December 2010

2010: A Space Odyssey
How Are We Doing: Library Assessment Conference
Law Library Honored with Public Relations Award
People News

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 please contact et14. Please help us to celebrate our resources and ourselves while preserving some of our history.

2010: A Space Odyssey

Leah Solla

Leah Solla

Do you remember the eulogy for the Clark Physical Sciences Library (PSL) published in the opinion section of the Daily Sun last March?  It was written by a shocked and passionately unhappy student upon hearing that the library was closing.  I think it is fair to say that we were all shocked at the time as we tried to digest the idea that our 44-year old facility would be closing, or more precisely decommissioned, in less than nine months.  “Oh, physical sciences library!  Where did you ever go wrong?  In the ’80s you were the only 24 hour library on campus!” bemoans the author of the eulogy.  Never quite 24 hours, but no so long ago PSL was open more hours per week and more days per year than any other unit.  We were open 8 am – midnight every day, 362 days of the year.  Now we are the first unit to close down the traditional library model.

But the writing was on the wall.  We’ve all heard the numbers:  over 90% of the collection is found online; over 90% of its use is online; photocopies were down 96%; book charges were greatly down; gate counts were down.  Library business was not the same in the physical sciences as it was fifty years ago.

The current budget challenge at Cornell however was not a new story for the Physical Sciences Library.  When I arrived at CUL ten years ago, the collection was running at an 18% deficit.  The following year I put together this graphic at the request of Ross Atkinson.  Admittedly it is old and the trend has finally leveled out somewhat as we’ve brokered better deals for online resources, but the budgetary picture is still lopsided since we have been unable to offer more than the occasional new resource to the Cornell community each year.  Although physical sciences research was advancing in leaps and bounds, the collection was lagging; it had become stagnant. 

It was clear that the model of collection building would need to change, especially as electronic resources grew.  The proposed solution was to transition the library service model away from monographs and serials in paper format, i.e., books, into an electronic-based collection where access is of paramount importance.  This is what the numbers were showing us and where they were leading. 

Pat Viele

But then the budget crisis at Cornell struck and closure of the Physical Sciences facility became the primary decision driver to achieve necessary savings.  Our library space has had a long history and the announcement of its closing was hard and fast on many people, both library users and library staff.

It is important to note that the goal was never to diminish access and service to the patrons of the physical sciences, but rather to remodel that service in a more cost-effective way. 

Kirsten Hensley

Thus, it was critical to get input from all stakeholders, users and staff, regarding how to proceed—where should the collection go and how could we provide access not only over the next nine months but also into the future.  Hundreds of students and faculty members gave feedback and input through forums, email, petitions, departmental visits, and conversations with library staff.  Not surprisingly, emergent concerns focused on access to collections, our physical space, computing needs, library services, and impact on research and teaching.

In April a transition team led by AUL Janet McCue, of faculty and student representatives from our immediate departments, and of library staff from across the system, was quickly formed to weigh in on these issues and make recommendations for the process moving forward.  The team made extensive recommendations that were submitted to the university librarian and the vice provost for research. 

Deb Muscato

Their recommendations included increasing online resources for the collection, distribution of the hard copy collection, proposals for study space and the enhancement of the library Web site, and promotion of library services. 

In June, the print serials began their move to the Annex and by August the move was complete.  While more than 90% of journal articles are available online, those that are not online are readily available from the Annex through a free scan and delivery service made possible by our ILL software ILLIAD.  Print monographs began their migration to the in September and by December were done.  Print holdings went to other libraries according to certain subject parameters:  Mann—organic & biochemistry, Mathematics—math; astronomy; general, atomic & particle physics; theoretical chemistry; Engineering—analytical, inorganic, organometallic & experimental physical chemistry; experimental physics.

