IRIS News and Notes, December 2004
Olin Current Reading Room
Food Fight! Staff contest to eradicate food in the library
Update on Document Delivery
Africana Library Building Project
Survey of computers and reading rooms
CUL and CIT partner to bring RefWorks to campus
Janus Conference Planning Group
Digital Preservation Policy
Preservation Website for Iraq
Staff News: Comings,
Goings, and Kudos
Fight! Staff contest to eradicate food in the library
We know food
consumption has always been a problem, but this fall
we reached a crisis state in Olin. An increasing number of patrons
consistently ignore the no-food signs and some resent when staff remind
them of the food ban. We’ve even had deliveries
of pizzas and other fast foods to Olin and Uris. In this issue of N&N,
we report on an Olin survey that documents food abuse in the study
rooms on the upper floors. We’ve also heard from Rocky
Cunningham and Pete Terwilliger, the Uris
Library custodians, that while food abuse is on the rise during the
day, it has declined at night due to the presence of security guards,
who approach people routinely about the food they are attempting to
bring in and consume. Obviously, it would be great if we could afford
full time security in all our library buildings, but the crux of the
problem is finding the funds to pay for them. Barring our winning
the lottery, what can we do?
Beginning in late January, we’ll be mounting a major campaign
to eliminate food abuse. We need your help. We’re looking
for new ways to encourage library users to curb their appetites and
keep food out of the library. For the next month (until January 17)
we’ll be running a staff contest to solicit creative no-food
We’ll be giving away grand prizes for the three best suggestions:
- First Place:
Kingston Data Traveler II Plus - USB Flash Drive - 256 MB - KUSBDTII+/256
Place: a copy of The Bend in the Road, by Eamon
McEneaney. On Dec. 6, Cornell Library officially published A
Bend in the Road, a collection of poems by McEneaney, '77,
the late Cornell Hall of Fame lacrosse player who lost his life
in the Sept. 11 World Trade Center terrorist attack. The book
has been selling like hotcakes: early last week it was at about
#130,000 on the Amazon list; on Friday, it was at 27,000; on
Monday, it was at 18,394.
- Third Place: $10 gift certificate
to the Cornell Store (considering the contest, I didn’t
feel right offering gift coupons for a latte at the Libe Café!)
Send in your suggestions electronically or
drop them off with Kim LaMorte in 213 Olin. Be sure to include your name
and email address.
Common Reserve Task Force completed its mission to deliver by November
22 a common approach for CUL reserves, including a single reserve
This would not have been possible without the programming skills of Matt
Arnstein from D-LIT and research assistance from IRIS’s Linda
Miller. At their last meeting task force members, Carmen
Blankinship, Peter Hirtle, Jesse Koennecke, Joanne Leary, Maureen
Morris, and Pat Schafer (chair) developed a list of
recommended future enhancements for submission to PSEC for the Access
Services Program Committee (ASPC). So far, responses have been largely
positive to CUL's "new look and feel," but a full review
is planned for the February meeting of the Access Services Program
Committee. ~Pat Schafer
Update on Document Delivery
We’re at the end of a year in
which two new delivery services were introduced, so I asked Jesse
Koenecke and Joanne Leary to provide updates for us on electronic
document delivery and library-to-library book delivery. Linda
Miller produced the chart here and those used throughout this issue.
MyDocumentDelivery has been in campus-wide production
for two months. As
of December 13, we have received 214 requests and scanned and made
available 157 articles or book chapters to 55 individual patrons.
Faculty, staff, grads, and undergrads have all taken advantage
of the service. In all, 63 requests were paid for, while 94 were
provided for free (including 74 from the Library Annex). Apart from
the Library Annex materials, most of the MyDD traffic seems to be
from a wide range of patrons requesting articles in the sciences.
Thank you to all of the great staff for providing this service.
In other MyDD news, we're proud to announce that it is now possible
for patrons to charge their requests to departmental accounts. Instructions
for doing this will be added to the MyDD Website. Thank you
to Linda Westlake, Ann Crowley, and Frances
Webb for making this happen. ~Jesse Koennecke
Library to Library Book Delivery
Since January 24, 2004 we've received 8,643 requests, and filled
7,861 (fill rate of 90%). October and November were our record-breaking
months (no surprise there)—over a thousand requests per month.
