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 ermsupport@lib.uconn.edu.

Putting Food on the Map in the State’s High School Geography Challenge

What country produces the most canola in the world? Where was wheat first grown? What state furthest south in the U.S. produces maple syrup? If you answered: 1) Canada 2) Mesopotamia or Iraq and 3) North Carolina you might have been able to match wits against the 80 or so Connecticut high school students who tested their knowledge about food, its history, and consumption during the Connecticut Geographic Alliance’s 24th Annual Connecticut High School Geographic Challenge in the UConn Libraries on Tuesday, May 19. Sixteen teams competed in geographic activities including orienteering, geographic problem solving, map interpretation, and a geography quiz, all centered around the theme of food. Andy Jolly-Ballantine, assistant professor in residence from UConn’s Geography department and coordinator of the Alliance, was master of ceremonies for the daylong event.

The winning team was from Bacon Academy in Colchester. Members include: Erica Boucher, Lauren Collins, Jared Kranc, Jillian Reynolds, and Nicholas Wright. Their advisor is Kristie Blanchard.

Members include:  Erica Boucher, Lauren Collins, Jared Kranc, Jillian Reynolds, and Nicholas Wright. Advisor is Kristie Blanchard.

The winning team included: Erica Boucher, Lauren Collins, Jared Kranc, Jillian Reynolds, and Nicholas Wright. Their advisor is Kristie Blanchard.

In second place was Daniel Hand High School from Madison. Members include: Connor Bondachuk, Courtney Burns, Patrick Fahey, and James O’Connor. Thomas Quirk is the advisor for the team.

Andy Jolly-Ballantine is coordinator of the Alliance.

Andy Jolly-Ballantine is coordinator of the Alliance.

Winning third place was Housatonic Valley Regional High School from Falls Village. Members are: Sam Bradway, Eric Chin, Jonathan Miller, Emily Sullivan, and Sara Van Deusen. Their advisor is Peter Vermilyea.

EO Smith's team hard at work answering questions.

EO Smith’s team hard at work answering questions.

The CT High School Geography Challenge is the only interscholastic geography competition in the state for high school students. The Connecticut High School Geography Challenge is sponsored by the Connecticut Geographic Alliance, an alliance among educational institutions and individuals in the state of Connecticut dedicated to promoting geography education in the state of Connecticut and supported with funding from the National Geographic Society Education Foundation. The Connecticut High School Geography Challenge requires a high level of geographic knowledge and well-developed geography skills as well as good team work.

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The winning plaques and medals were provided by Billie and David Kapp. Prior to retiring, Billie taught in Coventry and regularly participated in the popular event. David is a former staff member from the UConn Libraries.

Congratulations to all who participated!

Finding & Using Affordable Learning Resources

As the cost of textbooks continue to rise, with estimates as high as 812% or more than three times the rate of inflation since 1978, more students are choosing not to purchase textbooks, jeopardizing their success in the classroom.

However, as more emphasis is being placed on developing and sharing high quality, low cost, and easily accessible teaching materials outside of the traditional textbook, the future landscape looks bright.

The UConn Libraries’ is hosting a workshop that will help you navigate through the choices out there and offer tools to help evaluate their value in your classroom.

Wednesday, May 13
10:00-11:30am
Electronic Classroom 2
Homer Babbidge Library, Level 2

Joining us for the conversation will be two experts in the field – Nicole Allen, Director of Open Education for Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC), an initiative of the Association of Research Libraries and Charlotte Roh, Scholarly Communications Resident Librarian from UMass Amherst.

Registration for the workshop can be done at http://s.uconn.edu/opened

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Paws to Relax is Back

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The schedule for our therapy dogs for finals is below. All dogs will be on Level 1 of Homer Babbidge and the schedule is subject to change so please check back here or keep posted on Facebook or Twitter (@uconnlibraries)

Monday, May 4
1:00 – Dooley/Newfoundland
1:30 – Iggy/Portuguese Water Dog
2:00 – Lily/Shetland Sheepdog
3:00 – Cooper/German Shepherd

Tuesday, May 5
1:00 – Chase/Golden Retriever
2:00 – Bella/ Pug
3:00 – Virgil/Mini Australian Shepherd

