April 2015

Technical Services Corner: Adventures in E-Books
People News
The Lighthearted Library

Kaleidoscope is the internal newsletter of CUL. We publish every two months during the academic year, and appear mid month in August, October, December, February, and April. Submissions are due the penultimate (next-to-last) week of the month preceding publication. If you wish to receive a reminder you should contact et14. Please help us to celebrate our resources and ourselves while preserving some of our history.



Eric Acree, Africana, Fine Arts & Music Libraries

Writing a piece about Eric is simultaneously very easy (there are so many things about his professional career and involvement in the community to highlight) and very hard (there are so many things to highlight, indeed, that it becomes hard to choose).

Eric joined CUL in July of 2002 as the Director of the Africana Library, and in January of 2014, he assumed coordination for the whole cluster of Fine Arts, Africana, and Music. In those twelve years or so, Eric has been actively engaged in or led various  library initiatives to enhance the teaching, research, and learning mission of Cornell: from leading the library participation in the new student reading project, to teaching research methodology courses for incoming freshmen, and actively supporting the intellectual life at the Africana Research Center.

Eric’s involvement with Cornell transcends the library, however. He is a passionate advocate for gender equality and against sexual violence. His work on the board of Cornell Advocates for Rape Education (CARE) and his serving as a primary facilitator for CU Judicial Administrator’s Office directed study program allowed him to address the issues of sexual violence prevention.  In addition, his recognition of prominent African American women by commissioning a local artist’s portrait of them for the Africana Library, and his overall advocacy are truly commendable.  Eric’s contributions were recently recognized when he received the Alice H. & Constance E. Cook Award, named in honor of the late Constance E. Cook, Cornell’s first female vice president, and the late Professor Emerita Alice E. Cook, founding Member of the Advisory Committee on the Status of Women. The award honors individuals for their commitment to women’s issues and their contributions for changing the climate for women at Cornell.

In addition, Eric is actively involved in the community through his past work on the Tompkins County Public Library Board of Trustees and as Chair of the Board of the Multicultural Resource Center in Ithaca, his current service on the boards of the History Center in Tompkins County and the Tompkins County Civil War Sesquicentennial Commemoration Commission, and such initiatives as the Martin Luther King Community Build in 2010.

And then, there’s a side to Eric that many Kaleidoscope readers may not even be aware of—his involvement with local theatre. I personally cannot wait to see him act in a show soon!

These are only a few of the things about Eric that make him not only an asset to the Library and the University, but a great colleague to work with.

Congratulations, Eric! (Kornelia Tancheva)

Gail Steinhart, Mann Library

Gail began her career in the Cornell University Library in 2004 as the Mann Library GIS/Spatial Data Librarian. Gail’s M.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Cornell and her B.S. in Geology-Geophysics and Zoology made her a great fit for Mann Library. In her role as GIS/Spatial Data Librarian she provided strong leadership for CUGIR (Cornell University Geospatial Information Repository) along with enhancing GIS services for faculty and students. In 2006 Gail took on a new role as Mann Library’s first Research Data and Environmental Sciences Librarian. Gail was instrumental in identifying the coming need for research data services in the library and helped to shape this new position.

Since then she has made significant contributions to the wider community looking at how best to manage and provide access to research data. Gail’s innovative approach was also key to her successful fellowship in DSPS from 2011 to 2013. Gail made a wonderful contribution to the field of e-science librarianship with her role as co-PI on an IMLS grant, “Building an eScience Librarianship Curriculum for an eResearch Future” with Syracuse University’s iSchool. Gail led the CUL team providing mentorship for a cohort of e-science librarianship students selected for the Syracuse MLIS program.

In 2013 Gail became Head of Research Services for Mann Library. She brings the same outstanding skill set to this new leadership position combining her training as a scientist, her service approach, and her strong sense of where librarianship is headed. Gail has made many contributions to Mann, to CUL, and across the wider library community, which are duly recognized by her promotion to Librarian! (Mary Ochs)

Simeon Warner, CUL-IT

Simeon Warner came to Cornell University in 2001, from Los Alamos National Laboratory. From 2001 to 2009, he worked as a Research Associate, first in Computer Science and then Information Science. During that period, he worked closely with library staff to transition arXiv.org operation to the Library, and had informal supervisory responsibilities for Library staff serving as arXiv administrators. In 2009, he joined CUL, leading the IT group that manages development and support of both arXiv and Euclid, as well as a variety of other projects.

Simeon’s contributions to CUL and the library profession are extensive and ongoing. He was a major contributor to the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH), a widely used standard throughout the library community. He has made continuous contributions to the ongoing development and growth of arXiv, one of the premier open access repositories in the world, and in recent years he has been the technical lead for arXiv’s development and operations. Within the past few years, he has made major contributions to a series of important emerging library IT projects and standards, including the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF), the Open Archives Initiative Object Reuse and Exchange standard (OAI-ORE), and ResourceSync (now a NISO standard). He has served (and continues to serve) as a founding member of the board of directors for ORCID, an organization working to promote a common standard researcher identifier.

Within CUL, Simeon has led the development of the Cornell University Library Archival Repository (CULAR), our production digital archival repository. In our recent Discovery and Access work, Simeon led the team that developed a specification for the Integration Layer. That work directly contributed to his work with both me and Jon Corson-Rikert on a Linked Data for Libraries proposal that was funded by the Mellon Foundation in January 2014. Within the LD4L project, Simeon is leading the Engineering Team in its work to fully realize and extend the vision of the Discovery and Access Integration Layer.

Simeon has an extensive record of publication in areas highly relevant to the work of the Library, with over twenty refereed publications and over seventy other published papers and presentations on library projects and issues. Simeon has also made significant professional contributions outside of Cornell. In addition to his work with ORCID, Simeon has recently served as Program Chair of the Open Repositories 2014 Conference, and he has a long history of professional service on conferences, workshops, and review boards.

I am personally grateful for the leadership that Simeon provides within CUL-IT, for CUL, and across the broader library and scholarly communications community. I look forward to continuing to work with Simeon in the years ahead in his new position as Librarian. Please join me in congratulating Simeon on his promotion!  (Dean Krafft)

Associate Librarian

Dan Blackaby, Law Library

Dan Blackaby abandoned the West to join us at Cornell in July 2012. His job at the Law Library is Technology Services Librarian. This position includes everything from administering our website (including, most recently, a complete reimaging of our website and its transition from CommonSpot to Drupal) to co-teaching a Law School course called “Law Practice Technology” to developing projects with the Legal Information Institute (LII). Then there is his work at CUL, co-chairing both Library Outside the Library (LOL) and Public Technology Advisory Committee (PTAC), and the increasing number of presentations about technology initiatives in law libraries at conferences around the country. In performing any of these tasks, Dan’s primary focus is on function, making things as efficient and straightforward as possible for all users.

One of the patterns of Dan’s career as a librarian is sharing his talents in public and technical services. In his various positions, he has performed almost every job libraries require. From Dan’s unique perspective, he has thoughts, ideas, and opinions to contribute to all discussions of library operations. Dan’s willingness to assist his colleagues, pitching in wherever he is needed, while making obscure references to the 1980s, makes him a valued member of our staff.

Following one very accurate stereotype of librarians, Dan is an avid reader of everything from popular fiction to poetry. If you wish to discuss 19th Century history or movies of the 1940s, Dan will be happy to indulge you. We congratulate Dan on his well-deserved promotion. (Carissa Vogel)

Photograph by Sheryl Sinkow

Gaby Castro Gessner, Research & Assessment

I am delighted to congratulate Gaby on her well-deserved promotion! She is a stellar member of the Assessment and Communication team whose expertise and hard work also enriches CUL as a whole.