Olin and Mann still continue to dominate the business, accounting
for 55% of the requests. Of the requests not filled, 54% were because
the item was "Missing" or "Not Found on Shelf," and
about 8% were because the item was in cataloging process (interesting
that these are being picked out by patrons—even though cataloging
is moving along at a very good clip).
The stats by patron group still show Grad Students to be the heaviest
users at about 45%, but Faculty are creeping up and are now at 5.6%. (They
were in the 3% range around mid-year.) Staff come in second at 24.5% and
are neck-in-neck with Undergrads at 24%. Other groups are all under
Finally, the pickup library statistics show that the load is distributed
a bit more equitably. Olin and Mann are still the favored pickup
joints, but Law comes in a close third. Engineering is fourth. (An
aside—I recently did a quick analysis of books discharged at Engineering,
and fully 25% of the total are for other libraries. Engineering is
a very popular drop-off point, and presumably a pick-up point as well.)
Sharon Wargo provided this update on
projects scheduled for substantial completion before the start of
the next semester:
Handicapped Restroom—The unisex restroom
on the basement level of Olin will be converted to meet handicapped
accessibility codes. The
existing outer wall will be demolished, a code-compliant entrance
will be installed, and the interior will get a coat of paint.
Tower Room Cooling—Two fan coil units
will be installed in the Tower Computer Lab in Uris. This will provide more even climate
control and compensate for the heat load generated by a roomful of
Facelift for four Restrooms—The
restrooms on the 5th and 7th floors of Olin have already received
new light fixtures and will be painted.
Government Reading Room—Improvements
to this 4th floor room of Olin include new carpet, paint, upgrading
of the electrical supply, new chairs, and study carrels.
Austen Room in Uris—This room will get
a facelift by doing some selective patching and painting as well as
cleaning and repair of the upholstered furniture.
Engineering Library Renovation—This project
will create communication media offices in the basement and a complete
renovation to the first floor reading room of the library, including
a new combined circulation/reference desk.
Severinghaus Reading Room (Kroch Asia)—Upgrades
to the lighting are complete. A
digital reader/printer has been installed for use with the microform
additional table, new study carrels, and wood shelving will be installed. Chairs
will be reupholstered.
Africana Library building project
and addition to the Africana Center is moving along well. The
project is on track to be completed January 15th, 2005. The
installation of the sheetrock in the Library began the week of December
13th, 2004. The contractor has also started
work on the roof of the Library. The courtyard area and the
south end of the Library are now complete. The east elevation of the
Library is about 90% complete. During the week of December
20th windows will be installed in the Library as well as the installation
of the light fixtures in the Library and Multi Purpose room. Based
on when the air handler system is delivered, installed, and tested,
it is still uncertain when the Africana Library will be able to
move into its new home. The earliest possible date is the week
of January 17, 2005; sometime in early February 2005; or the week
of March 19, 2005. ~Eric Acree
Survey of computers and reading rooms in Olin
In response to concerns expressed by faculty, graduate students,
and undergraduates, staff conducted a weeklong survey (November 15-21)
of the use of Olin’s first floor computers and reading rooms
on floors 3, 4, and 6 at different times during the day. In terms
of computer use, we wanted to gauge the demand for the 3 types of
workstations available: library research-only terminals, the full
productivity terminals, and the limited productivity terminals (i.e.,
standup computers combining library research and e-mail). We were
also interested in determining the extent to which patrons “saved” computers
by leaving their belongings while they went elsewhere. Our survey
of reading rooms was intended to determine the level of room use,
including for group study, as well as the amount of noise and food
the following informal assessment of the survey results. The charts
offer a general overview of the data collected, and for a PDF of detailed
An Interpretation of the Survey Data, by Nancy
Olin Library First Floor Computer Area Patron Count
Data from the
47 surveys conducted the week of November 15 – 21 suggest
that the functional and proportional configurations of public workstations
is balanced, as well as possible, given the variety of patron
needs we are attempting to support.
Library Research Only (15 workstations)
12 or more stations were
in use during 12 of the surveys.
All 15 workstations were in use, or “saved,” during
3 surveys at 3 and 4pm.
The number of workstations seems about right given the priority
of library resource access. We still receive occasional complaints
during peak use, but overflow can be accommodated in the Electronic
Full Productivity (22 workstations)
All 22 stations were in use
or saved during 15 of the surveys.
