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News from the Field

Syracuse University Libraries, Department of Chemistry collaborate to identify chemical composition of plastics artifacts collection

Syracuse University Libraries’ Special Collection Research Center (SCRC) and the Department of Chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences have collaborated on a first-of-its-kind project. Courtney Asztalos, the libraries’ plastics pioneers curator of plastics and historical artifacts, partnered with chemistry professor Timothy Korter to investigate the chemical composition of objects from the Plastics Artifacts Collection. Korter, chemistry instructor Mary Boyden, and chemistry PhD candidate Elyse Kleist created the Syracuse Chemistry of Artifacts Project (SCOAP) to use Raman spectroscopy to analyze plastic items from the Plastics Artifacts Collection. Raman spectroscopy is a nondestructive technique using a laser beam to enhance knowledge of the chemical composition of plastics. This information is critical to the Plastics Artifacts Collection’s conservation, preservation, and curation.

The initiative was made possible through financial support from Invest Syracuse and the Department of Chemistry for the purchase of a portable Raman spectrometer, microscope, computer, and supplies, as well as Syracuse University Libraries for project space and the purchase of modern polymer reference samples that were used to create a plastics reference library. Members of the Plastics Pioneers Association also donated reference samples to SCOAP’s plastics reference library. For additional information, visit the SCRC website at https://library.syr.edu/scrc.

2019 ACRL Environmental Scan released

Every two years, the ACRL Research Planning and Review Committee releases an environmental scan of higher education, including developments with the potential for continuing impact on academic libraries. The 2019 Environmental Scan provides a broad review of the current higher education landscape, with special focus on the state of academic and research libraries. The document builds on earlier ACRL reports, including the Top Trends in Academic Libraries, published in June 2018 issue of C&RL News. The 2019 Environmental Scan is freely available on the ACRL website at https://bit.ly/2KeRY52.

UNC-Charlotte names 2019 Atkins Fellows

The J. Murrey Atkins Library has named five fellows in the fifth year of the Atkins Fellows summer program at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte. This program offers paid, full-time work experience for MLIS students at the midpoint in their library, archives, or information science degree programs, and graduates who completed their programs in the last year. An additional stipend was added to the program this year to help fellows with housing and transportation costs.

Each Atkins Fellow works on a project throughout the summer; participates in workshops, tours, and panel discussions; and engages in department and library committee meetings. The purpose of the program is to prepare MLIS students and recent graduates to work in academic libraries, archives, and other institutions, while supporting Atkins Library’s mission, goals, and initiatives.

The 2019 Atkins Fellows are Xena Becker (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Jenny Carlos (University of North Carolina-Greensboro), Eileen López (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Jude Wasserman (University of Wisconsin-Madison), and Georgia Westbrook (Syracuse University).

Projects include augmented reality and user experience, Charlotte LGBTQ+ digital humanities, innovative collection spaces, scholarly communications and digital publishing, and transfer student success. To learn more about the current fellows, fellows alumni, and the program and projects, visit http://library.uncc.edu/atkinsfellows.

AALL presents 2019 Emerging Leader Award

The American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) has announced its 2019 Emerging Leader Award honorees, who include Kristina J. Alayan, law library director and assistant professor of law at the Howard University School of Law, Washington, D.C.; Michelle Hook Dewey, legal research services manager, BakerHostetler, Atlanta, Georgia; and Anna C. B. Russell, Anchorage branch librarian, United States Courts Ninth Circuit Library, Anchorage, Alaska.

The Emerging Leader Award recognizes newer AALL members who have made significant contributions to the association and/or law librarianship and who have demonstrated potential for leadership and continuing service. For more information about the Emerging Leader Award, visit bit.ly/AALL-emerging.

OCLC transfers QuestionPoint 24/7 Reference Cooperative, subscriptions to Springshare

OCLC and Springshare have signed an agreement to transfer the QuestionPoint 24/7 Reference Cooperative and all active QuestionPoint subscriptions to Springshare. QuestionPoint provides cooperative virtual reference services, including 24/7 reference backup coverage from its team of experienced reference librarians.

Through this acquisition, Springshare will extend its LibAnswers virtual reference software to include the QuestionPoint library reference cooperative with 24/7 coverage. QuestionPoint’s team of reference librarians will become part of Springshare and will continue to work from their current locations around the world.

Current QuestionPoint subscribers will maintain uninterrupted use of QuestionPoint while Springshare completes software upgrades to its LibAnswers platform to integrate the 24/7 library reference cooperative. Once the changes are completed, all current QuestionPoint subscribers will move to LibAnswers.

At any point, QuestionPoint subscribers can attend free and unlimited training as well as request a LibAnswers Platform system install to learn and explore the system prior to service migration. Springshare will contact subscribers directly about timing and process for their transitions to LibAnswers.

EBSCO, The Carrol Center for the Blind partner for accessibility

EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) and The Carroll Center for the Blind have announced a partnership in which the two organizations will work together to improve and enhance the experience across EBSCO products for users with a varying array of disabilities. The Carroll Center for the Blind, based in Newton, Massachusetts, offers a wide range of comprehensive services for the blind and visually impaired at all ages and all stages of vision loss.

The Carroll Center will work with EBSCO to support the company’s existing design and user research processes, while facilitating user testing and providing support for best practices in accessibility. The Carroll Center’s accessibility services team offers technical and human resources, which support a wide array of vision impairment ranging from low vision to complete blindness. EBSCO’s accessibility team focuses on ensuring that all products are accessible, maintaining a positive experience for all users.

For more information about EBSCO’s commitment to accessibility, visit www.ebsco.com/technology/accessibility. For more information on The Carroll Center for the Blind, visit www.carroll.org.

Revised ACRL open access policy statement, new Guidelines for Standardized Holding Counts approved

The ACRL Board of Directors approved a revision of the ACRL Policy Statement on Open Access to Scholarship by Academic Librarians at its April 2019 virtual meeting. Written by ACRL’s Research and Scholarly Environment Committee, the revision addresses the sense of the “across the lifecycle” nature of scholarly communication interest in open access.

The Board also approved new Guidelines for Standardized Holdings Counts and Measures for Archival Repositories and Special Collections Libraries at the April meeting. Developed by the SAA-ACRL/RBMS Joint Task Force on the Development of Standardized Holdings Counts and Measures for Archival Repositories and Special Collections Libraries, the guidelines were developed to help archival repositories and special collections libraries quantify and communicate information about holdings. Approval of the new guidelines by the SAA Council is pending.

ACRL standards, guidelines, and frameworks are available at www.ala.org/acrl/standards.

Copyright American Library Association

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