July 28, 2010
For behind the scenes look read on
Submitted by Bill Badke
July 27, 2010
July 26, 2010
In the room that used to house the TWU microform collection, 9 microform filing cabinets and over 850 kg of microfiche were disposed of. The 360, 000 discarded ERIC fiche, most of it duplicated by online resources were sent to Westcoast Plastic Recycling. The remaining 11 microfilm and microfiche cabinets were moved to a new location just outside of their former spot and adjacent to the Periodicals and Magazines collection. That created enough space in the microform room for 9 large study tables, 7 of them next to electrical outlets. With a wall of windows overlooking the Salmon River wetlands and seating for up to 46 researchers in a quiet, enclosed space, the former microform room is a prime spot for collaborative learning projects.
Recognizing the high demand for computer access and Alloway Library's extensive hours of operation, the staff at the computer lab will move 15 computers into the library by the end of the summer. The new Mac workstations (which run Windows) will be located in the area adjacent to the existing workstations on the main level. With them come 27 ergonomic desk chairs for all the computer workstations as well as new printing features, including colour printing and wireless printing from library-users own laptops.
Down on the lower level, the Silent Study Area has been replaced by the Lower Level Study Area. Although library staff will no longer enforce a strict adherence to silence in this area, patrons can still expect reasonable quietness. The policy change allowed us to change the single occupant study rooms into small group study rooms. Later in the fall we expect to have additional power outlets to serve up to 8 more study carrels in the area.
With more study spaces and workstations Alloway Library will continue to be TWU's learning centre.
July 23, 2010
In August, 2009 the Knowledge Infrastructure Program (KIP) buoyed the expectations of the Library with the promise of grant money from the federal government. The KIP grant was allocated for renovations to the upper level stacks that have been deferred for the past six years. Our initial exuberance has faded, as it now appears increasingly likely that the $298,000 will be forfeited due to lack of university funds to match the grant, which was a condition of the program.
During the last three years the materials acquisition budget has been systematically reduced. This year the full brunt of Redesign has been felt with the complete elimination of the book budget. Though it was modest, the library’s book budget was adequate to acquire minimal numbers of the most essential new research publications. The Library is now no longer able to fill these gaps, and no longer able to support this part of the academic enterprise.
Alloway Library scored well on the Globe and Mail’s annual 2009 University Report Card with an A for Satisfaction with Library Staff. Users also graded the Library with A- for both Overall Library Satisfaction, and for Online Resources. Since public service excellence is our goal, the good grade for service provision was not a surprise to us. But the staffing and resources cuts of Redesign will make high grades difficult to maintain and repeat since positive public perceptions are one of the functions of resource depth. The 2009 Annual Report forecast that “further library functions and services may need to be reduced so that human resources can be optimally focused.” Library personnel were still taken aback by the deep cuts imposed by the strategic plan of Redesign. Called A Way Forward into a Preferred and Sustainable Future, the impact of Redesign on the Library has been to dramatically reduce the Library’s materials and staff budgets. In Technical Services Suzana Maunaga’s position was eliminated entirely. And with the exception of three (fte) circulation staff positions (deemed essential services) all other positions in the Library were reduced – from a low of one day per month to up to two days per week. It is difficult to predict all of the outcomes of these reductions, though we can say with certainty that the quantitative aspect of service provision cannot hope to equal what it has been in the past.
One of the gratifying developments of the unanticipated pressures exerted on staff during this year is the devotedness, care, and support for each other that has been displayed within the department. This goodwill will help us in the year ahead to maintain the collegial relations on which effective service is in part supported.
this is the last of a 4 part series of extracts from Alloway Library's Annual Report
July 22, 2010
Public Services Reference interviews: 4,101
Inter-Library Loan (borrowing): 969
Circulation transactions: 98,851
Pedestrian visits: 162,721
Library homepage website visits:101,951
Archives (research questions): 110
Archives (website visits): 1801
Technical Services Acquisitions
Print items (purchased): 1,604
Print items (gifts): 2,175
Electronic resources (purchased): 187
Total Acquisitions: 3,966
Items catalogued: 7,934
Items repaired: 1,018
Acquisitions (in meters): 2.3
Total Volumes: 231,491
Electronic (all types): 54,994
Journals (academic): 13,779
Total Journals: 55,769
Metres of material: 163
CD-ROMs (data CDs): 269
E-books (this number is included in Volumes/Books): 13,889
E-journals (this number is included in Journals/Electronic): 13,779
Total Electronic: 27,937
Video (VHS & DVD): 4,375
Audio (CDs): 1,050
Total Media: 5,425
Total Microforms: 334,189
More from the Report in our next post.
