News from the Field

David Free

Texas A&M celebrates 5 millionth volume

When the Texas A&M University Libraries celebrated their 5 millionth volume February 27, 2015, best-selling author George R. R. Martin played a major role in the festivities. The author praised the libraries’ chosen volume, a first edition of J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, and provided a gift to acquire the 1937 fantasy classic which Tolkien illustrated. Martin read from The Hobbit and voiced his approbation that Tolkien would share space with the world’s greatest authors at Cushing Memorial Library and Archives, the repository for special collections and archives at Texas A&M.

Author George R. R. Martin with The Hobbit, Texas A&M Libraries’ 5 millionth volume.

The Tolkien volume will take its place in the libraries’ internationally recognized Science Fiction and Fantasy Research Collection along with Martin’s own writings, the cornerstone of the collection. The award-winning fantasy author known worldwide for his epic cycle, A Song of Ice and Fire, and the HBO Series Game of Thrones forged a relationship with Texas A&M in the 1970s when attending AggieCon science fiction conventions.

In the 1990s he began sending his papers, books, and manuscripts to Cushing Library and has continued providing everything related to his work, including games, memorabilia, and merchandise.

Columbia’s East Asian Library launches online Cornelius Vander Starr exhibition

Columbia University Libraries/Information Services’ C. V. Starr East Asian Library recently launched the online exhibition Cornelius Vander Starr, His Life and Work. The photographs and documents in this exhibition detail the career of Cornelius Vander Starr (1892–1968), an archetypal American success story. Starting from humble beginnings, he rose to the top of American business, founding what would become the AIG (American International Group, Inc.) insurance and financial services corporation. The exhibition reflects C. V. Starr’s career and life as a businessman, journalist, lawyer, publisher, philanthropist, and humanitarian.

The Starr Foundation and Columbia University Libraries collaborated to create this exhibit of items held by the foundation to honor the exceptional achievements of C. V. Starr. To view the exhibition, visit

New Assessment in Action Program facilitators

ACRL is pleased to announce the selection of two new facilitators for the program “Assessment in Action: Academic Libraries and Student Success” (AiA), made possible by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. They are Eric Resnis, who serves in a dual appointment as assessment coordinator in the Center for Teaching, Learning, and University Assessment and as organizational effectiveness specialist in the Libraries at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio; and John Watts, undergraduate learning librarian at University of Nevada-Las Vegas.

Strong results from AiA teams are already evident in the recently released report synthesizing more than 70 projects from the first year with an accompanying executive summary to share broadly with campus stakeholders and a searchable online collection of individual team project descriptions. A second year of AiA is well underway with an additional 70 institutional teams and a third year will start this spring, creating a significant impact on the profession’s capacity to demonstrate, articulate, and promote the value of academic and research libraries.

Duquesne digitizes 150 years of Pittsburgh Catholic newspapers

More than 150 years’ worth of America’s oldest Catholic newspaper, the Pittsburgh Catholic, are now available online as part of a digitization project recently completed by Duquesne University’s Gumberg Library. The digitization project began in 2008 after microfilm reels of the newspaper showed signs of deterioration. The digitization project has helped safeguard the region’s Catholic history while providing greater access to a rich local resource.

Gumberg Library funds, a Library Services and Technology Act grant, and a capstone gift from The Ann and Frank Cahouet Foundation supported the digitization project. Issues published between 1844 and 2001 are now available at Issues from 2001 to present day are available through the Pittsburgh Catholic’s online archives at

EBSCO expands e-book offerings

EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) recently enhanced its collection of e-book titles by releasing 27 new EBSCO eBooks Subject Sets. These sets provide libraries with convenient ways to begin or expand their eBook collections with current, reputable content from leading publishers. EBSCO eBook Subject Sets are prepackaged sets of titles chosen to meet libraries’ needs for new content on popular, in-demand topics. EBSCO’s Collection Development Team of librarians uses tailored knowledge to create these Subject Sets for libraries.

The 27 new Subject Sets now available include Accounting and Finance, American Contemporary Issues, Careers, Computer Science, Earth Sciences, Geographic Information System, Natural and Alternative Medicine, Psychology, World History, and more. EBSCO eBooks offers more than 700,000 e-books and audiobooks.

ProQuest joins BIBCO, ECIP cataloging partnership programs

ProQuest has become a partner in the Library of Congress’ Electronic Cataloging in Publication (ECIP) Cataloging Partnership and BIBCO Programs. The company is the first publisher to partner in the ECIP program and joins academic libraries in cataloging pre-publication galleys of U.S. imprints received at the Library of Congress. The Library of Congress selects candidates for these programs that have demonstrated expertise in and commitment to cooperative cataloging.

