News from the Field

David Free


UW opens Research Commons

The University of Washington (UW) opened its new Research Commons in early November. UW President Phyllis Wise kicked off the grand opening and official ribbon-cutting of the new facility. UW Capital Projects provided funding to transform the ground floor of Allen Library South into the Research Commons, a response to new student and faculty needs that are emerging with the growth of data-driven research, digital scholarship, and interdisciplinary studies.


The new Research Commons at the University of Washington.

The space features collaborative areas in which students and faculty can work together in a technology-rich environment. Plasma screens, comfortable chairs, and whiteboards, in addition to copiers and printers, are arranged to create a place for students to get together to explore and create knowledge.

“Students will find a welcoming environment where they will have all the tools for research in one place,” said Research Commons Librarian Lauren Ray. “In addition, the flexible spaces and moveable furniture will add to the collaborative and interactive feel of the commons.”

Researchers can receive support from library staff on questions regarding copyright, preparing for poster sessions and presentations, media literacy, grant writing, and how to conduct research. To learn more about the development of the space, and the soon-to-launch Virtual Research Commons, visit the Research Commons blog at uwresearchcommons.wordpress.com.

Three million volumes for UCSB

The University of California-Santa Barbara’s Davidson Library recently celebrated the acquisition of its 3 millionth volume. The work, a unique book-length edition of W. S. Merwin’s poem “Trees” designed by Charles Hobson, is one of only 30 copies in the world. The introduction of the library’s milestone acquisition was commemorated with book art exhibits, a public art project, a raffle, and a presentation by Hobson.

“We arrived at the idea of an artist’s book as a way to honor the printed form, yet, push the edges a bit,” Assistant University Librarian for Outreach and Academic Services Brian Mathews noted. “As part of the celebration, the library will host an art project called the ‘3 Million + 1’ book, in which students will cooperate to author the next book the library will install in its archives.”

According to Mathews, the library’s extensive collections encompass the traditional and also explore the boundaries of print media and future of the publishing industry. “Trees,” is one of the nearly 1,000 books in the Davidson collection that was created and/or compiled by an artist. The library acquired its millionth volume almost 20 years ago.

New mobile app from Gale

Gale, part of Cengage Learning, has released AccessMyLibrary (AML) College Edition application for iOS devices (iPhone, iTouch, and iPad). The AML College Edition is the first Gale app for college students and provides anytime, anywhere access to the Gale resources available through their college library. Students can use the app to locate their school and then authenticate for the school year by providing their school-issued e-mail address. In addition, Quick Response (QR) codes, 2-D barcodes that can be decoded at high speed, are now available for all AML apps. After downloading a QR code-scanning app, mobile phone users can scan the AML QR code with their barcode reader to be automatically taken to the Gale apps Web site.

The app is available for download at the iTunes store. All AML apps are free, and additional information, including QR codes, posters, bookmarks, and other library marketing resources can be found at www.gale.cengage.com/apps/.

University of Pittsburgh Library System joins HathiTrust

The University of Pittsburgh Library System (ULS) has become the newest member of HathiTrust, a partnership of major academic and research libraries collaborating in a digital library initiative to preserve and provide access to the published record in digital form. ULS is contributing thousands of volumes, the result of over a decade of digitization efforts. Among the contributions are many works from the Darlington Library, the first major library collection donated to the University of Pittsburgh; volumes from the library’s extensive collection of 19th-century school books; and theses and dissertations from the university’s degree programs.

“Membership and participation in the HathiTrust is part of a multi-pronged approach to permanent archival storage of the digital books, dissertations, and other materials we have created over the past ten years of aggressive digitization of library content at the University of Pittsburgh,” said Rush G. Miller, Hillman University Librarian and ULS director. “It will allow us to ensure that these open access digital materials will always be available in perpetuity.”

