Inflation-Adjusted ARL Library Expenditures Data Available from University of Connecticut

by Martha Kyrillidou | 202-296-2296 |
originally published in Association of Research Libraries News Blog on October 6, 2015

Inflation-adjusted expenditures among ARL libraries, 1963–2014

Inflation-adjusted expenditures among ARL libraries, 1963–2014

Many ARL member libraries and industry experts seek inflation-adjusted ARL library expenditures data. Now these data are available in an interactive graphical interface thanks to the work of Steve Batt, associate director of the Connecticut State Data Center—a collaboration between the University of Connecticut (UConn) Libraries, the UConn Department of Geography, and the State of Connecticut Office of Policy and Management. You can access and customize the graphs for “Inflation-adjusted expenditures for individual ARL libraries, 1987–2014” in addition to the “Median library expenditures among ARL libraries, 1963–2014” and “Percent change in expenditures, 1987–2014.” Batt used data from the annual ARL Statistics publication and the ARL Statistics Analytics along with Tableau data-visualization software to create these interactive graphs.

Batt’s Tableau Public page includes many more data-visualization stories, including a series of interactive graphs from the US National Center for Education Statistics Academic Libraries Survey 2012 and from the ARL Library Investment Index 2003–2014, an annual summary measure of the relative size of the university library members of the Association of Research Libraries.

About the Association of Research Libraries

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 124 research libraries in the US and Canada. ARL’s mission is to influence the changing environment of scholarly communication and the public policies that affect research libraries and the diverse communities they serve. ARL pursues this mission by advancing the goals of its member research libraries, providing leadership in public and information policy to the scholarly and higher education communities, fostering the exchange of ideas and expertise, facilitating the emergence of new roles for research libraries, and shaping a future environment that leverages its interests with those of allied organizations. ARL is on the web at

Papers and Media Archive of Filmmaker and Human Rights Advocate U. Roberto Romano Given to UConn’s Archives & Special Collections

The late U. Roberto (Robin) Romano was an accomplished photographer, award-winning filmmaker and human rights advocate who unflinchingly focused his eye and lens on children around the world capturing the violation of their rights.

Since 2009, Romano had made a limited number of his images available to researchers through the UConn Libraries’ Archives & Special Collections. Now, two years after his death, his total body of work, including video tape masters and digital video files, hundreds of interviews, thousands of digital photos and prints, plus his research files have been given to UConn and will now be available to those who examine human rights issues.

More than 100 of Romano’s images of child labor originally exhibited at the UConn’s William Benton Museum of Fine Art in 2006 are available online from the University Archives and Special Collections ( These are the first of the more than 130,000 still images that will be available online for research and educational use once the collection is processed. The Archives & Special Collections plans to digitize the entire collection of analog still images, negatives, and research files creating an unprecedented online resource relating to documentary journalism, child labor and human rights, and other social issues that Romano documented in his lifetime.

The gift was made by the independent producer/director Len Morris, Romano’s friend of more than 30 years, with whom he collaborated on a trilogy of films focusing on children’s human rights, Stolen Childhoods (2005), Rescuing Emmanuel (2009) and the just completed, The Same Heart, in which Romano was the Director of Photography.

Len Morris, left, and Robin Romano filming at a school in Brazil.

Len Morris, left, and Robin Romano filming at a school in Brazil.

“This gift makes us stewards of Robin’s legacy and dream,” said Martha Bedard, vice provost of the UConn Libraries. “We are honored to make his work available to faculty and students studying human rights in Storrs, and to draw attention to the issues he championed to those around the world.”

In physical terms, Romano’s body of work showcases his mastery of his medium, his ability to capture children in poignant, often heart wrenching conditions, and the methodology behind his award-winning work, Morris asserts.

“More importantly, as the result of his life’s work 80 million fewer children are working in child labor, 40 million children who were forced to work like animals are now in schools and international laws have been passed to protect children,” Morris says. “In short, Robin’s images changed minds, hearts, and the fueled the debate.”