Pat Viele at the Reference desk pre-renovation, ca.2000

The main seating area of PSL: a final look
Sonam Dongtoe

December 18 was the last day that PSL as we understood it was open.  All the physical collection had been moved.  Reserve items were living at Math and public computers were now at Math.  Charged PSL items were flipped to new locations according to a specific matrix.  The transition team had met several times over the last nine months; countless voyager Reports had been generated, analyzed, and consulted during the book moves; forums and meetings and discussions were done for the calendar year; current subscriptions had been converted to e-only or cancelled; the PSL Web site had been transitioned to Drupal and work had begun on a new design; and copious handouts and FAQs had been created and distributed (in paper!).  It was time to say good-bye to PSL as we knew it for the last fifty years.

Jill Ulbricht

The end of an era is approaching -- after this month printed new issues of most science journals will be absent from Cornell libraries. Those of us of a certain age miss them already....  You are invited to a wake for the printed journal, on Friday, December 18, at 3 PM, in the Physical Sciences Library (its last day). Wine and brandy will be served.
Roald Hoffmann, Ben Widom, Neil Ashcroft, Bruce Ganem

At 3 pm on December 18, faculty convened for the last time in PSL at the invitation of Roald Hoffmann, Frank H.T. Rhodes Professor Emeritus and Nobel laureate, and several of his colleagues.  There were stories and toasts and tributes.  Our doors were closed two hours later at the end of the wake. 

Enter the year 2010.  In the space once occupied by the physical collection, library classes are taught in the librarians’ office, a newly configured space with whiteboards, comfortable seating around a large table, and internet access.  In March of this year the new Clark Physical Sciences Library Web site was launched.  And that same month a new physics & astronomy librarian was interviewed and hired.  The library as we knew it is gone but thanks to our new Web site our virtual presence is strong and growing.  The site serves to help our patrons find electronic resources, relocated collections, and library services.  While the vast majority of journals are already available electronically, we are working to get even more online access to critical resources through enhanced electronic subscriptions, book digitization, and expanded browsing capabilities.  We have submitted a project proposal for a virtual shelf browse, and we are now involved in mentorship for Syracuse University’s new escience program for librarians. 

Pat Viele took the University up on their Staff Retirement Incentive and retired in June 2009.  Our night supervisor Sonam Dongtoe transferred to Olin to join the crew in O/K/U collection management at Uris Library.  Jill Ulbricht now supports Olin/Uris Library public services and special projects in the unit libraries as Administrative Manager to the director, drawing on her expertise from the PSL move. 

Barbara Wilcox

Deb Muscato had transferred from Fine Arts to Clark in 2008 and subsequently transferred to Olin/Uris Research & Learning where she is Media Center Supervisor.  Kirsten Hensley was already relocating with her family but we were fortunate to benefit from her expertise for seven months while she worked on our new Web site from a distance.  The CUL community lost Barbara Wilcox suddenly and unexpectedly in June 2010. A long time employee recognized last year for 40 years of service, Barbara had been working at several libraries keeping their serials units in good order while also covering the circulation desk.  Because of her unique experience, Cornell Human Resources had asked if they could use her as a resource for others being introduced to the hotelling environment.

Dianne Dietrich is my new colleague here in Clark Hall. How did we find ourselves in this old, new space, Dianne and I?  What have we lost and what have we gained?  Was it all really necessary?  Could we have done it better?

Dianne Dietrich

These are admittedly tough questions.  It is true that the budgetary crisis at Cornell pushed us into the breach so to speak and moved us along much faster than we would have chosen to proceed.  The last year was very tough on everyone, not just students and teachers but also and even more important on staff.  There is no doubt however that the budgetary challenge in physical sciences was systemic and the previous service model was increasingly inadequate to address the research needs of our community.  Closing the physical facility enabled us to reallocate resources and refocus efforts towards enhanced electronic collections and services, the path we knew we were destined to take in the foreseeable future.

