To start off the new year right, I’m pleased to share with you the news that the new CUL website made Emily Singley's list of Top Ten Research Libraries of 2014, see http://emilysingley.net/top-10-academic-library-websites-2014/. Emily is a Systems Librarian at Harvard who writes a blog on library interfaces, focusing on user experience, usability, and user research.
Yesterday we celebrated the winter solstice, which means in the next few weeks we will be able to detect the return of light, first in the late afternoon. And later this week, we will be taking off for a well-deserved time of celebration, rest, and renewal. My two dogs Harley (on the left) and Hummer (on the right) serve as my inspiration at this time of the year (well, actually all year long). They find joy in fresh snow, make lots of time for naps, look for a few extra treats from the kitchen, and like visiting with family and friends. They are definitely NOT thinking about work.
Social and computing sciences have focused for over thirty years on Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), a field of study articulated by Stuart K. Card, Thomas P. Moran and Allen Newell in their 1983 book, The Psychology of Human-Computer Interaction.
With Thanksgiving over and done, thoughts turn to the upcoming holidays. Like many of you, I see the holiday season as a time of gift giving and giving back by helping those less fortunate or in need of specialized services. I like the practice of donating to a favorite charity in lieu of a gift. For many years, my mom and I supported the white tigers at the Cincinnati Zoo in memory of my grandmother. But increasingly I’m committed to supporting the needs of our local community and have chosen United Way as the main means for doing so.
2014 is a year of many anniversaries, including the centenary of the beginning of World War I. Tomorrow is Veterans Day, also known as Armistice Day marking the end of World War I in 1918, when hostilities ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. This afternoon from 4:30-6:30 pm in Libe Café, Olin and Uris Libraries will host an event to commemorate the centenary of WWI—Perspectives: Readings from the Fields of War.
Two interesting reports published recently take special notice of the proliferation of mobile devices (smart phones and tablets) and their implications for academic purposes. The first one is the New Media Consortium (NMC) Horizon Report, which launched a specific library edition in August 2014, http://www.nmc.org/publications/2014-horizon-report-library. It examines trends, challenges, and emerging technologies as they impact academic and research libraries.
Take One: October 20, 2014 (What does the Appeals Court’s reversal in the GSU Ereserves case mean for Cornell?)
On Octocber 17, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit reversed the earlier District Court decision in the Georgia State reserves case (see June 4, 2012 Take One http://staffweb.library.cornell.edu/node/3015). The Circuit Court’s ruling does not represent a victory for the publishers plaintiffs: Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, and Sage Publishing. Rather the Court has sent back the case for further proceedings consistent with their findings.
As the Library strives to facilitate the scholarly conversation in our fast-changing world, we need up-to-date information about our users’ needs and a sense of their perceptions of how we are doing. Although we have done a variety of user studies on specific issues, we have not had a broad-based, library-focused user survey for nine years. Now it’s time! This Thursday, October 2nd, we are launching a survey of all faculty and teaching staff.
This week we celebrate the 32nd year that the American Library Association has sponsored Banned Books Week. This annual event highlights threats to our right to read, a freedom embodied in the First Amendment to the Constitution. It gives me immense pride that libraries have been at the forefront of those committed to protecting that right, which has two important aspects. The first is providing access to materials that document all political and social stripes.
Below is the letter that went out to all faculty on September 5th updating them on important developments in the Library. These semi-annual emails are designed to supplement the liaison contacts with faculty that occur on a regular basis. Our hope is these letters keep faculty informed but also serve as the means for engaging them with library staff, perhaps even sparking new conversations. I’m pleased to report that I received a number of emails back from faculty, thanking us for the exemplary service and offering suggestions on a number of topics—most notably on the open-access front.