Launched in 2008, HathiTrust has a growing membership currently comprising more than two dozen partners. Over the last two years, the partners have contributed nearly 7 million volumes to the digital library, digitized from their library collections through a number of means, including Google and Internet Archive digitization and in-house initiatives. Close to 1.5 million of the contributed volumes are in the public domain and freely available on the Web. For more information visit www.hathitrust.org.

Jewish Studies Source

EBSCO has released Jewish Studies Source, a new full-text database for the study of Judaism. Jewish Studies Source offers a multidisciplinary view into the study of Jewish civilization from its historical origins to the present. Content within the collection covers all facets of Judaism and provides context by drawing across multiple areas of study, including archaeology, anthropology, area studies, ethnic studies, history, languages, philosophy, political science, religious studies, and women’s studies.

Sources contain 121 full-text leading academic journals and magazines within the discipline, including 65 that are unavailable from other EBSCO databases. Jewish Studies Source also provides monographs, articles from major newspapers, more than 1,440 biographies of leading historical and contemporary Jews, and extensive full-text backfiles with content dating as far back as 1922. For more information, visit www.ebsco.com.

ACRL’s 2011 ALA Emerging Leaders

ALA recently announced the participants in the 2011 ALA Emerging Leaders program. This year’s four ACRL Emerging Leaders are Tabatha Farney (ACRL-sponsored), assistant professor and Web services librarian, University of Colorado-Colorado Springs; William Breitbach (ACRL/CLS-sponsored), librarian, California State University-Fullerton; John Meier (ACRL/STS-sponsored), science librarian, Pennsylvania State University; and Elizabeth Berman (ACRL/ULS-sponsored), science and engineering reference and instruction librarian, University of Vermont. More information on the program, and a complete list of participants, is available on the ALA Web site. Congratulations to the 2011 ACRL Emerging Leaders.

OCLC and EBSCO to enhance discovery services through data exchange

OCLC and EBSCO have expanded their partnership to enhance the discovery experience for users of WorldCat Local and the EBSCO Discovery Service through an expanded data exchange agreement. The new agreement will create more value for libraries that subscribe to services from OCLC and EBSCO. WorldCat Local libraries that subscribe to EBSCOhost full-text databases will continue to be able to discover EBSCO records and access associated full-text content through the WorldCat Local interface.

The new agreement will improve access to these databases by removing the requirement for users of WorldCat Local to authenticate before searching the metadata for EBSCO databases to which their library subscribes (users will continue to be required to authenticate before accessing full text).

OCLC member libraries with a cataloging and WorldCat discovery subscription using EBSCO Discovery Service will now have the option to access WorldCat data through EBSCO and access holdings information for their library, their resource sharing partners as profiled in WorldCat, and all libraries with holdings in WorldCat. Among other benefits that this partnership brings, libraries will be able to use EBSCO Discovery Service to facilitate interlibrary loan (ILL) via OCLC.

OCLC will make records from OAIster, a union catalog of some 25 million records representing open access resources, available to all EBSCO Discovery Service users. OCLC will also make records from ArchiveGrid, an online service that provides access to detailed archival collection descriptions, available to ArchiveGrid subscribers through the EBSCO Discovery Service. EBSCO and OCLC will work together over the next few months on an implementation plan and timeline for enabling access.

ARL selects 2010–2012 Diversity Scholars

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Committee on Diversity and Leadership has selected 15 master of library and information science (MLIS) students to participate in the 2010–2012 Initiative to Recruit a Diverse Workforce as ARL Diversity Scholars. The ARL Initiative to Recruit a Diverse Workforce offers stipend funding in support of MLIS education of up to $10,000 over two years to students from traditionally underrepresented racial and ethnic minority groups who are interested in careers in research libraries. The program is funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and by voluntary contributions from 52 ARL member libraries.