July 21, 2010
During the summer of 2009 public workstations in Alloway Library were upgraded to provide an enhanced suite of online tools for researchers. Users gained access to Microsoft Word, Excel, and Power point programs, as well as SPSS (Social Science Statistics), Adobe Photoshop, and Abobe Acrobat.
Alloway Library opened the academic year with a Man Booker Awards display that featured our collection of previous award winners (1969-2008.) Author biographies and novel-based movies were an added feature of the display. The exhibit concluded October 6 with the announcement of the 2009 award winner.
Catalogue crash: during the fifteen days from September 22 to October 6, 2009 Alloway Library operated without an online public circulation catalogue or automated functions. To ensure uninterrupted service, public service staff quickly reverted to many of the manual practices used years ago. Service slowed but did not stop, and the event prompted library staff to revisit manual back-up systems to ensure services.
In The Globe and Mail’s annual University Report Card Alloway Library scored an A for Satisfaction with Library Staff. Alloway Library was unique in BC – it was the only library to receive that notable mark. Users also graded Alloway Library with A- for both Overall Library Satisfaction, and for Online Resources.
Late in November 2009 a Christmas Collection display was mounted. A variety of Christmas-themed books, DVDs, and CDs were featured. Topics included: sermons, songs, stories, crafts, customs, history, astronomy, biology, business, and psychology. St Augustine, Charles Dickens, Dr Seuss and Bing Crosby were a few of the artists and authors on display.
Also in November a natural gas-powered generator was connected to the library. The installation ensures that the computers, library servers, security system, and lighting on the main level will function during a general power failure.
After a process of assessment and debate librarians reluctantly agreed to discontinue subscriptions to several databases. Access to, Canadian Research Index, CIAO, Gale Literary Database, QP Legaleze, and eHRAF World Cultures ended in 2009-2010. Decisions were also made to cut Access Science, Canadian Reference Centre, Canadian NewsStand Pacific, CBCA Business, and seven Wilson Indexes: Applied Science & Technology, Art, Biological & Agricultural, General Science, Humanities, Readers Guide, and Social Sciences, all of which expire in the summer of 2010.
In February, 2010 Alloway Library was one of the departments selected for TWU Impact, a fundraising initiative launched by the university. The online network enabled friends of Alloway Library to contribute to building the book collection, or else to help add the JSTOR database to our suite of resources.
Alloway Library donated a collection of nursing textbooks to a nursing school in Tanzania. Transportation was facilitated by a team of TWU nursing students.
Reference Librarian Duncan Dixon received Honorable Mention in the 2010 e-HLbc Training Materials Contest Awards. The awards are presented to librarians from the post-secondary and health sectors whose training materials help users make optimal use of resources available through e-HLbc.
In March, ACTS Librarian Bill Badke presented a paper entitled: From Broker to Strategist: Notes of a Traveler in the Strange Land of Information 2.0 at LaGuardia Community College (CUNY.) He proposed a new model for integrating information literacy within university curricula.
Circulation Services introduced a policy that allows off-site users to request materials online. This is a new benefit to off-campus and off-hours researchers, who can be assured that items will be available for pick-up when they come to the library.
Sylvia Stopforth, University Archivist received grant funding from Library & Archives Canada to develop a TWU 50th Anniversary (2012) website.
Duncan Dixon and Bill Badke taught ten classes on Research Methods for the Communications 110 class. Alloway Librarians provided many other Orientation, Information Literacy, and Research Methods sessions for various faculties and departments (Business, Education, ESLI, Biology, Nursing, Environmental Studies, and Religious Studies.)
Librarians and staff attended professional meetings, workshops & conferences including: Archives Association of BC Grants Committee; AABC Workshop on Rules for Description; AABC Conference on Management of Digital Records; Ottawa Conference on Electronic Theses & Dissertations; Media Exchange Cooperative; COPPUL; CPSLD; ELN; e-HLbc. They also served
on campus committees: TWU Occupational Health & Safety; ELLEC; and TEAC.
More from the Report in our next post.