She started her library career as an information assistant in Olin Library. During her years at Research and Learning Services she gained a deep understanding of our users, information, instruction, and libraries. This is knowledge that she calls on every day in her current role in Assessment and Communication.

Gaby has a strong academic background in anthropology and archeology. Her social science research skills and knack for neutral observation and evidence gathering is a great fit for her job in assessment. She has worked with lots of library staff from all over the system to evaluate the questions they needed answered for effective decision-making, match up their information needs with the right research methodology, conduct the studies needed, and report actionable results. She is discreet and dedicated, engaged and motivated. Writing up and presenting her work broadly within the profession is also something she has been prolific at.

And archeology isn’t only in the distant past for her. On the side Gaby has been successful in getting research grants, doing field work in interesting locations like Turkmenistan, presenting her findings at conferences, and publishing articles. Her dedication to CUL and to the University also shows in the fact that this semester she has been co-teaching WRIT 2100 both to help out and to gain a deeper understanding of today’s undergraduates. (Zsuzsa Koltay)

Jeremy Cusker, Engineering Library

Jeremy Cusker received his Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University in 2002 and his Master of Library and Information Science from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 2006. He worked in the Engineering and Law Libraries in 2008-09 and in 2009 become a librarian in the Engineering Library.

Jeremy is the liaison to the departments of Earth and Atmospheric Science, and Civil and Environmental Engineering and Systems Engineering, and he interacts on a regular basis with a broad range of students and faculty in the College of Engineering. He also doesoutreach to engineering project teams, such as the Formula SAE (car team)and Sustainable Research Design teams. Hehas based much of his library science research on the activities of engineering faculty.

Jeremy has taken a keen interest in open access and it has been a focus of his research efforts. His research and analysis is of the highest quality. He is a member of the Science Team and has begun some work withcolleagues in Technical Services, contributingto discovery and access initiatives.

Jeremy also works with the Cornell Tech campus in New Yorkas itgrows and begins to require remote services. He is working with a small team that is selecting appropriate methods and technology to serve that community.

Jeremy is active in associations, including the Special Libraries Association (SLA), Western New York/Ontario ACRL (WNY/O-ACRL), and Upstate New York Science Librarians (NYSCILIB).

Off the job, Jeremy enjoys traveling with his wife and son, trying to keep alive his high school Spanish and college Portuguese and reading. (Erla Heyns)

Steven Folsom, LTS Metadata Services

As Discovery Metadata Librarian in LTS' Metadata Services, Steven Folsom brings a spirit of innovation to CUL. Steven is a welcome collaborator who goes above-and-beyond on all of his projects as well as the CUL and national committees on which he serves. He has great enthusiasm in devising approaches to crafting metadata practice that enhances users’ experiences and their ability to discover resources.

Since arriving at CUL, Steven has been an active collaborator on the Discovery & Access Initiative. While he has worked on many important projects outside this initiative, Steven's considerable contributions to D&A has formed the core of his responsibilities and well represent his efforts to better facilitate discovery of library resources. This drive for user-focused metadatais furthered exemplifiedby his role on the Usability Team as well as the myriad of other projects and initiatives on which he works.

Steven's reach extends beyond more established library initiatives into Research & Development projects. He is an important member of the Linked Data 4 Libraries Ontology Team – focusing on BIBFRAME analysis, ontology assessment, and modeling CUL's resources for a linked data environment. Meanwhile, Steven holds a DSPS fellowship in which he works on discoverability of CUL resources deposited in HathiTrust; further, Steven is an integral part of CUL's Hydra implementation pilots.

The above are simply brief mentions of the excellent work to which Steven contributes at CUL. Outside CUL, Steven is an avid runner and member of the High Noon Athletic Club.

We all congratulate Steven on his well-deserved promotion to Associate Librarian! (Jason Kovari)

Dan Hickey, Hotel, Labor & Management Library (HLM)

Dan Hickey is HLM’s Assistant Director of Research and Learning Services, in charge of reference, instruction, and collection development services for the Hotel, ILR, and Johnson Schools. He is the ranking librarian at the Management Library, participates in the reference and instruction there, and is the main liaison to the Johnson School.

Dan received his Bachelor’s and MLIS from Pittsburgh. He came to us from a position as Penn State’s Business and Information Science Librarian, beginning his Cornell career in 2012 as HLM’s Research Coordinator in the RLS department. He was promoted to the Assistant Director position in 2014 and has just completed his first year in that key role.

Dan has written and presented on a wide variety of topics including copyright, assessment, liaison programs, and reference service models. He is a member of PSEC and serves on the CUL Liaison Program Steering Committee. He is also particularly active in the Business Reference and Services Section of ALA, serving on their Education Committee and working in the area of LibGuides and web sites.

Dan has also been active with the Entrepreneurship community at Cornell, working with relevant subject specialists to bring Management Library business expertise across disciplinary lines. For Johnson, Engineering, and alumni audiences he has lead workshops on how to build better business plans using library resources.  He served as a consulting librarian for the McGovern Center’s 2014 Pre-Seed Workshop, with Jeremy Cusker and Drew Wright, helping students refine biotech venture concepts with supporting industry and market data. Recently, Dan and Jill Powell met with ECE Innovation Award applicants to brief them on the business and engineering resources that will best match their practical applications of electrical engineering technology.

Dan is an exceptional supervisor and has done great work bringing together his staff. He has a bright future and we are excited to work with him. (Curtis Lyons)

Danielle Mericle, Digital Media Group, Digital Scholarship & Preservation Services (DSPS)

As the leader of the Digital Media Group, Danielle oversees a dynamic and complex digitization operation and often coordinates large-scale, high-profile projects that have library-wide impact on the development, delivery, and preservation of digital collections. Her projects are collaborative by nature as she often works with Cornell-wide and external partners. For instance, during the last few years, she has been leading a campus-wide effort to create an infrastructure in support of AV production, management, and archiving. Based on her broad understanding of actual needs and use patterns, she has been instrumental in conceptualizing and creating the DSPS’s AV services which are in high demand. In and of itself, her role in the AV initiative demonstrates her masterful skills in taking the initiative to tackle a strategic issue, working independently, contributing new ideas, and assuming significant responsibility in defining and implementing a project.

Danielle has been an avid advocate for balancing a range of issues including user needs, IT frameworks, service requirements, stakeholder perspectives, and sustainability matters. She works in a multifaceted domain that requires the development of policies and workflows for digitization, reformatting, archiving, and rights and access management. She has been involved in developing policies and workflows associated with various delivery and archiving platforms such as DLXS, Luna Insight, SharedShelf, Drupal, Kaltura, and MediaSpace. Currently, she is coordinating migration efforts from DLXS to the Hydra framework and working with a range of colleagues in addressing a multitude of issues inherent in working with legacy collections.

Danielle has been a strong advocate of life-cycle-management strategies. In her daily work, she demonstrates best practices that are essential for creating usable and cost-effective digital collections for long-term sustainability. Her broad technical know-how is supplemented by her excellent skill sets in financial management and business planning. This is critically important due to the DSPS’s heavy reliance on external funds. A significant component of Danielle’s position involves cost analysis and financial forecasts to enable the creation of efficient and effective digital content management strategies and to function as a thriving enterprise unit. She oversees the collaborative service framework of our Digital Consulting and Production services and takes the lead in its financial management.

Danielle is recognized as a digitization expert and is consulted often by her colleagues from Cornell and elsewhere. She frequently participates in national and international digital library initiatives and standardization efforts. For instance, as a member of the Google Image Quality Initiative, which is an international working group, she contributed to efforts influencing Google’s practices to improve image quality. She has developed numerous workshops for CUL and local and regional consortia related to sustaining digital library projects and programs, digital preservation and stewardship, and digitization.

Danielle is a talented photographer and teaches digital photography at Ithaca College as an adjunct instructor. Danielle is a publisher of fine-art books distributed in places such as New Museum, NY; Tate Modern, London; and MOCA, Los Angeles. Having her own academic and creative art work greatly enhances Danielle’s ability to partner with Cornell faculty, especially in the humanities disciplines. She has made significant contributions to the Grants Program for Digital Collections in Arts and Sciences and is a key player in its success. She truly engages herself in supporting “digital scholarship” as her ultimate goal in these partnerships is to explore and enable innovative teaching, scholarly communication, and research methods.

Above all, Danielle is a wonderful colleague who is much admired and respected for her collegial style and passion for her work. Congratulations to Danielle on her promotion to Associate Librarian and we look forward to her future contributions in support of research, learning, and teaching. (Oya Y. Rieger)

Boris Michev, Maps & Media Collections

Ask Boris Michev about lying with maps, and he will not only admit to it with gusto, he will give you a whole lecture explaining why that’s exactly what maps do (and did just that not long ago). As the steward of over 650,000 maps, globes, atlases, and other cartographic materials, Boris builds collections on geography, cartography and urban studies, including geospatial materials, and is the Liaison to the City and Regional Planning Department in the College of Architecture, Art and Planning. In addition to serving as the Map and Geospatial Information Librarian, Boris heads the Maps and Media unit of Research and Learning Services, Olin & Uris Libraries.

Since joining the library staff in 1993, Boris has taken on a number of roles in Uris and Olin Libraries, but has really found his world, so to speak, in maps and media. Some of Boris’s recent projects have included preservation collaborations with DSPS on the Cornell Lecture Tapes Collection and with Conservation staff on a variety of historic documents, from sewer plans to fragile, rolled nineteenth-century maps. Boris has also curated or co-curated quite a few other cartographic and media-related exhibitions over the past few years, several of which have been the subject of papers he has presented and published. He has turned many of them into online exhibitions to extend their life and reach. Take a look at the online versions of Foreign Fields: Perspectives on the Great War, The Lesser Known Theaters of Operations in World War I; Land Use, Transit, and Urban Redevelopment Illustrated (1933-1972): A Walk Through Twentieth-Century Maps from Cornell’s Map Collection; and When the Emperor was Divine, or stop by the sesquicentennial exhibition in the Olin maps display area on level B1.

Boris also teaches several workshops, from ArcGIS to SimplyMap, to share his geospatial expertise. Not content to simply look at maps and cartographic information, Boris also travels the globe, serving on library committees on two continents: ALA’s Map and Geography Round Table Committee and the Library Board of the American Research Center in Sofia, Bulgaria. Closer to home, he is a member of CUL’s Reference and Outreach Committee, Digitization Projects Working Group, Visual Resources Working Group, Usability Committee, and the Olin/Uris Web site team. Please congratulate Boris on his well-deserved promotion to Associate Librarian! (Susette Newberry)

Associate Archivist

Cherylo Beredo, Hotel, Labor & Management Library (HLM)

Cheryl Beredo is the Director of the Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, one of the top labor and employment repositories in the US. She works with a wide variety of national and international researchers, donors, and peers to collect and give access to unique documents from labor unions, arbitrators, negotiators, and management theorists.

Cheryl’s Cornell career began at RMC while she was receiving her BA. She elected to stay another year to work in RMC after her graduation and then enrolled in one of the top archives programs at the University of Pittsburgh. After receiving her MLS, she worked at Harvard’s Schlesinger Library and under an NHPRC fellowship at the Massachusetts Historical Society before heading to the University of Hawaii for her PhD in American Studies.

Cheryl returned to Cornell in early 2010 as the Kheel Center’s ILGWU (International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union) Project Archivist. In that role, she was responsible for imposing intellectual order on a collection of over 2,500 boxes of official records, correspondence, publications, photographs, audio-visual materials, and memorabilia. She was promoted to the position of Director in 2012.

Cheryl enjoys writing and turned her dissertation into her first book in 2013. Import of the Archive: U.S. Colonial Rule of the Philippines and the Making of American Archival History shows how the United States examines the role that the archives played in justifying and solidifying the United States’ colonization of the Philippines from 1898-1916.

Cheryl was an ALA Spectrum Scholar as a student at Pittsburgh and is a member of the ARL/SAA Mosaic Program Advisory Group. She is on the American Labor Studies Center Board of Directors and the Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition Advisory Council. She is also one of three archivists called on to advise the AFL-CIO on the dispensation of their records when the National Labor College closed.

Cheryl’s greatest strength is her ability to quickly form strong working relationships which move initiatives forward and occasionally into welcome new directions. She is a joy to work with and a rising star in our profession. (Curtis Lyons)

Liz Muller, Rare & Manuscript Collections

I am pleased to congratulate Liz Muller on her well-deserved promotion to Associate Archivist. As the Assistant Director of Technical Services and Curator of Media Collections, Liz is a key member of RMC’s senior leadership team, and is recognized by her colleagues for her skills both as an archivist and a manager.

In her technical services leadership role, Liz sets archival processing priorities for the Division, develops processing plans, trains and assists staff in archival arrangement and description, and has coordinated the consolidation of policies and procedures for this work within RMC. She initiated a phased backlog elimination plan, and continues to monitor the flow of incoming collections to move them toward access. As Curator of Media Collections, Liz has led the effort to bring in significant media collections in a variety of formats, from stereographs to moving images, and worked to ensure that these materials are appropriately reformatted as needed, coordinating efforts between RMC, Conservation, and DSPS. In addition to her work with the collection, Liz is a valued manager and colleague, frequently called on for her keen perspective, calm presence, and sage advice.

As RMC has transitioned through a change in leadership during the last two years, Liz worked to ensure a smooth transition, from advising on budgeting and planning issues, to assisting as needed with day-to-day operations. Though I’ve worked with Liz for only a year, I am tremendously grateful for her contributions to RMC, and to helping me jump into my new role. Congratulations, Liz! (Anne Sauer)

Senior Assistant Librarian

Aliqae Geraci, Hotel, Labor & Management Library (HLM)

Aliqae brings a deep affinity for her subject areas and enthusiasm for engaging with the intellectual life of the ILR School that have been a cornerstone for her success at the Catherwood Library. This enthusiasm is matched by her passion for librarianship, collegiality, service excellence, and ability to see beyond problems to find creative solutions.

This year, in addition to her promotion to Senior Assistant Librarian, Aliqae will take on the role of Assessment Coordinator for HLM’s Research and Learning Services department, working with librarians and staff to persuasively communicate the value of their work. This will be in addition to her liaison role.

Aliqae is adept at providing research support and instruction services. A strong background in labor and worker’s rights are a compelling complement to her professional skillset, and have resulted in her being sought out for opportunities such as presenting at the History of Capitalism Summer Camp and ILR’s Union Days. Aliqae was recently elected as Chair of the Leadership Team of the Tompkins County Workers’ Center, giving back to the local community. She consistently shares her expertise with individuals and teams inside and outside Cornell’s walls.

Aliqae has distinguished herself as an authority on librarian salaries. Her work on the Economic Status of Librarians committee has dovetailed well with a recent ALA webinar on salary negotiations for new library professionals. She also has served as the Chair of the ALA-APA Standing Committee on the Salaries and Status of Library Workers, having been reappointed by the ALA President for second consecutive term.

