Summer Update 2017
Welcome, all! Chester Fritz Library (CFL) would like to update everyone on some projects in progress.
Open Educational Resources (OERs)
The success of our OER initiatives is growing exponentially. As noted, our first pilot was very successful, and that success continues to resonate. We received 2 grants from state funds, administered by NDUS. Our Open Access edition of Dr. Elwyn Robinson's History of North Dakota is awaiting uploading to what will be our Institutional Repository. Files were optimized for reading on multiple devices, and measures have been taking to support users with disabilities. The text was made more interactive with links to sites suggested by one of the funders, the Northern Plains Heritage Research Foundation. We are working with various local experts, including faculty, on additional materials, but the main text and enhancements will be ready, as per the grant deadline, by June 30. Stay tuned – once the book has been loaded into our repository, there will be a grand kick-off! Also, as noted in the Winter Update, the OERs Working Group worked with Profs. Dana Harsell (Business), Fred Remer (Aviation Meteorology), Liz Legerski (Sociology), and Virginia Clinton (then Psychology, now Educational Foundations) to help them adapt resources to their courses. The first round of OERs saved UND students an estimated $1 million - $1.6 million, on an investment of just over $40,000, and doesn't include savings to students at other NDUS institutions and beyond, who may also select resources adapted or created at UND.
We have also held multiple events publicizing OERs, including a January 2016 symposium with a faculty panel and special guest Dr. Dave Ernst, of the University of Minnesota's huge Open Textbook Library; a statewide OERs Symposium on October 27, 2016, with Keynote Speaker Nicole Allen of SPARC and honored guests from across the state; and a symposium in March 2017 that featured, among other things, presentations by several recipients of the first round of OER funding wherein they each described their experiences with OERs. Many of their presentations, along with one by Brandon Beyer (then President of UND Student Government), are archived on Vimeo.
For the 2nd round of OERs, there were some remaining state funds. UND submitted 7 grant applications; 5 were funded, for courses in Art, History, Business, Math, and English. Then, thanks to the generosity of UND Student Government and the Office of the Provost, who contributed $75,000 and $25,000 respectively, we were able to expand our OER support. We received 14 applications, and after some questions were answered, funded them all. Applications came from faculty teaching courses in Anatomy, Family Medicine, Nursing, Electrical Engineering, Petroleum Engineering, Civil Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Geology, Communications, Business, and more. We are thrilled at the breadth of interest! During the week of May 29, CILT, OID, and CFL will hold workshops to assist faculty who received grants. For Fall 2017, we plan to develop introductory workshops for interested faculty who have not yet tried OERs, but are curious. We are also investigating speakers for another symposium. Dean Walker has also met with representatives from 2 other NDUS institutions who are interested in expanding OERs at their university. We plan to have a segment of our Institutional Repository dedicated to OER access and preservation.
Sandi Kruse, a recently graduated UND senior from Drake, N.D., has won the 2016-17 Merrifield Competition. Named in honor of Webster Merrifield, UND's first librarian and third president, the Merrifield Competition awards a $1,000 scholarship for the most outstanding student research paper utilizing historic documents from the Chester Fritz Library's Elwyn B. Robinson Department of Special Collections. The competition is sponsored by Special Collections and the UND Department of History.
Kruse's paper, "Respectable Information, Responsible Lobbying, and a 'Lady-Like Image: How Activists Successfully Lobbied for the Equal Rights Amendment in North Dakota," delved into the history of the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment in North Dakota in 1975. Kruse majored in English, Honors, and Women and Gender Studies. She will be attending Carnegie Mellon University in the fall to study towards a Master's degree in Literary and Cultural Studies.
A 5-member jury reviewed the papers submitted for the competition. The jury consisted of Curt Hanson, Head of Special Collections, and 4 UND faculty members: Amanda Boyd, Honors; Hans Broedel, History; Sheila Liming, English; and Marcia Mikulak, Anthropology. Papers were judged on quality of research, clarity of thesis and conclusion, writing skill, and the investigation of primary sources.
