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Dear Students….We are starting the new academic term with a few changes in the library. Over the winter break, we have been busy refurbishing the first floor of the library based on an internal grant from the university to provide some facelift to the library. The project included new carpet for the first floor, repainting of the first floor public area and soon to follow will be the replacemeht of the public chairs. The staff, with the help of Buildings and Grounds, were also able to expand the quiet reading/study area in the rear area of the Reference section thereby enlarging the space to accomodate more students seeking quiet while they study.The electronic classroom adjacent to the instructional services offices in Room E 101 has also been completely refurbished, from carpets to a total replacement of all computers, and work stations.

Spring term opens therefore with a definitely new look for the library—certainly more airy, cleaner and looking more spacious than before. The accompanying pictures document the work we have done during the spring break.  Still to come are the first batch of chairs intended to replace the old ones, and then recarpeting of the second floor as well as repainting of the same area comes next–all planned for the coming summer and fall.


Welcome Back!

Staff Welcoming the Users

The Birnbaum Library staff ready to welcome the patrons to the library.

WE begin the new academic term -Fall, 2013- with a number of initiatives. Foremost among these new developments is the planned phased improvement of the Birnbaum Library that will cover new carpeting, chair replacements, and repainting. In addition to all of this, our staff is also busy doing an inventory of our collection to determine what can be safely weeded out, stored, or removed from the active collection so that space can be reclaimed for the much needed reconfiguration of library space to allow for more collaborative study areas for students. All these are either in the planning, discussion, or implementation stages and I will duly report on them as they progress along. Meanwhile, I thought that sharing with you a number of pictures taken around and about the Birnbaum Library might give you some ideas of the exciting intellectual and artistic dynamics that normally take place in the course of the academic term. We look forward to a sustained series of exciting and interesting programming prepared by our skilled professional staff for the enjoyment of all members of Pace University community. Meanwhile, enjoy the pictures.


April Fever

Getting back from spring break, we are now at one of the busiest seasons of the library when students work feverishly to prepare for their final papers, their final exams and to complete whatever projects their courses and classes may require them to submit. The Birnbaum Library in New York has a Library Committee comprising of students, faculty and staff and suggestions in improving the services of the library are vetted and discussed within the committee. One suggestion has been to extend the open hours of the library to allow for students to maximize the opportunity for them to work on projects that needed to be submitted before the semester ends. Cognizant of this request the library has come up with a modified schedule during the last three weeks of the academic term to give library patrons more time to stay in the library. It has also compiled information on other facilities on campus that are open where students can also work using its respective resources such as computers and/or quiet areas for individual or group work. They are places students can use after the library closes. Complete information may be found through the Location and Hours page of the library website (accessible through this link) .
It is also worthwhile noting that the new Student Lobby has been very popular among students who need a place just to talk, or even take a much needed nap or rest. Any request for special use of this facility should be channeled to the Student Auxiliary Services which is in charge of the daily upkeep and supervision of this space. . Photos of the new lobby, show why the said addition is popular among students. If you have not come by the library lately, I invite you to drop by and see how this new addition is used by our patrons.


The past academic year has been a very busy one for library staff which saw some physical renovation of the library lobby occupying university architects’ time and (B &G)Building and Grounds staff at the latter end of summer (see adjacent pictures). Meanwhile, other members of the staff were busy participating in various meetings preparing for the implementation of digital collection projects both on the local and consortial levels. The testing and loading of data occupied much of the time of the technical services staff while collection development librarians were also busy sifting through the various titles that are being made available digitally. Cognizant of the university wide initiative to streamline and coordinate strategic planning, the university library was at the same time busy reviewing and updating its strategic agenda and goals to better reflect the initiatives and plans as envisioned by the university administration, in general.

