The Privacy Paradox–an educational tool for information literacy

image from radio showWNYC Radio’s Note to Self (it’s a show, but it’s also a podcast) recently aired a five-part series called The Privacy Paradox. This radio series is fantastic, because each segment addresses internet privacy from a number of angles simultaneously. Host Manoush Zomorodi discusses an issue and why it matters, interviews experts on the topic, and then gives you a daily task to help you interact with the issue personally. The best part of the series, to me, is the fact that it is so personalized. Manoush does not advocate a cookie cutter “turn it all off” approach for everyone. The point is that each of us who engage in online activity has a personal threshold. Some things bother us and some things don’t, and that’s ok. You can find out your privacy threshold with this handy quiz. (I turned out to be a Realist on the cusp of Believer. That means I care a lot about privacy but I’m also a little bit chill.)

Even though the series has aired, you can take the five-day challenge any time. You sign up here, and then each day Note to Self sends you a newsletter, an episode, and a daily challenge. The challenges are pretty simple, and designed to get you thinking about what matters to you. The guests Manoush interviews also teach you a lot of digital tips and tricks for protecting your data. You learn things like how to change the privacy settings on all the apps on your phone, how to send encrypted text messages, how to discover what data profile Facebook has on file for you, how to install a plugin for your browser to encrypt your data, and how to lock all your accounts down with a YubiKey. Between the interviews, the philosophical discussions, the daily challenges, and the tips, this series is an excellent teaching aid for anyone who engages with technology.

How can we engage these practices in the library? And if you are an educator, how can you engage your students in these practices? Discuss.

–Anne Hays

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

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

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” and “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


Library Instruction Update


Library Instruction Update

by Professor Amy F. Stempler, Coordinator of Library Instruction

LIB 501 is now formally LIB 102

In fall 2015, the College’s Undergraduate Curriculum committee approved of the Library’s topic course, LIB 501: Beyond Google: Research for College Success, to become regularized and to be officially listed in the CSI college catalog as LIB 102.  The one-credit course, which runs for seven and a half weeks, continues to thrive.  Enrollment across our eight sections has steadily increased and we are pleased that feedback based on internal assessment has been universally positive.  We look forward to another year of promoting student success through teaching information literacy skills and helping students learn the necessary foundations for academic research.

Starting in the 2016-2017 academic year, there are exciting changes ahead for the Library Instruction Program.

 CC CLUE Library Workshops

This fall, the Library Instruction Program will offer regular CC CLUE workshops on select topics such as “Introduction to MLA Citation Style and Avoiding Plagiarism”, “Getting Your Research Done“, “Evaluating Web Sites”. Workshops run from mid September through the end of November. Keep an eye for more CC CLUE workshops for the Spring 2017. Students can register at

Librarians have also developed interactive online tutorials using Guide on the Side, an open-access software created by the University of Arizona Libraries.  These tutorials include built-in assessment tools to measure learning outcomes and have user-friendly interfaces for students to use easily. They can be accessed at

Collaboration with Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC)

The Library is also pleased to have collaborated with the English Department’s Writing Program and WAC Fellow, Kevin Hughes, to pilot a new initiative for English 151 courses.  Hughes developed the website Writing for Research at CSI, which helps students plan their research and writing assignments prior to coming in for Library Instruction.  The website includes helpful guides related to picking a topic, developing a good research question, and evaluating information sources.  This flipped-classroom model should help improve student’s learning objectives and make for a more productive instruction session.  Learn more at:


The DSM-5 eBook!

DSM-5_3DThe DSM-5 eBook!

by Professor Christine McEvilly, Electronic Resources Librarian

The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5) is the primary resource used by American mental health professionals, social workers, and researchers to “diagnose and classify mental disorders.” This resource is now available online at the CSI Library Web Site. The easiest way to gain access to this e-book is to simply type in DSM-5 into our catalog search box.

DSM-5 is supported by Ebook Central reader which allows you to search the full text of the book, or browse for specific chapters using menus on the left. After 5 minutes of reading, or if you choose a download option, you will be asked to log-in to your College of Staten Island SLAS or FLAS account—the same account you use to access library resources off campus or to log into library computers. You will be asked to sign in even if on campus. More information is available in our “Ebook Central help guide” which is linked in the DSM-5 database entry.

If you wish to read offline, you can borrow the book for a day. Choose “Full Download” and follow the instructions to get your free software. It is the same software that the NYPL uses for their e-books, and since all CSI community members can get an NYPL card, why not go to their website for information on how to use your mobile devices, PCs, and tablets for all your pleasure reading needs?

The DSM-5 is a vital guide not just for clinicians, but for researchers defining their studies, students learning about mental health, and even for patients who wish to better understand their diagnoses. The library is happy to have a new way to provide such a vital resource to the CSI community.


Interview with Professor Valerie Forrestal about her new book Knowledge Management for Libraries.

Knowledge Management for Libraries Interview with Professor Valerie Forrestal about her new book Knowledge Management for Libraries. It was published in August 2015 by Rowman and Littlefield Publishers

by Professor Mark Aaron Polger, First Year Experience Librarian

Valerie Forrestal is the Web Services Librarian and an Assistant Professor at the College of Staten Island, City University of New York. Her education includes an MA in Media Production from Emerson College, an MLIS from Rutgers University, and an MS in Service-Oriented Computing from Stevens Institute of Technology. Valerie is very active in the New Jersey library community as she has presented at many conferences on technology, user experience, and mobile services. Valerie specializes in web development, social media, technology planning, and innovation in libraries and higher education.

MAP: What is your book about ?

VF: Knowledge Management for Libraries is about how libraries can use different kinds of software to collect and share information among staff members. It gives step-by-step instructions on how to implement tools for communication, collaboration, and file sharing, along with best practices for planning, design, and promoting usage. The book not only talks about technology solutions, but also discusses the ways in which applying knowledge management techniques in an organization can vastly improve efficiency and decision making by streamlining access to a department or organization’s collected knowledge.

MAP: What were some of the challenges involved in writing the book?

VF: The book series (Library Technology Essentials) that Knowledge Management for Libraries is a part of was dropped by the publisher at the last minute. Luckily the editor decided to pitch the series to another publisher, who decided to pick up all 12 volumes. The new publisher decided to keep the original publication date though, so the timeline for writing was quite brief (7 months to be exact). When my book came out, it turns out the publisher had used the wrong type set in printing, so it was riddled with typos, and subsequently got pulled from Amazon. Thankfully everything was sorted out and the book was available again in about a week, but I was still pretty embarrassed about all the messed up copies that were shipped out to readers.

MAP: What did you learn in the book writing process?

VF: Honestly, with any sort of long-term project, like writing or getting a degree, you just have to keep at it. There will be many days when you don’t feel like doing the work, but you have to force yourself to just get something done every day so you at least keep moving forward. To me, the hardest part about writing is getting words on paper. You have to make yourself write, and if you’re not having a stellar inspiration day, you can always edit it later. Speaking of editing, I have some advice on that too: don’t take it personally. Some of the comments I received on my first draft made me break down in tears. But I picked myself up and forged ahead, and the book is better because of those edits. It’s pretty much impossible to write an entire book and have every word be perfect. There will always be room for improvement, but those suggestions will only make the final product (that bears your name) even better.

MAP: What could other web / systems librarians take from your book and apply to their library web sites/ library intranet web sites?

VF: Besides the step-by-step guides, there are also case studies and best practices that could be applied to any technology implementation project. I tried to pepper in a little project management and software engineering basics so the concepts could be applied outside the world of knowledge management software. There are also handy references for assessing different kinds of software, and delving deeper into any of the systems mentioned in the book.