News from the Field

David Free


Georgetown University Archives celebrates 200th anniversary

The Georgetown University Library is celebrating the 200th anniversary of the Georgetown University Archives. The Archives serves as the institutional memory of Georgetown University. As such, it acquires, preserves, and makes available records of enduring value that document university activities, functions, decisions, policies, and programs.

Georgetown established its archives in 1816, being one of the first American colleges to do so. Because of this longevity, the Archives has an unusually rich collection, housing material from before the university’s founding in 1789 to the present. In late April, the library hosted a special event to mark the occasion. University Librarian Artemis G. Kirk was joined by Georgetown President John J. DeGioia, 10th Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero, and Georgetown University Archivist Lynn Conway, who provided remarks on the importance of the history preserved in the Georgetown University Archives.


Tenth Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero delivering remarks at the Georgetown University Archives 200th anniversary celebration.

ACRL sets 2016 Legislative Agenda

Each year, the ACRL Government Relations Committee, in consultation with the ACRL Board of Directors and staff, formulates an ACRL Legislative Agenda. Drafted with input from key ACRL committees, ACRL leaders, and the ALA Washington Office, the ACRL Legislative Agenda is prioritized and focuses on issues at the national level affecting the welfare of academic and research libraries. The 2016 ACRL Legislative Agenda focuses on two issues that the U.S. Congress has recently taken, or will most likely take, action on in the year ahead: access to federally funded research and curbing government surveillance.

The agenda also includes a watch list of policy issues of great concern to academic librarians. Legislation on these issues is not likely to arise and, moreover, ACRL does not believe that any legislation about these issues is necessary. Issues on the watch list are: net neutrality, copyright reform, fair use, “making available” right, preservation and reproduction exceptions, orphan works, and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. ACRL will continue tracking these issues and advocate for the best interests of academic and research libraries, if necessary. The complete legislative agenda is available at www.ala.org/acrl/issues/washingtonwatch/legagenda.

NILOA releases Higher Education Quality statement

The National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA) recently released a new policy statement, “Higher Education Quality: Why Documenting Student Learning Matters.” The NILOA statement outlines the warrant for multiple, systematic approaches to obtain evidence of authentic student achievement and addresses some well-reasoned concerns that poorly designed assessment efforts can distract from, rather than enhance, the quality of teaching and learning. Recognizing that much remains to be done, a succinct summary is offered of what the assessment movement has achieved thus far, drawing on NILOA’s work in the field over the past decade along with that of other organizations.

The statement concludes with five principles that when adapted appropriately to an institution’s educational purposes and programs can spread and accelerate assessment work worthy of the promises colleges and universities make to their students, policy makers, and the public. The NILOA project is a collaborative effort between the University of Illinois and Indiana University, with support from Lumina Foundation for Education and the University of Illinois. The statement is available at www.learningoutcomesassessment.org/NILOA_statement.html.

Springer launches must read articles initiative

Springer recently launched a new online initiative called Change the World, One Article at a Time: Must-Read Articles from 2015. The initiative focuses on articles published in 2015 in Springer journals that deal with some of the world’s most urgent challenges, especially in the fields of energy, food, water, climate, social equality, and health. Those articles which are already open access are freely available online on a permanent basis and all other articles have been made freely available until July 15, 2016. Springer editors-in-chief were asked to nominate one article from their journal that addresses today’s most compelling global issues—findings that could help humanity and protect the planet. The collection now consists of more than 100 cutting-edge articles, which can inspire researchers and their work. The articles can be found at www.springer.com/gp/marketing/change-the-world.

EBSCO adds five Time Inc. titles to digital archives

Digital magazine archives from EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) are now available for five renowned Time Inc. brands. These include the complete, extensive and searchable digital versions of the Fortune, Life, People, Sports Illustrated, and Time Magazine archives. Time Inc. content provides researchers access to information about 20th-century history, politics and culture, as well as the history of business, advertising, sports, and leisure. Each digital archive includes full indexing of all articles and advertisements, making it easy to search using the EBSCOhost and EBSCO Discovery Service interfaces.

The Time Inc. brands are the latest additions to the EBSCO archives. Other archives currently available include Architectural Digest, Forbes, Bloomberg Businessweek, the National Review, the New Republic, New Scientist, and The Nation. For more information, visit www.ebscohost.com/archive.

ProQuest MyiLibrary adds Simon & Schuster titles

Key titles from publisher Simon & Schuster are now available for the first time to the academic library market as ebooks through ProQuest’s MyiLibrary platform. More than 1,200 titles in subject areas such as business, psychology, history, social sciences, political sciences, and literature will provide libraries with more options to serve students, faculty, and researchers. Additionally, Simon & Schuster is offering key classic academic and literary works to MyiLibrary customers, including Stephen Mitchell’s translations of Homer’s The Iliad and The Odyssey, and works by Ray Bradbury, Émile Durkheim, Joseph Heller, John Knowles, B. F. Skinner, Max Weber, and William Butler Yeats, among others. Titles will also be available from Simon & Schuster’s Folger Shakespeare Library, Hemingway Library, and F. Scott Fitzgerald Library.