The son of the artist and Works Progress Administration (WPA) muralist Umberto Romano, Robin began his career in documentaries as a producer and cameraman for Les Productions de Sagittaire in Montreal, where he worked on several series including 5 Defis and L’Oeil de L’Aigle.

Among the organizations that have used his work are GoodWeave, the Global March Against Child Labour, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Free the Slaves, the International Labor Organization, Stop the Traffik, the Hunger Project, International Labor Rights Forum, the Farm Labor Organizing Committee and Antislavery International. Organizations who sponsored or funded Romano’s work will have the ability to use the images he created for them to continue their work and advocacy.

Romano’s documentaries have been widely recognized. The film The Harvest/La Cosecha received a Special Achievement Award, from American Latino Media Arts/ National Council of La Raza) in 2011, an honor he treasured, coming from the entire Latino community.

1433FN09 ©ROMANO 10-Year-Old Child Laborer at a Gravel Quarry Orissa, India A young girl carries a basket filled with 40 pounds of rock on her head. During the course of a day she will carry over a ton of rock in 100 degree plus weather. Exposure to the rock dust from the grinder causes silicosis of the lungs and inevitably leads to respitory illness and sometimes death.

10-Year-Old Child Laborer at a Gravel Quarry
Orissa, India
A young girl carries a basket filled with 40 pounds of rock on her head. During the course of a day she will carry over a ton of rock in 100 degree plus weather. Exposure to the rock dust from the grinder causes silicosis of the lungs and inevitably leads to respitory illness and sometimes death.

Robin Romano in Ghana.

Robin Romano in Ghana.

Changing the Game in UConn’s Open Textbook Initiative

The start of a new semester brings a welcome flurry of activity in the Library as students get settled into the rhythm of the semester. It also brings renewed concerns over the high-cost of textbooks and other resources students need to participate fully in their classes. We know this can be frustrating for students and look to use the opportunity to gain more momentum for our continuing efforts to educate faculty and students on the myriad of high quality, open educational resources available to them.

And already this semester we have some exciting news to share.


open textbook graphic photo credit: giulia.forsythe; via photopin; cc

Overwhelming Faculty Support
At the September 21, 2015 UConn Senate Meeting, faculty Senators overwhelmingly approved the ‘Resolution in Support of the Open Textbook Initiative.’ The resolution urges faculty to utilize existing procedures to reduce costs to students including using library-licensed resources, assigning older editions of texts, rental programs, and complying with textbook request due dates form the UConn Co-op to allow them the opportunity to provide better buy back prices.

Additionally, through the resolution the Senate has encouraged faculty to continue to explore means to increase the use of high quality, low or no cost accessible materials. Having the faculty behind this measure is a pivotal piece of the puzzle.

A Game Changer
Gaining momentum is one thing, but Dr. Edward Neth is about to change the game. A lecturer in Chemistry and a member of the Provost’s Library Advisory Committee, Dr. Neth has done research into the availability of open source materials for the introductory chemistry courses being taught at UConn and was not able to find the right fit. So instead of updating the textbook he co-authored with other UConn faculty members, Dr. Neth has proposed creating an open source text that does fit.

Already of interest to other higher educational research institutions looking to expand their open educational resources, we are working to find funding sources to help provide the support to allow him to do this. If successful, Neth has suggested that conservatively this will save his students over $400,000 over a 5 year period. If the resource is adapted by his colleagues, the savings could reach near $1,000,000!

buy-textbooksStudent Activism Makes the Difference
While many open textbook initiatives across the country have come from places like the library and faculty senates, here at UConn we have seen how students truly make the difference in moving critical initiatives forward. From grassroots efforts by UConnPIRG, to official student response via UConn Undergraduate Student Government (USG), we are energized by their commitment to their fellow students.