July 20, 2010
One of Alloway Library’s core values is the pursuit of excellence. Along with its siblings – integrity and service – excellence is one of three intrinsic qualities that Alloway Library explicitly aims to achieve. That intention is written into our departmental plan:
Library staff members are committed to the highest realistically achievable standards in their roles as educators, facilitators, collection builders, service-providers, and information brokers. They are also committed to teaching, promoting and encouraging the goal of excellence in their users (from Alloway Library Strategic Plan, 2005)There are many ways in which excellence can be achieved in spite of scarce resources. At Alloway Library we continue to educate, to facilitate the educational enterprise, to provide service, and to broker information as we promise. But without doubt we have underachieved in respect of our pledge to build and grow a resource collection.
The 2008-2009 Library Annual Report referred to the North American housing crisis of October, 2008 as one of the key external factors precipitating an extensive and prolonged international economic crisis that affected fundamental issues of the market economy. Ultimately, Canada was insulated from the most debilitating results of the shake-up of the world economy, but the impact was nonetheless tectonic and has proven to be persistent. The advent of a new academic year offered no respite to the university or to the library.
One great benefit for the library is that our ultimate confidence does not rest on a robust global economy. Another benefit is that Alloway Library has always had a flourishing staff-centered service-orientation, and so has been able to add non-monetary values for our users. But at the same time the 2009-2010 academic year has brought to a complete halt the expansion of our collections through acquisitions. During the past five years reductions have resulted in a devolutionary trend toward decay, and sadly this year culminated in the complete loss of a materials budget.
Library Report points to what Alloway Library has been able to accomplish during this year of cut-backs and restraint on personnel, collections, and operations, and itemizes what elements of our mission we have been able to accomplish.
More from the Report in our next post.
July 16, 2010
The article recommends four things prospective library users should check out when considering a post-secondary institution: Library staff; intra-campus cooperation; library atmosphere and off-campus access to library resources. Read it for yourself and then check out Alloway Library's staff, reputation, facilities and resources.
July 08, 2010
Ebooks purchased from EBL have a slightly different mode of access from other ebooks in our collection (such as NetLibrary.) With this in mind, Alloway Library's Acquisition Librarian, Shirley Lee provides some information so that faculty and students will use EBL ebooks effectively.
After finding the ebook record in the library catalogue, click on the url to access the ebook.
Users will be directed to a TWU user login page and once logged in, can view the webpage with the ebook. Readers can choose to read the book online by selecting a "loan period" of either 1 or 3 days, or download the entire book for later use.
All users from on and off campus are required to login. This authentication configuration is necessary to support download functionality, the ability for patrons to access a title as much as they want (online and off) during a loan period, and for patron privacy (notes, bookshelves, etc).
Some other ebook platforms, like NetLibrary, don’t require patrons to log-in when they first access a title, but patrons are required to have an account if they want to take notes or execute other kind of patron specific activity. With EBL, patrons can access the full EBL patron interface via their campus ID/Password, rather than an EBL specific EBL login.
Some of the key features of EBL ebooks include:
- EBL's download feature allows patrons to download the complete volume for a loan period of 1 or 3 days as selected by the user.
- Users are required to install Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) on their computers before they can download the ebook. They will be prompted to download ADE if it's not already installed on the user's computer. ADE will manage how the user uses the downloaded version to ensure copyright is respected. i.e. user can only print or copy up to a maximum number of pages from the book. ADE will advise and monitor the user against copyright restrictions. The permissions for copying and printing are the same for online and offline activity - 20% print and 5% copy and paste.
- When users go to print, they will always see a summary of their permissions and activity. Once a user clicks on "Read Online", a timer turns on right away to track the first 10 minutes of free browsing, and the user will be made aware of the start & end of the free time. The timer turns on once the user clicks read online, making the user aware of when the free browsing time is up. When the 10 minutes is up, a pop up will appear and ask the user if he/she wants to continue reading the title.
- An EBL help link is included with the online book
- EBL provides a Read Aloud and Page sizing options
- Portable devices with browser support (such as the iPhone/iPad) can also access EBL and Read Online via the web.
July 07, 2010
Alloway Library has scheduled a minor upgrade of our operating systems (Horizon and iPac) for the morning of Thursday, July 8.
Our supplier, SirsiDynix assured us that the process 'should' take only two to three hours, but to be safe, we will allow for half a day of down time likely beginning around 7:30 a.m.
Online circulation services in the library, as well as on the web, including the catalogue will be down and inaccessible for the morning but other library databases and resources will be available as usual.
Please contact us if you need further assistance
The following products will be unavailable: