Thanks for reading and I promise you that your curiosity will not be disappointed. There is much to report in this newsletter and I am torn between what exciting news to report first. But here goes…
During this past agreeable and moderate summer, the first and second floors of the Library received a face lift with new wall-to-wall carpet. “Prairie Grass,” the name of the carpet, won by a landslide choice of library faculty staff and work-study students. “Prairie Grass” has dramatically changed and brightened up the library environment in particular the reading room. I am pleased to report that everyone who has seen it has expressed a delight at the new landscape. So please drop in and be dazzled by the carpet.
This issue includes some new and exciting features to enhance your research as well as information about past and upcoming programs. Among the articles includes the introduction to CUNY’s OneSearch, the Google-like gateway to searching CUNY libraries’ materials in one fell swoop. Indeed, for the amateur searcher, this is the ideal where books, DVDs, and articles all turn up in the results of a search. For the intermediate and expert searcher, forget this and please go directly to your specific database, e.g. PsycINFO, ACS, Science Direct, or Lexis-Nexis. Kudos to our Prof. Mark Aaron Polger, whose title for this new search engine was selected out of the hat of five finalists.
The CUNY Financial Initiative bestowed upon us yet again with additional funding for textbooks to support the undergraduate curriculum. I am happy to say that most titles (updated editions and or new) were acquired and all in by the first week of classes. We have seen already observed a marked increase in the use of textbooks on reserve this semester. Upon analyzing book costs, the Circulation/Reserves unit reported that the average cost of the top 25 titles used was $199, according to the 2013/14 annual report.
As always, I invite you to stop by one or two of our programs this semester. We have a wealth of interesting programs scheduled, including a round table discussion on the impact of the Verrazano Bridge as it celebrates its 50th anniversary. We also have some should-not-be-missed workshops scheduled for both students and faculty lined up for this semester and next semester. At the most recent program, “Publishing Your First Book,” we had a packed room full of students and faculty at which Professors Jessica Burke, Jean Halley, Michael Paris, and Mark White shared many lesson learned and useful insights into the world of publishing. You can read what I took away from the event in the article “Highlights from “Publishing Your First Book.”
I hasten to mention that as I write, the Ebola virus outbreak is first and foremost on most everyone’s mind. In my lifetime, this is the first ever disease to spread globally and I truly hope that collaborative efforts of governments and medical institutions, something can be done to reduce the spread and hopefully eradicate the disease. In the tradition of our providing information to sources, here is a list of some reputable organizations who are providing assistance to healthcare workers and victims, here and abroad, as they go through this new and difficult experience:
Africare – http://www.africare.org
AmeriCares – http://www.americares.org
Childfund – http://www.childfund.org
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – http://www.cdc.gov/
Doctors Without Borders – http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org
Episcopal Relief – http://www.episcopalrelief.org
Global Giving – http://www.globalgiving.org
International Medical Corps – http://www.internationalmedicalcorps.org
International Rescue Committee – http://www.rescue.org
Lutheran World Relief – http://www.lwr.org
Oxfam America – http://www.oxfamamerica.org
UNICEF US – http://www.unicefusa.org
I will end by sharing a photo with you of an unexpected surprise visitor to the Library’s Archives and Special Collections. We were honored with the visit from the charismatic journalist Geraldo Rivera, who was the keynote speaker at the graduation ceremony of the newly formed Department of Social Work in May 2014. Mr. Rivera was extremely pleased to see and learn of the breath and depth of our collection with regards to the Willowbrook State School. He was also pleasantly delighted to see the current exhibit in the gallery that featured the history of the Willowbrook state School. This exhibit had been installed on the heels of the annual Willowbrook Symposium of which the Library co-sponsored. While this was not a planned visit, it was a gratifying feeling to see Mr Rivera and his entourage admire and acknowledge the educational role the Library has played and continues to do so in preserving the history of Willowbrook. Standing next to Mr. Rivera is myself and Dr. Michael Kress, Vice President for Information Technology and Economic Development, and the Executive Director of the CUNY High Performance Computing Center.
Here’s wishing you a productive and successful fall semester.
Wilma P.L. Jones, Ph.D.
Associate Dean & Chief Librarian