Since January we have had the opportunity to welcome new staff to the UConn Library and wished others well as they moved on to other positions or retirements. (Information is for the time period of July 1, 2019-September 30, 2020.)
We chatted with Dean Anne Langley and asked her a few questions so you can get to know her better.
How did you get into libraries? I worked as a student assistant in a Library as an undergraduate and watched librarians and the role they played in academia and saw myself being a part of that.
What do you love most about working in a library? Having access to all the information I could possibly want.
Why was it important to you that having fun be a part of the values for the Library? People are more productive and creative when they are having fun and in order to solve the challenges facing academia and libraries we have to be productive and creative.
What are you working on now that you want us to know about? UConn has a new Provost and we have been working together on several initiatives including finding new models for accessing information, particularly journals. Since UConn also has a new President, we are working together to ensure that we incorporate their goals into building the right library for UConn.
In the midst of the pandemic, what do you do to take your mind off the crazy things happening in the world right now? I am slightly addicted to BTS (the Bangtan Boys or Bulletproof Boy Scouts, is a seven-member South Korean boy band) and painting in my art studio.
What is a positive that has come from this pandemic? Realizing how amazing our staff is under pressure and how they have stepped up in their game to support research and teaching at UConn.
What’s your most used emoji? Thumbs up.
What was your first job? Short-order cook at a local diner.
Do you have a crazy library story to share? In my first professional library position I got in trouble for having too much fun date stamping the journals and organizing chair races.
What’s your go-to productivity trick? Using brightly colored pens and paper.
What’s one professional skill you’re currently working on? Dismantling racism.
Do you have a hidden talent? Patience.
If you could choose a superpower, what would it be? Finding something good about anything.
Using activism and social justice collections in Archives & Special Collections.
“These issues are no different than those faced today, which I think highlights the idea that progress is a sustained organizing action and students need to see what has worked in the past and some things that haven’t.” – Graham Stinnett, Archivist
This fall UConn offered a new course designed to introduce students to the foundational history of systemic and anti-Black racism in the U.S. that underlies the current movement. The free course, titled U.S. Anti-Black Racism is coordinated by a team of three faculty of color at UConn through a series of online modules with topics including the history and concepts of systemic and institutionalized anti-Black racism, Black resilience and resistance, and intersectional solidarity.
One of those modules, Anti-Blackness on the College Campus, will highlight the Alternative Press Collections held in Archives & Special Collections. The module explores the Black student sit-in of April 22-24, 1974 at the University of Connecticut’s Wilbur Cross Library. Using historical documents and photographs, archivist Graham Stinnett contextualizes and explores the recorded past to demonstrate the impact students of color have had in anti-racist activism at UConn. A video created specifically for the class has been released as part of the celebration of the 25th anniversary of Archives & Special Collections as well as some other resources including photos and an interview with former library director Norman Stevens.
In celebration of Open Access Week 2020, this is the fifth and final blog in a series written by the UConn Library Scholarly Communications Coordinating Group (SCCG) to explore how Open Access has impacted the COVID-19 pandemic. To learn more about the SCCG and find more resources, see our Scholarly Communications webpage.
As the novel coronavirus has spread across the globe, it has sparked comparisons to past global health crises, such as the influenza pandemic of 1918-1919. Seeking to make sense of the pandemic’s impact, scholars, physicians, public health officials, and journalists alike have turned to the past, drawing upon historical accounts and knowledge of these past events to inform our response today.
Archives, libraries, museums, and agencies around the world have developed open collections of historical resources and primary sources related to global pandemics, epidemics, and other public health crises. From governmental, political, and public health actions to personal accounts, these freely accessible resources provide important insight and context into how societies responded to and learned from these events, helping us to not only understand our current environment but also to better prepare for the future.
International collection of digitized governmental resources, medical research, and other primary sources related to the 1918 influenza pandemic (Hathi Trust)
In celebration of Open Access Week 2020, this is the fourth blog in a series of five written by the UConn Library Scholarly Communications Coordinating Group (SCCG) to explore how Open Access has impacted the COVID-19 pandemic. To learn more about the SCCG and find more resources, see our Scholarly Communications webpage.
The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the process of sharing information to help stop the spread of the virus. Engineering standards that address the design of personal protective equipment were made available for free by the ISO (International Organization for Standardization) and ASTM International (American Society for Testing and Materials). Normally, all engineering standards are behind a paywall, only available for purchase or by an institutional subscription.
In addition, the maker community was quick to respond by making CAD drawings on STL files of face shields and sharing them on websites like Thingiverse. Quilting and craft communities shared free templates for fabric face masks, designed to be worn by the public, thereby preserving the supply of N95 masks for medical personnel. To learn more about this, click on the links below.
