGuides Visits 675 767 794 237
Digital Collections Visits 231 286 249 136
Facebook Visits 25 12 26 10
Public Printer Prints 6,907 10,031 13,232 3,228
Public Printer Copies 299 276 474 66
Public Printer Scans 180 87 22 33

Food for Thought

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

  • “The federal government made enough money on student loans over the last year that, if it wanted, it could provide maximum-level Pell Grants of $5,645 to 7.3 million college students. The $41.3-billion profit for the 2013 fiscal year is down $3.6 billion from the previous year but still enough to pay for one year of tuition at the University of Michigan for 2,955,426 Michigan residents. It’s a higher profit level than all but two companies in the world: Exxon Mobil cleared $44.9 billion in 2012, and Apple cleared $41.7 billion.” – Detroit Free Press, Federal government books $41.3 billion in profits on student loans.
  • “The British marketing research agency Voxburner recently surveyed more than 1,400 people, ages 16 to 24, about their media-consumption habits. The survey found that 62% of the respondents said they prefer printed books to e-books.” – Young people prefer printed books to e-books, survey finds – latimes.com
  • “Google’s “deep learning” clusters of computers churn through massives chunks of data looking for patterns—and it seems they’ve gotten good at it. So good, in fact, that Google announced at the Machine Learning Conference in San Francisco that its deep learning clusters have learned to recognize objects on their own.” – How Google’s “Deep Learning” Is Outsmarting Its Human Employees ⚙ Co.Labs ⚙ code community
  • “Facing pressure to combat drug use and sexual assault at the Air Force Academy, the Air Force has created a secret system of cadet informants to hunt for misconduct among students. Cadets who attend the publicly-funded academy near Colorado Springs must pledge never to lie. But the program pushes some to do just that: Informants are told to deceive classmates, professors and commanders while snapping photos, wearing recording devices and filing secret reports. For one former academy student, becoming a covert government operative meant not only betraying the values he vowed to uphold, it meant being thrown out of the academy as punishment for doing the things the Air Force secretly told him to do.” – Secretive Air Force program recruits academy cadets to inform on colleagues and disavows them – U.S. – Stripes
  • “So what you have is an increasing number of brilliant PhD graduates arriving every year into the market hoping to secure a permanent position as a professor and enjoying freedom and high salaries, a bit like the rank-and-file drug dealer hoping to become a drug lord. To achieve that, they are ready to forgo the income and security that they could have in other areas of employment by accepting insecure working conditions in the hope of securing jobs that are not expanding at the same rate. Because of the increasing inflow of potential outsiders ready to accept this kind of working conditions, this allows insiders to outsource a number of their tasks onto them, especially teaching, in a context where there are increasing pressures for research and publishing. The result is that the core is shrinking, the periphery is expanding, and the core is increasingly dependent on the periphery. In many countries, universities rely to an increasing extent on an “industrial reserve army” of academics working on casual contracts because of this system of incentives.” – How Academia Resembles a Drug Gang | Alexandre Afonso
  • “Some functions of physical books that seem to have no digital place are nevertheless being retained. An author’s autograph on a cherished title looked as if it would become a relic. But Apple just applied for a patent to embed autographs in electronic titles. Publishers still commission covers for e-books even though their function — to catch the roving eye in a crowded store — no longer exists. What makes all this activity particularly striking is what is not happening. Some features may be getting a second life online, but efforts to reimagine the core experience of the book have stumbled. Dozens of publishing start-ups tried harnessing social reading apps or multimedia, but few caught on.” – Out of Print, Maybe, but Not Out of Mind – NYTimes.com