USG and UConnPIRG were partners in pushing for the successful passage of CT House Bill 6117. The bill, introduced originally by Representative Haddad, 54th District does three main things: (1) requires the Board of Regents for Higher Education and UConn to establish an open source textbook pilot program that assess the use of high-quality digital open-source textbooks and promotes their use; (2) completion of a report about the pilot by July 1, 2016 addressing the potential costs savings and barriers to the program; and (3) outlining best practices for utilizing these resources moving forward. Vice Provost Bedard has been asked to serve as one of UConn’s representatives to this group, as well as USG Senator Daniel Byrd, who has been a constant support of these efforts and on the University’s Open Textbook Initiative Committee. We are looking forward to seeing that work commence.

We are also beyond pleased to have the support of USG, who has recently committed funding to continuing the education efforts through an Open Textbook Symposium to be held this coming spring. This workshop will be a continuation of the efforts made in May, where we allowed faculty and staff to “kick the tires” of some of the textbooks available online and in print.

As the date of that draws near, we will provide more information. In the meantime, faculty members can mark their calendars for December 2 and join the Institute for Teaching & Learning’s Lunchtime Faculty Workshop devoted to learning more about affordable textbooks.

Other articles on the Open Textbook Initiative
Open Textbooks Key to Curbing Costs and Increasing Student Success, March 2015
Finding & Using Affordable Learning Resources, May 2015


Night Owl/Early Bird Study Space

night owl early bird logoToday members of UConn’s Undergraduate Student Government joined us to help open up the new ‘Night Owl/Early Bird Study Space’ in Homer Babbidge Library. Located on the Plaza, the space will serve as a quiet study space for students when the building is closed. Accessible through the current Plaza 24-7 Quiet Study Room, the hours for the semester include:

Monday-Friday – 1am-7:30am
Friday  – 8pm-10am Saturday
Saturday – 8pm-10am Sunday


USG President Rachel Conboy and member Tim Lim.

The additional space is the result of ongoing coordination with UConn’s Undergraduate Student Government to help improve library services for students. Of particular interest was access to quiet study space overnight. “By converting our staff lounge during times when it isn’t being used, we are able to open up another 50 seats for quiet study when the library is closed,” noted Vice Provost Martha Bedard.

Joining us for the ribbon cutting was USG President Rachel Conboy and member Tim Lim. Tim was instrumental in advocating for the room as the former chair of the Academic Services Committee.

TIm Lim; Rachel Conboy; David Avery, Facilities Manager; Martha Bedard, Vice Provost

TIm Lim; Rachel Conboy; David Avery, Facilities Manager; Martha Bedard, Vice Provost

In addition to the space, we have also added a printing station in the Bookworms Cafe, which will also be accessible for 24-7 use. Use is the same as all other Husky Print locations.

Check them out and let us know what you think!

New Library Search!

Have you heard us mention that we will have a new search feature and wondered what it’s all about? Powered by ExLibris Primo, our search tool allows you to search and retrieve local and remote resources such as books, videos, and journal articles.







What does it mean for you?

The tool combines separate systems into one convenient search box, enabling you to access our books, electronic materials such as ejournals and ebooks, and Connecticut Digital Archive (CTDA) materials all in one place. This new system will not only better integrate our resources, but provide results that are returned quickly, in an easy to read format, and in real time. New features include a virtual browsing option that shows you the items next to yours on the shelf as well as information on multiple versions of the same material available.

Library Search via Primo
Library Search via Primo



The system also searches the Primo Central Index. This currently holds over 900 million resources that can be requested through our interlibrary loan system.

Over the next year, our search will also allow us the ability to integrate the resources found at UConn’s School of Law and Health Libraries.

The switch will take place on Monday, July 13 and does not affect the current system for searching databases, interlibrary loan requests, and course reserve requests.

The search feature is one piece of a larger migration of our library management system in the background called Alma. We won’t dive into the details on that but what is important to know about that is that Alma will provide more efficiency for staff behind the scenes since Alma also integrates several legacy systems.

All of this is an effort for the UConn Libraries to make our collections easier for you to find as well as find ways to use our resources more efficiently during difficult financial times. If you have any questions or want to learn more, we suggest starting with our how-to guide. If that doesn’t quite answer your question, please feel free to Ask a Librarian or submit a comment and we will respond.




