News from the Field

David Free

UCSD Library app locates available computers

A new mobile app launched by the University of California-San Diego (UCSD) Library has proven to be a hit with campus smart phone users, especially those who are on the prowl for an open computer in the library or another study space on campus. The PC Availability app, developed jointly by the library and Academic Computing & Media Services (ACMS), is accessible on the library’s mobile site (

The PC Availability app provides users with minute-by-minute feedback on the availability of approximately 400 computers in computer labs and common areas in the Geisel and Biomedical Library buildings. In addition, the app shows computer availability for 84 computers in lounges and labs in the Price Center, the Student Center, and Center Hall.

The UCSD PC Availability app in action.

Catholic holy card collection at DePaul

DePaul University Libraries, in cooperation with DePaul’s Vincentian Studies Institute, recently announced a new digital collection of more than 200 Catholic holy cards featuring St. Vincent de Paul, St. Louise de Marillac, the Congregation of the Mission, and the Daughters of Charity. These cards span two centuries, feature several languages, and reveal the trends and shifts in the iconography of St. Vincent and other important Catholic figures. They also give a fascinating glimpse into the history and distribution of Catholic material culture after the invention of lithography in the late 18th century. Catholic holy cards are small religious images roughly the size of a playing card. They most often depict a Catholic saint, religious scene, or Biblical story, and are blessed by priests for the use by the faithful. The collection can be viewed at

This digital collection represents a small portion of DePaul University’s Vincentian Studies Collection, which includes other digital collections, as well as books, serials, maps, archival material, illustrations and art objects, and large collection of ephemera. For more information on the collection, visit the DePaul’s Vincentian Research Guide at

Keeping Up With… Digital Humanities

ACRL recently launched Keeping Up With…, an online current awareness publication featuring concise briefs on trends in academic librarianship and higher education. Each edition focuses on a single issue with an introduction to the topic and summaries of key points, including implications for academic libraries. The initial issue features a discussion of Digital Humanities by Jennifer L. Adams and Kevin B. Gunn. Keeping Up With… is available on the ACRL Web site and each issue will be send via e-mail to ACRL members and subscribers. Visit the Keeping Up With… Web site ( for more details, including information submitting potential topics for future editons.

Rutgers Institute of Jazz Studies named literacy landmark

The Rutgers University Institute of Jazz Studies (IJS), housed in the John Cotton Data Library, has been designated a New Jersey Literary Landmark by the New Jersey Center for the Book (NJCB). NJCB is the state chapter of the national Center for the Book, which is headquartered at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. The designation seeks to honor New Jersey’s rich literary history by focusing on special locations or institutions. Past designees have included the Walt Whitman House in Camden, the Newark Public Library, the Paterson Public Library, the oldest continually functioning library in the state, and the Joyce Kilmer tree at Rutgers University. Featuring an extensive collection of jazz-related materials, IJS will be the sixth awardee in the 11 years that the NJCB has been in operation.

ACRL IS releases Analyzing Your Instructional Environment

Analyzing Your Instructional Environment: A Workbook, an ACRL Instruction Section (IS) publication, is a practical guide for instruction coordinators and managers to use in the environmental analysis of their own unique situations. Environmental scanning assists educational institutions in understanding the changing needs of learners and in shaping how they market their programs and services to meet those needs. Instruction programs are not static, and many factors affect their ever-changing goals and needs. Major initiatives such as an institution’s strategic planning process, curriculum changes, and accreditation reviews greatly influence the instructional programs, services, and environment.

Instruction librarians wanting to understand how to effectively engage in their institution’s instructional environment would benefit from using this workbook. The workbook guides practitioners through an environmental scan and provides information such as nationally-established guidelines, possible local resources to consult, questions to ask, and sources for additional reading. The guide is available at

ProQuest expands access to international dissertations and theses

ProQuest is digitizing more than 15,000 dissertations from premier European universities, providing broad, online access to these works for the first time. Digital discovery of the works from University College London, University of Aberdeen, Cardiff University, University of Leicester, University of Bath, and University of Valencia will be through the universities’ institutional repositories (IRs) and in the fourth quarter of 2013, through PQDT Global, a new resource for search and discovery of graduate works in emerging research areas from the world’s top universities.

ProQuest will manage all digitization, sharing digital copies of the works with sponsoring universities to build their IRs. With planned additions of content from the United Kingdom and Continental Europe, PQDT Global is projected to grow to more than 2 million full-text works and 3.5 million A&I records by 2015.

An additional 90,000 full-text works are expected to be added each subsequent year, including more than 15,000 works per year from Continental Europe.

Gale Partners with Associated Press to digitize holdings

Gale, part of Cengage Learning and a leading publisher of research and reference resources for libraries, schools, and businesses, has announced an agreement with the Associated Press (AP) to digitize their corporate archives, including millions of pages of news copy (some never-before published), bureau records, correspondence, the personal papers of reporters, and more. This agreement follows on the large-scale partnerships Gale has signed with the Smithsonian Institution and the National Geographic Society.

Covered under the agreement are the notes and observations of AP journalists, potentially giving widely reported events a new perspective, while also providing valuable insight into the stories that were not reported. In addition, the agreement encompasses records from dozens of U.S. and foreign bureaus, and special collections such as photographs, manuscripts, sound recordings, and oral histories.

Complete College & Research Libraries archives freely available online

As part of the association’s commitment to scholarly publishing and open access, the full archive of ACRL’s official scholarly research journal College & Research Libraries (C&RL) is now freely available online. The online C&RL archive now contains the complete contents of the journal from its beginnings in 1939 through the current issue.The archive is available through the C&RL Web site.

“Digitizing the archives of the premier research journal for academic librarianship provides a tremendous new asset for our profession,” said ACRL President Steven J. Bell of Temple University. “Creating and sharing this rich resource demonstrates ACRL’s ongoing commitment to promote and deliver on the promise of open access. It is a treasure trove of content where the academic librarians of today and tomorrow will delve into our history, understand how we evolved and make new discoveries that could stimulate groundbreaking research and innovation of real benefit to academic librarianship.”

C&RL archival contents from 1939 through 1996 were digitized through the generous volunteer efforts of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library. The library’s Digital Content Creation department performed scanning and metadata creation for the approximately 340 back file issues of the journal in 2011 and 2012. The digitized files were added to the journal’s online presence with the financial assistance of the ACRL Friends Fund.

“It is no secret to anyone that academic libraries are in the midst of seismic changes,” noted Scott Walter, C&RL editor and university librarian at DePaul University. “As academics, we approach those changes in an evidence-informed manner, and we shape the future of our profession in ways influenced by what we have learned over almost a century of scholarly inquiry into the nature of our work. With the complete contents of College & Research Libraries now freely available online, we hope not only to promote the integration of scholarship in academic librarianship into research in areas such as Library and Information Science and Higher Education Administration, but also to promote the use of the scholarship published over decades in current debates over issues of enduring professional concern, including the curation of library collections, the design of library services and the contribution of the library and its staff to the broader missions of the parent institution.”

Published since 1939, C&RL enacted an open access policy in April 2011. C&RL will become an online-only publication in January 2014.

“The emergence of a robust community of open access journals in the field in recent years offers new opportunities for the integration of complementary content across traditional journal boundaries and the development of a new online community in academic library scholarship and practice,” Walter added.

Hosted through HighWire Press, a division of the Stanford University Libraries, C&RL’s online presence provides a variety of robust features. Online readers have the ability to comment on articles, share contents through social media, and perform basic and advanced searches across C&RL and other ACRL serials.

A variety of RSS feeds and e-mail alerts provide notification of the availability of newly posted preprint and issues contents. Articles are freely available to read online or download as PDF files. The mobile-optimized version of C&RL online allows readers to read and interact with articles from their smart phones, tablets and other mobile devices.

Intersections of Scholarly Communication and Information Literacy

ACRL announces the publication of a new white paper, Intersections of Scholarly Communication and Information Literacy: Creating Strategic Collaborations for a Changing Academic Environment, written by a working group of leaders from many areas of the association. This white paper explores and articulates three intersections between scholarly communication and information literacy: economics of the distribution of scholarship, digital literacies, and the changing roles of libraries and librarians.

After elaborating on each intersection, the paper provides strategies for librarians from different backgrounds to initiate collaborations within their own campus environments between information literacy and scholarly communication. The paper recommends four objectives, with actions for each, which could be taken by ACRL, other academic library organizations, individual libraries, and library leaders. The overarching recommendations are:

  • integrate pedagogy scholarly communication into educational programs for librarians to achieve the ideal of information fluency;
  • develop new model information literacy curricula, incorporating evolutions in pedagogy and scholarly communication issues;
  • explore options for organizational change; and
  • promote advocacy.

Intersections of Scholarly Communication and Information Literacy is available as both a downloadable PDF and an interactive online format at /intersections. Readers are encouraged to add comments and reactions in order to help further the conversation.

Tech Bits . . .

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

Silverback is a usability testing software for Macs. Silverback captures and records the computer screen, including highlighting the cursor and mouse clicks. It also records audio and video of the user as they participate in the usability study, so you can capture their facial expressions and verbal comments. Once installed, you simply start recording and then click to mark each time you proceed to a new task. This feature allows you to easily go back and review particular tasks. This can be handy both for your own review and for showing a larger audience what you discovered during testing. There is a free 30-day trial available, and it costs $70 to purchase. Did I mention that 10 percent of profits go to saving the gorillas?

Rebecca Blakiston

University of Arizona

. . . Silverback

Copyright 2013© American Library Association

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