ECIP and BIBCO partners create high-quality catalog records for digital products and monographs in advance of publication as a service to American libraries. ProQuest’s role will be to prepare pre-publication meta- data that conforms to the highest standards of the Library of Congress for at least one major publisher and may add additional publishers in the future.

ACRL IS releases Collaborative Learning Technologies

The ACRL Instruction Section Instructional Technologies Committee has published their latest Tips and Trends, “Collaborative Learning Technologies,” written by Melissa Mallon and Suzanne Bernsten. Tips and Trends introduce and discuss new, emerging, or even familiar technologies which can be applied to the library instruction setting. Learn more about how to use collaborative technologies to facilitate discussion, brainstorming, document editing, and remote presentations. “Collaborative Learning Technologies” is freely available at

2013 Academic Library Trends and Statistics

ACRL announces the publication of 2013 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, Master’s/Baccalaureate, and Doctoral-Granting institutions are also available for purchase.

The 2013 data show that library expenditures for collection materials averaged $6,305,337 for doctoral degree-granting institutions; $774,701 for comprehensive degree-granting institutions; $462,929 for baccalaureate schools; and $144,062 for associate-degree granting institutions.

The percentage of the collection materials budget spent on ongoing resources purchases (including subscription expenditures) averaged 68.7% of the total materials budget.

On average, doctoral degree-granting institutions spent 74.3% of their materials budgets on ongoing purchases in 2013; comprehensive schools spent an average of 75.4%; baccalaureate schools spent an average 70.6%; and associate degree granting institutions spent an average of 54.8%.

In addition, library expenditures for salaries and wages accounted for 55.4% of the total expenditures on average. Salaries and wages constituted 74.1% of total library expenditures for associate-degree granting institutions, 51.4% for baccalaureate, 52.3% for comprehensive schools, and 43.8% for doctoral/research institutions.

Of the libraries surveyed, 15.5% expect library space usage to increase significantly with 27.4% of doctoral/research institutions forecasting a significant increase. Of the libraries surveyed, 37% expect library space usage to increase somewhat. In the past three years, 62.6% of the libraries surveyed reported repurposing space. Space was most often repurposed for group study, student success areas (writing/tutoring centers), quiet study space, technology learning spaces, and more seating.

2013 Academic Library Trends and Statistics is available for purchase through the ALA Online Store, by telephone order at (866) 746-7252 in the United States or (770) 442-8633 for international customers.

Getting the Word Out: Academic Libraries as Scholarly Publishers

ACRL recently announced the release of Getting the Word Out: Academic Libraries as Scholarly Publishers.

Research libraries engaged in publishing activities in the past, but in recent years there has been an intense growth in the number of library publishing services supporting faculty and students. Unified by a commitment to both access and service, library publishing programs have grown from an early focus on backlist digitization to encompass publication of student works, textbooks, research data, as well as books and journals. This growing engagement with publishing is a natural extension of the academic library’s commitment to support the creation of and access to scholarship. Despite intense interest in this emerging discipline, few publications have highlighted the diversity of library publishing programs, services, and philosophies.

Getting the Word Out examines the growing trend in library publishing through 11 chapters authored by some of the most talented thinkers in the field. Chapters touch on such topics as the economics of publishing and the challenges of collaboration, and surveying the service landscape for publishing in support of a variety of formats and methods.

Edited by library publishing experts Maria Bonn, of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) Graduate School of Library and Information Science, and Mike Furlough, HathiTrust Digital Library, Getting the Word Out deepens current discussions in the field, and provides both decision makers and current practitioners with an introduction to the current state of the field and an investigation of its future prospects.

Getting the Word Out is available for purchase in print, as an e-book, and as a print/e-book bundle through the ALA Online Store; in print and for Kindle through; and by telephone order at (866) 746-7252 in the United States or (770) 442-8633 for international customers.

Tech Bits…

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

Diigo, which stands for “Digest of Internet Information, Groups and Other stuff,” brands itself as a multi-tool for personal information management. First appearing in 2005 as an online bookmarking site, Diigo soon branched out into web annotation, including highlighting and sticky notes. Manually enter or use Diigo’s browser extension to save links, pages, notes, and pictures. With a free account, bookmarks and notes are unlimited. Three additional plans provide increased functionality and an education account (free for teachers and students) enables Diigo to be used in collaborative class assignments. Twenty percent of Diigo’s user base are students and teachers who use the tool to highlight, add notes, and share websites. Librarians working on a project could benefit from Diigo’s annotation, cloud storage, and sharing capabilities.

— Jaki King

Clark College


Copyright 2015 © American Library Association

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