Greetings from the Chief Librarian

wilma_jonesGreetings and Happy Spring!  I am pleased to bring you much news about the Library and hope my introduction will lead many of you to dig deeper and explore facets of the resources mentioned, either via our web site or by making a visit the Library to take advantage of the programs or resources mentioned.  This issue includes articles about the database eMarketer, our Freedom Riders exhibit and panel discussion, our Greener Library Discussion “Infrastructure and Ecology at Freshkills Park”, our recent bequest of the late Professor Kathryn Talarico, and an update on our new one-credit elective course LIB 501: Beyond Google: Research for College Success.

But first, I must thank all those who contributed to the Library Appeal we sent out in February and early March to match $12,163.00 from CUNY for library materials for CSI graduate programs.  Due to your timely donations, we met our goal!  Thank YOU!

At the beginning of spring, we opened a newly configured facility called the Technology Support Center.  Located in room 109A, adjacent to the Reference Reading Room, the Center offers access to available laptops and graphing calculators for loan, which were previously held in the Circulation/Reserves unit.   We are especially proud that our staff in the Center are trained to respond to malfunctioning equipment, which can return back into circulation immediately (or within 48hrs).

To date, we have seen an increase in laptop and calculator circulation, proving that our on-site service is thriving.  The Center also provides access to a scanner and a fax machine.  Plans to expand services with additional staff and high-end printers are in the works.


Photo of Technology Support Center

Last spring, I mentioned the development of our one-credit elective course LIB 501: Beyond Google: Research for College Success, which had been approved by the College Curriculum Committee as a Topics Course.  I am pleased to report that we taught four sections in the fall of 2014, and another four sections this spring.

Formal and informal assessment have revealed positive outcomes, including the fact that enrolment numbers are 30% more this spring than last fall, and students expressing that the course should be extended to 15 weeks and for 3-credits. Members of the Library Curriculum Committee plan to present the case for regularizing this course to the College’s Curriculum Committee in the fall of 2015.  But first, on behalf of the Department of the Library, I would like to express my sincere thanks and gratitude to the Office of Advisement.  Half of the responses to our poll indicated that students learnt about the course when counseled by an advisor.

I also have some very good news about additional e-Resources in our holdings.  Wiley Online Library is back! Last academic year, we had to make some tough decisions to cancel a few databases due to low usage given the high cost of the database.  Wiley was one of the few that was sorely missed.  Several faculty wrote in protest asking for this database to be re-instated.  To those who spoke up, your voices were heard and Wiley is back through a new consortial five-year package that the CUNY University Dean of Libraries has negotiated for all CUNY libraries. Included in this negotiated package was also an upgrade of the current IEEE database subscription.  We now have access to IEEE Xplore Digital Library.

As always, numerous events and programs occur in the Library, coordinated by librarians or in collaboration with other departments or divisions/schools. We offered several CLUE workshops in late April, several of which are back by popular demand.  These include “Locating NYC Census Data for Your Research,” “Researching LGBTQ History and Theory,” “Discover OneSearch,” “Using Interlibrary Loan to your advantage,” and “Using eMarketer for Marketing Research Data.” Please note that our “Introduction to the Library’s Resources and Services” workshop is still being held on Tuesdays and Thursdays through May 7th, 2015. Other events held this semester included a Literary Brunch sponsored by the Friends of the College. This event featured Associate Professor Ava Chin who shared excerpts from her book Eating Wildly: Foraging for Life, Love, and the Perfect Meal.  This is a fundraiser by the Friends for scholarships and library materials. “Freedom Riders Roundtable Discussion” featured four CSI faculty members on February 24; “Author Talks” that featured four CSI faculty members discussing their new books on April 16; and “Our School,” a film screening of the documentary about Roma (Gypsy) children and their struggle to integrate in the Romanian public school system on April 21.  In addition, during National Library Week (April 12-18), CUNY Libraries collaborated with NY Public Libraries by hosting each other to inform the community about library resources available to them.  The CSI Library collaborated with Richmondtown Public Library, whose library representatives visited on April 13, 2015. Bringing up the rear of events this year is an event by the Greener Library Committee.  They plan to make a trip to Freshkills Park to see the ten year transformation of what was formerly known as the Freshkills Landfill Dump. For more information about events/programs at the Library, see

This semester we also hosted general exhibits in the Volpe Rotunda. One recent exhibit on display in the gallery was entitled “Abraham Lincoln: the Civil War President,” which was on display until April 30th, 2015. This exhibition was created to celebrate the sesquicentennial year since the Civil  War.  Past exhibits this spring included the traveling exhibit of the “Freedom Riders” (February) in collaboration with Hillel: the Jewish Foundation for Campus Life, and the “Bagram Prisoner Campaign Exhibition” (March) in collaboration with Women’s Studies Quarterly.

While it has been quite an exciting and packed spring semester so far, it started out on a somber note.  I will close by informing you of the passing of a library staff member, Ms. Angelina Raffaele. For 15 years, Angelina Raffaele served at the Circulation/Reserves counter during the morning shift on weekdays.  She was diagnosed with cancer last fall and passed on in January 2015.  Always a delightful colleague to work with, we will certainly miss her infectious laughter and gregarious disposition.

I hope that you are having a great semester so far and that you will visit us soon.  Do take advantage of our Chat Reference and Interlibrary Loan services, which are available 24/7 to fulfill your research needs.  And also, try OneSearch!  Here’s wishing you the best for a successful semester and a wonderful summer ahead.


Wilma L. Jones, Ph.D., Associate Dean & Chief Librarian