Anyone who has had the opportunity to work closely with Aliqae knows she’s a hard-working contributor to CUL groups, committees, and teams. She has served on several successful HLM searches, R+O, the LibGuides 2.0 group, and the CUL Citation Management Committee, just to name a few! Hopefully, if you haven’t had a chance to work with Aliqae yet, you will soon!

Congratulations, Aliqae! We’re lucky to have you. I’m looking forward to your future successes at Cornell and in the greater profession. (Daniel Hickey)

Nina Scholtz, Law Library

In the two and a half years that Nina Scholtz has been an Assistant Librarian at Cornell, she has contributed greatly not only to the Law Library but also to Cornell University Library and the profession. From the day she started, Nina has played an important role in the law library as the Digital Resources Librarian, as a legal research instructor, as a liaison, and in her committee work. As Digital Resources Librarian, Nina successfully launched OverDrive (an e-book lending library) as a Law Library pilot and then worked with other Cornell librarians to expand the pilot Cornell-wide. Nina also negotiates licenses and follows up once we have a new resource to promote it and track usage statistics, thus helping to ensure that the Law Library is effectively using its acquisitions budget. She promotes accessibility by maintaining the Law Library’s Online Legal Resources Guide, one of the most heavily used LibGuides at Cornell University Library.

Each fall, Nina teaches a credit-bearing upper-level law course she developed herself, Administrative Law Research. She also teaches research in both Fall and Spring semesters to first-year law students and international law graduate students, as well as one-time legal research sessions on request by Law School faculty and for faculty members elsewhere on campus. As liaison to some of Law’s more demanding faculty members, she has developed outstanding working relationships with her faculty, which has had a positive impact on the law library and all of CUL.

Nina has been very active in her CUL committee work and has taken on leadership roles early in her career here. Last year, she was chair of PSEC Instruction Team. One highlight of Nina’s work as chair of PSEC Instruction was the May 2014 Cornell University Library Information Literacy Assessment Expo, a day-long regional conference organized by PSEC Instruction. In addition to her instructional leadership, Nina supports the work of the Academic Assembly by successfully running for membership on, and now chairing, the Steering Committee.

Beyond Cornell, Nina has continuously sought out ways to serve the profession. She shared her experiences managing the Law Library’s OverDrive pilot in an AALL Spectrum article, "A Pilot Using OverDrive: E-lending in academic law libraries," (April 2013). She has also contributed to the literature on teaching international LL.M. students in an article for Trends in Law Library Management and Technology that she co-authored with Femi Cadmus. Currently, she serves on the Placement Committee of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) and on the ALL-SIS Newsletter Committee of AALL’s Academic Law Libraries Special Interest Section. 

I congratulate Nina on her promotion to Senior Assistant Librarian and look forward to her future contributions to the Law Library and CUL. (Thomas Mills; photograph by Chris O'Hara)

Marsha Taichman, Fine Arts Library

Marsha Taichman is Visual Resources and Public Services Librarian for the College of Architecture, Art and Planning, and Art Liaison, Fine Arts Library, Cornell University. It should come as no surprise that Marsha Taichman has been promoted to the rank of Senior Assistant Librarian. Her performance record for 2014 points to active engagement and involvement in the programs and services of the Fine Arts Library and CUL in general. To know Marsha is to know and appreciate the enthusiasm that she brings to the job. This comes through in conversations that one has with her, as well as her committee work, both here at Cornell University and abroad.

Her professional involvement includes serving on several association committees, and also as secretary of the ARLIS (Art Libraries Society of North America) Upstate New York Chapter. She has had proposals accepted for papers and workshops at both VRA (Visual Resources Association) and ARLIS for their 2015 meetings. I have seen the dedication that she displayed firsthand when we both served on the Selector’s Continuing Education Committee. She demonstrated fresh ideas and a willingness to be a team player. I look forward to Marsha reaching the next level as Associate Librarian. (Eric Acree)

Sara E. Wright, Mann Library

Sara Wright came to Mann Library in 2011 after several years as a librarian at the Free Library of Philadelphia, and a year as the Visitor Services and Operations Manager of the Ithaca Science Center. Originally starting as the Stone Center Manager and Night Supervisor, Sara quickly moved into a librarian role coordinating Mann’s public technology services, and she now heads up our User Services group.

One of Sara’s key initiatives has been examining how to best outfit our public spaces to meet the needs of our users. Using various assessment strategies to understand our users’ space and technology needs and preferences, Sara co-led the team that designed the new 2nd floor study area, which was installed in April 2015. Sara has also led Mann’s MaLT (Mann Learning Technologies) team along with playing a leadership role on several CUL committees, including PTAC and the CUL Mentoring Committee. Sara brings creativity, organization and dedication to all she does. Congratulations to Sara on a well-deserved promotion! (Mary Ochs)

Sarah Young, Mann Library

Sarah Young joined the staff of Mann Library in August of 2012. Appointed jointly by Mann and CISER for an initial term of two years, Sarah is Mann’s first Health Sciences and Policy Librarian. She has succeeded admirably in this role, and Mann has recognized the ongoing need to staff this position. We’re delighted to have Sarah continue in this role.

Sarah holds three Masters degrees: an MLIS from the University of Pittsburgh, a Master of Social Sciences in Development and International Relations from Aalborg University, and an MS in Biological Sciences from Duquesne University, as well as a BS in Biology from Allegheny University. Before joining Mann, Sarah held a variety of positions, including biology research support at the University of Pittsburgh and the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History/National Zoo, program assistant with the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture, adjunct instructor in nutrition at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, and as a shelver at the Carnegie Library in Pittsburgh. There’s more – but that gives you a sense of Sarah’s interesting and varied background!

Sarah is a creative and reliable contributor to our core service teams, including reference and research consultation and instruction. She has been especially effective as a liaison to two departments in the College of Human Ecology as well as the Division of Nutritional Sciences. She is a capable instructor, having participated in the Library Leadership Academy, and generously shares her instruction and specialized reference expertise with her colleagues.

Perhaps one of Sarah’s most significant contributions is developing expertise in the systematic review (SR) process, a rigorous research methodology that is increasingly being applied to promote evidence-based practice in medicine, nutrition, and other disciplines. SRs make deep and extensive use of library research skills, and Sarah is collaborating with multiple faculty on reviews in progress. She participated as a member of the faculty team that taught the Summer Institute for Systematic Reviews in Nutrition for Global Policy Making, hosted by the Division of Nutritional Sciences here at Cornell in summer 2014.

Sarah has a national professional presence as well, currently serving as the Chair of the Food, Agriculture and Nutrition Division of the SLA, and speaking and presenting regularly at regional and national conferences.

Finally, Sarah is very active and generous with her time in serving on Mann and CUL committees and teams. For example, she handled vendor and sponsorship duties when Mann Library hosted the 2013 IAALD conference. She also serves on the CUL Mentorship Program Committee, the Reference and Outreach Forum, the Economic Status of Librarians Committee, the Liaison Steering Committee, and the Data Discussion Group planning committee. (Gail Steinhart; photograph by Carla DeMello)

Technical Services Corner: Adventures in E-Books

Heather Shipman, E-Resources Specialist

This e-book is in our catalog, but is it suitable for class use? Do we have perpetual access to it, or might it be withdrawn unexpectedly? Can we buy this other title as an e-book? Can we get access to it immediately?

The e-book world is full of questions; LTS has a team to answer them. Team members order, receive, pay invoices for, and copy catalog firm ordered e-books; we also troubleshoot e-books already in the catalog, no matter what their source.

We handle monographic e-books hosted on various platforms, like:

But every platform has its strengths and weaknesses, and publishers have different opinions on how e-books should be sold. One of the biggest issues we consider daily is concurrency: how many users can get into the e-book simultaneously?