A cumulative total of 19 patrons were identified as “hovering” during
11 surveys when no FP stations were available. The highest number
of simultaneous “hoverers” was five, occurring at 6 pm
More full productivity workstations would clearly be a priority
for patrons if more public space ever becomes available for computing
on the first floor or elsewhere in the library. However, it may
be difficult to meet the need for full productivity computers regardless
of how many more are added.
Library Research plus e-mail (3 stand-up workstations)
All 3 workstations
were in use during 19 of the surveys.
Although the “hybrid” configuration is confusing
for some patrons, they appear to be serving an important need. Additional
workstations for quick catalog checks and/or e-mail access would
be convenient for patrons and would reduce pressures on the LR and
Workstation “saving” appeared
during 17 surveys, with a cumulative total of 162 saved workstations.
Seventeen total hovering patrons could have used a FP workstation
if they had not been saved. The highest number of simultaneous “saves” was
eight at 3pm on Saturday; seven workstations were simultaneously saved
at 7pm and at 10pm on Wednesday.
This situation is frustrating for patrons and may require some
administrative attention. If staff is hired to patrol for food,
perhaps there would be a role for them here.
Olin Library Graduate/Group Study Room Count
Data from the 21
surveys conducted of the 10 graduate/group study rooms in Olin suggest
that although there are persistent problems with food and noise in
the rooms, the incidence rate may not be as high as initially suspected,
during the times the rooms were observed (10am, 3pm, 6pm). However,
the statistical incident rate does not necessarily reflect the qualitative
impact upon users.
People (324 total)
Overall numbers suggest that the seating capacity
(117 chairs total for all rooms) is adequate for the number of people
using the study rooms. A cumulative total of 324 people were observed
using the rooms during the 21 surveys (2,457 possible “chairs”).
However, each tally for each room would need to be checked individually
to determine whether or not any one of the rooms was filled to capacity
during any of the observations. “Personal space” needs
would also have to be factored into further analysis; many patrons
spread out their belongings to encompass two-three chair areas, which
significantly reduces perceived seating spaces.
Food (32 incidents out of 210 observations)
During the 21 surveys
only one room was recorded as never having food present (room 601-History).
Room 305 (English, Speech, Drama) had the highest rate of food present:
seven times out of 21, i.e., one third of the survey observations.
Five of the rooms were observed with food four or more times; 16 food
observations occurred on Saturday and Sunday. (Note that the survey
recorded the presence of food, not the number of people eating.)
Anecdotal evidence suggests that the mid- to late-evening hours
are likely to have higher numbers of people eating in the study rooms.
Building rounds and patron complaints describe full meals such as
pizza, Chinese food, and McDonald’s dinners. The food concern
also extends through the study carrels on the upper floor perimeters
and in the Asia Library carrels.
Groups (35 total, 26 incidents out of 189 observations
in graduate study rooms)
16 of the total 35 group study observations
were on Saturday and Sunday. Room 302, the designated group study
room, had the highest number of group study occurrences (nine out
of 21 observations for that room). This is an appropriate use of that
room. The nine graduate study rooms each had at least one incident
of group study. The range extended up to six with room 604 (Classics).
Four of the graduate study rooms had three or more groups observed.
It is not known how often the groups consisted of graduate students
for whom the rooms were designated; anecdotes suggest that they frequently
are not. (Note
that the noise rate, below, does not necessarily correlate directly
with the presence of groups.)
Noise (20 incidents total, 16 incidents out of 189 observations
in grad studies)
(Note: The survey defined “noise” as
being at a potentially disruptive level.)
Room 302, the designated group study room, was observed with four
incidents of noise, although there were nine occurrences of group
study. Noise generated in the designated group study room is appropriate.
This leaves 16 incidents of noise in the nine graduate study rooms.
Only one of the nine graduate study rooms was never observed as being
noisy during the 21 observations (room 405, Government) Three of the
grad study rooms were recorded as being noisy three times (401-Sociology,
Anthropology, Economics; 404 Medieval Studies; and 602 Near Eastern
High impact: Although the group study and noise rates
in the graduate study rooms may not sound high, the combined impact
may be a source of frustration for the graduate students who seek
quiet, individual study in a room designated specifically for their
use. Given the specialized subject designation of the rooms and the
relatively small population of graduate students, there is a greater
likelihood that individual graduate students are encountering multiple
incidents of inappropriate use of the room. Their sense of “ownership” of
the space could increase the negative impact of such experiences.
