News from the Field

David Free

Chicago Collections launches Explore Chicago Collections digital portal

Chicago Collections launched its Explore Chicago Collections digital portal ( at a public event held at the Harold Washington Library Center on November 5, 2015. Explore Chicago Collections is a digital portal providing access to images, maps, descriptions of archival collections, and other resources allowing users to explore Chicago’s history by topic (“Settlement House Movement”), neighborhood (“Lincoln Park”), city (“Evanston”), and more.

Currently working with the Chicago Metro History Education Center to share Explore Chicago Collections with students participating in the Chicago Metro History Fair (, Chicago Collections is developing a broad portfolio of services and programs that take advantage both of the portal and of the expertise found in the libraries, archives, and faculties associated with member institutions.

Chicago Collections is a consortium of more than 20 libraries, archives, museums, and other institutions that collaborate to preserve and share the history and culture of the Chicago region. For more information about Chicago Collections (or to inquire about membership), visit

University of Illinois adopts open access policy

On October 19, 2015, the Senate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus approved the University Policy on Open Access to Research Articles. This policy grants the university a nonexclusive, irrevocable, worldwide license to exercise all rights under copyright to the scholarly articles produced by faculty members.

In the policy, the faculty observed that open access, by providing the widest possible dissemination for research, enhances benefits to the state, region, and world while also raising the visibility and profile of the researchers at the university. Under the policy, researchers will retain copyright to their work. Work published before adoption of the policy is exempt. Further waiver provisions are available for specific articles upon request.

The policy is based on recommendations from the University of Illinois University Senates Conference (USC) to the Senates for the Chicago, Springfield, and Urbana-Champaign campuses. Further implementation plans and informational campaigns are forthcoming, as recommended by USC. To view the policy, visit

Baruch College opens public affairs archive

Baruch College’s Newman Library and School of Public Affairs recently announced the opening of an archive of documents and memorabilia providing insight into the development of American democracy in the 20th century. The collection encompasses a century’s worth of reports and files from the Institute of Public Administration (IPA), as well as the papers of Luther Halsey Gulick (1892–1993), a visionary civic leader who counseled presidents and served as the first City Administrator of New York City.

IPA was founded in 1906 (under the name Bureau of Municipal Research) as a response to municipal corruption, and the following year published an exposé that led to the ouster of the Manhattan borough President. IPA developed into a passionate advocate of honesty and accountability in local governments throughout the country and on development projects around the world.

The archive has been processed with grants from Carnegie Corporation of New York, and is housed at the William and Anita Newman Library at Baruch College. Finding aids that provide a sense of the scope of information are available on the library’s website at

OCLC examines The Library in the Life of the User

OCLC Research has published a new compilation, The Library in the Life of the User: Engaging with People Where They Live and Learn, which represents more than a decade of collaborative work studying the information-seeking behaviors of library users.

Compiled and coauthored by Lynn Silipigni Connaway, findings from The Library in the Life of the User articulate the need for the design of future library services to be focused on the library user. The compilation is intended to provide a sequential overview of the findings of user behavior research for librarians, information scientists, and library and information science students and researchers as they think about new ways to provide user-centered library services.

The Library in the Life of the User includes a collection of work completed in the OCLC Research user studies theme. It represents more than a decade of work with colleagues from The Ohio State University and Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, with funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and Jisc, in collaboration with Oxford University and the University of North Carolina-Charlotte. The Library in the Life of the User: Engaging with People Where They Live and Learn is available on the OCLC website at

Indiana launches Media Digitization and Preservation Initiative

Indiana University (IU) officially marked the establishment of an ambitious initiative aimed at preserving the university’s extensive collection of audio, video, and film holdings with a ceremony at the Indiana Memorial Union. The IU Media Digitization and Preservation Initiative will preserve IU’s rare and, in some cases, irreplaceable collections of 635,000 sound, video, and films recordings, currently stored in 50 formats housed in 80 units across the IU-Bloomington, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, and regional campuses.

First announced in the president’s 2013 State of the University address, the initiative will receive $15 million over the next five years from the offices of the president, the provost and the vice president for research. It will be led by Carolyn Walters, Ruth Lilly Dean of University Libraries, and Brad Wheeler, vice president for information technology and chief technology officer at IU and interim dean of the IU School of Informatics and Computing.

