Table of Contents
The State of the Library
Earlier this month, Lee Cartmill and I presented the State of the Library address at the Academic Assembly. For those who were not able to attend the meeting—or would like to refresh their memory of what we covered—you can access both the Powerpoint slides and audio recordings.
I won’t duplicate my talk here, but do want to note that I used as the basis for my remarks the top ten assumptions for the future of academic libraries and librarians, which were developed by the Research Committee of the Association of College and Research Libraries and published in the April 2007 issue of C&RL News. Here are the trends:
1. Increased emphasis will be placed on digitizing collections.
2. Skill sets for librarians will continue to evolve.
3. Students and faculty will demand faster and greater access.
4. Debates about intellectual property will be common.
5. Demand for technology-related services will grow.
6. Higher education will view the institution as a business.
7. Students will expect high-quality facilities and services.
8. Distance learning will co-exist with in-person instruction.
9. Free public access to publicly funded research will be more common.
10. Privacy will continue to be an important issue for libraries.
With the possible exception of no. 8 (distance learning), Cornell Library is well ahead of the curve in responding to, and anticipating, the effect of these trends on library services, personnel, and collections. As I reviewed the work of last year in light of these trends, I was reminded once again of how truly exceptional this library is—what we take as business as usual is often in the vanguard of what our peer institutions are considering.
Michelle Eastman has been busy trying to get our organization chart up-to-date (no mean feat, given the changes that have occurred in the past year!). Anyway, we think we’re close, so the new org chart has been posted on the staff Web. My goal is to cap the number of interim appointments at our current level, so I don’t want to hear about anyone else leaving! If you have any questions or spot errors or deletions, however, please let us know.
What’s Happening with the Campaign?
We hosted the Cornell University Library Advisory Council here in Ithaca, April 29-May 1. It was a packed meeting, with presentations on the search for the new University Librarian, a library update and discussion on the campaign case statement, a review of Olin renovation plans, a behind-the-scenes tour of Mann Library, a talk and exhibit tour on Ezra Cornell, a presentation on library acquisition opportunities, the ceremony for the book collection contest winners, and a presentation on the Communications Department and the virtual store. We will be building on the Council’s recommendations in fine-tuning the library campaign case statement, which dovetails with the university’s priorities to support faculty, students, and programs. The overarching theme is that the library is vital to the academic life of students and scholars in many ways—some tried and true and some brand new. We’ll be echoing this theme in this year’s annual report as well. We’re hoping to be able to share the library case statement with you in the near future. I also understand that Alumni Affairs and Development (AAD) is reviewing applications for the director of the library’s AAD office, and my hope is that we’ll be interviewing candidates soon.
What’s Happening with the Olin Renovation?
As was announced earlier, the Capital Finance and Planning Committee (CF&PC) has approved our moving forward into the design development phase for Olin Library. Lee Cartmill and John Hoffmann represented the library at the April meeting of CF&PC, which urged the library to look at ways to minimize costs in the planning and construction work but approved moving ahead in design for HVAC, life-safety, and program improvements for floors 3 to 8. This renovation will not only address the critical needs identified, but also help CUL maintain its reputation as one of the world’s finest libraries in a time when many of our peers have recently made or are in the process of making major improvements to their library facilities. Lee reported that there was also acknowledgment that the next phase (floors 2 down to the sub-basement) would need to follow. Clearly we are very excited to be moving on to this next phase, and the next several years will involve intensive planning. I’d also like to acknowledge the work of the Olin renovation team, chaired by Pat Schafer, which includes: Barbara Eden, John Hoffmann, Tiffany Howe, Zsuzsa Koltay, Bethany Silfer, and Kornelia Tancheva.
Possible timetable? Design development will take a year. Another year will be spent creating construction documents, and we could see actual work begin in spring 2009.
What’s Happening with Connecting CU Ithaca and WCMC Libraries?
At the beginning of April, President Skorton called, asking for an update on our efforts to provide seamless access to library resources across the Weill Cornell Medical College (WCMC) and Cornell University Ithaca (CU Ithaca) campus communities. Carolyn Reid, the director of Weill Cornell Medical Library, and I signed a joint letter to the president, outlining the issues identified by the library task force working on this issue. The group, chaired by Ed Weissman, has been interviewing faculty and researchers on both campuses to determine their list of concerns.
There are several significant barriers to transparency across the campuses. Some of these are technical; others are administrative and financial. The task force will submit its report and recommendations in June. In the interim Ed Weissman provided this list of the specific issues that the task force has identified so far.
1) Separate networks and authentication systems
2) Separate library discovery and access systems
3) Subscriptions and licenses
Finally, I want to thank those of you who have made it to one of the shop talks held in Olin, Mann, and Adelson libraries over the past couple months. The Law Library has agreed to sponsor one on June 11 from 1:30 to 3:00, and we’re hoping to hold one at WCMC library on May 30, when I’m in NYC to meet with various donors and Library Advisory Council members.
That’s it for now. If you have ideas or questions, please drop me a line or come visit me in my new digs in 201 Olin (I’ll have moved into Sarah’s former office by the time you read this—primarily to escape the summer heat that builds up in my current office).
3700 days. Roughly speaking, that number represents the duration of Karen Calhoun’s tenure at Cornell University Library. But as with so many things, a number hardly tells the entire story. Since Karen’s arrival in January 1997, the landscape of CUL has been so altered that the library as it was in the 1990s seems light years, not a mere decade, behind us. And because Karen’s creativity, leadership, and perseverance made her the prime mover behind a great number of the changes we’ve seen, her departure will be felt as deeply and broadly as the many innovations she leaves behind as her legacy. After ten years it will be difficult for many of us to think of the library without her.
Karen’s accomplishments are far too numerous to list here; even the most cursory rehearsal of her many achievements would quickly fill the allotted space. From leading the charge to eliminate the bête noire of the cataloging backlog to writing one of the most talked-about papers in librarianship, Karen’s energy and vision have propelled her to the very top ranks of the profession. She has quite literally a global reputation as a visionary librarian, speaking and consulting on the future of libraries in places as diverse as Beijing, Berlin, and Jerusalem, not to mention more-exotic locales like Kentucky and Maine. But it is arguably here at home where she’s had the most impact. As project manager, department head, committee chair, senior administrator, author, speaker, wise counsel, and friend, Karen has been like an army of one leading the charge for change. Along the way, she’s touched too many of us to mention, profoundly influencing our careers and, in some cases, changing our lives in and out of the library.
Karen came to CUL after a productive and varied career at OCLC. Over the course of ten years she moved from documentation specialist to manager of the product planning department. There she led a team of librarians and business professionals responsible for analyzing new product ideas, implementing new services, and forecasting. The nature of the work brought her into contact with many librarians and library leaders. One of them, Sarah Thomas, particularly impressed Karen. Sarah’s efforts to bring about significant change at the Library of Congress struck a chord with Karen—so much so that Karen actually wrote to Sarah and expressed a desire to work with her. Nothing really happened until Sarah arrived at CUL in 1996, when the wheels of fate were set in motion. Although she wasn’t actively looking for a job, a call from Christian Boissonnas, then head of Central Technical Services, sparked a series of events that brought Karen to Ithaca. The rest, as we know, is quite literally library history.
Becoming OCLC’s vice president for WorldCat and Metadata Services seems a natural fit for Karen’s talents and interests. The globetrotting she did while here at CUL will continue as she shepherds the cooperative toward implementing a truly global strategy. She’ll be meeting librarians from around the world, learning from their perspectives and experiences, and expanding the scope of OCLC products and services to meet their needs. In so doing, she’ll have a chance to lead change in a new and different way, drawing on her experiences at both OCLC and CUL, and of course on her own formidable imagination, intellect, and management skills. Those of us who know Karen have no doubt she will succeed, and we’ll be watching with anticipation and excitement as she moves into the next phase of her career.
Karen has many fond memories of her time here at Cornell: working with wonderful and very diverse colleagues; the success of the many projects she’s spearheaded (most notably, perhaps, the backlog elimination); and the natural beauty of the Ithaca area, with its hills, gorges, and wildlife. (Though a true woman of the world, she describes herself as a “country girl.”) She will also miss the excitement of being on a college campus. As she watched students pass by from her office windows in Olin Library, she felt energized by the young people whose lives were taking shape all around her. And while she’ll certainly be surrounded by some of the leading lights of the library world at OCLC, the energy will be of a different sort.
Karen’s parting words to us here at CUL seem quite apt for someone so closely identified with change. “Be light on your feet,” she noted, “because more changes are coming.” No doubt they are. We look forward to working with her as she once again leads libraries to new and exciting places. Thank you, Karen, for sharing your wisdom, experience, and leadership with us. We wish you all the best in your new endeavors, and we hope our paths cross again soon.
The Lee Library, in conjunction with the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station’s 125th anniversary, hosted a seminar on April 17 featuring journalist and photographer Hudson Cattell. Cattell has been recording the progress of the eastern wine industry since 1976. He has written many articles on the history of wine and grapes in the eastern United States, is the co-author of Wine, East of the Rockies, and has contributed to many other works on this subject. He is currently the co-editor of Wine East magazine and is writing a book on the history of wine and grapes in the east since prohibition.
Cattell’s presentation, attended by more than fifty people, provided a look back at his more than three decades of covering the eastern wine beat. He recounted in his talk how he became fascinated with wine and offered, among other things, reminiscences of his acquaintances with Philip Wagner, Konstantin Frank, and personnel at the Experiment Station. Cattell played a major role in the Lee Library’s receipt of an annual gift from the American Society of Enology & Viticulture - Eastern Section for books and was instrumental, along with Bruce Reisch, a professor and grape breeder at the Experiment Station, in the establishment of the Eastern Wine and Grape Archive in the Rare and Manuscript Collections in Kroch Library.
Cattell learned on the job. On his first visit to a winery in Pennsylvania he drove right by the winery’s vineyard. “I knew absolutely nothing about grapes and wine,” he said. “In fact, I didn’t even realize they were grapevines.” A portion of his education came from Liberty Hyde Bailey’s The Evolution of Our Native Fruits.
Cattell covered a wide range of wine-related topics during his seminar—a seminar that was peppered with numerous interesting and often humorous anecdotes. Cattel’s first Station-related experience was just over thirty years ago. “In 1976 a chap named Robert Pool was due to speak at the Southeast Grape Industry Association meeting in Lancaster Pa.,” he said. “He came to talk about a number of North American hybrids and their wine-making potential (one of these was GR-7). It was the first time I had heard of Geneva.”
Cattell first visited Geneva in 1977, where he met and spoke with Walter Kender, Willard Robinson, and Nelson Shaulis. A year later, in 1978, he talked with Terry Acree about taste orientation, and in 1982 was back for the Station’s centennial. Among other things during that trip, he met with Paul Chapman, who talked with him about the history of the Experiment Station. “At one point during the conversation, Dr. Chapman pulled out a newspaper clipping,” Cattell said. He identified it as being an editorial from a March 1887 New York Sun and read an excerpt from the clipping: “From top to bottom this bill, the Station, and its operations have been a fraud on our taxpayers. We demand that the legislature abolish the Geneva Experiment Station—it is a humbug.” Cattel said that Chapman looked at him with a twinkle in his eye and added, “Humbug or not, the Station survived and became world famous for the importance and quality of its research accomplishments—as for the Sun, it disappeared from the journalistic scene.”
National Library Week was April 15-21, but at Weill Cornell Medical Library (WCML) the celebrating began on April 11, Medical Information Day, and continued through the following week with a full schedule of activities for staff, patrons, and the community.
The Medical Library Association designated April 11 as Medical Information Day to spotlight the contributions and talents of health sciences information professionals and to increase public awareness of their expertise. The library hosted an afternoon of vendor demos of MD Consult, getting the “4-11” on this useful database out to our constituency, one patron at a time.
We celebrated April 17 as National Library Workers Day along with our Cornell colleagues in Ithaca, Geneva, and Qatar. Personalized cards, cookies, and balloons paid tribute to library staff in recognition of their contribution to the Cornell community.
Festivities continued on April 19 at the opening of the library’s spring art show with two exhibits, one featuring Diane Santo Bresee and selected colleagues, and the other highlighting work by Lynn Siemers, an Emergency Room nurse at the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. “Life studies by the 57th Street Artists” included several oil paintings of men reading books, which were especially created for this exhibit by Diane Santo Bresee, as well as portraits and landscapes by her colleagues. Lynn Siemers’s urban scenes in oil and conte—“Cityscapes”—adorned the library’s lower level. All enjoyed the evening reception for the artists, their guests, and library patrons. The exhibits will continue through July.
WCML and the libraries of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Rockefeller University co-sponsored the Tri-Institutional Concert on April 20. Acclaimed pianist Orion Weiss performed Prokofiev’s Visions fugitives, Op. 22, and Schubert’s Piano Sonata No. 19 in C minor, D. 958. The concert series, held every Friday at noon at Caspary Hall on the Rockefeller University campus, is a mainstay of the community, and the joint sponsorship of a special National Library Week performance by the three libraries each year has become a tradition.
Right after the concert on Friday, WCML hosted a luncheon party as a special thank you to the library staff for their contributions. Joining the party was a special guest, Virginia McFerran, the new chief information officer of WCMC. The week’s events were topped off by an announcement that Diana Delgado, the head of Access Services, had published a book review in the April 2007 Journal of the Medical Library Association.
Michael Cook, Mann Library’s public computing librarian, was honored for his outstanding service, leadership, and skill in librarianship at the CALS Deans Award Reception in April. Michael was awarded the 2007 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Librarianship.
The last issue of RLG DigiNews under the ten-year editorship of CUL contains articles by Rich Entlich (a retrospective of the newsletter), Peter Hirtle (a FAQ on open access), and Anne Kenney (a farewell editorial).
John Saylor will receive the 2007 Homer I. Bernhardt Distinguished Service Award from the Engineering Libraries Division (ELD) of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE). The award, which will be presented in June, consists of a plaque recognizing work that contributes to the advancement and development of excellence in engineering libraries. Homer I. Bernhardt was, from 1966 until his untimely death in 1982, head of the Bevier Engineering Library at the University of Pittsburgh. The awards committee cited as determining factors in John’s award his over thirty-five years of leadership in engineering librarianship; pioneering work in advancing the cause of digital libraries and open access initiatives; record of presentation, collaboration, and publishing; professionalism and mentoring of numerous engineering librarians; and significant contributions to ELD, including service as ELDnet-L director and chair of the JSTOR Task Force: “John’s efforts on these projects [Synthesis and NEEDS (1990-1995), ICE (1992-1997), NDSL (2002-2006), KMODDL (2002-2004), etc.] demonstrate the forward thinking, leadership, and service that he has brought to engineering librarianship for decades.” John’s nomination received support from many ELD colleagues, including several Bernhardt Award honorees.
International Migratory Bird Day. On Saturday, May 19, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Adelson Library and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology will be celebrating International Migratory Bird Day. During the Migration celebration the Adelson Library staff and friends will read three children’s books: Red Knot: A Shorebird’s Incredible Journey at 10 a.m., Flute’s Journey: The Life of a Wood Thrush at 11 a.m., and Fine Feathers Friends: All about Birds at 1 p.m. A beautiful poster is available and can be sent via e-mail (it is a jpg and prints on 8.5 x 11” paper) or downloaded. If you haven’t had a chance to visit the Adelson Library, do consider stopping by for this special event.
For adult visitors, the rare and beautiful book The Illustrations of the Nests and Eggs of Birds of Ohio, published in 1886, is on display though June. Also on display for a short time are two original prints from the book Birds of America, by John James Audubon: the Mocking Bird and the Swamp Sparrow, attributed to his wife, Lucy. If you have any questions about the event or need directions, please call Jacalyn Spoon, at (607) 254-2165, or e-mail the library at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Webcast creation. The next meeting of the Webcast Interest Group will be on June 5 at 10 a.m. in 703 Olin. Philip Halcomb, from Mann Library, which already has a successful Webcasting program, will give a step-by-step presentation on Webcast creation. Susette Newberry, Wendy Wilcox, and Lance Heidig, from CRIO, will also update the group on a series of Uris Library audio tours they are creating for Reunion Weekend. We will also look at other Webcasts produced at Cornell and would like to have a mini brainstorming session on how the library can use Webcasts. If you would like to participate, or if you have any questions, please join us on June 5 or contact Chris Philipp (cep37) or Jenn Colt-Demaree (jrc88).
Unveiling of Song of the Vowels will occur on Friday, June 8, at 3:30. All Library staff are invited to attend the ceremony.
Reunion Weekend 2007 will take place June 7th through June 9th. CUL will host a number of programs.
Angela Horne, currently the associate director of the Management Library, will become the new director of the Management Library on June 1.
On June 1 Don Schnedeker will take on a new role as the director of special initiatives. He will also continue as the director of the Nestlé Library in the School of Hotel Administration. As the director of special initiatives, Don will work with other CUL administrators to develop and enhance a range of programs such as the Library Fellows Program and career mobility mapping.
Notes from a Digital Libraries Go To School (DLGTS) Participant. In March Pat Viele participated in a National Science Digital Library (NSDL) Digital Libraries Go To School (DLGTS) training session offered by Sarah Giersch at the OCM BOCES training center in Syracuse. Participants in DLGTS in-service and preservice, science and math, and middle and high school workshops are introduced to the NSDL with a tutorial and then receive instruction in assembling NSDL resources into Web-based learning activities using the Instructional Architect (IA) tool.
Pat serves on the Professional Concerns Committee for the American Association of Physics Teachers, which last summer held “cracker barrel sessions” to enable high school teachers to learn what they needed for classroom instruction. Having access to collections of lesson plans and professional development opportunities were two of their concerns. She attended the workshop because the Instructional Architect tool offered a good intermediate step in making these types of resources available to teachers until a more-formal structure can be established. Pat created projects (or collections) of Web sites and shared them with fellow librarians at Cornell. Go to <http://www.ia.usu.edu/index.php>, click on “browse teacher projects,” and type in “Viele,” to find descriptions of three projects attributed to “Pat the librarian” on professional development, science careers, and lesson plans. Pat subsequently suggested to her colleagues that they forward lesson plans for her to add to her projects. She also uses Connotea to collect these materials.
The Web site of Kheel Center labor photos was selected for inclusion in Librarians’ Index to the Internet, April 5, 2007: “The site makes available selected holdings from the vast Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives’ collections, which include ‘images from the 20th century on film, paper, glass, and other media’ and ‘provide invaluable documentation of the nature of labor and management history.’ Searchable, or browsable by subjects such as African Americans, art, children, parades, strikes, sweatshops, and women. From the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations. URL: http://www.laborphotos.cornell.edu.”
LibeCast to debut in June. LibeCast, Cornell University Library’s new Webcasting portal, will debut in June, with an original podcast series that showcases Uris Library.
LibeCast will feature audio and video Webcasts that promote library events, services and accomplishments at libecast.library.cornell.edu. It will support instruction, research and scholarship at Cornell and also offer the world a glimpse of life inside one of the nation’s best research libraries. Library Communications will manage this initiative and work in partnership with Mann Library, the Department of Collections, Reference, Instruction and Outreach (CRIO) and others.
Over Reunion Weekend 2007, Cornell University Library Historical Tours, an original podcast series developed by CRIO, kicks off with an introduction to Uris Library, Cornell’s oldest library. For now, the series will highlight the Dean Room, the Kinkeldey Room, the Andrew Dickson White Library and The Song of the Vowels, Jacques Lipchitz’s magnificent sculpture that is currently being reinstalled between Olin and Uris libraries.
Future chapters will focus on noteworthy architecture, collections and artwork in the library. Listeners can subscribe to the Cornell University Library Historical Tours through iTunes or Juice or go directly to its Web site, which will be unveiled Reunion Weekend, and listen to the audio tours while viewing historic photographs.
Mann Library’s Chats in the Stacks series and select library-specific Webcasts from CornellCast will also be available on LibeCast when it launches in June. Ultimately, LibeCast will highlight all the libraries and departments that comprise Cornell University Library in addition to offering instructional or how-to Webcasts about library services such as Refworks or E-reserves.
For more information about LibeCast, contact Library Communications at email@example.com.
Annex Move Statistics for March 2007
If you are interested in the moving progress since November 2005, check out the project Web site.
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