You may notice, for example, that California wine for dummies has limited concurrency: it’s only 3-user, not unlimited-user. If four of our dear Kaleidoscope readers all try to read that e-book simultaneously, the first three will be allowed in, but the fourth will receive an error message that the e-book is already in use.

This is, of course, less than ideal; people don’t expect this sort of behavior from an internet resource. It’s a replication of the print model, in which only one person can check a physical book out at a time; this generally arises because some publishers are concerned that library sales of unlimited-user ebooks will impact their sales to individuals.

So what do we do to minimize the problems associated with this?

First, during the ordering process, we give preference to multi-user formats whenever we can; for example, an e-book hosted on a publisher platform (like Wiley or Cambridge) can be unlimited-user while still costing the same amount as its single-user counterpart sold on an aggregator platform. Unfortunately, we don’t always have that option; multi-user is often only available at higher prices, leading us to buy the single-user instead.

So as our second line of defense, we look at turnaway statistics on these limited-user titles. Some platforms will notify us on a daily basis that patrons were turned away; others generate monthly reports. Once we have the data in hand, we can detect where an e-book is in higher demand than our current license supports, and we can bring it to selectors’ attention to request the purchase of an upgrade.

We pay special attention to these issues when we know, or suspect, that an e-book is being used for a class. It’s really unpleasant to try to read an assignment the night before it’s due, only to find that you’re locked out of the e-book because all your classmates are trying the same thing!

E-book team members from left: Masayo Uchimaya, Yael Zucker, Kathryn Hughes, Greg Nehler, Pedro Arroyo, You Lee Chun, Tenzin Tsokyi, and Heather Shipman.

Sometimes we only know that a book is being used for class because of the turnaway statistics. It’s not uncommon for a professor to find an e-book in the catalog and start using it for class, with no knowledge of whether it’s multi-user or not.

Happily, though, sometimes we know it’s for class because the professor tells Reserves staff about it, and Reserves staff ask us to order it. We have a special workflow for new purchases of reserves, both print and e-book: these orders are all routed to a separate folder, which we treat with high priority. This allows us to check all reserves titles to see if a multi-user e-book exists.

This was the first workflow we targeted for assigning staff who were trained in both print and e-book ordering. Until recently, e-books ordering staff had been a separate group from print ordering staff, and we handed orders off to each other whenever a question of format arose - a process which significantly impacted rush orders like class reserves. Today, the teams have significant overlap: many of our members can investigate both formats without handoff, both improving efficiency and providing opportunities for staff to cross-train.

The growth of the team and expansion of cross-training has also allowed us to investigate e-book questions that we hadn’t previously had the resources for. Turnaways, for example, were something we didn’t have time to look at regularly when the team was small and newly-formed. We’re also beginning to delve into the mysteries of subscription withdrawals, patron-driven acquisitions plan maintenance, new e-book models such as “concurrent access” and “nonlinear lending”, and the Serials Solutions Resource Manager.

And we’re sure that there are even more e-book mysteries out there in this ever-changing frontier. If you have one you’d like help solving, please contact us at ltsebookorders@cornell.edu. We’d be happy to help!


Taking teaching to a new level.

Who she is: Meghan Sitar, Director of Research and Learning Services for Olin and Uris libraries

What she does:   I lead the librarians and staff who help users with their research and provide reference assistance. I also teach research skills and build collections — meaning, I make purchasing decisions — in the social sciences.

Why it's important: We contribute to the success of Cornell’s researchers, partnering with them in their quest for answers. I enjoy trying to simplify a complex world of information and helping people get to what they need, whether it’s on the reference desk or in the classroom or during one-on-one consultations.

For the entire interview see here. (Photograph by Carla DeMello)

Focusing on the nuts and bolts of archives.

Who he is: Randall Miles, Technical Processes Archivist for the Kheel Center

What he does: As the registrar for the archive, I receive any new collections that come in and record them in our database. As the technical processes archivist, I’m responsible for physical and intellectual control of the collections.

Why it's important: We’re one of the foremost repositories for primary sources related to the workplace and employer-employee relations; our work enables people doing research in the world of work to access these documents and use them.

For the entire interview see here. (Photograph by Carla DeMello)

Creating a workplace culture from Dark Matter to Mann Library.

Who she is: Carrie Cooper, Public Services Desk Coordinator, Mann Library

What she does: The bulk of my daily responsibilities are managing our crew of 40+ student employees working in access services at Mann. I work with a team of four student managers, responsible for hiring, training, and scheduling all of our students who work the front line at both the circulation and printing help desks.

Why it's important: We want to provide students with real-world experience in a job environment that will help them understand what they’ll be facing once they exit the academic bubble. So professional development, team building, leadership development — it’s all about creating a positive culture in a workplace.

For the entire interview see here. (Photograph by Carla DeMello)

People News


Christine Fournier is the new Life Sciences Librarian in Mann Library. This is a part-time job sharing arrangement with Sarah Wright. Chris has an MS in Sustainable Development and Conservation Biology from the University of Maryland. Along with providing services in support of Cornell’s life sciences students, faculty, and staff, Chris will be joining the Research Data Management Service Group. Her professional experience includes working at the US Geological Survey (National Biological Information Infrastructure), and various non-profit conservation organizations. Welcome to the Library, Chris.

Tahir Poduska is a Web Developer who recently transferred into the Mann Library IT department. Tahir has a master’s degree in Computer Information Science from Boston University. He comes to us from the Lab of Ornithology’s Education Department where he worked as an applications programmer on projects such as All About Bird Biology and BirdSleuth. In the Library Tahir will be working on both sponsored projects and Mann/CUL work, and will be based in Mann ITS. We are happy to welcome him.

Promotions / Transfers / Changes

Yuriy Bindas has accepted the position of Public Services Assistant in Olin/Uris Access Services. Previously, Yuriy worked in a similar roll but covered late-night hours.

Billy Cote has transferred from a Public Services Assistant position in O/K/U Access Services to a Library Administrator position with HLM. In his new role he is in charge of the Catherwood and Management Library circulation desks, as well as Catherwood stacks, facilities, and securities.

Kariann Teeter has accepted the position of Public Services Assistant V in Olin/Uris Access Services. Kari has held several positions with O/U Access Services including Late Night Supervisor, so she is very familiar with the department!


In February of 2015, Eric Acree, the Director of the Africana Library and Coordinator of the Fine Arts/Africana/Music cluster, received the Constance E. Cook and Alice H. Cook Recognition Award, named in honor of the late Constance E. Cook, Cornell’s first female vice president, and the late Professor Emerita Alice E. Cook, founding Member of the Advisory Committee on the Status of Women. The award honors individuals for their commitment to women’s issues and their contributions for changing the climate for women at Cornell. Eric was nominated by Bill Block, the director of CISER, for his commitment to ending sexual violence on campus through his tireless work on the Council on Sexual Violence Prevention, the MASV (Men Against Sexual Violence) Committee, and CARE Cornell Advocates for Rape Education). Eric has also been instrumental in raising awareness of women’s contributions on campus, the community, and the culture at large. One recent example was the installation of a portrait of African-American women at the Africana Library. Eric was aware that all the images in the Africana Library were of men, and when he learned that local artist, Khalil Bey, was working on a painting of African-American women who have been/are leaders, he identified funds to purchase the painting and worked with Bey as it was completed. Eric held a community event in late October 2014 to unveil the painting. In addition to Bey, speakers included Professors Margaret Washington and N’Dri Assie Lumumba. Please join me in congratulating Eric on this well-deserved honor. (Kornelia Tancheva)

Well, it’s all out on the runway now: Virginia Cole is not only a published mystery author, she has sold the movie rights to her latest short story, “Show Stopper,” which appears in the anthology Mystery Writers of America Presents Ice Cold, Tales of Intrigue from the Cold War (Grand Central Publishing, 2014)! Set in the “killer” fashion scene at the Soviet Exhibition of Science, Technology, and Culture at the New York Coliseum in 1959, “Show Stopper” has also just been nominated by the International Thriller Writers for a 2015 Thriller Award for best short story. Writing under the pseudonym Gigi Vernon, Virginia has published eight short stories and is currently writing a mystery novel series. To learn more about Virginia’s shadowy after hours activities, check out her author web site. On Sunday, May 3 at 3pm, she and the rest of her writing group, Strictly Genre: Ithaca Fiction Critique Group, will hold a public reading as part of Ithaca Spring Writes.

