News from the Field

David Free

SMU celebrates Fondren Library transformation

The renovations to Southern Methodist University’s (SMU) Fondren Library, unveiled this spring during the university’s Founders’ Day Weekend, transform information technology resources for student and faculty researchers and feature a restoration of the historic grandeur of the Fondren Foundation Centennial Reading Room. The Fondren Foundation, Hillcrest Foundation, Hoblitzelle Foundation, and other donors to the renovations were honored Friday, April 15, at a ribbon cutting on the library steps. Immediately following, an open house in the library featured a release party for SMU historian Darwin Payne’s new book, One Hundred Years on the Hilltop: The Centennial History of SMU.

Fondren Foundation Centennial Reading Room at the SMU Fondren Library.

The 5,100-square-foot Fondren Foundation Centennial Reading Room, the center-piece of the renovations, has been restored to its original 1940 grandeur as a signature study space for students. White oak bookcases, floor-to-ceiling casement windows and original architectural details have been restored and accented. New lighting highlights the seven plaster bas relief elements in the ceiling, sculptures by Texas sculptor Harry Lee Gibson, who is best known for his sculptures at Fair Park’s Hall of State. Each bas relief sculpture represents an important scene from literature, from Beowulf to Whitman. More than 50 donors provided the Reading Room’s American cherry handcrafted wooden study tables and chairs, designed by Thomas Moser. Each table is topped with an amber American Craftsman design lamp.

Community of Online Research Assignments launches

Librarians at Loyola Marymount University have launched CORA, the Community of Online Research Assignments. CORA is an online, open access platform of librarian and faculty contributed assignments, lesson plans, and activities that engage with information literacy concepts and practices. The site is currently in beta, and the goal is to cultivate a virtual community of practice surrounding information literacy pedagogy among librarians and faculty. CORA was developed through a Statewide California Electronic Library Consortium Project Initiatives Fund grant. The grant proposed to expand upon an internal information literacy assignment collection by using the “cooking” metaphor to envision the assignments as recipes that could be tweaked or easily adapted to fit into any information literacy curriculum. You can bookmark and browse the Project CORA homepage at

Daniel Mack named Publications in Librarianship editor

Daniel C. Mack, associate dean for collection strategies and services at the University of Maryland Libraries, has been named editor of ACRL’s Publications in Librarianship (PIL) monograph series. Mack previously served as editor and contributing author for previous PIL titles Interdisciplinarity and Academic Libraries and Assessing Liaison Librarians: Documenting Impact for Positive Change, and served as editor for RUSA Update and Brill’s New Pauly: Encyclopaedia of the Ancient World. He has also authored numerous journal articles, books chapters, and presentations. As editor, Mack also serves as chair of the PIL Editorial Board. Recognized for offering some of the best thinking and scholarship in the profession, the PIL series showcases research on a diverse range of contemporary topics in the field.

University of Cincinnati to launch academic press

The University of Cincinnati (UC) has announced the formation of a new academic press. With a dual publishing focus on social justice and community engagement, the mission of the UC Press is to cultivate and disseminate scholarly works of the highest quality for the enhancement of the global community. The operations of the press will be located in and supported by the UC libraries.

“The new Press will serve as a major component of the emerging scholarly publishing ecosystem hosted by UC Libraries in partnership with others,” said Xuemao Wang, UC dean and university librarian. “Alongside the Scholar@UC digital repository, our work in digital humanities and digital scholarship, online journals, eLearning course materials, and other programs, the Press will provide a formal, peer-reviewed publishing enterprise serving authors and readers worldwide.”

In addition to publishing both print and e-books, the UC Press will be a leader in the exploration of new modes of academic work. These may involve scholarly and creative works in digital media, web-based digital scholarship, multiauthored databases, library special collections and archives, as well as future exploration of emerging, new modes of the university’s intellectual outcomes.

Ransom Center awards fellowships

The Harry Ransom Center, a humanities research library and museum at the University of Texas-Austin, has awarded more than 75 fellowships to postdoctoral, dissertation, and independent researchers studying topics ranging from the works of Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez to the relationship between the music of vaudeville and early silent film. Recipients will conduct research with materials that span the Ransom Center’s collections in art, the performing arts, photography, rare books, and literary manuscripts.

Since 1990, the fellowship program has supported more than 1,000 research projects that require substantial on-site use of the Ransom Center’s collections and result in the publication of books, journal articles, and doctoral theses. The 2016–17 fellows reflect the global stature of the Ransom Center, representing 13 countries as well as 21 states in the United States. Information about the fellowship program, including lists of recipients, is online at

Routledge e-books now available through GOBI

E-books from the Taylor & Francis e-books platform are now available through the GOBI acquisition platform from YBP Library Services (YBP). As a result of the partnership, libraries can use GOBI to select more than 50,000 e-book titles from Routledge, an imprint of Taylor & Francis and academic publisher in the Humanities and Social Science. Like all titles that are available from the Taylor & Francis e-books platform, the Routledge e-book titles are available DRM-free.