Summer Exhibits at Babbidge

Those planning “staycations” this summer, but wishing they had more adventurous plans on tap can easily be transported to other worlds by visiting this summer’s art exhibits at Homer Babbidge Library.

On view are photos of such environs as Dingle Harbor in Ireland, Kerala in India, and Times Square courtesy of members of the Connecticut Valley Camera Club (CVCC) in their “Photography: a Passion” exhibit. Started in 2002, the CVCC is an active group that boasts 45 members with backgrounds as diverse as the photographs they create. From architect, to molecular biologist, to flight attendant, to landscape architect, they are united in their passion for capturing sights that speak to them. This show represents the work of 11 members.

Diane Lindsay's First Light.

Diane Lindsay’s First Light.

Dingle Harbor by Dean Rupp.

Dingle Harbor by Dean Rupp.

Scientific illustrator Virge Kask treats those visiting her “Art in Science” exhibit to a visual feast found in the natural world. From Alaska to the Chesapeake Bay to the Central American rainforest, she has drawn inspiration for interactive critical habitat posters. UConn’s resident science illustrator, Kask shows the wide range of work she’s done over past 30 years for journals, children’s books, educational posters, and museum exhibits.

Virge Kask Arctic Wildlife

Virge Kask Arctic Wildlife

Virge Kask's Grass Cicada Courtship.

Virge Kask’s Grass Cicada Courtship.

A public reception will take place on Thursday, September 10 from 4-6 p.m.

The exhibits run through October 19.

UConn Libraries’ Joins EAST Project

stacksWe are pleased to announce that the UConn Libraries will be a retention partner in the Boston Library Consortium’s Eastern Academic Scholars’ Trust (EAST) initiative. EAST is a major shared print initiative that includes 46 other member libraries across New England, New York and Pennsylvania. The idea is rather simple yet revolutionary – to ensure access to print items, such as books, journals and serials without every institution needing to have them in their libraries.

The collaborative nature of libraries runs deep. The second law of library science introduced in 1931 by Dr. Ranganathan suggests that every member of the community should be able to obtain the material they need. Since every library is unable to own everything, this “law” is the premise behind why libraries already actively engage in services such as interlibrary loan, expanding access to electronic resources and are at the forefront of expanding the use of open educational resources. What is revolutionary about this initiative is the large scale effort to manage the materials collectively.

When you add into the conversation the need for libraries, particularly those in an academic setting, to continue to adapt to changing landscapes in the way we research, teach and learn, we are seeing a strain on the balance between physical print collections and spaces that are high in demand. A shared stewardship of print materials among members of EAST will alleviate some of that pressure for space without compromising the need for preservation and access to scholarly works.

We have been actively involved in this project which will begin with a collection analysis at each library, the development of a system to determine what the resources are that will be shared, decisions on who will retain them in their libraries and how we share them most efficiently and effectively. From our perspective, not only will this allow us to continue in our goals to collaborate at a regional level, but to also help us to get a full picture of the materials in our print collection. The timing couldn’t be better as we will also be able to utilize this information as part of the framework for a master plan for the Homer Babbidge Library, a project we are also embarking on this summer.

The EAST project is being generously funded through the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Davis Educational Foundation. The Mellon funding is to support the development of the sharing network and the Davis Foundation is funding the collection analysis which is estimated at over 20 million volumes.

We look forward to being a part of this project as it moves forward over the next two years. We will be represented by Patrick Carr, Associate University Librarian for Collections & Discovery so if you have any questions please feel free to contact him. For a more detailed look at the project, please see the BLC Website.




Best Wishes Terri Goldich and Joe Scott

Today the UConn Libraries sends its best wishes to two long standing employees – Terri Goldich and Joe Scott. Both Terri and Joe will retire after 38 years of service to UConn. Yup, we said 38…

Terri Goldich

Terri Goldich

Terri has most recently served as Curator for the Northeast Children’s Literature Collection, contributing to many successes in Archives & Special Collections and in particular the unprecedented growth in the children’s literature collections.

