News from the Field

David Free

William & Mary Swem Library celebrates 50 years

This year the College of William & Mary’s Earl Gregg Swem Library marks its 50th anniversary. A half century ago, the campus celebrated the opening of its new library building, named after Earl Gregg Swem, who served as college librarian from 1920 to 1944. The library’s history stretches back much further than 50 years. William & Mary’s library is almost as old as the college itself, dating back to the late 1690s. The original library was located in the historic Wren Building and would remain there for more than 200 years. During those years, the library—and the Wren—was destroyed in three separate fires, in addition to suffering damage during the Revolutionary War.

In 1905, Andrew Carnegie pledged $20,000 for the construction of a new library on campus. The building was simply called The Library, and served as such from 1909 until 1966. That building is now known as Tucker Hall. By the early 1950s, concern mounted about the inadequacies of the library, and in 1961 the development of a new campus west of the existing one began. During Homecoming Weekend 1963, a groundbreaking ceremony prepared the way for the new library. The doors of the Earl Gregg Swem Library opened January 4, 1966, and the building was dedicated on Charter Day, February 12, 1966.

The Gregg Swem Library in 1966.

Over the past five decades, Swem Library has continue to grow and change, undergoing renovations and additions. The most significant change was the 2003 renovation, in which every floor of the library was touched, and the new 100,000-square-foot Warren Burger Special Collections wing was added.

New Literacies Alliance works to elevate student research

The New Literacies Alliance (NLA) consortium has created a suite of free, open access tutorials that teach students how to become better researchers. “Many college students haven’t learned how to conduct basic research or to determine whether their sources are reliable,” said Joelle Pitts, instructional design librarian at Kansas State University (KSU) Libraries. “We’ve created online modules to teach students to critically analyze information of all kinds.”

When Pitts and her colleagues at KSU first pursued the idea of creating online research training modules, they discovered that librarians at the University of Kansas Medical Center were hard at work on a similar project. The two groups joined forces to both build and promote NLA on their campuses. Universities such as Fort Hays State University, Marquette University, Oklahoma State University, and the University of Indiana-Bloomington have since partnered on the project. The modules are also in use at Pepperdine University.

The NLA team developed the lessons in an online learning platform that allows students to master skills at their own pace. The platform, SoftChalk, records students’ scores, which can be shared with course instructors mentoring students’ research and creative activities. The alliance is actively seeking additional partners. For more information, contact Pitts at E-mail: or visit

WSU joins HathiTrust

Washington State University (WSU) Libraries has joined HathiTrust Digital Library, a partnership of major academic and research libraries working to preserve and provide access to the published record in digital form.

“Through this partnership, we’re preserving a vast quantity of public works while making them available to more people,” said Joel Cummings, WSU Libraries’ head of collection development.

Launched in 2008, HathiTrust holds some 13.8 million volumes contributed by more than 100 partners, including 5.4 million volumes in the public domain. The collections represent documents published from before 1500 to 2009, encompassing some 1,360 languages. Learn more about HathiTrust at

LYRASIS, DuraSpace approve intent to merge

The boards of LYRASIS and DuraSpace, two member-based nonprofit organizations serving libraries, archives, museums, as well as the broader scholarly, cultural heritage and technology communities, have unanimously approved an Intent to Merge. LYRASIS, which serves more than 4,000 members and partner organizations by delivering e-resources, strategic licensing, training and digital technology resources, and DuraSpace, a leader in the development and deployment of open source technologies and services that promote durable access and discovery of digital data, will begin next steps to determine the feasibility of a combined organization.

The proposed new organization would continue to serve the LYRASIS and DuraSpace communities by sustaining and growing their combined open source platforms (Fedora, DSpace, VIVO, ArchivesSpace, CollectionSpace) and hosted services (ArchivesSpace, Collection-Space, Islandora, DuraCloud, DSpaceDirect, ArchivesDirect).

Project MUSE to offer Spanish-language books through UNEBOOK partnership

Project MUSE recently announced a partnership with UNEBOOK.ES to offer ebooks from publishers based in Spain and Latin America to the Project MUSE library market worldwide. UNE (Unión de Editoriales Universitarias Españolas) is the association of university presses and research centers in Spain. Formed in 1987 and based in Madrid, UNE has 69 members, all of which are non-profit cultural organizations.

Project MUSE expects to launch the UNE Book Collections on MUSE in spring of 2016, with an initial offering of approximately 3,000 front and backlist titles from more than 20 UNE member presses. Access will be on the MUSE platform, with all of the same features, functionality, and library-friendly purchase terms currently offered by the UPCC Books on MUSE.

UNE has been working for almost 30 years in the promotion and dissemination of academic content in Spanish language. Now, with its UNEBOOK project, it has brought together in one place most of the digital production of its 69 members, and looks forward to making this available to libraries through Project MUSE. For more information on UNEBOOK.ES, please visit

EBSCO releases RILM Music Encyclopedias

A new resource designed to meet the research needs of the international music community is now available from EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) and Répertoire International de Littérature Musicale, Inc. (RILM). RILM Music Encyclopedias, available via the EBSCOhost platform, provides researchers with key music encyclopedias and dictionaries published from 1775 to 2015.