It is worth pointing out that Reference and Access Services departments as well as the service desk at the Collaborative Learning Room (CLR) where many of the computer and technology artifacts are circulated, have experienced a remarkable number of service requests both at their respective service desks necessitating double staffing at some hours. It is perhaps an indication that libraries, despite the pessimistic prognostication of some quarters about its demise due to Google and other online search engines, will be always a much needed academic component of university research and learning environment, since it knows how to evolve itself in response to the changing needs and requirements of its clientele—the students themselves. Libraries have a way of re-invigorating itself because it is not afraid to introspect and re-inventory its performance and assets and then evolve and transform itself by responding to the perceived needs of its users, offering new forms of service and innovative technologies and facilities to facilitate learning and research, morphing itself to whatever role it finds itself required of, by its patrons.

Below is a list of the more recent projects, initiatives , activities and services that the library has been engaged in as it continues to position itself to better respond to the perceived needs of the community it serves.

1. ConnectNY Consoritum of which the Pace Library is a member has increased membership to 18 libraries increasing access by member libraries to collection now numbering about 8 million titles.
2. eBook has been officially integrated as part of the collection of Pace Libraries as well as ConnectNY. So far there are about 12,500 combined ebook titles from various vendors accessible in the Pace Online Catalog both as provided for by ConnectNY and the Pace Library subscriptions. These books are either loaded as full text documents or bibliographic records only with the option to access full text. Depending on the nature and number of accesses, triggers are set to initiate purchase of the ebooks or just plain STL (short Term Loans). Various eReaders can download and read the digital documents. At the moment, these various ways and procedures of downloading to various platforms are still being tested and documents are still being prepared.
3. Birnbaum Library has sponsored, so far, 3 book talks this past academic year: (faculty publications or otherwise)
a. Getting a job and job interviews: Secret to Getting a Job After College; Larry Chiagouris
b. Book on Gay History: Celluloid Activist: Life and Times of Vito Russo; Michael Schiavi
c. Book on a cause celebre news of the early 1900: A Case for Solomon: Bobby Dunbar and the Kidnapping that Haunted a Nation; Tal McThenia and Margaret Dunbar Cutright.
NOTE: If any faculty member has a book that s/he wants promoted, let the library know and we can see if we can promote through book talks or presentations. WE do book talks about 4 to 6 times a year (between Birnbaum and Mortola Libraries). We normally provide coffee and cookies during the talks courtesy of the libraries.
4. Collaborative Learning Room
a. Laptops, macbooks, digital cameras, had-held camcorders, digital voice recorders, calculators (financial and scientific), first generation kindle; Smartboard Room and Polycom-Teleconferencing Room. CLR is in full operation and the meeting rooms (Smartboard and Teleconference Rooms) are highly popular among students and also faculty. The CLR (Collaborative Learning Room) has been the venue for circulating these artifacts separate from the circulating printed books and documents, dvds and VHS, and lecture cassettes still being circulated at the regular Circulation Desk.
NOTE: There are also lecture materials that can be accessed now from the University’s iTune site at iTunes University. This is being managed by Pace University’s Center for Teaching and Learning Technoolgy (CTLT). In addition, Faculty members who are in need of some videos to use in class can avail themselves of the Pace Digital Campus services where they can choose from a pool of 17,000 commercial films for titles that they would like to use in class. There is a formal request process and once the request is granted, they are made available within the Blackboard course management system, which means this is a controlled, authenticated access to content.

5. Library Participation in some Departmental Based Initiatives:
a. Library’s Asst. University Librarian for Instructional Services participated in the Undergraduate Research Initiatives by serving as co-leader in Scholarly Research and Design Seminars.
b. One of our Instructional Services Librarian facilitated a series of Research for Success Workshops – workshops to help graduating students prepare for interviews by researching information about companies they are scheduled for interview.
c. An Instructional Services Librarian was sent and trained for Systematic Review Workshop (and Evidence-based Research – Pittsburgh, PA) . Her attendance and training were jointly funded by the Library and the College of Health Professionals. Beneficiaries are mostly doctoral students who need thorough guidance and grounding in the systematic review process and research.
d. Librarian presence in a new minor – Queer Studies.
e. Library sits in the Advisory Board of Confucius Institute.
6. Dog Therapy Day
Slated for Dec. 18th between 2:30 – 4:30 pm at the Quiet Study Area off Reference. Initially started in Mortola and well received, Birnbaum is trialing this as a special stress and calming therapy for students during examination period. We will be monitoring its usefulness and benefits to our patrons.
7. Visiting Librarians at the Dorm : Dec. 10, 11, 17, 18 (Mondays and Tuesdays) – 8:00 to 10:00 pm
i. John Street – 18th Floor Lounge – Dec. 10 and 17
ii. Fulton Hall -3rd Floor Lounge – Dec. 10 and 17
iii. Maria’s Tower – 5th Floor Lounge – Dec. 11 and 18th
This is a new initiative of the library to provide ongoing help to students during the examination time especially in the preparation of their research papers. They will go visit the dormitories on appointed hours (see immediately above).

