Greetings from the Chief Librarian

wilma_jonesGreetings from the Chief Librarian

Greetings and Happy Fall!  I am pleased to lead with exciting news about the Library, but first, not to take away from this issue, you will find several informative articles about new resources and services and past events and programs.  These include the online resource DSM-5, the new the loaner program for iPads, a feature on Prof. Valerie Forrestal about her new book, Knowledge Management for Libraries, and our participation in the college-wide program last Spring, “We are One: Inclusive Language Practices.”

As always, there is so much to report and so little space to get it all in.  Nevertheless, the following highlights a few of the most exciting developments that occurred in the Library last academic year.  First to report, our Student Government Association donated $5,000 toward the purchase of sixty-six (66) TI-84 graphing calculators for the newly initiated semester-long loans. I am happy to report that as of the first week of fall semester, 110 graphing calculators were checked out!  Second, over 18,000+ records of video-clips and documentaries form the live-streaming database, Films on Demand, were fully integrated into the catalog and this has dramatically increased downloads and viewings.  Third, we implemented a soft roll out of a Demand Driven Acquisition (DDA) program to purchase electronic books and 17 titles were triggered for purchase after four (4) viewings from a database of 450 titles.  This is a cost-effective method for us to develop certain collections and as we enter our second year of this project, we are expanding it to include live-streaming media for films.   Our Digital Lab received an upgrade in PCs and users couldn’t ask for a better experience in performance in speed. We closed out the year with a new initiative to recover lost and overdue materials by offering amnesty during the last two weeks of the spring semester.  Sixty-six (66) books were returned, thanks to their former owners. For more of the unabridged text, please view the 2015/16 annual report on the Library’s website at http://www.library.csi.cuny.edu/publications/

Turning to this academic year, the Library has several initiatives lined up, among which are the following three.  Monthly, the Library offered topical workshops at club hours and evening hours.  Topics include: “Avoiding Plagiarism,” “Evaluating Websites,” “Citing Sources: MLA,” and “Citing Sources: APA.”  Online tutorials matching these workshops are also available, and a quiz is attached for self-assessment.  In addition, last spring, librarians worked with a Writing-Across-the Curriculum Fellow to strengthen research writing in ENG 151.  The results of this collaboration is being implemented this fall where students undertook an assignment assessing their research skills prior to and during the library instruction session.

We also offered several events and programs this fall and kicking off the semester is a traveling exhibit entitled “The Progress Era: Creating a Modern America, 1900-1917.” This exhibit was secured from the Gilder Lehrner Institute of American History and will be available to the college community from October 13 – November 4, 2016.  Related to this exhibit, and in celebration of Archives History Day, our own Prof. Jonathan Cope gave a lecture on October 25, entitled Libraries, Knowledge, and the Common Good: The Cultural Politics of Labor Republicanism in Progressive-Era Wheeling, West Virginia. In November, the Library collaborated with the Center for Global Engagement for a film series during International Education Week, Nov 14-18.

Next spring, we plan to organize a series of events all year to celebrate the New York Women’s Suffrage Centenniel.  For updates on this event and others, please check our calendar of events at http://www.library.csi.cuny.edu/events.

From time to time, the Library accepts gifts of various kinds (i.e., monographs, maps, ephemera), one’s that are appropriate to the current curriculum.  Last year, the Archives and Special Collections was approached by the widow of cartoonist Aaron Bacall, and we accepted his papers and creative works.  Bacall, a resident of Staten Island, published cartoons in the Staten Island Advance for over thirty years, authored a humor column for the newspaper in the 1980s, and also published some of his cartoons in The New Yorker, Wall Street Journal, and other national publications in this country and abroad. On October 27 we held a program in the Archives and Dr. James Kaser, our College Archivist, presenting a screening of video interviews with Bacall’s widow, Linda.

Last but not least, I am happy to inform you of our continued success with our 1-credit elective course LIB 102: Beyond Google: Research for College Success, a course specifically, designed for first-year students.  As we completed our fifth semester with five sections, we note a dramatic increase in enrollment where the numbers this semester alone almost match the total numbers enrolled all of last year (110 to 119, respectively).  Three library faculty members participated in CUNY’s online teaching program last summer and as a result LIB 102 has three hybrid sections with required readings from open educational resources.  Interestingly enough, as we continue to review the post-assessment data from this course, we find that over the past two years a high number of those enrolled have earned 60-120 credits (42%). An in-depth analysis revealed that many of the 60+ credit enrollees were taking the course due to the fact that they needed just one (1) additional credit.  However, in reading their recommendations about the course, all were favorable and the following three are representative of their overall comments: “I would strongly suggest this course be mandatory for all students during their first semester,” “Absolutely excellent for beginning students,” and “Wish I took this course in my first year in college.”

I hope that you are having a great semester so far and I hope you will make time to join us for some of our upcoming workshops, events, or programs.  And if you haven’t seen our “2016 Elections Guide” http://guides.library.csi.cuny.edu/2016ElectionGuide and “Rock the Vote” http://www.library.csi.cuny.edu/rock-the-vote/ display of books that’s been getting some attention, do come by and check it out.

Here’s wishing you the best for a productive and successful semester.  Cheers!

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