  • “Publishers have long bemoaned Africa’s lack of a “book culture” but some hope that the advent of smartphones and the internet could help change this, writes journalist Chris Matthews. The 566% increase in worldwide internet usage since the start of the millennium might appear staggering but not when compared with Africa, where online activity has grown by an astonishing 3,606%. Continue reading the main story “ Start Quote For us in Africa ‘bookless’ societies are indeed pre-book societies” Henry Chakava in 1997 More than 160 million people are now connected throughout the continent, mostly on mobile phones. With internet access surging and connectivity increasing, the doors are being thrown open to digital publishing.” – BBC News – Will e-publishing help Africa discover the joy of reading?
  • “The United States’ standings haven’t improved dramatically because we as a nation haven’t addressed the main cause of our mediocre PISA performance — the effects of poverty on students,” Dennis Van Roekel, president of the National Education Association, the nation’s largest teachers union, said in a statement.” – American 15-Year-Olds Lag, Mainly in Math, on International Standardized Tests – NYTimes.com
  • “The National Library of Norway is planning to digitize all the books by the mid 2020s. Yes. All. The. Books. In Norwegian, at least. Hundreds of thousands of them. Every book in the library’s holdings. By law, “all published content, in all media, [must] be deposited with the National Library of Norway,” so when the library is finished scanning, the entire record of a people’s language and literature will be machine-readable and sitting in whatever we call the cloud in 15 years. – Norway Just Decided to Digitize All the Norwegian Books
  • “The nature of work itself is changing for knowledge workers. During this decade, location will cease to be a barrier; many types of work will done as micro-tasks; and we will be collaborating in new ways. Not only will our employers take our offices away, but they will also expect us to be at their beck and call—and live balanced and healthy lives according to corporate standards. I know this isn’t all great, but that is the future we are headed into—whether we like it or not.” – The Scary And Amazing Future Of Work | XPRIZE
  • “The median grade in Harvard College is indeed an A-. The most frequently awarded grade in Harvard College is actually a straight A.” – Substantiating Fears of Grade Inflation, Dean Says Median Grade at Harvard College Is A-, Most Common Grade Is A | News | The Harvard Crimson
  • “During the period the study covers, 10,919 silent feature films of U.S. origin were released and only 14% of those still exist in their original 35mm format. Of those, 5% are incomplete and 11% are only available in foreign versions or lower-quality formats. Librarian of Congress James H. Billington called the state of America’s silent film heritage an “alarming and irretrievable loss to our nation’s cultural record.” – Survey Finds 70% Of American Silent Movies Have Been Lost To Time Or Neglect – Deadline.com
  • “The average debt that borrowers of student loans had at graduation continued to rise last year, climbing to $29,400 for the class of 2012, according to a new report released Wednesday by the Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS). This year’s figure, based on TICAS calculations of federal data collected every four years, is up by more than 25 percent compared with the group’s $24,450 estimate for the class of 2008.” – Average student debt for borrowers in 2012 climbed over $29,000 | Inside Higher Ed