8. New Student Lobby – Popular and re-directs some traffic of students who normally go to the library to merely socialize. Library has also an arrangement to use the area for book talks and special presentations where food can be handily served.

Rey P. Racelis
Director: Birnbaum Library


Library Updates

AS we start our new academic year, I would like to welcome you all to the library. At the same time, I would like to call your attention to what we have so far accomplished in terms of our services, including the current state of our collection. I hope that you will avail yourselves of the services we strive to offer as we likewise look for more ways always to continue improving it. Consider this as our performance report to you.

Despite limited budget, our collection development team, by some prudent and careful selection of materials, was able to enhance the collection content of the library. Below statistics show recent collection development accomplishments in terms of augmenting materials available to the university community. A more detailed Director’s Report will follow, meanwhile, please marvel at these numbers.

Books in the entire library collection: Bibliographic Titles/Records: 572,028
Number of volumes/Item count: 628,860

Databases: 204 of which 83 are full text
Database Aggregators we are using: Ebsco, ProQuest, Gale, HW Wilson
Periodicals in print 4,550 (of which 2,402 are unique)
Periodicals online 109,190 (of which 59,348 are unique)
EBooks : some netlibrary (only the free), some Gale Virtual Reference Library, some Daily Life through History, and the bulk is Books 24×7 with a total of 8,352. We have added some eBrary and Sage Titles. We also have added some eBooks that came from our existing aggregators subscriptions bringing our new title count to 36,727.
Consortial Membership : A) Connect NY – allows access to about 9 to 10 million titles using the same ILS platform used by Pace Libraries ( Innovative Interfaces Inc. INNOPAC – of 18 universities in New York state); WALDO (Westchester Academic Library Directors Organization: 24 libraries; METRO – ALL libraries in the METRO area.


The Birnbaum Library saw a number of changes in 2011 and continuing to current. The picture to the right, taken by our library webmaster last Fall, shows the library at its busy time.

A number of retirements and resignations necessitated an intensive recruitment process to fill in the positions of Director of Libraries, Head of Access Services, Head of Reference, and Circulation Coordinator, in addition to part-time positions that also needed to be filled. A new position entitled Outreach Services Librarian was also created and filled to address the needs of new students who may not know or are aware of the various services the library offers. At the moment one of the Instructional Services Librarian positions is also open for recruitment. Some reassignment of staff has also been started to maximize productivity and the former periodicals coordinator has been reassigned as coordinator of the CLR (Collaborative Learning Room). A previously closed reference librarian position resulting from the retirement of its occupant has been restored and a new full time Assistant Reference Librarian has been created in its place. The new recruit will begin work starting July.

The Director of Libraries – (that is me) and the Head of Systems for the Birnbaum Library jointly applied for funding to increase the number of circulating laptops/netbooks that are available in the CLR (Collaborative Learning Room-2nd floor). The funding came from the Student Technology Fee and this grant will enable the library to have its own permanent collection of circulating laptops and macbooks that are not dependent on the activities and programs of the Mobile Classroom which normally had priority on the use of netbooks/laptops. The total Birnbaum Library circulating mobile computing devices will be brought to 12 macbooks and 24 laptops. For Fall and Spring the total numbers of circulation of these devices were 6,185 (laptops) and 3,206 (macbooks). The Smartboard Room, used by students to practice presentation skills and work on collaborative projects was used 551 times (at a time allotment of 1.5 hours per). The Teleconference Room/Polycom Room, which enabled students and faculty to teleconference between campuses was used for a total of 743 times, on the same time allotment of 1.5 hours.

