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News from the Field

University of Washington Libraries implement open access policy

As of September 1, 2017, librarians at the University of Washington (UW) will publish their research guided by an open access policy. The new policy promotes the visibility and accessibility of their scholarly work and makes their research freely available to users. The policy, adopted in May 2017, was inspired by current university discussions regarding an open access policy for UW faculty as well as the University Libraries mission “to advance intellectual discovery and enrich the quality of life by connecting people with knowledge.”

UW librarians will deposit the final, accepted, post-peer-reviewed version of their research articles prior to final publisher formatting (“Accepted Author Manuscript” or “Author’s Final Version”) in the university’s institutional repository, ResearchWorks Archive. The policy does not restrict where authors can or should publish, nor require payment of article processing charges.

OU Libraries textbook initiative saves students

The University of Oklahoma (OU) Libraries-funded open educational resources initiative, the Alternative Textbook Grant, has saved OU students $1,631,935 in textbook costs to date. Now in its fourth year, the Alternative Textbook Grant was established to reduce students’ textbook costs by supporting OU faculty members in the adoption, modification, or creation of open educational resources (OER)—which include teaching, learning and research resources that are free of cost to use and repurpose—as well as affordable course content.

Using OER in the classroom allows faculty to take steps to control the cost of higher education for students by adopting free or low-cost textbooks and digital course materials. To date, the Alternative Textbook Grant has saved more than 10,000 students the cost of a textbook in courses for which a traditional textbook was replaced with OER content, a savings impact that is 36.5 times greater than the amount awarded in grants from the libraries. The latest grant recipients can be viewed on the libraries’ website at vision.libraries.ou.edu. More information about the Alternative Textbook Grant and other open access initiatives can be found at open.ou.edu.

Students teach students in the NCSU Peer Scholars Program

This fall, the North Carolina State University (NCSU) Libraries launched the Peer Scholars Program, which gives graduate students or postdoctoral researchers the opportunity to teach specific research skills to their peers. With offerings coming online later in the fall, the program will feature workshops, seminars, and other programming focused on intro-, intermediate-, and advanced-level research and technical skillsets. These will range from advanced skills in statistical software and computer programming to more effective science communication and how to create a great research poster or presentation.

By sharing their expertise with the NCSU community, early career researchers can gain valuable teaching experience, improve their communication skills, and use classroom technology in an informal teaching setting. This partnership between the libraries, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers also helps meet a growing campus need for instruction in research skills crucial to the success of early-career researchers.

Alexander Hamilton papers now online

The Library of Congress has put the papers of Alexander Hamilton online for the first time in their original format. The Library holds the world’s largest collection of Hamilton papers—approximately 12,000 items concentrated from 1777 until Hamilton’s death in 1804, including letters, legal papers, and drafts of speeches and writings, among other items. Now, for the first time, these original documents—many in Hamilton’s own hand—will be available for researchers, students, or the generally curious anywhere in the world to explore, zoom in, and read at http://loc.gov/collections/alexander-hamilton-papers.

Congress appropriated $20,000 in 1848 to buy Hamilton’s papers from his family, including his widow, Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton. The papers were originally housed at the U.S. Department of State and came to the Library in 1904, along with all the department’s historical papers, at the direction of President Theodore Roosevelt. The Library supplemented the collection over time with additional gifts and purchases. The papers cover almost every aspect of Hamilton’s career and private life: growing up in St. Croix, working as George Washington’s aide-de-camp during the Revolutionary War, serving as a New York delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1787, becoming the first U.S. treasury secretary, working as a New York lawyer, and more.

Harry Ransom Center research fellowship applications

The Harry Ransom Center, a Humanities research library and museum at the University of Texas-Austin, invites applications for its 2018–19 research fellowships. The Ransom Center will grant ten dissertation fellowships and up to 50 postdoctoral fellowships for projects that require substantial on-site use of its collections. The collections support research in all areas of the Humanities, including literature, photography, film, art, the performing arts, music, and cultural history. The deadline for applications is November 15, 2017, at 5 p.m. (CST). All applicants, with the exception of those applying for dissertation fellowships, must have a Ph.D. or be independent scholars with a substantial record of achievement. Information about the fellowships and the application process is available at www.hrc.utexas.edu/research/fellowships/.

NLM, AAHSL announce 2018 Leadership Fellows

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) and the Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries (AAHSL) recently announced the members of the 2017–18 class of the NLM/AAHSL Leadership Fellows Program. The jointly sponsored program matches fellows and mentors in a one-year leadership development program. Since the program began in 2002, 49 percent of fellow graduates have assumed director positions.

The NLM/AAHSL Leadership Fellows Program prepares emerging leaders for director positions in academic health sciences libraries. The program provides a combination of in-person and virtual learning experiences for fellows and offers the opportunity to work collaboratively with the cohort of participants. Fellows are paired with mentors who are academic health sciences library directors. Mentors work closely with their fellows throughout the year, and host their fellow’s visit to their library. Information about the program, including a full list of new fellows and mentors, is available at https://aahsl.memberclicks.net/leadership-fellows-program.

New Sony Pictures Classics film streaming options

Researchers in film studies can now easily access the essential titles they need for insight into world cinema from the 1990s to today thanks to an alliance between Alexander Street, a ProQuest company, and Sony Pictures Classics. More than 300 classic films are available for streaming at colleges and universities throughout the United States, including documentaries and award-winning films from filmmakers like Wim Wenders, Ang Lee, Jeff Nichols, Mike Leigh, Asghar Farhadi, Roman Polanski, Michael Haneke, Jim Jarmusch, David Cronenberg, Errol Morris, Ingmar Bergman, Pedro Almodovar, and others.

Three licensing options are available so libraries can choose collections that balance the needs of their researchers with their budgets: the Sony Pictures Classics Premium Collection includes the top 40 titles, Sony Pictures Classics Essential Collection is comprised of the top 100 titles, and Sony Pictures Classics Complete Collection spans all 300 available titles. Learn more at https://alexanderstreet.com/products/sony-pictures-classics-collection.

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