Institutional Repository (IR)
The UND Libraries and other campus partners developed the RFP and business case for an IR at UND, which can be expanded to other institutions if they are interested. The RFP has been issued, and we await vendor responses. This project is critical: as noted in the Winter Update, making research data accessible and available openly is a key component of grants from major funding agencies such as NSF, NEH, NIH, and others. The RFP working group now includes Stephanie Walker (Dean of Libraries & Information Resources), Will Martin (Head of Library Digital Initiatives, Systems, & Services), Zeineb Yousif (Digital Initiatives Librarian), Stephen Nonte (Cataloging & Metadata Librarian), Kelly Thormodson (Interim Director of the Harley French Health Sciences Library), Lori Swinney (Director of CILT), Prof. Travis DeSell (Computer Science), and Dr. Aaron Bergstrom (Computational Research Center). We plan to host open vendor presentations by finalists; all will be welcome! Again, stay tuned!
Due to budget cuts, vacant and funded positions (2.5) will not be filled at this time; 2 positions that were vacant but not currently funded also remain unfilled. Also, Richard Suggs, the longtime Periodicals Manager, retired as of June 30, 2016, and his position will not be filled. Some duties were reallocated; others will cease. We have reduced hours and services at some desks.
However, one critical position has been filled: we are thrilled to announce that Sara Kuhn will join us as a Social Sciences & Scholarly Communications Librarian on June 5, 2017. Sara is a native North Dakotan, and graduated from Fargo North High School in Fargo, ND before embarking on many experiences. She completed an undergraduate degree in Fine Arts with a minor in English at the University of Utah. In Utah, she became interested in libraries, working in the Salt Lake City Public Library. This led her to pursue a Master of Library & Information Studies at the University of British Columbia. While studying, she worked in UBC's Irving K. Barber Library & Learning Commons as a graduate assistant, at the North Vancouver District Public Library as a student librarian, and for QLT Inc. as a co-op student providing reference and ILL services to doctors, researchers, and other scientists and creating a pharmaceutical industry research guide. After graduation, she worked in various positions, including the North Vancouver City Library and the Nelson Public Library. When the travel bug bit again, Sara travelled to Malaysia and beyond, studying Ayurvedic medicine. But she yearned to return to academic libraries. She accepted a position with Monash University in Malaysia as a liaison librarian, rising to the position of Manager of Research & Learning, and leading a team that included liaison librarians, the web librarian, and the postgraduate programs coordinator. At Monash University, she also earned a certificate in Higher Education.
Sara will work closely with several departments, including Psychology, Communications, Sociology, and Criminal Justice. She will also provide reference services (in person, chat, and phone), individual research appointments with students and faculty, development of research guides, information literacy instruction, and much more. Sara will also be working with us on a number of scholarly communications initiatives, including Open Educational Resources and Research Data Management. She is eager to be joining us and begin working in academic libraries in the US, and we are eager to welcome her.
We would again like to express our deep gratitude to President Kennedy for his strategic reinvestment of $1 million in CFL in 2017-18. This diminished the impact that would otherwise have been felt across UND. However, it was impossible for the Library to avoid some noticeable cuts. We had limited options; there are only so many resources whose price tag is sufficient to meet the 12% target. It came down to a decision between Elsevier's Science Direct and Wiley – both major science and social science packages with thousands of full-text journals. Science Direct is more heavily used and a considerably larger package, so Wiley is likely to cease on December 31, 2017, when the current contract year ends. The Medical Library, dealing with their own 10% cut, also decided their contribution to Wiley subscriptions must cease. We could not make up the amount from other areas, such as staffing or equipment: we have lost positions, equipment funds, and multiple revenue sources over the past several years, and can take no further reductions in these without drastic repercussions. We have cut hours, services, and staffing. Meanwhile, database and journal prices have soared 6-8% annually. A list of current cuts is on the CFL website. To meet the target, there will be more cancellations (as well as more cuts to professional development, ILL postage, student staffing, and more). We continue seeking ways to retain as much as possible and to find new funding. We will update the list as cuts are confirmed. There will also be cuts to the book budget. The Library's budget cut spreadsheet is available with those of all other departments.