This concept of high impact may also be applied to the computer
use survey. Faculty and graduate students feel a strong sense
of primary need and ownership when it comes to accessing library resources.
Their occasional inability to have immediate access to a library research
workstation registers very strongly with them. The negative impact
is exacerbated by the perception that the space and the computers
they need may be used for purposes that are not directly related to
library resources. This produces a sense of disenfranchisement.
Weekends: Data from both the first floor computer use survey and
the study room survey indicate that inappropriate behavior increases
on the weekends. The rate of “saving” computers, eating,
group study and noise are all proportionately higher on the weekends.
These problems are not confined to the first floor or the study rooms,
but extend to the upper floors generally.
Future surveys: If additional data-gathering is deemed necessary,
future surveys should include evening hours for the reading rooms,
and should encompass study carrels in Olin and in the Asia Library.
The data on noise and group study for the designated group study room
should be discounted since that is an appropriate feature of the room.
CUL and CIT partner to bring RefWorks to campus
CUL's Citation Management Working Group (formerly known as BDM) is pleased to announce that the Cornell campus will soon have a site license to Refworks. A web-based, Endnote-like product, Refworks allows users to easily import and organize references from online database searches. Refworks also helps patrons easily format their papers and bibliographies in seconds.
The librarys Database Review Committee (DRC) and Cornell Information Technologies (CIT) are jointly funding this campus-wide site license, which will allow all members of the Cornell community free access to the program.
The Citation Management Working Group will be demo-ing Refworks and answering questions at the January 20th IRPC meeting at 8:30 in Olin 106. Additionally, CUL staff members interested in joining the CWMG group to help with the launching of RefWorks and other projects are asked to contact CWMG chair Virginia Cole at email@example.com. Anyone who wants to try out Refworks on their own may contact CWMG member Susan Lacette for a trial membership at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And finally, the CMWG has two new citation management webpages. There is a committee page for library staff at www.library.cornell.edu/cmwg/CMWG.htm and an informational page for patrons (soon to be updated to reflect RefWorks) under Gateway help at http://campusgw.library.cornell.edu/newhelp/res_strategy/cite_mgmt.html.
Janus Conference Planning Group
October, Sarah Thomas appointed a group to plan a major conference
on library collections, to be held here at Cornell in the fall of
2005. This event will be called the Janus Conference on Library Collections,
named after the god of change and transitions. It will look back twenty-five
years at the influential report produced by Cornell librarians Hendrik
Edelman and Dan C. Hazen, which formed the basis of collection development
thinking for over two decades, but also toward the future of collections
in the age of networked information. The Delmas Foundation is providing
partial support to underwrite the expenses of this conference. The
Academic Assembly is co-sponsoring this event.
Members of the Janus Planning Group are: John Saylor (chair), Ross
Atkinson (ex officio), David Block, Peter Hirtle, Anne
Kenney (LMT Liaison), Lee Lafleur (Academic Assembly
Liaison), Mary Ochs, Katherine Reagan, and Kizer Walker.
Digital Preservation Policy Framework
You may have heard at the recent all-staff meeting that the CUL Digital
Preservation Policy Framework is
now available for comment. This is the first of many documents, procedures,
and other activities that will be needed to achieve CUL's goal to establish
an OAIS-compliant digital repository (Goal 2, Objectives 1 and 6). Nancy
McGovern, as Digital Preservation Officer for CUL, led the development
of the framework with significant input from Marcy Rosenkrantz, Tom
Hickerson, and me. To provide a means for ongoing discussion of
core digital preservation topics, Marcy and Nancy have established a digital
preservation listserv (instructions for subscribing to the listserv are provided
On Thursday, December 16, there was a brown bag in Olin Library
to get feedback on the framework. If you were not able to attend or
prefer to provide written comments, please them to the
listserv, or directly to Nancy or Marcy by December 20. Based
upon the feedback received at the brown bag and by email, a revised version
of the framework will be brought to LMT and eventually to the Library
Advisory Board for further review.
To subscribe to the CUL listserv for digital preservation called
dig-preservation-L, send an e-mail to: email@example.com.
Leave the subject line blank.