RILM Music Encyclopedias is an extensive global repository that offers music researchers a compilation of 41 seminal full-text titles and is comprised of more than 80,000 pages with approximately 165,000 entries, the majority of which are not available anywhere else online. Coverage spans the disciplines of historical musicology, ethnomusicology, popular music, opera, instruments, blues, gospel, recorded sound, and women composers.

CLIR announces 2015 Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives Awards

The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) has announced the recipients of the 2015 Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives awards. This is the first group of projects supported by the Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives awards program, which is supported by funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The Digitizing Hidden Collections program is the successor to the Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives created in 2008. Like its predecessor, Digitizing Hidden Collections funds projects in which locally executed protocols contribute to a national good, using methods that are cost-efficient and subject to wider adoption. It supports the creation of digital representations of unique content of high scholarly significance that will be discoverable and usable as elements of a coherent national collection. Complete details on this year’s funded projects can be found at

CLIR began accepting applications for a new Digitizing Hidden Collections cycle in January 2016. Information about the application is available at

University of Idaho librarians win Geoscience Information Society Best Paper Award

Awards for excellence in geoscience publishing were presented by the Geoscience Information Society (GSIS) at its annual meeting in Baltimore in November 2015. The 2015 Best Paper Award went to Jeremy Kenyon and Nancy Sprague of the University of Idaho (UI) for their article “Trends in the use of supplementary materials in environmental science journals.” Kenyon is natural resources librarian, and Sprague is science librarian at UI. Their paper appeared in Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship, volume 75, doi: 10.5062/F40Z717Z, 2014. In announcing their selection, the award committee cited Kenyon and Sprague’s “clear comparison of specific policies in the context of different disciplines and publications,” adding that the study “offers a new methodology for examining supplementary materials and their trends and pitfalls.”

The Best Paper Award is given annually for an outstanding contribution to the field of geoscience information published during the previous year. GSIS is an international professional organization devoted to improving the exchange of information in the earth sciences. The membership consists of librarians, editors, cartographers, educators, and information professionals.

New ACRL books cover library space, instruction techniques

ACRL announces the publication of Encoding Space: Shaping Learning Environments that Unlock Human Potential by Brian Mathews and The Craft of Librarian Instruction: Using Acting Techniques to Create Your Teaching Presence by Julie Artman, Jeff Sundquist, and Douglas R. Dechow.

Can we create library environments that inspire people to be more creative, collaborative, reflective, or engaged? That is the driving question of an imaginative new book from ACRL. Encoding Space weaves elements together from architecture, psychology, retail, neuroscience, and many other disciplines in this narrative about the evolution of library buildings. Reconceptualizing libraries as showrooms, studios, salons, and boutiques, some new directions are outlined for discussion about the future. Mathews encourages you and your team to look beyond the functional value of your facility, and to consider how libraries can also serve as an experimental landscape that helps foster well-being and personal growth.

Featuring drawings and renderings from interior designer Leigh Ann Soistmann, Encoding Space is ideal for librarians and campus administrators looking to spark their creative thinking and push strategic conversations about the purpose, value, and future of library buildings.

Library instruction is like a theater performance. You play a role as the instruction librarian. There is a live audience. You may receive reviews or evaluations. Or maybe the teaching experience feels more like an audition—a bit unnerving. In The Craft of Librarian Instruction, join Artman, Sundquist, and Dechow for a fun and creative approach to library instruction as they demonstrate how acting techniques can hone your presentation skills, your teaching style, and your performance to create an invigorating (and stress-free) learning experience for your students.

Through the use of acting methods and techniques, readers will learn how to:

  • Rehearse and prepare for instruction sessions by centering yourself through visualization, memorization, and improvisation;
  • Connect with students through personalization and role-playing, and by exploring teacher identity; and
  • Sharpen a unique teaching presence through reflection and intentional instruction.

Vocal and physical preparation and instructional scenarios will reveal potential challenges and pose solutions, and provide tips for deepening your teaching skills. Intended for newly hired instruction librarians, librarians with little or no teaching experience, those dealing with shyness or stage fright, as well as more experienced librarians in need of a refreshed perspective, The Craft of Librarian Instruction will add an undeniable star quality to your instructional performance.

Encoding Space: Shaping Learning Environments that Unlock Human Potential is available for purchase in print through the ALA Online Store and, and by telephone order at (866) 746-7252 in the United States or (770) 442-8633 for international customers. In addition to print editions, The Craft of Librarian Instruction: Using Acting Techniques to Create Your Teaching Presence is available as an ebook, and as a print ebook bundle through the ALA Online Store and for Kindle through

Tech Bits . . .

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

Padlet is an online bulletin board librarians can use to organize projects, engage with students, and collaborate with colleagues. A free account allows for creating an unlimited number of “walls” (known simply as “Padlets”), for which you can customize the look and feel, set privacy restrictions, create custom URLs, and invite others to collaborate on your Padlets. Add content like free text, images, audio or video files, documents, and weblinks to digital sticky notes. Sticky notes can be moved around the board to organize ideas or create displays. Librarians could ask students to create and collaborate on a Padlet during information literacy instruction for real-time assessment. Starting at $29/year, premium versions feature options like advanced privacy controls, larger file size allowances, and enhanced support.

—Kimberly Miller

Towson University

. . . Padlet

Copyright 2016© American Library Association

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