Wednesday, May 6
1:00 – Penn/Labradoodle
2:00 – Bo/Lab Mix
3:00 – Luke/Golden Retriever

Thursday, May 7
1:00 – Sasha/Shetland Sheepdog
2:00 – Tegan
3:00 – Rosie Lee/Corgi Mix

Friday, May 8
1:00 – Coriander/Golden Retriever
2:00 – Dolly/Golden Retriever
3:00 – Vinny/English Mastiff

Babbidge Booksale – Thursday 4-30

Don’t miss the 2015 Babbidge Library Booksale this Thursday, April 30th from 9:00 – 3:00. It will be held outside under the overhang between Babbidge and the Dodd Research Center. The UConn Community (with ID) is welcome for early-bird entrance at 9:00 and the community is welcome at 11:00.

The materials cost a variety of amounts, with nothing more than $1.00.
Hardcover books & sheet music: $1.00
Paperback books & sheet music: 50¢
CDs/DVDs/VHS: $1.00 case
Maps: $1.00
Magazines and journals: free

Contact Richard Bleiler for more information

Open Textbooks Key to Curbing Costs and Increasing Student Success

Concerned about the escalating cost of traditional college textbooks, the UConn Libraries is partnering with UConnPIRG and the Undergraduate Student Government to explore “open-source” electronic textbook alternatives.

Open Textbook Image

Image derived from a graphic created by Giulia Forsythe and remixed/re-used under Creative Commons license. Courtesy of BCcampus

As commercial college textbook costs continue to rise, estimated as high as 812% or more than three times the rate of inflation since 1978 by Student PIRGs, many students are choosing to not purchase textbooks, jeopardizing their success in the classroom. A new initiative at UConn, spearheaded by students from UConnPIRG and the Undergraduate Student Government (USG), is underway to investigate ways to educate students and faculty on the value of Open Educational Resources (OER) such as open source textbooks. Unlike traditional commercial textbooks, open source textbooks are made of content gathered from various sources that are freely available online and for everyone to use.

Last fall, USG kick started the movement by voting unanimously to form a committee to explore the use of open source textbooks.  The committee is being led by UConn’s Vice Provost for Libraries Martha Bedard and UConnPIRG Textbooks Coordinator Toyin Akinnusotu.  To further strengthen their commitment, USG passed a resolution on March 11, urging faculty to submit their textbook requirements on time to the University, a requirement for all federally funded institutions. This was further supported by the University’s Provost’s Library Advisory Committee, formed to help direct the library on issues regarding scholarly information access and delivery.

“These are important resolutions for UConn students to understand,” said Hilltop Dorms Senator Daniel Byrd. “As the cost of textbooks continue to increase exponentially, it is our responsibility to do what we can to both encourage the use of open source textbooks and ensure the disclosure of information about textbook costs.”  Knowing the costs when the courses are listed is not only useful to students when considering taking a course, but also affects the buyback value of textbooks.

UConn’s Vice Provost for Libraries Martha Bedard has been involved with the Open Access movement for over a decade. “The library is a natural place to facilitate this student-centered effort regarding open textbooks,” said Bedard. “We have seen a continuous cost increase in higher education resources and much like the issues students face, libraries cannot afford to provide all the resources requested by faculty and students. There have been many advances in the amount of high quality resources freely available so I am confident the adoption of open source textbooks will not compromise a quality education and in turn will make a tremendous difference for students.”

According to a report recently released by the Student PIRGs, the soaring textbook costs is a trend across the nation. The average undergraduate student spends as much as $1,200-$1,300 for textbooks and supplies each year, one of the largest out-of-pocket expenses they face. In traditional PIRG style, members of UConnPIRG have taken a grassroots approach, talking to individual faculty and gathering support for the effort. “I am encouraged by the numerous faculty members I have spoken with who have agreed to use open source materials in their classes,” said UConnPIRG Textbooks Coordinator Toyin Akinnusotu. “We are off to a great start.”

“Much of the issue is simple education. There are dozens of open textbooks available online, for free right now that provide the same high quality information as their traditional print textbook options. It is our job to help inform faculty on the resources available to them,” said Bedard.

Learn more about some of the open educational resources available via our helpful guide.

A copy of the referenced report, “Open Textbooks: The Billion-Dollar Solution,” is available at www.studentpirgs.org/textbooks.