In celebration of Open Access Week 2020, this is the third blog in a series of five written by the UConn Library Scholarly Communications Coordinating Group (SCCG) to explore how Open Access has impacted the COVID-19 pandemic. To learn more about the SCCG and find more resources, see our Scholarly Communications webpage.
An international effort is underway which includes seventy five countries collaborating on the financing of and research for a vaccine for the COVID-19 pandemic. They will partner with 90 lower-income countries, for a total of 165 countries working together, representing more than 60% of the world’s population.
Each member country will receive a share of the vaccine doses proportional to their population, regardless of whether they can afford full membership. This is a global collaboration to accelerate the development and production of, and equitable access to, COVID-19 tests, treatments and vaccines. The open access gateway for information on this effort is CURE: Covid-19 Universal REsources Gateway This is a joint initiative between UNESCO, the Indian Statistical Institute, and the Network of Scientific Journals from Latin America, Caribbean, Spain and Portugal (Redalyc.)
The United States is not currently part of this global initiative, under President Trump. In the United States, A Framework for Equitable Allocation of Vaccine for the Novel Coronavirus was issued in September, 2020, by the National Academies of Science, Engineering & Medicine. The report was requested by and sponsored by the NIH and the CDC. The report was written to aid in policy and decision-making in the United States and beyond to plan for equitable distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine.
In celebration of Open Access Week 2020, this is the second blog in a series of five written by the UConn Library Scholarly Communications Coordinating Group (SCCG) to explore how Open Access has impacted the COVID-19 pandemic. To learn more about the SCCG and find more resources, see our Scholarly Communications webpage.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, access to data has become vitally important as infection rates and deaths are tracked, local resource information is made available, and researchers work together to sequence the virus and create a vaccine.
Data dashboards have become a quick, easy way to share numbers and visual information about the pandemic. The Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 Map has become well-known and shows real-time information about the pandemic in an easy to read format.
The open data available is also bringing known disparities in the healthcare system into a fresh light.
The COVID Racial Data Tracker is a collaboration between the COVID Tracking Project and the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research gathering the most complete and up-to-date race and ethnicity data on COVID-19 in the United States.
Open data in these cases can help you make informed choices about staying safe in your community, can help you understand the ongoing pandemic, and can highlight areas where you can take action and stay informed about how the pandemic is affecting others around you.
In celebration of Open Access Week 2020, this is the first blog in a series of five written by the UConn Library Scholarly Communications Coordinating Group (SCCG) to explore how Open Access has impacted the COVID-19 pandemic. To learn more about the SCCG and find more resources, see our Scholarly Communications webpage.
During a time of global pandemic some countries, publishers, and institutions are making access to research articles on COVID-19 publicly accessible. In a crisis it’s crucial that important research not be barred from use by subscription paywalls.
The emergency measures in academic libraries in response to COVID-19 have made available for the first time vast quantities of previously unavailable digital resources for research and teaching. This has demonstrated the great value and savings in time, travel expenses, and even carbon emissions that open educational and scholarly resources can make possible. The success of these temporary measures greatly strengthens the case for the expansion of Open Resources in academic libraries on both practical and economic grounds. There are major cost savings embedded in the embrace of Open Resources, sometimes not readily apparent on the balance sheet, but nevertheless indisputably demonstrable upon close examination.
Examples of countries working together to make research widely available:
⦁ Twelve countries’ science advisors wrote an open letter to publishers of science research content to make all research on the coronavirus and COVID-19 available for free through PubMed Central or other nationally recognized repositories. https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/063.nsf/eng/h_98016.html
Examples of organizations making research information available:
⦁ OpenAire, a European based collaboration of partners and stakeholders, has “created a specific Community to collect all research results that could be relevant for the scientific community worldwide working on the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) and SARS-CoV-2.” https://www.openaire.eu/openaire-activities-for-covid-19
⦁ The Inter Academy Partnership, a collection of 140 national, regional and global member academies, have put out a communique calling for collective open action against Covid-19. https://www.interacademies.org/node/52980
The UConn Library and Connecticut State Colleges & Universities (CSCU) Library Consortium have partnered to acquire major university press eBook collections from Walter De Gruyter Inc. The first of its kind, this purchase lays the foundations for future library partnerships among all public institutions of higher education in Connecticut.