Congratulations to Jon Frankel, Coordinator of the Olin/Uris Collection Maintenance Unit on the publication of his novel Gaha: Babes of the Abyss, published in December 2014 by Whiskey Tit Press. CUL owns a copy and it can be found at PS3606.R35 G3 2014.

Not surprisingly, the Library is full of writers and published authors as seen even in this issue, and Jon joins this talented group.

Out & About

Adam Chandler gave a talk at the 10th Anniversary Electronic Resources & Libraries Conference, held in Austin, Texas in February. In his presentation, entitled “OK, but what does linked data offer library patrons?” Adam reflected on the apparent disconnect between linked data research and the user-centered design trend in libraries, as well as the need for carefully considered business cases for the implementation of linked data models. Adam is the Technical Services Automation and User Experience Strategist in LTS.

Bonna Boettcher presented a paper, “Contemporary Composers Web Archive: A Borrow Direct Music Librarians Project,” as part of the panel Digital Musicology: The Role of Music Library Collections, at the Music Library Association meeting in Denver, CO on February 27, 2015. She also presented this paper as part of the panel Digital Musicology: New Cooperative Initiatives, at the American Musicological Society meeting in Milwaukee, WI on November 6, 2014.

Michele Hamill and Jill Iacchei, DSPS Conservation, presented Conservation of Epigraphic Squeezes: Materials Analysis and Stabilization Techniques, at the February 2015 workshop, The Cornell Expedition, 1907-1908: Deep Past and Digital Futures, hosted by Professors Eric Rebillard, Department of Classics, and Ben Anderson, Department of the History of Art and Visual Studies. Michele and Jill described their analysis of the methods used to make squeezes (paper cast impressions of inscriptions on ancient monuments), fiber analysis of the squeeze paper, and the stabilization of the squeezes through conservation treatment. (Above left, microscopic fiber analysis of the squeeze paper.)

Another invited speaker, Dr. Eleni Bozia (Department of Classics, University of Florida) showcased the digitization of Cornell’s epigraphic squeezes by Rhea Garen (DCAPS) which formed part of a 3D digitization project to create a novel and technologically advanced scientific tool for the effective study and comparative analysis of Greek and Latin inscriptions and an online dynamic library of 3D inscriptions. Cornell’s epigraphic squeezes of Res Gestae from Monumentum Ancyranum was a recipient of the Grants Program for Digital Collections in Arts and Sciences, administered through DCAPS.

The Digital Epigraphic Toolbox has several viewing features to enhance the study of epigraphic squeezes.

Peter Hirtle has written an introduction to a new volume on Rights in the Digital Era published by SAA . The URL for the book is http://saa.archivists.org/store/rights-and-digital-archives-print/4485/. On February 26, Peter was a member of a panel on “Fair Use in Practice,” one of the Harvard University events in celebration of Fair Use week (http://fairuseweek.org/). Peter also taught a workshop on copyright at the joint MARAC/NEA meeting on March 19.

Sarah How (Research & Learning Services, Olin & Uris Libraries) is the chair of the Center for Research Libraries’ Collaborative Initiative for French Language Collections (CIFNAL) Steering Committee (through 2016-17).

Keith Jenkins presented his work on the Geolode.org project at the 2015 FOSS4G-NA conference (Free and Open Source Software for Geospatial, North America) in San Francisco. Geolode (http://geolode.org/) is a catalog of open geodata websites around the world, with collaborators from six universities -- and counting.

Erica Johns, Research Data and Environmental Sciences Librarian at Mann, was offered a position on the DataQ editorial board, a cooperative project of the University of Colorado Boulder Libraries, the Greater Western Library Alliance (GWLA), and the Great Plains Network (GPN) funded by IMLS. DataQ will be a community driven platform for librarians and their research data questions. As an editor, Erica will contribute initial content for the website, provide solutions to DataQ users, and assist with policy development for question/answer procedure and workflow. For updates and recent news, please follow @ResearchDataQ on Twitter.

Jesse Koennecke, Director of LTS Acquisitions & E-Resource Licensing Services, participated in a panel entitled “Did We Forget Something?: The Need to Improve Linking at the Core of the Library’s Discovery Strategy” at this year’s Electronic Resources & Libraries Conference. The panelists discussed latest advances in linking technology and strategies that have improved access to discovered content. They also shared experiences with usability tests related to linking which, they contend, demonstrate how linking is perhaps the most critical, yet most overlooked, aspect of the discovery experience. Jesse also led a Battle Decks session at the conference.

Garima Lal’s chapter “Processing of Beverages for the Health Food Market Consumer” has been published in Nutraceutical and Functional Food Processing Technology (Wiley Blackwell, 2015).

“The Fourth Thing,” an essay by Jim LeBlanc, appears in the January/February 2015 issue of Technicalities: Information Forum for the Technical Services Professional, pp. 1, 6-9. In this piece, Jim employs a conceptual model developed by advertising theorist, Rory Sutherland, to examine issues affecting organizational planning and innovation in technical services, as well as the importance of staff empowerment within these operations.

Jim also co-authored a second article, with Columbia’s Kate Harcourt, entitled “The Pivot: Phase 2 of 2CUL Technical Services Integration,” which appears in the latest issue of Collaborative Librarianship, v. 6, no. 4 (2014), pp. 160-168. In this piece, Kate and Jim draw on the existing literature on collaboration, both within libraries and beyond, to report and reflect on the second phase of the TSI project and, in particular, on the decision to reconceive TSI as an evolving set of mutually beneficial initiatives rather than a more comprehensive administrative integration of technical services operations. Jim is Director of Library Technical Services (LTS). 

Curtis Lyons reports: “A student wrote me last night concerning one of HLM’s staff to let me know that “I have learned more from them than I have learned in any single class and they have been as important as my most crucial professors.” No single individuals’ work is possible without the work of the rest of us. Great job, everyone!”

Hannah Marshall, LTS Metadata Librarian for Image Collections, was selected to receive a $700 Tansey Travel Award to attend this year’s Visual Resources Association Conference, held in Denver in March. These awards aim to encourage and support conference attendance and professional development among image media professionals. At the conference Hannah gave a poster session entitled “A Comparative Study of Cataloger- and User-Assigned Subject Terms,” in which she presented her work thus far on a project to evaluate metadata practices for art image collections in relation to user research behaviors.

Maureen Morris and Meghan Sitar (Research & Learning Services, Olin & Uris Libraries) presented a poster at ACRL 2015 in Portland, Oregon on the Information Literacy Assignment Sequence Prize.  The prize was created by the RLS Instruction Team, led by Tony Cosgrave (Research & Learning Services, Olin & Uris Libraries), in collaboration with the Knight Institute for Writing in the Disciplines. See the poster here.