GOBI provides access to more than 13 million titles, including more than 1 million e-books from leading publishers and aggregators, all in one place. GOBI users benefit from duplication control across all formats, full-text reviews and refined selection lists, real-time management reports, and more.

With the addition of Routledge e-book titles, nearly every major publisher platform is now available in GOBI and can be fully integrated with each other and YBP services. Titles from Routledge, Oxford and its UPSO partners, Cambridge, SAGE Knowledge, De Gruyter and its partners, Project Muse, and JSTOR can now be filtered through a single point of delivery and service.

Gale launches new historical newspaper archives

Gale, a part of Cengage Learning, has expanded its historical newspaper collections with the launch of several new archives. Now available are The Telegraph Historical Archive, 1855–2000, a 145-year archive of Britain’s best-selling quality newspaper; China from Empire to Republic: Missionary, Sinology, and Literary Periodicals, a collection of English-language periodicals published in or about China from 1817–1949; and British Library Newspapers, Part V: 1746–1950, which adds newspapers from the northern part of the United Kingdom to Gale’s comprehensive digital collection of British newspapers. All collections are fully indexed and the metadata and data are available for text and data mining and other forms of large-scale digital humanities analysis.

For more information on Gale’s historical newspaper collections, please visit the Gale Primary Sources website at

Revised Standards for Distance Learning Library Services

The ACRL Board of Directors approved a revision of the association’s Distance Learning Library Services this spring. Developed by the ACRL Distance Learning Section Standards Committee, the revised standards provide an update to the 2008 revision of this seminal ACRL document. The full text of the revised standards is available on the ACRL website at

ACRL collaborates with Springshare to provide LibGuides access to member units

ACRL is pleased to announce that Springshare is providing complimentary access to LibGuides and LibAnswers to ACRL membership units. Both tools will be used to create unit-related resources to advance the work of ACRL, and will be available for use by division-level committees, sections, interest groups, discussion groups, and task forces.

“ACRL is grateful to Springshare for making this resource available to our members to facilitate their work for the association,” said ACRL Executive Director Mary Ellen K. Davis. “We are very appreciative of Springshare’s generosity, and ACRL members are already using the tools to further their unit’s work.”

Used by thousands of libraries worldwide, LibGuides is a content management system designed to curate knowledge and share information by creating online guides for a multitude of subjects and purposes. LibAnswers is an end-to-end online reference platform that addresses point-of-need service and knowledge bases. LibGuides and LibAnswers will allow ACRL units to collaborate more efficiently and effectively to complete association-related work.

Slaven Zivkovic, founder and CEO of Springshare, added: “Many ACRL members already use our tools at their own institutions, so this is truly a win-win collaboration! Springshare gets to support the ACRL and all the wonderful work the organization does, and its members benefit from using already familiar tools to improve ACRL workflows and outreach in the same beneficial ways they use Springshare tools within their own institutions.”

Since 2007 Springshare has been helping libraries succeed by offering a suite of SaaS products created for and by librarians. More than 5,700 academic, public, school, and special libraries in 79 countries use Springshare tools. For more information please visit and follow Springshare on Twitter at @springshare and Facebook at

Introducing Choice Reviews

Choice has announced the launch of a new service called Choice Reviews, a completely redesigned Choice Reviews Online built to respond directly to the many suggestions received from subscribers. This version has been engineered to work the way that librarians do, with an intuitive user interface, improved search and discovery features, and data management tools that will save you time and simplify decision-making.

The new Choice Reviews features advanced technology that makes librarians faster and better at what they have been doing for centuries: identifying the best sources.

With tools that make it easy to save, share, and manage results, Choice Reviews puts the power of curation back into the hands of librarians:

  • searchable database of almost 200,000 academic reviews;
  • intuitive interface to make searches faster and easier;
  • reviews published in real time for immediate access;
  • build lists, save searches, create alerts, find books in WorldCat, poll faculty on their preferences, and even add titles to your GOBI shopping cart.

Choice Reviews is designed to be used by librarians, faculty, and patrons—as a source of bibliographic information and critical reviews of works being considered for research projects and/or classroom assignments.

Visit for more on Choice Reviews, to sign up for a free trial, and for information on the other products and services Choice has to offer.

Tech Bits…

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

Voxer is an app that can transform your iOS, Windows Phone 8, or Android device into a walkie-talkie. Its “push to talk” functionality allows the user to send live or recorded voice messages to other users with the option of including text, photos, and location information. Users can talk one-on-one with others or engage in group conversations that they can listen to at their own convenience. Voxer can be used in online classes to promote conversation among students and instructors. Librarians could also use Voxer for online reference and Q&A from patrons. Voxer is free with advanced features available with a paid subscription.

—Emily Thompson

University of Tennessee-Chattanooga


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