Hired in March 1977 to participate in the Pioneer Valley Union List of Serials cooperative program, the first ever effort for libraries in the region to automate information about serials, Terri soon moved on to other positions in the UConn Libraries, including as the Connecticut List of Serials coordinator and to serve on the reference and information desks. She was among the first staff to inhabit the archives in the newly built Thomas J. Dodd Research Center in 1996.

Terri has played a pivotal role in the prominence and popularity of the Connecticut Children’s Book Fair, becoming Co-Chair in 2006 with Suzy Staubach from the UConn Co-op.

Terri tells us that after a short visit to her daughter Rose, who currently lives and works in Montana, she plans to enroll in the state’s foster parent program.

Vice Provost Martha Bedard and Joe Scott

Joe grew up in the shadow of UConn, where his dad taught zoology and physiology. His dad, also Joe Scott, retired in 1976, the year Joe came to work for the libraries. So Joe calculates that next year will be the first year in about 62 years without the service of one or the other of these two Joe Scotts. After graduating from EO Smith High in 1967, he headed for Providence where he earned a degree in music at Brown University, graduating in 1971. He continued on and earned his library degree from Simmons College.

He summarizes his 38 plus years of service at the UConn Libraries in this way:

“I have been pleased to have been a part of several projects, the goals of which were to provide better access to our collections, particularly those of music. These have included reclassification, barcoding, converting to our fully automated library system (until now, with Voyager, although, like me, Voyager has one foot out the door!), bib record enhancement, both locally and for OCLC records. Particularly rewarding to me was the opportunity to serve, in 2008, on the committee that drafted specs for the retrospective and ongoing authority control of our database of catalog records. I’ve been a long-time member of the Music Library Association, its New England Chapter, and the Music OCLC Users group, having served briefly as an officer in the latter two organizations.”

But that hasn’t been all he’s done.  During his personal time, he applied his knowledge of the history of UConn’s School of Fine Arts and, with Dramatic Arts Professor emeritus Bob McDonald, developed a chronology of the school that was used to write and publish a 50th anniversary book of the School’s history.  Their work was lauded by two SFA School deans.  “Without question, this could not have been done without your expertise, your research capabilities and your commitment,” one said in praising his role. Joe extends many thanks for the assistance given with the University Archives by staff at the Dodd Center. Joe notes: “If all goes according to plan, the interactive timeline built from the research we did, will make its debut on the internet within the next day or two.”

We expect Joe will remain very busy in retirement. He is active in choral singing as a baritone (also bass, and occasionally, second tenor). He has sung professionally and currently is a member of Hartford’s Immanuel Congregational Church Chancel Choir, (Joe was also just recnetly made Deacon of the church), the Vernon Chorale, and the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Chorus. Joe is fond of quoting the title of a hymn, “How can I keep from singing?” Retirement plans include trips to Rhode Island beaches, reading the history of World War II and learning about how his father and an uncle served, road trips to NCAA Women’s Basketball Final Fours, and to national conventions of the American Choral Directors Association and the Barbershop Harmony Society.

Best wishes to you both from all of the staff at the UConn Libraries as you embark on writing the next chapter in your lives.

BrowZine Cancellation

The Libraries recently decided to discontinue offering users the ability to access our full-text journals via the mobile app BrowZine, which was being piloted this past year. While the BrowZine app is free to users, the library incurs a cost in making our content available and the low usage statistics gathered does not justify that cost.

It is always a difficult decision to limit access to our resources. As stewards of our collections, it is important to ensure that we are providing the right balance of scholarly resources available to faculty, staff and students. As we continue to face difficult financial times, we are steadfast in our commitment to consider cost vs. use for all the services we offer. In this case, we believe based on relatively low usage statistics it is more important to keep access to the full-text resources, rather than supporting this additional form of access.

Please note that UConn’s journals will no longer be accessible via BrowZine as of June 30, 2015.  Users will continue to be able to access full-text resources through our website. If you use BrowZine to read open access journal articles, that will still be available to you.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact