In this issue:
To make users more aware of the WCMC Library’s resources and services, we mounted a 42-inch video display screen in the Library Commons last spring. On it, a variety of “advertisements” about the Library run all day long: information about electronic databases, schedules of classes offered by the Library, announcements about new books, bits of history from the Medical Center’s Archives, profiles of library staff members, and holiday announcements, just to list a few. Paired with this, a segment featuring recent citations for WCMC and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital (NYPH) authors runs as well, culled each week from PubMed. After a year, the impact the screen has had on the way patrons use the Library and its resources remains uncertain, and the nature of its content continues to evolve as we experiment with the possibilities this format can offer.
Much of the content displayed on the screen has also been uploaded to YouTube.com. We originally pursued this mechanism of output to easily link to the videos from our home page. Now, it seems, the YouTube links have provided an even more popular venue for getting our message to users, similar to the way that some commercial movies end up making more money when released as home video than in the movie theater.
The first video uploaded to YouTube featured Mark Funk, the Library’s head of Resource Management-Collections, who was president of the Medical Library Association (MLA) last year. The segment, conceived for our screen by Loretta Merlo to celebrate National Medical Librarian’s Month (NMLM), was entered in MLA’s Creative Promotions Contest and garnered a second prize. When we announced the award on our Web page, the video was uploaded to YouTube, allowing easy access to users who may have missed it when it originally ran. Since then, our NMLM video has been viewed 350 times on YouTube. Other sites have linked to it, including David Rothman’s Exploring Medical Librarianship and Web Geekery, and it has been accessed throughout the U.S. and the world.
Having successfully tested the waters, we decided to upload a few more videos. The Faculty of 1000—Biology video, by Loretta Merlo and Judy Stribling, special assistant to the director, is a take-off on the popular TV show Lost that has been watched some 400 times. It is now linked to a page called LibGuides, hosted by the San Jose State University School of Library and Information Science.
Throughout the development of the display screen project, we discussed how to use the video aspect of the technology most effectively without spending a great deal of money on commercial products while being mindful of copyright issues. An answer to the dilemma came in the form of an animation software program called Poser. Poser, a 3D modeling program used by computer game programmers, affords the ability to create original human animations and use them in noncommercial environments without restrictions.
The learning curve for the program is steep, and the computer requirements to run it are hefty, but once those obstacles are overcome, there is a wealth of fairly inexpensive products available to add to, and vary, characters and environments. One of the first attempts by Loretta Merlo, The Multitasker (a pitch advertising some of our services), features a four-armed library user. The visual is based on an idea by Kevin Pain, an information services coordinator, and was originally illustrated by Jose Medina, a library assistant in Resource Management and amateur cartoonist.
More-substantial Poser sequences are featured in Access Surgery Videos, an advertisement about Access Surgery’s video collection that has so far attracted 374 views, and again in New Hold Service (270 views) and STAT!Ref (74 views).
But what does it all mean? Besides being “cool,” does having a presence on YouTube bring any real benefits? Does advertising our resources and services in this format result in a heightened awareness of the Library and what we have to offer?
Nucleus Medical Art, a medical illustration, animation, and interactive media company, created the most viewed medical video on YouTube, an animation of a baby being born. Quoted on the blog Street Anatomy, the company’s CEO and co-founder, Ron Collins, said of YouTube as a worthwhile marketing tool: “We upload animations to YouTube as part of an overall strategy of improving our Web presence. We’ve tracked over 2,000 clickthroughs from our YouTube animations since we put them up six months ago and at least one direct inquiry that led to a licensing deal. When you consider we’ve had over 1,000,000 total views of our animations, that’s only 2/10 of 1%. Even though virtually all the traffic has been from noncustomers, there is a benefit to having a link back to our home page, and there might be a benefit to showing customers the number of views the medical animations garner on YouTube as a way to let clients see how intrinsically popular the animations are.”
An online survey posted on the Library’s home page the first week the display screen was up resulted in 12 responses, some discouragingly negative. Certainly, it is rare to see anyone standing in front of the screen viewing it for more than a few seconds at a time. However, the “discovery” aspect of Google analytics captured by YouTube indicates one important fact: 10 to 30% of all viewers of our videos come from another one of our videos, meaning that once someone views one of our messages, they are inclined to click on another, “related” one.
Both Access Surgery Videos and the New Hold Service were featured on our home page with a brief note and a link to YouTube, and their higher number of views might be due to that factor. Continued promotion in this manner and a permanent icon for the display screen on our new Web site, still in design, has been suggested. The benefit may continue to spill over to our other posted YouTube videos as well, reinforcing our messages.
Also, it appears that there is evidence pointing to an initial up-tick in the usage of the resources we promote when they are first featured on the screen. Use of Access Surgery Videos doubled the first month after our promotion debuted, and more-modest increases appeared in the usage of STAT!Ref and Faculty of 1000—Biology in their first months as well. These advantages were temporary, however, once again pointing, perhaps, to the need for a constant reminder on our Web site.
We plan to continue to experiment with other promotions involving our display screen. All videos posted on YouTube can be accessed by typing “Weill Cornell Medical Library” in the search box. Loretta Merlo (email@example.com), the manager of Circulation Services, oversees the display screen content. Paul Albert (firstname.lastname@example.org), the digital services librarian, is responsible for the RSS feed that supplies the WCMC/NYPH author citations.
Over the past year, three Library accounting staff members completed the Cornell Office Professionals Certificate Program and the Cornell Accounting Certificate Program. Cindy Bosley completed the Office Professionals certificate first, and based on her recommendation, Chris Campbell and Becky Sellen also participated in the program. According to Cindy: “The best part of both programs for me was the confidence they inspired in me. Both programs have contributed to my personal and professional growth. The Office Professionals Program encouraged me to set goals and accomplish them. A great example is that I applied for, and was offered, this position while taking part in the program. The Accounting Certificate Program helped me a great deal to learn the new skills and the information that I needed for this position. I would recommend both programs, both to newly hired personnel and those who have been at Cornell for many years. They both offer many new ideas and information.”
After completing the training, Becky stated: “OPCP is a great learning and networking tool. I would definitely recommend it to everyone. This course does a great job of stressing diversity and communication in the workplace. It also gives overviews of what learning tools are offered here at the university for employees and beyond.”
In order to provide the best customer service for the Library and the university, Library Accounting staff work hard to keep certifications up-to-date and participate in current training opportunities. This takes significant commitment and time management, as certificate programs like Office Professionals and Accounting require at least three or four hours a week of class time, homework, and tests. The programs usually run for one to two semesters. The benefits of the programs are improved communication, a better understanding of financial procedures and policies, and networking across the university to share ideas and best practices. I want to congratulate Chris, Becky, and Cindy for their work and dedication in completing both these programs.
In closing, Chris, our Accounting Office poet-in-residence, wrote an ode to the Office Professionals Certificate Program that shares her experience. Her work of art summarizes the experience perfectly!
Praise Be to OPCP
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I enrolled,
We introduced ourselves around the tables,
Dedicated we all became as we learned each week.
Pam Strausser taught us about conflict resolution.
JoAnn Shepherd saw it fit
Deb Hover’s eight-week writing workshop
By the time graduation came along,
I would encourage others to attend the OPCP.
In conclusion to this run-on poem
Ira Revels and Tracy Mitrano
Photo: Jason Koski/University Photography
The Cornell Undergraduate Information Competency Initiative held its summer institute June 16-20. During the Institute, nine Cornell faculty members collaborated with consultants from CUL, the Center for Learning and Teaching, Academic Technology Services and User Support, and the Knight Institute for Writing in the Disciplines to create or redesign assignments using the Library’s resources that range from archival materials on hip-hop to databases of scientific articles and to introduce undergraduates to the practice of scholarly research. Following the institute, faculty continue to work with these academic partners to develop and refine their courses and assignments throughout the year. For more information, see the press release and the articles published in Inside Higher Education, the Ithaca Journal, and the Cornell Chronicle. You can also find more information, keep up with institute events, comment on your view of undergraduate research, or suggest information competency resources on our Web site (see the blogs for comments and reports from the institute participants).
Many thanks to our sponsors, Anne Kenney and Michele Moody-Adams. Also, without the dedication of the committee in organizing the initiative; the expertise, time, and enthusiasm of our campus partners who travelled to Berkeley and helped design and facilitate the institute; and the commitment of the implementation teams to the yearlong process of assignment and course redesign, this project would not have been possible. We’d also like to thank Janet McCue for her support as our LMT liaison and Linda Bryan for her assistance and insight. In particular, thanks to all the Faculty Fellows for their enthusiasm and engagement in the institute and the initiative in service of undergraduate teaching and learning.
Kudos to Jenn Colt-Demaree, Somaly Kim-Wu, and Baseema Banoo Krkoska (Web site design and implementation); George Kozak and Shin-Woo Kim in DLIT; and the Drupal open source community (Drupal installation). The teams’ work installing, testing, and implementing one of the first library-wide sites at Cornell to use Drupal was of great benefit to us and the library at large. We also appreciated the assistance of Mary Newhart for facilitation, CIT for videography, and Ellen Marsh and Cynthia Lange for publicity and photography. Finally, the administrative and event-planning assistance of Cindy Bosley, Rachel Brill, Michael Busch, Lee Cartmill, Michelle Eastman, Ann Herson, and CJ Lance were invaluable.
Committee members, campus partners, and facilitators: Camille Andrews and Thomas Mills (co-chairs), Stuart Basefsky, Tony Cosgrave, Somaly Kim Wu, Baseema Krkoska, Leah Solla, Kathy Berggren, Keith Hjortshoj, Tracy Mitrano, Steve Pond, Elliot Shapiro, Clare van den Blink, and David Way. Past members: original chair and originator Kornelia Tancheva and members Lynn Brown, Beth Katzoff, and Kizer Walker.
Implementation teams: Bonna Boettcher, Medha Devare, Barbara Friedman, Lance Heidig, Eric Howd, Keith Jenkins, Jim Morris-Knower, Thomas Mills, Kim Nicholson, Katherine Reagan, and Ira Revels.
Faculty fellows: Kathy Berggren, Jami Carlacio, Kuei-Chiu Chen, Laurel Hester, Peter Hobbs, Tracy Mitrano, Alicia Orta-Ramirez, Steve Pond, and Christine Ranney.
On June 13, Michele Brown, the book conservator for the Department of Preservation and Collection Maintenance, conducted a workshop on mold for the staff of the Plattsburgh, N.Y., library system. The title of the workshop was Mold: Identification and Remediation.
On June 12, Peter Hirtle spoke in Jacksonville, Florida, at NEDCC’s conference “Digital Directions,” its successor to the “School for Scanning” conferences. He also gave one of the invited plenary addresses at the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section meeting of the ALA in Anaheim, California. The title of his talk was “What Special Collection Librarians Should Learn from Google Books.” Peter’s paper entitled “Copyright Renewal, Copyright Restoration, and the Difficulty of Determining Copyright Status” appeared in the July/August issue of D-Lib Magazine.
Since Theodore and Harriet Oxman endowed the director's position at the Catherwood Library, the staff thought that Gordon Law should receive an actual chair in honor of the occasion.
Left: The Harriet Morel Oxman chair for the directorship of the Catherwood Library, presented to Gordon Law by the Catherwood Library staff.
Deb Lamb-Deans, who previously held the title of assistant to the director, has been promoted to assistant director of the Catherwood Library. Deb will now be responsible for all aspects of the public services program (reference and access services) at Catherwood exclusive of the Kheel Center.
Peter Magnus has been promoted to desktop services manager. Peter takes on Keene Silfer’s role in Desktop Services following Keene’s recent departure for CIT. Peter now supervises five Desktop Services staff and is responsible for Desktop Services’ operational activities, continuing to also contribute directly to the delivery of services.
On Monday, June 30, Ira Revels presented a paper titled “Challenges and Lessons Learned in Collaborative Digitization: A Model for the HBCU Library Alliance” at the ALA meeting in Anaheim, California. It was one of twenty juried papers selected from over 160 submissions during ALA’s first call for proposals. Each paper has been published in a volume printed by ALA Editions and is available for sale to the public.
Linda Young retired in June, after nearly 34 years of service in CUL. Of those years, she devoted 20 to working as an administrative assistant for two Catherwood directors, Shirley Harper and Gordon Law. A luncheon was held in her honor at the ILR Conference Center on June 30, the official date of her retirement. “Catherwood is an internationally recognized resource for information about the workplace, and a generous portion of the credit for that reputation belongs to Linda Young. We will miss her very much,” said Gordon.
Song of the Vine: A History of Wine. The exhibition continues through January 16, 2009, in the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Carl A. Kroch Library, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Monday-Friday; 1:00-5:00 pm., Saturday. You can also see Song of the Vine online.
Colorful coasters celebrating the exhibition are available at the Library Store, 201 Olin Library.
Other CUL units are also celebrating wine history through associated exhibitions on view during the summer and fall of 2008. Here are just two of them. We’ll be highlighting the others in the next issue of Inside CUL.
Wines & Grapes in Hospitality—Jessica Hines
Nestlé Library, Statler Hall, June through December. For hours, please check the hours Web site.
On display are the wine and grape resources available at Nestlé Library, including menus from the Restaurant Menu Collection. Also on display is information from one of the most popular classes on Cornell’s campus, HADM 430: Introduction to Wines. Would you like to drink 200 bottles of wine in one sitting? This is one of the statistics from that popular Hotel School class. Also in the exhibit is a wine-tasting kit from the class along with a wine bottle from the 75th anniversary of the Cornell Hotel School. The exhibit will be up from June through December 2008, as Nestlé Library joins with other Cornell libraries in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Eastern Wine & Grape Archive.
Two glass cases in the library display many of the resources available through the Hotel School, including a wide variety of periodicals at the library. Of special note in the Nestlé Library’s collection are Finger Lakes Wine Gazette, a quarterly publication featuring local wineries, and several books on Finger Lakes wines—Culture in a Glass: Reflections on the Rich Heritage of Finger Lakes Wine, Greetings from the Finger Lakes: A Food and Wine Lover’s Companion, and Wineries of the Finger Lakes Region: The Heart of New York State. You can find more wine information on our Wines—Industry Guide Web page.
Cartobibulosity: Wines, Grapes and Maps—Bob Kibbee
Olin Library, lower level display case, through August 22. For hours, please check the hours Web site. We designed Cartobibulosity to complement The Song of the Vine, a fascinating exhibit prepared by the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collectons, which features material from the collections and the Eastern Wine and Grape Archive (EWGA).
The location of a vineyard profoundly affects the character and characteristics of a wine. Maps help elucidate this mysterious concept of terroir in a way no amount of high-flown language can. More-prosaic maps are designed to show wine tourists how to get to the wineries and vineyards. Maps in our latest exhibit give a broad view of entire wine-producing regions, but also more-intimate depictions of individual vineyards.
Maps tell us about the business of wine and wine production: trade routes, cork and cask production, devastating diseases of the vine. Wine is intrinsically social, for good and ill. Governments and societies have attempted to regulate consumption while encouraging production, and they use maps to proselytize and report. The exhibit shows a range of cartography and cartographic strategies associated with wine production and viticulture, from the lovely painting of a plan of Louvain from 1600 to a map produced with Geographic Information System (GIS) software generated just last week. Maps come from a variety of publications. From the Map Collection there are stand-alone maps dramatic in design and production, but many of the maps are from books and journals in library collections throughout campus. We set up an additional “exhibit annex” in the Map Collection to display materials we couldn’t squeeze into the cases. Among them is a map from a report from 1930 in the US Serial Set showing the location of bootleg gangs in Chicago. Please stop by the collection to see the materials and discuss Cartobibulosity.
Credits. Many libraries and library departments contributed to Cartobibulosity. Thanks in particular to the skilled and dedicated staff of the Conservation Laboratory and to Karen West for her expertise, empathy, and sense of humor. They have once again provided that magical ability to bring an exhibit to life from an unlikely collection of scans, photocopies, and mounting board. Many of the maps come from books and atlases held by the Geneva Experiment Station Library and Mann Library. Marty Schlabach and Mike Fordon, from the Frank A. Lee Library, Agricultural Experiment Station, Geneva, have been particularly helpful in finding and suggesting cartographic material in their collections for inclusion in the exhibit. Eileen Heeran, the curator of The Song of the Vine, has been generous with her support and consultation.
And, of course, we owe much to the Maps & Geospatial Information staff, particularly Susann Argetsinger, who helped with every stage of selection, design, and mounting; Nij Tontisirin, our indispensable student map assistant, who scanned and plotted and rescanned and replotted the maps you see here; and many others. Susann and Nij have once again created an interesting and effective map exhibit. Their skills, enthusiasm, and patience have been critical at every point in the development of our display. The exhibit will be on display through August 22, 2008.