Susette Newberry (Research & Learning Services, Olin & Uris Libraries) presented “Reframing the Portfolio at Mid-Career: Digital Humanities and the Liaison Librarian” at the Art Libraries Society of North America 2015 annual conference in Fort Worth, Texas as part of the panel, “Doing Digital Art History: Redefining Art Librarianship.”

Nancy Skipper (Research & Learning Services, Olin & Uris Libraries) has joined the advisory board of the Ask Us 24/7 service.

Congratulations to Sarah Wright and Camille Andrews who have authored several chapters of the book Data Information Literacy: Librarians, Data and the Education of a New Generation of Researchers, published by Purdue University Press in January.

Sarah Young, Health Science and Policy Librarian at Mann Library, ventured to Accra, Ghana for a second year to teach library research skills and citation management to the cohort of eight PhD students at the West African Centre for Crop Improvement? (WACCI). WACCI is a partnership between the University of Ghana and Cornell University founded in 2007. This year's three-day library workshop covered TEALL and AGORA, as well as Zotero and other library services available to WACCI students through Mann Library.

On March 18, the CUL Citation Management Working Group and Graduate School co-sponsored “Becoming More Productive,” a workflow workshop for graduate students. Over 50 graduate students attended peer-led sessions at Mann Library on strategies for gathering, storing, organizing, and synthesizing information and data for in their research and teaching.

Jim Morris-Knower at the head of the classroom.

Spice Letters

On the final day of Career Development Month, April 22, 2015, several library colleagues got together to make letters out of spices inspired by the spice letters Carla DeMello made for the 2014 New Student Reading Project poster. Those present were Vandana Suresh Shah, Jessica Withers, Wendy Thompson, Troy Shaver, Zsuzsa Koltay, Kelly LaVoice, Jackie Magagnosc, Rachel L. Brill, CJ Lance, Susette Newberry, Patrizia Sione, Jill Wilson, Carole Atkinson, Mary Catt, and Carla DeMello.

Attendees said it was meditative to create letters from spices and 106G smelled wonderful! After a letter was done it was photographed and then the spices used to make it were dumped into a communal pot, much of which Carla used to make a curry for all to share the next day.

Each attendee also received a print of a saying made from the original spice letters. On the back of each print was this description:

Spices, herbs, plants, roots, and pebbles were used to form letters, which were then photographed.
Afterward, everything edible went into a pot and became the artist’s dinner!

(Carla Elizabeth, with help from Banjo the cat!)

The letter B above was made by Rachel Brill; STAY WILD was made by Carla Elizabeth DeMello.

Our last item is an excerpt from Ezra Cornell's Quarterly Magazine (Vol. VII, No.3, Spring 2015), from the cover story: Cornell in 2065: 'What I see happening'

We asked professors, administrative leaders and students: What will your area of expertise be like in the year 2065, when the university celebrates its bicentennial?

Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and Vice Provost for International Affairs Fredrik Logevall pointed out, modestly, that historians are not that good at predicting the future. And professor Joe Fetcho reminded us that science, by its very nature, is unpredictable.

But these are Cornellians working at the cutting edge, doing work that is defined by questions like "What if?" and "Is there a better way?" and "What does it mean and why?" They are in the habit of thinking beyond constraints, limitations and the status quo. In short, these are the perfect people to ask about the future of cancer treatment, architecture, music and flying saucers.

– Emily Sanders Hopkins

Meditation libraries

Anne R. Kenney is the Carl A. Kroch University Librarian at Cornell University Library; Xin Li is the associate university librarian for central library operations.

Anne KenneyFifty years from now, we will still need places where people come together, but the spaces may look very different. Cornell's library may still be headquartered in Ithaca, but it will be present in every single place, all around the world, wherever Cornellians are learning and working and solving problems.

Data about us will be collected around the clock and will affect most of our lives. Education will be completely different; the current model, where all 7-year-olds sit together and learn the same thing at the same pace, will disappear and be replaced by individually tailored experiences for each student.

Libraries could step into the virtual void in that environment – not to provide solutions but to help students be inspired globally, but act deeply personally, in developing their own sense of authority. And libraries have a sacred trust to tailor experiences in a protected space.

We believe wealth and power will be even more unevenly distributed, and that these social inequalities will drive international policy. So our library needs to be an honest broker of information, serving not just Cornellians but those who are disenfranchised.

The library can provide the sense of a cultural and residential experience, the opposite of dispassionate distance. For example, how great would it be for the library to re-create a medieval city, drawing on textual evidence, visual resources, the laws of physics and engineering? You could immerse yourself in what life would have been like.

There will be a huge desire to go retro, because at some point you'll want to know what things are or were like physically; otherwise we'd all feel more and more like robots. Libraries can fill that void. We believe they will remain places for reflection and deep concentration. There will be precious few places for that kind of reflection – neutral places that have no agenda, that aren't mining you for data. There's a kind of brain-robbing that goes with collecting and linking data for profit; libraries need to resist that, and we think we will. (Photographs by University Photography)


From: Michael N. Cook
Sent: Fri 3/6/2015
Subject: Linda Stewart's Phased Retirement

Many of you may already know this but after more than 33 years Mann Life Sciences Bibliographer & Special Collections Librarian Linda Stewart will begin a year of half-time phased retirement this July 1st, with full retirement on July 1, 2016. She’ll still have primary responsibility for monographic selection at Mann during this time and will gradually transition her Special Collections responsibilities to me.


From: Anne R. Kenney
Sent: Mon 3/9/2015
Subject: Take One: March 9, 2015 (Budget News)

You may have noticed recent articles and correspondence regarding the university budget. They describe how next year’s budget allocations from the Provost to the colleges and central units (including the library) will involve some budget reduction in order to eliminate a structural deficit at the center that is projected to be $55 million out of a total campus budget of $2.1 billion. The university plans to eliminate that gap by capturing the growth in investment income and expense reductions across colleges and central units. So what does this mean for the library?

Over the next several months, the library will be focusing on budget reduction scenarios involving all departments and units. While I know this isn’t welcome news, there are several things that will help to cushion the impact. First, we will consider budgetary reductions over a two-year timeframe, utilizing one-time funds where possible to temporarily soften their impact. Second, we will look to upcoming retirements and staff vacancies wherever possible as the primary means to consider salary savings. Third, the FY16 appropriated collections budget for the library is exempted from the provost’s cuts. We know, however, that a flat budget will defacto represent a reduction in library materials that can be purchased, given above-inflationary increases and publishers’ contractual escalations. CDExec will soon be discussing this year’s process for allocating the flat budget among the subject lines. Finally, the university recognizes that it needs to reward its employees and remain competitive. We will be implementing a salary improvement program for next year. I support the Provost’s decision to balance his budget and resolve this deficit prior to the arrival of the new President. These actions are critical to the University’s wellbeing moving forward to a sustainable financial future.

For the entire announcement see here.


From: Tom J. Ottaviano
Sent: Thu 3/26/2015
Subject: Anonymous Comment Box and the CUL Acronym Dictionary

This is a friendly reminder that the CUL library forum offers an Anonymous Comment Box that allows you to anonymously submit feedback to the Library Forum Steering Committee about the state of the library and about the committee’s programming. We strongly encourage you to offer up your feedback here: http://forum.library.cornell.edu/comment.html We recently discovered that messages that had been sent to the comment box were not being received. Our sincerest apologies to anyone who tried using the comment box during this time. It is now working correctly.

Also, The Library Forum recently updated the CUL Acronym Dictionary. Take a look at https://confluence.cornell.edu/x/44D8Cw. It has many new entries plus user-friendlier index tabs now to eliminate lengthy scrolling. You can still make contributions or corrections for any library-related acronym by sending them to alw3@cornell.edu.