In the body of the message type the following: subscribe dig-preservation-L
Where YOUR_FULL_NAME is the name that appears on your "from" line
in your e-mail. Example: subscribe dig-preservation-L Jane
Preservation Website for Iraq
We're delighted to announce the completion of the Library Preservation
and Conservation Tutorial for Iraq and the Middle East.
In many countries, it is difficult to find the model preservation
programs on which librarians and archivists can build, and this tutorial offers
a comprehensive overview of preservation techniques to ensure the
survival of their cultural property. This tutorial is offered in English and
for this Herculean undertaking goes to John
Dean, content; Carla
DeMello, illustrations and site design; Jenn
design and development; and Ellie Buckley, content architecture.
The Arabic translation was prepared by Global Listing's Arabic team lead by Ahmed Shazly.
Staff News: Comings, Goings, and Kudos
Comings and Goings
over-capacity crowd filled Kroch Lecture Room on Friday afternoon,
December 4, to wish Susan
Currie a fond goodbye. After 23
(or 24, depending on how one counts) years of service at Cornell,
Susan will become the Associate Director for Public Services at the
University of Binghamton in January 2005. To kick off the celebration,
Susan’s three supervisors—Yoram Szekeley, Pat Schafer,
and I—offered remarks on her contributions over the years, and
then I read a letter from Sarah Thomas, who could not be there because
of a prior commitment. Others chimed in extemporaneously, including
those who had dressed up like Susan for the occasion. She will be
sorely missed. Click here to see pictures from her party.
Although it was hard to say goodbye to Susan Currie, IRIS will be
in good hands with the appointment of Xin Li to the post
of Director of Service Innovations and Resource Planning effective
in January 2005. In this role, Xin will plan for and direct the expanding
operations at the Annex and will serve as a key member of the IRIS
Cabinet, with a portfolio to oversee resources and planning within
IRIS. Additionally, she will work with Lee Cartmill, Linda
Westlake and others to develop business and marketing plans for
new entrepreneurial services.
Xin Li joined CUL in 2002. As the Head of Acquisitions Services
in CTS, she managed a staff of 25 who are responsible for acquiring
new materials for the Library system. Most recently, Xin has been
implementing the technical services integration for the Vet, ILR,
and Mann libraries. Prior to coming to Cornell, Xin was the Assistant
Head of Acquisitions at Yale University Sterling Memorial Library.
Over the first several months of her tenure with IRIS, Xin will continue
to coordinate the technical services integration project for Kroch
Asia, ensuring a close collaboration between IRIS and CTS in this
Xian Wu has been promoted to Assistant Librarian to serve as the Electronic Resource Librarian in the Wason Collection on East Asia. In this capacity he assumes responsibility for the development, administration, maintenance, and production of digital library collections related to East Asia as well as serving as the Kroch Asia web master. Xian will also serve as a technical resource to the Asia curators and offer workshops on bibliographic instruction and electronic resources.
Staff in Interlibrary Services waved goodbye to Jim Atkinson on
December 8 as he headed off for his well-deserved retirement trip
out west. Jim's colleagues wished him luck, since he'll be spending
some time at the tables in Las Vegas along the way. Access Services
has a new Evening Supervisor filling the vacancy left by Kevin Lash
in September. A 1999 graduate of Ithaca College, Judd Karlman brings
a background in teaching to his new position. Another new arrival
to Access Services is Landon John Spoonhower. Penny Lane
Spoonhower's new son arrived on Thursday, December 2 at 10:14
pm, weighing in at 8 lbs. 4 oz. Until Penny returns to work in February,
library staff will see some familiar faces. Yhi-Chaw Chang and Katey
Strollo will be working part time in her absence. ~Pat Schafer
Peter B. Hirtle has published a new article, "Copyright
Term and the Public Domain in the United States," in Information
Outlook 8:11 (November, 2004): 26-33. Information Outlook is
the monthly magazine of the Special Libraries Association.
I’ve been officially sworn in as a new member
of the Standards Board for the Association of Image and Information
Management (AIIM), serving a three-year term.
Finally a tip for the holidays—all New & Noteworthy books and
videos and DVDs are now due January 24, 2005!
That’s it for this time. Oh, mark your calendar for Monday,
January 10, 9:00-11:00 am. We’ll be having the second annual
IRIS Welcome Back from the Holidays Coffee, which will be held in
703 Olin. In the meantime, enjoy the much-deserved break and don’t
forget to submit your suggestions to the Food Fight! Staff Contest.