Student Orientations. CUL will be participating in three major student orientations scheduled for August:
IMLS and National Heritage Preservation “Connecting to Collections: A National Tour”—Ira Revels
Special Libraries Association (SLA) Meeting—Pat Viele
I attended the session The Science of Coffee, which was quite interesting. The speaker was Dr. Joe Vinson, of the University of Scranton, whose presentation will be on the SLA Web site soon. His article “Take Two Cups of Coffee and Call Me Tomorrow” is on his Web page. I also attended the session “Alternative Fuels: Technologies for a Healthy Planet,” at which Dr. Richard Nelson, Kansas State University, and Alvetta Pindell, from the Information and Research Services Branch of the National Agricultural Library, spoke. They mentioned an interesting Web site on alternative fuels. Their presentations will also soon be on the SLA Web site.
I spent quite a bit of my time with vendors. Thomson Reuters demonstrated a new vertical search engine that is currently in beta test. The demonstrator said, “Using context shrinks the haystack and makes the needle bigger.” He contended that the new search engine will eliminate spam and move the most relevant sites to the top of the list. The American Institute of Physics announced that Physics Today no longer has a one-year embargo and is available back to issue one. The embargo applied to institutional subscriptions was very frustrating to faculty. Sara Tompson, University of Southern California, attends physics colloquia and prepares bibliographies related to the topics. The physics faculty and grad students look forward to the service. Scitopia, the free federated search portal to the digital libraries of leading science and technology societies, celebrated its first anniversary. It has added more publishers to the system this year.
The winner of the International Scholarship this year was Mandy Taha, senior research services librarian, Biblioteca Alexandrina, Alexandria, Egypt, who spoke at the PAM-wide roundtable. The new facility is quite spectacular.
As always, I enjoyed meeting with my colleagues and sharing ideas.
2008 Reunion Weekend—Alex Wolf
Thomas Pinney, emeritus professor of Pomona College, delivered the Library’s annual Reunion Lecture.
(Jason Koski/University Photography)
In addition to perennial favorites such as electronic genealogy workshops, film screenings, and unit library open houses, this year’s list of activities included a resource workshop for birders; a presentation on investment technologies; a reception honoring Harriet and Theodore Oxman, who named the directorship at Catherwood Library; and several workshops on blogs, among scores of other events.
Emeritus professor Thomas Pinney gave a fascinating talk on the history of wine in America on Thursday, June 5. The lecture’s reception served as the official opening of the Library’s exhibit Song of the Vine: A History of Wine, which runs through January 16, 2009, and is on display in Rare & Manuscript Collections. A list of associated exhibitions is available online.
Weill Cornell Medical College Library Faculty Attend Annual Meeting of the Medical Library Association
Mark Funk, the acting associate director for technical services, concluded his year as president of the MLA by giving his presidential address at the beginning of the meeting. In addition, he ran the business meeting, hosted the awards luncheon, hosted a reception honoring MLA committee members and award winners, and emceed a plenary session on Web 2.0 tools. The plenary session was the first live videocast of a session at the MLA meeting and is now available for viewing online. He is now serving a year as immediate past president and continues another year of service on the MLA Board of Directors.
Carolyn Anne Reid, the Library director, served on the panel “Translational Research: Bench, Bedside, and Beyond.” She and three other panelists discussed library support of Clinical and Translational Science Centers.
Pattie Mongelia, the education and outreach librarian, joined other MLA members in a visit to a Chicago-area public library to exchange expertise on health information and community outreach. She presented KidsHealth, a physician-approved health information Web site, to the group.
Helen-Ann Brown Epstein, the head of Education & Outreach, continues to be involved in strategic planning for the Hospital Libraries and Leadership and Management sections. After receiving another vote of support from MLA and the Leadership and Management Section, she will continue to be the co-editor of a forthcoming book by mostly Leadership and Management Section members entitled Managing Libraries: Problems and Solutions.
Paul Albert, the digital services librarian; Diana Delgado, the acting associate director for public services; and Michael Wood, the Qatar liaison and assistant head, also attended the meeting, as well as Rhonda Allard, the Patient Resource Center manager, and Bijan Esfahani, the manager of Information Services at the WCMC branch in Doha, Qatar.
AHIP Credentialing Approved for Two Weill Cornell Librarians
CUL Hires Chief Technology Strategist
As the chief technology strategist, Dean will be part of the Library’s senior management team, focusing his efforts on the development of a long-term vision for CUL’s technology future and assessing the IT trends and innovations that concern the Library. He will also serve as an ambassador for collaborative technology initiatives across the university and in national and international efforts.
Krafft has previously served as the senior research associate and director of information technology and in several positions in the Computer Science Department since 1981. He also received his Master’s and Ph.D. degrees in computer science from Cornell.
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