Sincerely, Your Library Forum Steering Committee

Thomas Ottaviano (tjo65) on behalf of the Library Forum Steering Committee, CJ Lance (cjl10), Michelle Hubbell (mah94), Tobi Hines (eeh53), Lenora Schneller (ls258), Ardeen White (alw3)


From: Anne R. Kenney
Sent: Mon 4/6/2015
Subject: Take One: April 6, 2015 (Building on the Flipped All Staff Meeting)

I want to thank all of you again for participating in the flipped All Staff meeting in late February. I also wanted to share with you some of the planning underway to build on that day. We received close to 400 suggestions during the breakout sessions that we are now sifting through. A small group of us met today to consider how to capitalize on this information and to encourage everyone to be mindful of the importance of the four core needs that impact our wellbeing and engagement at work: physical, though opportunities to regularly renew and recharge at work; emotional, by feeling valued and appreciated for one’s contributions; mental, having the opportunity to focus in an absorbed way on the most important tasks and defining when and where to get work done; and spiritual, doing more of what one does best and enjoys most and by feeling connected to a higher purpose at work.

For the entire announcement see here.


Photograph by Robert Barker/University Photography


From: Bonnie A. Bailey
Sent: Thu 4/16/2015
Subject: Call for Nominations: Outstanding Employee Award & CUL Innovation Award


Deadline for both is May 15, 2015


It is time once again to nominate your most deserving employee(s) or group of employees for the 2015 Outstanding Performance Award for Library Staff. To be eligible, the employee must be a regular, non-academic full-time or part-time member of the library staff.

Through the generosity of the Boissonnas family, we have been able to establish an endowment for an annual CUL Outstanding Performance Award. The award of up to $1,000 may be in the form of cash, or financial support for professional travel or training opportunities.

To nominate an individual employee or group of employees, please answer the questions on the nomination form detailing the accomplishments of the employee or group. The nomination form is available at: https://confluence.cornell.edu/display/libhumres/CUL+Outstanding+Performance+Award . You may also wish to include a cover letter. Do not include separate letters of support unless they add substantively to the nomination.

The selection of the winner(s) will be based on the information provided on the nomination form. Please be sure to address the criteria when writing the nominations. While there is no minimum length of service required, special consideration will be given to long-term employees.

Nominations must be submitted by Friday, May 15, 2015. Your nominations should be addressed to Anne Kenney, in care of Lyndsi Prignon, Director of Library Human Resources in 213 Olin Library. The winner(s) will be notified in early June and will receive the award at the annual CUL Service Awards ceremony.

View from Barnes Hall on April 21, 2015.

To be eligible, the employee(s) must be (a) regular full-time or part-time member(s) of the library staff. Both individuals and groups are eligible.

Established in 2014, this award targets innovation throughout the CUL system in all functional areas and departments. Innovations can be in the form of service enhancements, problem solving, or a whole new way of looking at things. The winner(s) of this award will have exhibited creativity, out-of-the-box thinking, and leadership in conceiving and implementing the innovation. Although the innovation can include IT development, having an IT component is not a requirement. In addition to a certificate suitable for framing, the award includes a cash prize of $500.

To nominate an individual employee or group of employees, please answer the questions on the nomination form detailing the accomplishments of the employee or group. The nomination form is attached for your convenience. It is also available at: https://confluence.cornell.edu/display/libhumres/CUL+Innovation+Award+for+Library+Staff . You may also wish to include a cover letter. Do not include separate letters of support unless they add substantively to the nomination.

The selection of the winner(s) is based on the information provided on the nomination form.

Nominations must be submitted by Friday, May 15, 2015. Your nominations should be addressed to Anne Kenney, in care of Lyndsi Prignon, Director of Library Human Resources in 213 Olin Library. The winner(s) will be notified in early June and will receive the award at the annual CUL Service Awards ceremony.


From: Cornell Law Library Administration
Sent: Mon 4/20/2015
Subject: Law Library Organizational Changes

Dear Colleagues,

I believe change can be a good thing and the law library will be undergoing the following organizational changes:

  • Carissa Vogel is leaving, effective May 5 to assume the role of Associate Dean for Library Services, Professor of Legal Research, and Director of the Law Library at Cardozo Law School. We appreciate her work as Assistant Director for Research and Instruction at Cornell Law Library since February 2013 and wish her the very best in this new position.
  • Nina Scholtz formerly Digital Resources Librarian,will take on the new role of Head of Reference Services and Instruction Coordinator.
  • Mark Williams will assume responsibility for digital resources, in addition to his duties in outreach and scholarly services.

The library will soon begin recruiting for a Research Librarian (Diversity Fellow) with a scheduled start date in the fall.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about these changes.

Best Regards,




Bill Kara, Library Technical Services

I’m sorry to announce that due to health issues, Bill Kara is no longer able to continue his work with CUL.

Bill has been a steady presence in Cornell technical services since 1984. He began his Cornell career in what was then called Central Technical Services (CTS) Acquisitions before accepting a position to direct Mann Library Technical Services a short time later. With technical services integration a few years ago, Bill rejoined the newly christened Library Technical Services (LTS) and, in September 2013, he returned along with the rest of the Mann LTS staff to Olin Library. Bill was instrumental in building Cornell’s e-resources acquisitions and management operation and, for the past several years, he has brought to the job a rich institutional memory and priceless experience in vendor relations and working with selectors. Most importantly, Bill has been a friendly, thoughtful, and dedicated colleague with whom I’ve had the pleasure of working throughout my own career at Cornell.

Bill has declined a formal goodbye reception, but I’m sure he would appreciate hearing from individuals with whom he has worked over the years. Please join me in wishing Bill improved health, a wealth of happiness, and a great gardening season! (Jim LeBlanc)


Good-bye and good luck to

  • Bill Kara, Library Technical Services

who recently left the Library.

The Lighthearted Library: Cartoons by Betsy Elswit

Below is the cartoon we left you with in October and the captions sent in by your co-workers. After them you will find another new cartoon waiting for your insight and sense of humor. (Photograph of Betsy Elswit by Shirley Cowles)



Sorry this is late -- hopefully the overdue fine won't cost me an arm and a leg. (Keith Jenkins)
So "Surgery For Dummies" isn't your favorite in the series? (Kevin Pain)
So, this is the directory of ambulance chasers? (Matt Morrison)
This book on 'The Art of Self-Defense' wasn't as useful as I had hoped. (Margaret Nichols)
You won't believe what happened to me on the way to return my late book! (Deb Muscato)

This next group of captions is from Chris Miller who was particularly inspired!

When our public funding was cut, we got made an offer we simply couldn't refuse. It's worked out great for both of us, though. We put the 'organized' back in 'organized crime' and they have helped convince patrons to return books in a more timely fashion.
A young Nick Fury checks out his first Ian Fleming book.
Sorry, but the first rule of Book Club is that you do NOT talk about what happens at Book Club.
Thanks to Obamacare, I can finally return my copy of 'Home Medicine for Dummies'!
Before holds, recalls, ILL, or Borrow Direct, Cornell University Library piloted a program that settled disputes about who got to have a certain book through an endurance event called 'Whoever Can Touch the Book Continuously for the Longest Gets It (WCTBCLGI)'. The practice was later discontinued due to the strain it put on users and (mostly) the lack of a good acronym.


Suggestion Box
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Credits: Kaleidoscope is published bi-monthly except June and July by Cornell University Library. Editor: Elizabeth Teskey, Layout: Carla DeMello and Jenn Colt-Demaree