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

Week in Review – 22 November 2013

Forward Progress on Library Recruitments

After a lengthy period of slow movement, we are seeing some forward progress on several library recruitment actions. Here are some brief updates for all our current vacancies:

  • We are very pleased that Ms. Manja Yirka has accepted an offer to join Materials Processing as our Electronic Resources Librarian (GS-11). She plans to begin work on December 2nd. This is David Stockton’s former position.
  • Our Digital Projects & Metadata Librarian (GS-11) in Materials Processing was announced this past Tuesday via USAJOBS.gov. This is an internal recruitment for current federal employees or those with eligibility for an internal hire.
  • We continue to review applications for the Supply Technician (GS-06) in Administration and hope to conclude that recruitment very shortly.
  • Our two Access Services Librarian (GS-09) positions were announced this past Tuesday via USAJOBS.gov. They are also posted as internal recruitments.
  • Paperwork is currently in review for our Systems Librarian (GS-11) and Library Technician for Special Collections (GS-06). We also have submitted paperwork to make the GS-05 technician position that was Larry Byrne’s into a new position that will help coordinate facility use, event planning/management, and also help serve as a an online community manager/social media coordinator. We do not know when these positions may be posted.

Tools for Citation Management in Transition

Due to technical issues that impair reliable and full use of the product on the USMA network, USMA Library will not be renewing our contract to provide RefWorks as an online bibliographic and citation management tool. This change will be effective 1 January 2014. Based on service usage data, we anticipate this will only impact a small subset of users. We are continuing to review alternative products to provide this service and USMA Library maintains a guide on citation management that contains information about different citation formats and tools. Specific tools that can replace RefWorks include EasyBib and Zotero. Users who wish to continue to use the RefWorks service can continue their account as a personal subscription, or export their data for use in other products. Please contact your library liaison for additional questions regarding citation management tools and services.

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 22 Nov 2013 Week in Review 0700-2100
Sat 23 Nov 2013 0900-2100
Sun 24 Nov 2013 1300-2100
Mon 25 Nov 2013 0700-2315
Tue 26 Nov 2013 Division Heads 0700-2315
Wed 27 Nov 2013 0600-1630
Thu 28 Nov 2013 Thanksgiving CLOSED
Fri 29 Nov 2013 CLOSED

USMA Library Metrics

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

22OCT-28OCT 29OCT-3NOV 4NOV-10NOV 11NOV-17NOV
Access Services
Items Charged Out 771 881 1,067
Gate Count n/a n/a n/a n/a
ILL Article Requests 23 28 20 18
ILL Book Requests 19 10 24 16
Administrative Services
DV Tours 0 0 0 0
Significant Events Hosted 3 3 2 2
Events/Meetings Attended 18 18 23 8
Information Gateway
Reference Questions 72 83 77 69
Library Instruction Sessions 4 4 2 0
Cadets Attending Sessions 62 248 4 0
Materials Processing
Items Added – Books 111 23 33 32
Items Added – Digital 0 0 128 128
Items Added – GovDocs 152 6 26 26
Items Added – Other 0 0 0 0
Continuing Resource Check-Ins 318 62 70 70
Special Collections & Archives
Reference Inquiries 40 41 37 36
Research Visits < 1 hour 3 5 11 7
Research Visits < 1 day 4 1 1 0
Research Visits > 1 day 1 2 0 1
Instruction Sessions 0 0 1 1
Cadets Taught 0 0 5 12
Systems Management
Library Home Page Visits 5,882 5,611 4,937
LibGuides Visits 979 771 675
Digital Collections Visits 291 246 231
Facebook Visits 24 28 25
Public Printer Prints 5,519 7,441 6,907
Public Printer Copies 115 278 299
Public Printer Scans 498 247 180