ACRL report shows compelling evidence of library contributions to student learning and success

A new report issued by ACRL, “Documented Library Contributions to Student Learning and Success: Building Evidence with Team-Based Assessment in Action Campus Projects,” shows compelling evidence for library contributions to student learning and success. The report focuses on dozens of projects conducted as part of the program Assessment in Action: Academic Libraries and Student Success (AiA) by teams that participated in the second year of the program, from April 2014 to June 2015. Synthesizing more than 60 individual project reports (fully searchable online) and using past findings from projects completed during the first year of the AiA program as context, the report identifies strong evidence of the positive contributions of academic libraries to student learning and success in four key areas.


1. Students benefit from library instruction in their initial coursework

Information literacy initiatives for freshmen and new students underscore that students receiving this instruction perform better in their courses than students who do not.

2. Library use increases student success

Students who use the library in some way (e.g., circulation, library instruction session attendance, online databases access, study room use, interlibrary loan) achieve higher levels of academic success (e.g., GPA, course grades, retention) than students who did not use the library.

3. Collaborative academic programs and services involving the library enhance student learning

Academic library partnerships with other campus units, such as the writing center, academic enrichment, and speech lab, yield positive benefits for students (e.g., higher grades, academic confidence, and retention).

4. Information literacy instruction strengthens general education outcomes

Libraries improve their institution’s general education outcomes and demonstrate that information literacy contributes to inquiry-based and problem-solving learning, including critical thinking, ethical reasoning, global understanding, and civic engagement.

The three-year AiA program is helping more than 200 postsecondary institutions of all types create partnerships at their institution to promote library leadership and engagement in campus-wide assessment.

Each participating institution establishes a team with a lead librarian and at least two colleagues from other campus units. Team members frequently include teaching faculty and administrators from such departments as the assessment office, institutional research, the writing center, academic technology, and student affairs. Over a 14-month period, the librarians lead their campus teams in the development and implementation of a project that aims to contribute to assessment activities at their institution.

The full “Documented Library Contributions to Student Learning and Success” report is available on the ACRL website at www.ala.org/acrl/files/issues/value/contributions_y2.pdf.

RBM: A Journal of Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Cultural Heritage becomes open access

ACRL announces that its special collections and cultural heritage-focused journal RBM: A Journal of Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Cultural Heritage will become an open access publication beginning with the Spring 2016 issue.

This change in access policy lifts the online version of the publication’s current year embargo on new content and makes the complete contents of the journal from 2000 to the present, along with complete contents of its predecessor Rare Books & Manuscripts Librarianship, freely available through the publication website at http://rbm.acrl.org.


“I am very pleased that ACRL has endorsed open access to the online version of RBM while remaining committed to the print version of the journal,” said RBM Editor Jennifer K. Sheehan of The Grolier Club. “I encourage members of the rare books and cultural heritage community to continue supporting the print journal by subscribing, either as an institution or individually.”

The ACRL Board of Directors approved the new policy at its 2016 Spring Executive Session in April 2016. In its resolution, the Board cited the association’s support for open scholarship and access to scholarly work as the driving force behind the change. The move also aligns RBM’s access policies with ACRL’s general research journal College & Research Libraries, which became an open access journal in 2011. RBM will continue to publish in print for subscribers.

“The ACRL Board of Directors, RBM Editorial Board, and the staff of ACRL have listened to our members’ desire to extend our commitment to open access and promotion of wide dissemination of scholarship,” noted ACRL President Ann Campion Riley of the University of Missouri. “The move of RBM to an open access model completes the transition to providing open online content for our serials publishing program.”

Open access to current RBM content began with the Spring 2016 issue. RBM is available online at http://rbm.acrl.org.

Tech Bits…

Brought to you by the ACRL ULS Technology in University Libraries Committee

Have you found the perfect picture for a presentation only to find that it’s under copyright and covered in a watermark? Do you want to teach students how to use Creative Commons materials, but find their eyes glazing over as you explain where the filters are hiding? Fortunately, search.creativecommons.org exists to help you find media without agonizing over usage rights. Simply type your terms in the search box, choose how you want to use it, and then click the site you want to search. It will automatically filter your results to the licenses that fit your needs. It also serves as a nifty way to direct students to pictures and music they can use without fear of takedown notices.

—Emily Thompson

University of Tennessee-Chattanooga

…Creative Commons Search

search.creativecommons.org

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