There will be more updates in the coming weeks…as the summer season is providing us with a little breathing space while preparing for the rigours of the new academic season come fall. Meanwhile, here is wishing that everybody is enjoying one’s summer and getting the needed energy to recalibrate oneself before the new academic year begins.


So far the Digital Commons (aka Pace University Institutional Repository) has registered the following statistics:
3,853 papers to date 1,566,527 full-text downloads to date 641,259 downloads in the past year.

Contents of Pace University’s Digital Repository are indexed in OAIster (University of Michigan) and Google. The same repository is registered, in addition to OAIster, with OpenDOAR (Directory of Open Access Repositories, University of Nottingham, UK) and ROAR (Registry of Open Access Repositories, University of Southampton, UK).

Many new series are coming up soon including the showcase for Research Partnerships between Faculty and Students, a new interface with the ePortfolio project, and theses for upcoming submissions from new masters programs. Stay tuned.


An Enchanting HotelFriends and colleagues asked me where I was this long weekend. I was in a town I only just visited now and whose gentle magic slowly crept up to enchant!

I was away this Memorial Weekend spending time with my brother at Riverside California, some 70 miles or so from LA. I flew from damp, cold Newark and he from southwesterly El Paso, TX. We stayed at this very nice and pleasant town where people still stop to let you cross the streets, (they will wave at you to let you know it is ok to cross the street, and they will slow down or literally stop), everybody you meet says Good Morning or Afternoon or Hello and where the walk is more like a “paseo” than a hurried march to a destination. This, even on a regular working day (I observed them Thursday or Friday prior to the long weekend), where, walking to the Court of Justice that reminded me of a scaled down version of Sanssouci, that German palace beloved of Frederick the Great, you would see government workers unhurried in their stride and not a single one holding a cell phone oblivious of the world. But why would they be when all around them is a world surrounded by verdant grass, flowering trees or lithe, majestic palms, and swaths of multicolored bougainvillea all dancing in the very cool May breeze? I felt jealous, for a moment, of that rhythm of life so seldom enjoyed here in NYC. And pleasant moments you like to remember you try to capture forever… so this New Yorker whose “droid” is an omnipresent, modern day vade mecum spent most mornings documenting life on the gentler lane. But, I’d love to set the tone by sharing the pictures of my hotel first which, from the moment I got off my pickup van, all but pulled me into those little reveries and fantasies I had always toyed in my boyhood mind about places with turrets, crenellated ramparts, and shiny floors, secret passages, and some hidden spirits, and cherubs, and statues of angels and saints. And mind you, my imagination antedated for many years, perhaps 10 or so, the brain of that spirited damsel called J.K. Rowling who might not even have been born while I was still a child creating up my own fantasy world….and mine was not the brigade of Harry Potter boys, the Wizarding Corp or the Muggles ingenue…all denizens of the Hogwart’s magical universe, but princesses and knights running away from broom riding witches…and here is that Mission Inn Hotel that egged on my boyhead world once again. Savor this…and perhaps the Riverside images will come next!


It’s been a number of years since I singlehandedly started the Digital Commons (aka Institutional Repository) for Pace University. This was setup to shawcase the works of faculty, staff and students, specially many of their research works that oftentimes remain hidden or undiscovered in the Reserved Section of the University Library.

The patience and quiet toil in the setting up of the site and in the recruitment of contributors for content is beginning to pay off in the number of contributions to the site. We have already surpassed a million hits. At the moment we have the following statistics related to content and access:
3,827 papers to date 1,495,422 full-text downloads to date 631,682 downloads in the past year alone. Here is the link to the page popularly referred to as the Pace Digital Commons.



Reading maketh a full man, conference a ready man, writing an exact man and blogging a socially networked man. In the coming weeks I hope to be able to share with you some of my thoughts about libraries, academic research and technology. In the meantime, you may want to visit my Personal Website and see what had caught my attention in the past, what areas of work I have been engaged, and even some of the places I have visited. I hope to be able to share with you my other social networking sites …web places that I visit and virtual groups that I socialize with in the process of doing my work.