Food for Thought

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

  • “If we continue to present students with a false choice between the liberal arts and “real-world” vocational training, we will produce what social scientists like to call “suboptimal” outcomes. Too many talented, energetic, hard-working students will choose “safe” educational and career paths, and too many truly global problems will go unsolved.” – Essay suggests liberal arts training relates to skills | Inside Higher Ed
  • “Here are a few things you can’t do in Australia: Post a YouTube video of yourself in a homemade Super Mario Brothers costume, stream music from your iPhone during a funeral, or share just about any Internet meme on your Facebook wall. That list—a truncation of the almost endless number of online activities made illegal under Australian copyright law—is a symbol of what happens when 20th-century laws are applied to 21st-century Internet remix culture.” – The Daily Dot – Outdated copyright law makes memes illegal in Australia
  • “Although Harvard Business Review articles have been included in the journal aggregator EBSCO since 2000, as of August 1 the publisher began blocking full access to the 500 most popular articles, meaning students and professors can no longer download, print, or link directly to them. Harvard has long asserted that a digital library subscription cannot substitute for the separate licenses and fees involved when the articles are assigned in courses. Yet it says it has encountered widespread abuse of that policy, with professors referring students to the digital subscriptions. To restore the linking ability, some of the largest business-school libraries have received quotes of roughly $200,000 annually—a number the publisher, a nonprofit subsidiary of Harvard University, confirms—although the press says the average quote is below $10,000. Alternatively, business schools can pay for journal articles that are assigned in class on an à-la-carte basis or under various “umbrella” plans. Those latter arrangements have long existed. (Some business schools already have expansive licensing arrangements with Harvard that mean they are unaffected.)” – Librarians Accuse Harvard Business Publishing of Unfair Prices – Publishing – The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • “A bill introduced in the U.S. Senate on Thursday would encourage the creation of free online textbooks by offering grants for pilot projects that produce high-quality open-access textbooks, especially for courses with large enrollments. Grant money would also be available to help faculty members find and review such textbooks, as well as to conduct research on how well open-access textbooks meet students’ and faculty members’ needs.” – 2 Senators Offer Bill Promoting Open-Access Textbooks – Wired Campus – The Chronicle of Higher Education
  • “In Plato’s Phaedrus, the Egyptian gods object to the invention of writing. They said it would destroy memory and foster arrogance on the part of mankind. Maybe they were right all along. Think of all we’ve lost by succumbing to literacy — all the capacity for memory, all the imagination and verse, all the forms and songs. Think of those poor Yugoslav bards studied by Milman Parry who lost all their epics when they learned to read the newspaper. They must have felt like they had traded their birthright for a bowl of pottage. But the written word is a virus. There’s no turning back the clock on literacy. Even if we descend to communication by shouts or pheromones or feral emoticons, writing will outlast us. Unmoored from objects, the literature of the future will be infinite, iterational, and immaterial. I like to imagine the cybernetic authors of the future at home on some satellite in high orbit, quietly floating through space, 10,000 years after every trace of our era has disappeared from the surface of Earth. Decade after decade the programs will write their tired potboilers and predictable coming of age novels, their wistful Brooklyn comedies and sad Russian satires. Over time, they will gradually tire of these antiquated forms. Increasingly they will try to write from life, to express in binary language the pain of their fragmented hard drives, the loneliness of their aseptic orbits, the monotonous cycle of day and night, the lonely work of archiving a civilization that has long since forgotten its past. In this future, history exists as an eternal present. Through endless new iterations, timelines gradually blur. Libraries and apocalypses multiply. Books vanish and reappear. Vikings stream out of attack ships to burn the Library of Alexandria. Virginia Woolf leads Caesar’s legions into the Thames while cybernetic Miltons write hymns in honor of their machine gods. Under the forest canopies, humanlike primates curse each other in emojis, while on the edge of the solar halo, Lev Tolstoy, reincarnated as an artificial intelligence, born with no memory of his own future, sits down to write the book of his life.” – Papyralysis |
  • “According to BitDefender, more than one percent of 420,000 analyzed apps offered on Google’s official Android store are repackaged versions of legitimate apps. In the long run, their existence hurts the users, the legitimate developers, and Google’s reputation in general.” – 1.2% of apps on Google Play are repackaged to deliver ads, collect info
  • “Privacy may actually be an anomaly,” Cerf said at an FTC event yesterday while taking questions. Elaborating, he explained that privacy wasn’t even guaranteed a few decades ago: he used to live in a small town without home phones where the postmaster saw who everyone was getting mail from. “In a town of 3,000 people there is no privacy. Everybody knows what everybody is doing.”- Google’s chief internet evangelist says ‘privacy may actually be an anomaly’ | The Verge
  • “A great library is like the City of Paris, in which there are about eight hundred thousand persons: you do not live with the whole crowd: you choose a certain society, and change it. So with books: you choose a few friends out of the many. There will be seven or eight thousand controversial books, and fifteen or sixteen thousand novels, which you will not read: a heap of pamphlets, which you will throw into the fire after you have read them. The man of taste will read only what is good; but the statesman will permit both bad and good.” – Voltaire on the perils of censorship, the freedom of the press, and the rewards of reading.
  • “[T]he price of textbooks has risen more than 800% over the past 30 years, a rate faster than medical services (575%), new home prices (325%), and the consumer price index (250%).” – The Changing Textbook Industry
  • “I believe there’s a real chance that we can eliminate censorship and the possibility of censorship in a decade,” Google Chairman Eric Schmidt said recently at Johns Hopkins University. “The solution to government surveillance is to encrypt everything.” – Google’s Schmidt Predicts Government Censorship Can Vanish In A Decade | TechCrunch

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