Leah Solla

It can be reasonably argued that changes in the research environment and scholarly communication in the physical sciences have made our subject increasingly interdisciplinary and electronic.  Indeed, the University has openly embraced the interdisciplinary aspect of scholarly research which has resulted in many new initiatives both in the arts and sciences.  One such prominent example is VIVO, an electronic resource of people and the projects they are working on, created by staff at CUL and now embraced across the University and reinvigorated with long term funding.  But rising costs of scholarly materials, particularly journals but also monographs, have prevented us from keeping pace with the times and acquisitions in PSL had been severely cut back for over a decade.  The bold decision to change the PSL Library model from a place with books to a space for discovery of resources was a strategic move whose time had come.

Although public computing has been moved from PSL to the Math Library and print books must be requested from other units, we now have adequate space both for quiet study and group study.  We have developed a new taxonomy for discovery and access to resources through our new Web site.  We will soon be engaging students in the development of our Web site.  We have increased faculty engagement through instruction and research, especially with regard to requests for data.  Although more online journal backfiles are needed, we have increased the backfiles and will continue to do so.  We have acquired more reference resources online, some of which we never had in paper.  And we have been able to acquire more electronic monographs than we were able to acquire in paper over the last ten years.  We have been able to accomplish this largely for two reasons:  the Clark endowment has been reallocated from operations to collections; and our new virtual presence and all that entails is growing thanks to a generous bequest from librarian and Cornell alumna Erna L. Gramse.

Dianne Dietrich and Leah Solla stand outside their new space

It takes a system to transition a library.  It requires planning and input and time to reach consensus.  It requires patience, and planning (did I already say that?), and input and time and analysis.  The wonder is that we managed to decommission our library under the time constraints of the last calendar year.  We could not have done it without the support of CUL as a system and its resources and talented staff.  Is this the way of other libraries?  It remains to be seen.  Was it the way for the Clark Physical Sciences Library?  Most definitely yes. 

Library photographs by Jill Ulbricht; photographs of Deb Muscato, Sonam Dongtoe, and herself by Jill Ulbricht

How Are We Doing: Library Assessment Conference

Camille Andrews

My focus at the Library Assessment Conference was on assessment of teaching and learning, particularly of student learning outcomes for information literacy, and learning spaces (both physical and virtual). I was also interested in various stakeholders’ research habits in general and ways of gathering data on the value of the library. Examples of interesting sessions and major themes include the four listed below.

“Are They Learning? Learning Outcomes and the Academic Library,” by Megan Oakleaf, Assistant Professor at Syracuse University. In her keynote speech on measuring the impact of libraries on student learning, I found the overview of assessment management systems for data collection and mining; her introduction of a “student learning impact map” tool; and her call for a continuous culture of assessment and learning for librarians as well as students; to be useful and inspiring. Other presentations were on the use of rubrics and classroom assessment techniques, like the one-minute paper to measure student learning validated approaches we are trying here at Cornell in large introductory and first year courses.

“You Don’t Say! Students at the University of Virginia Come Clean When Asked 'What Are You Working On, and How can We Help?'” a presentation by Meredith Wolnick, librarian at Clemons Library at UVA. Learning space assessment (both physical and virtual) was another key area of the conference and I attended several presentations on the use of assessment methods such as surveys (textual, task-focused, and photo), interviews and focus groups, space mapping and observation, usability testing of library Web sites and LibGuides, and other ethnographic methods to gain insight into the research habits and library use of students and other groups.

“The Librarian-Student-Faculty Triangle: Conflicting Research Strategies,” a presentation by Nancy Fried Foster, an anthropologist at the University of Rochester. Foster presented on the differences between recommended professional librarian practices for finding information and the actual practices of librarians (when looking for information of personal interest), researchers, and students. In contrast to another presentation on usability testing of librarians and students by Nancy Turner of Syracuse University, which found differences between how librarians and students navigate the library Web site, Foster’s analysis of ethnographic research at Rochester and other institutions through lens such as Bruno Latour’s actor-network theory revealed that when searching for information of personal interest from any source, there was little difference between the searching habits of librarians and others.