A sampling of items from the vast collection includes recordings of language, music, tribal lore, and histories from North American native peoples in the late 19th and early 20th century; audio from Orson Welles’ famed Mercury Theatre radio performances; photographs of African American musicians in the post-World War II era; and interviews with female newspaper editors in the 1970s. More information is available at

Texas Disability History Collection to launch in 2016

The University of Texas-Arlington (UTA) Libraries have established the Texas Disability History Collection to digitize and publish disability history relating to UTA and Texas. The items will be made available through a website set to launch in late spring. The collection, the only one of its kind in Texas or the Southwest, includes 40 oral history interviews with prominent disability rights advocates and Texans with disabilities gathered by students in UTA’s Disability Studies minor. It also encompasses hundreds of UTA Libraries Special Collections holdings, such as personal papers, organizational records, photographs, and audio and video recordings. Additions to the disability history collection are ongoing.

The digitization project, called Digitizing for Accessibility, is made possible by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act. More information on the project is available at

Springer Nature implements ORCID

Springer Nature will collaborate with ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) to provide the work of book authors, chapter authors, and book editors with digital identifiers, ensuring the recognition of their work. These identifiers can be linked to the researcher’s contributions to enhance scientific discovery and collaboration within the research community. ORCID provides two core functions: first, a registry for individual researchers to obtain a unique “digital name” and second, APIs that are used by organizations to exchange research information, support authentication, and connect ORCID IDs with other identifiers for researchers, creative works, and affiliations. ORCID records hold non-sensitive information such as name, email, organization, and research activities. Books from Palgrave Macmillan, which are currently being integrated into SpringerLink, will also be able to use ORCID IDs.

EBSCO expands non-English scholarly resources

EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) recently introduced Fuente Académica Plus, a non-English, full-text resource than includes a comprehensive collection of scholarly journals from Latin America, Spain, and Portugal. Fuente Académica Plus contains more than 1,500 full-text publications and continuously expanding back files. This new resource builds on the coverage of EBSCO’s Fuente Académica Premier database and provides coverage of more than 500 additional scholarly journals. More information is available at

Information Literacy and Accreditation Resources from ACRL SLILC

Institutional accreditation can seem daunting, but becoming involved in your school’s accreditation process is a great way to demonstrate how information literacy initiatives support institutional student learning outcomes. If you’ve ever tried to find a library self-study or institutional report, you know that locating these documents can be challenging and time consuming.

To solve this problem, the ACRL Student Learning and Information Literacy Committee (SLILC) has collected a set of resources and examples to aid librarians in documenting and reporting their information literacy work for inclusion in self-study reports that serve as the basis for accreditation (and re-accreditation). If you have documentation to contribute or would like to be listed as a resource, please contact Sharon Holderman at E-mail: . The list of resources is available at

Nominations sought for ACRL Board of Directors

Be a part of shaping the future of ACRL. The ACRL Leadership Recruitment and Nominations Committee (LRNC) encourages members to nominate themselves or others to run for the position of ACRL vice-president/president-elect and director-at-large in the 2017 elections.

The deadline for nominations is February 15, 2016. To nominate an individual or to self-nominate, send the nominee’s name and institution to LRNC Chair Erika Linke of Carnegie Mellon University at E-mail: .

Once nominated, individuals will need to submit a two-page curriculum vita or resume (if self-nominating, you may include these materials with your nomination). The LRNC will request statements of interest from selected individuals prior to developing a slate of candidates. More information about the ACRL Board of Directors is available at

New ACRL book examines Modern Pathfinders

ACRL announces the publication of Modern Pathfinders: Creating Better Research Guides by Jason Puckett.

Whether you call them research guides, subject guides, or pathfinders, web-based guides are a great way to create customized support tools for a specific audience—a class, a group, or anyone engaging in research. Studies show that library guides are often difficult, confusing, or overwhelming, causing users to give up and just fall back on search engines such as Google. How can librarians create more effective, less confusing, and simply better research guides?

In Modern Pathfinders, Puckett takes proven ideas from instructional design and user experience web design and combines them into easy-to-understand principles for making your research guides better teaching tools. It doesn’t matter what software your library uses, the advice and techniques in this book will help you create guides that are easier for your users to understand and more effective to use.

Puckett is also the author of the ACRL publication Zotero: A Guide for Librarians, Researchers, and Educators.

Modern Pathfinders: Creating Better Research Guides 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

Plickers is a free audience response tool that can be used for instant formative assessment with up to 63 students. It differs from other polling technologies in that it bears no cost or technology requirements for students and requires minimum preparation for a librarian. To get started, download the app and print out response cards. Each card can be associated with an individual student and includes a QR code that represents up to four response options. By scanning students’ responses with an iPad or a smart phone, librarians can determine students’ prior knowledge or evaluate the overall class comprehension of a learned concept. Large classes and short class sessions may be a challenge to using this tool effectively as it does take time to scan students’ cards.

—Tatiana Pashkova-Balkenhol

Millersville University

. . . Plickers

Copyright 2015© American Library Association

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