We have done our best to minimize the impact. Some cuts were made to databases where there was significant overlap with other resources. For example, in ProQuest Psychology, over 70% of titles were available in other packages. This is very high, but there is overlap in some packages, and we are keeping a close eye on this. We have also sought to use some remaining end-of-year funds to purchase materials. Stay tuned: we hope to announce more JSTOR purchases by July 2017.
We also continue to work on a comprehensive collection review, and on our deaccessioning project. As noted, most libraries review collections regularly; all academic libraries participate in deaccessioning. These projects will continue throughout the next fiscal year; they are complex, and we're approaching them conservatively. We are moving through collection evaluation discipline by discipline, working closely with faculty and the subject bibliographers. For areas where there is multidisciplinary interest, all relevant disciplines are involved. For the deaccessioning project, it should be noted that every single volume being considered for deaccessioning as well as a copy of our withdrawal policy are posted on the library website. A new deaccessioning list appears approximately every second Monday, though there will be a hiatus over the summer. If you wish to be notified whenever the list is updated, please click "Update Notifications." UND faculty and staff may request any item from the list of materials being deaccessioned by clicking "Claim Copy" and entering your information. These items remain UND property and must be used in your campus office. Staffing permitting, we will deliver copies to department offices (not individual faculty offices). If you wish to request that a certain book be reinstated in the collection, please click "Request Reinstatement." We'll ask for reasons for the request – such as, perhaps, that you'll be using this volume in a new course to be developed, and thus there will be anticipated future usage for this book.
I would like to use this opportunity to reiterate that most items listed as candidates for deaccessioning are on the list because of extremely low use – often no use at all in the last 25 years, which is as long as we have records within the library system. Even if an item has never been used, if that title (in that edition) is not available at the University of Minnesota and/or over 100 other academic libraries in the US, we will retain it. Thus, if by chance someone needs a book that was deaccessioned, we'll be able to obtain it quickly, and likely at no cost, via ILL from one of our lending partners. Many books published before 1923 and in the public domain are in HathiTrust, and thus freely available to anyone; we check holdings in HathiTrust for appropriate titles. There are several other criteria, as per professional standards from the Association of College and Research Libraries.
Once we complete this comprehensive review, deaccessioning will become a normal part of collection management, as it is at other university libraries. It should be also be noted that comparator institution libraries generally have about 18% of their floor space occupied by collections; in our case, the floor space taken by collections is 67%. We do not anticipate reaching 18%, or anything close, and some floor space will be reclaimed, ultimately, in the renovations, by use of things like compact shelving and/or offsite storage, as appropriate. We also hope, over the years, to be able to purchase more digital archives of some materials. However, this gives you an idea of how far out of step we are with comparator libraries. If anyone has any questions regarding collections initiatives, please contact Randy Pederson, Head of Collections. Thank you!
CFL continues to work on small renovations. Thanks to some shifting, we were able to remove 2 rows of book stacks next to the Fish Bowl; this freed space for more seating. We also received a small amount of funding (about $8000) that will allow us to replace carpet adjacent to the renovated Reference area on the 2nd floor, in the area that has student seating and vending machines. That area's carpet is in very poor condition, so this will improve health and safety, as well as providing a nicer study environment. The area will also be painted to match Reference, and we will purchase a few small furniture items. The landing area, where the benches are, outside the entrance to Circulation, will also be painted. We also expect to use some Myers Foundation funds to purchase some new display cases. Torn carpet is also being replaced in some reference librarians' offices, to reduce trip hazards. We expect these renovations to be complete by Fall 2017. For those of you who are away for the summer, be sure to visit the Library when you return, to check out our improvements! We are still working on other mini-renovation plans and fundraising.
Thank you, and we look forward to working together in all these areas.