“The Value of Academic Libraries: Findings and Implications for the Profession,” a presentation by Lisa Hinchliffe (University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign), Megan Oakleaf and Mary Ellen Davis (ACRL). The overarching theme of the conference was proving the value of academic libraries and this session on ACRL’s Value of Academic Libraries Report was standing-room only.  The session covered three of the recommendations from the report, which is highly worth reading in its entirety: defining outcomes in terms of institutional mission and objectives; mining existing data; and developing management systems to collect data on library user behavior. Hinchliffe also mentioned other ACRL resources on related topics.

A compilation of the plenary session papers is available here. For more information and a full report of my conference experience, please see here (or Feel free to contact me with any questions.

Law Library Honored with Public Relations Award

Amy Emerson

This fall, the Cornell Law Library was honored to receive the South Central Regional Library Council (SCRLC) Public Relations Award. On October 29, 2010, Public Relations Team members Elizabeth Teskey and Carol Clune attended the SCRLC Annual Meeting at SUNY Cortland to accept the Award on behalf of the Law Library (Carol Clune on left and Elizabeth Teskey on right; photograph by Matthew Hogan). There, the SCRLC acknowledged several initiatives of the Library staff, including the design of themed exhibits for their glass display cases and the unveiling of a new blog/current awareness service entitled The Competitive Edge.

An entry from The Competitive Edge

Other initiatives in the past year include the installation of a new Reading Room LCD screen to promote Library specific services and events; creation of a contest and monetary prize for exemplary student research papers; publication of two brochures highlighting various treasures of the Law Library’s Rare Book Room; and the filming of a CyberTower video about the Law Library’s Donovan Nuremberg Trials Collection.

One of the slides created for the LCD screen in the Reading Room

These activities reflect the dedication of the Law Library staff to providing excellent service to the Law School community, and SCRLC’s Award is a much appreciated recognition of their efforts.

People News


Mann Library welcomes Erin Eldermire as part time reference and information specialist. Erin has a BA in biology from the University of Montana and comes to CUL from the Cornell University Museum of Vertebrates (CUMV) at the Johnson Center for Birds and Biodiversity in the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Erin was a research support specialist at CUMV and we are delighted to have her join us at Mann.


Steven Hughes has accepted a position with Preservation and Collection Maintenance as collections assistant. He has held temporary positions in the library since 2005, working for both O/K/U Collection Maintenance and the Library Annex. Most recently he was employed at Lowe's in Ithaca. Steven attended Aflred State and studied mechanical engineering. (Photograph by Joan Brink)


The Law Library is pleased to welcome a new staff member, Jackie Magagnosc, to its Information Management team and to the CUL community. Jackie comes to us from McCabe Library at Swarthmore College, where she worked as Serials and Electronic Resources Specialist. Locally she has been a volunteer at the Tompkins County Public Library. Jackie has a BA in history from the University of California at Berkeley and an MLS from Drexel University. Jackie started working at the Law Library on November 1 as an Information Management Assistant.



Congratulations to Jane Drumheller from the Law Library who was recently promoted to Public Services Assistant IV. Jane stands at the circulation desk where she is in charge of the daily operations of Access Services including course reserves and Interlibrary Loan and Borrow Direct lending. (Photograph by Carol Clune)

Gaby Castro Gessner has transferred full time to Assessment and Communication as assistant librarian, a change that is also a promotion. Gaby started in the library in 2002 and has worked in Reference at Olin/Uris until last year when she started dividing her time between Research & Learning Services and Research & Assessment.  She has a BA and a Master’s in Anthropology from Binghamton University and earned her Ph.D. in Near Eastern archaeology, also from Binghamton University, while working at the Library. In 2008 Gaby was a runner-up for the annual Paraprofessional of the Year Award offered by Library Journal, one of only three who were publicly acknowledged in this national competition (see our April 2009 issue). Gaby's primary interests and skills are assessment of learning outcomes and qualitative user studies. She is currently coordinating a joint study for 2CUL on the research and support needs of doctoral students in the humanities. She also serves on the Instruction Committee as assessment liaison and on the Strategic Planning Group. Congratulations on your promotion Gaby!