The 2010–2012 ARL Diversity Scholars are JaTara Barnes, Syracuse University; Bertha Chang, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Steven Chong, San Jose State University; Manuel de la Cruz-Gutierrez, Texas Women’s University; LaNesha DeBardelaben, Indiana University Bloomington; Mariaelena De la Rosa, University of Arizona; Hoan-Vu Do, San Jose State University; Angel Durr, University of North Texas; Mayu Ishida, University of British Columbia; Abraham de Jesus, University of British Columbia; Soyeong Jeon, University of British Columbia; Ashley Rayner, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Yasmeen Shorish, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Marina Torres-Aiello, San Jose State University; and Qinqin Zhang, University of British Columbia.

For more information about the ARL Initiative to Recruit a Diverse Workforce, visit the program Web site at www.arl.org/diversity/init/.

ACRL 2011 schedule now available

Access cutting-edge information, discover new ideas, and engage in conversations with academic and research librarians from around the world at ACRL 2011 March 30–April 2, 2011, in Philadelphia.


ACRL 2011 will feature more than 300 peer-reviewed presentations on topics such as assessment, budgeting, cross-disciplinary partnerships, data curation, fair use, reference services in a mobile world, and more. The conference will also feature cutting-edge invited papers from Carol Strohecker, director of the Center for Design Innovation; Char Booth, e-learning librarian, University of California Berkeley; and Tara McPherson, associate professor in the School of Cinematic Arts, University of Southern California.

The conference schedule is now available online at www.acrl.org/acrlconference. Check out the program descriptions and start planning which sessions you would like to attend.

Register by February 4, 2011, and take advantage of discounted early-bird registration fees and save more than 20 percent. Go to www.acrl.org/acrlconference (click on “Registration”) for registration materials.

2009 Academic Library Trends and Statistics

ACRL announces the publication of 2009 Academic Library Trends and Statistics, the latest in a series of annual publications that describe the collections, staffing, expenditures, and service activities of academic libraries in all Carnegie classifications.


The three-volume set includes associate of arts institutions, master’s colleges and universities/baccalaureate colleges, and research/doctoral-granting institutions. The individual volumes for associates colleges, masters/baccalaureate, and doctoral-granting institutions are also available for purchase.

The 2009 survey includes data from 1,533 academic libraries in six major categories, including Collections; Expenditures; Electronic Resources; Personnel and Public Services; Ph.D.s Granted, Faculty, Student Enrollment; and Faculty Rank, Status, and Tenure for Librarians. The survey also provides analysis of selected variables and summary data (high, low, mean, and median) for all elements. The 2009 data can be used for self-studies, budgeting, strategic planning, annual reports, grant applications, and benchmarking.

2009 Academic Library Trends and Statistics is available for purchase through the ALA Online Store and by telephone order at (866) 746-7252 in the United States or (770) 442-8633 for international customers. Contact Mary Jane Petrowski at E-mail: or (312) 280-2523 with questions.

Value, futures thinking forums at 2010 ALA Midwinter Meeting

The ACRL Research Coordinating Committee is hosting a forum on the Value of Academic Libraries report from 10:30 a.m.–12 p.m. on Saturday, January 8, 2011, at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in San Diego.

ACRL President Lisa Hinchliffe will discuss how the “Value of Academic Libraries” report came into being and future ACRL initiatives to provide academic librarians with tools to support this work. The lead researcher/author of the report, Megan Oakleaf, will touch on some highlights of the report then respond to questions from the audience. The “Value of Academic Libraries” report is freely available online at www.acrl.ala.org/value/.

In addition, ACRL will hold a forum featuring Hinchliffe and ACRL Scholarly Communications and Government Relations Specialist Kara Malenfant presenting the findings of the recent ACRL report “Futures Thinking for Academic Librarians: Higher Education in 2025.” The report considers trends that may impact academic libraries over the next 15 years. The forum will be held from 1:30–2:30 p.m. on Sunday, January 9, 2011. The futures report is freely available on the ACRL Web site at www.acrl.org/futures. Check the Midwinter program guide for the forum locations.

Copyright © American Library Association, 2010

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