The partnership gives students, faculty, and staff at UConn and all CSCU institutions permanent online access to almost every book published by:
Harvard University Press, 2000-2020
Iberoamericana Vervuert, 1979-2020
University of Chicago Press, 2017-2020
Yale University Press, 2016-2020
Access to these approximately 4,800 books is through the De Gruyter platform, which allows chapter-by-chapter downloads in PDF format without restrictions on simultaneous users. Faculty may adopt these books in their courses and are encouraged to consult with their institution’s library about linking for off-campus access. CSCU and UConn are also permitted to lend the whole eBooks to other libraries nationwide, enabling even more inclusive access.
“This collaboration is an example of the work we are doing at UConn to find innovative and sustainable models of providing access to materials that are vital to research and teaching,” said UConn Provost Carl Lejuez. “This partnership maximizes cost savings and underscores our commitment to working with colleagues across CT on the critical role we all play in advancing scholarship.” CSCU Provost Jane Gates concurs, adding, “The CSCU libraries provide critical resources to our students, and I am pleased to support this innovative partnership with UConn, particularly in the current environment where remote access is more important than ever.”
Kenneth McNeil, Professor of English at Eastern Connecticut State University, commented that “It’s wonderful we have obtained this collection, which will be a great new resource, especially for our students. And the ability to adopt eBooks for use in courses is an added bonus.” Via this purchase, “hard-to-find, in some cases prohibitively expensive texts have become immediately available,” observed Margaret Breen, Professor of English and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at UConn. “The investment reflects support crucial for scholarly research and training.”
The UConn Library recently acquired permanent online access to 18 million pages of scholarly journal articles, 51,000 scores, 6,000 scholarly books, 1,800 documentary films, and millions of pages of primary sources across all subjects. Electronic access was prioritized in response to the COVID pandemic, which curtailed access to library DVDs, print, and archives. Unlimited access and downloads are permitted. Everything is available to all UConn, including Health and Law.
Academic Video Online 70,000 streaming videos, including documentary and feature films, interviews, performances, news programs and newsreels, and demonstrations and trainings across all subjects. Note that this is a subscription database, so its continuation past 2022 hinges on usage and funding.
Classical Scores Library 51,000 classical music scores comprising 1.3 million printable pages—the largest such collection sold to libraries. Scores are from more than 4600 composers and span all major classical musical genres and time periods from the Middle Ages to the 21st century. UConn owns Parts 1-4.
Wiley Journal Backfiles 900+ Wiley-published journals (18 million pages) from their first volumes and issues through 1997. This archive encompasses all subjects and is strongest in business, social sciences, and STEM, especially medicine and nursing. Half the titles are sourced from scholarly societies.
Women’s Magazine Archive 12 major consumer magazines aimed at a female readership, including Better Homes & Gardens (1922-2005), Cosmopolitan (1886-2005), Essence (1970-2005), Seventeen (1944-2005), and Town and Country (1846-2005). Contains over 1.7 million pages. UConn owns Parts 1 and 2.
DocuSeek2 Complete Collection 1800+ documentary films covering a vast array of issues and topics from leading film producers and distributors, including Bullfrog, Icarus, and independent filmmakers worldwide.
National Theatre Collection 30 stage productions from the powerhouse National Theatre, captured on high-definition video. Features adaptations of classics (Shakespeare, Mary Shelley) as well as contemporary dramas. Also includes unique digitized primary sources such as photos, scripts, and costume designs.
Scholarly eBooks -Subject Collections
Bloomsbury Medieval Studies Includes the Global Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages and more than 150 scholarly eBooks, along with museum images and an interactive timeline, making this database a useful teaching tool.
Digitalia Hispánica 30,000 scholarly eBooks and journals in Spanish from presses in Latin America and Iberia. Note that this is a subscription database, so its continuation past 2021 hinges on usage and funding.
Children’s Literature & Culture 2.2 million pages of primary sources recording the growth of children’s literature during the nineteenth century and providing legal and sociological texts to contextualize this growth, especially in literature, education, and crime mostly from the US and UK.
Law and Legal History: Archives Unbound 180,000 pages of primary sources illuminating pivotal legal issues in the United States. Coverage includes 122 cases argued by Abraham Lincoln (1855-1861), Jim Crow laws (1871-1884), price control regulations (1941-1961), and the passage of the Clean Air Act (1990).
Radical Studies: Archives Unbound Tens of thousands of pages of primary sources documenting radical political groups throughout the 20th century across the United States, Europe, and Latin America, including Communist and other leftist groups, Black liberation movements, and U.S. federal surveillance of activists.
Nation Magazine Archive 1865-2020 Permanent online access to the full text of The Nation (1865-2020), a leading progressive magazine and the oldest continuously published weekly magazine in the United States.