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