Liz Brown has transferred from a collections assistant position at Mann to public services at Mann.

Rich Entlich has transferred from Research and Analysis to Scholarly Resources.

Adam Spry has transferred from Library Shipping in Library Administrative Services to Library Facilities.

Brian Mingle has transferred from within the university and been hired into a full time position in Library Shipping. Before coming to CUL Brian worked for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology where he was Mailroom Supervisor. Brian studied business management at TC3. Like some of our staff in the Library, Brian is a musician and has shared the stage with big name bands. Currently he plays for the local band Blue Monday. He is also a member of the 7 Valley Street Rods and loves classic cars. Welcome to the Library, Brian.

Out & About

CLO’s E-Resources & Database Management Research Librarian, Adam Chandler, was a featured speaker in a recent Webinar presented by the National Information Standards Organization (NISO) entitled “It’s Only as Good as the Metadata: Improving OpenURL and Knowledge Base Quality.”

Roger Clearwater, Book Repair Coordinator in CLO’s Department of Preservation and Collection Maintenance, gave a workshop on “Preserving Memories” at the Waverly Free Library on Sunday, November 7, 2010.  In the workshop Roger outlined the dos and don’ts for saving pictures, letters, and other personal items using folders, mylar sleeves, archival boxes, and other materials.

Michele Hamill, Paper and Photograph Conservator in CLO’s Department of Preservation and Collection Maintenance, gave an encore presentation of her popular program, “Preserving Family Documents and Photographs,” on November 6, 2010 at the Tompkins County Public Library.  Michele’s presentation was part of the TCPL’s Ten Years at Green Street Celebration.

Peter Hirtle, Senior Policy Advisor in Digital Scholarship Services, has had an active fall. In August, he presented at the annual meeting of the Society of American Archivists on recent developments in copyright law. In September, he was an invited participant in the Digitization and Access Summit sponsored by The Center for Home Movies and held at the Library of Congress’s Packard Campus of the National Audio-Visual Conservation Center. In October, he was an invited speaker at RLG’s 2010 European Partners meeting. Called “Moving the Past into the Future: Special Collections in a Digital Age,” the conference was held at St. Anne’s College at the University of Oxford. Finally, in November he gave a one day workshop on “Copyright and African American Collections” for the Black Metropolis Research Consortium in Chicago.

Michelle Paolillo, Manager and Analyst for the Google Books Project in Digital Scholarship Services, along with Janet McCue and Scott Wicks, attended the Google Summit in Mountain View, CA on October 20-21. The Summit provided an opportunity to meet other library partners involved in the Google Books project as well as key Google partner contacts. Google sessions covered improvements over the past year in processes and image quality, and described plans for future developments. The keynote sessions additionally presented a variety of ways in which the scholarly community is incorporating the use of the Google books corpus in their research.

Fiona Patrick, Project Coordinator in Digital Scholarship Services, participated in the Fall 2010 Digital Library Federation Forum, which convenes twice a year and includes digital library practitioners from DLF member institutions.

Oya Y. Rieger, Associate University Librarian, presented papers to describe the arXiv business planning process at several forums this fall including the International Conference on Preservation of Digital Objects (iPres2010), Berlin8 Open Access Conference, SPARC Digital Repositories Meeting, and High Energy Physics Advisory Panel. She has a paper published in the October issue of First Monday about digital humanities.

Gail Steinhart, Research Data and Environmental Sciences Librarian at Mann Library, gave a presentation at the SPARC 2010 Digital Repositories Meeting in Baltimore in November. She talked about services for small research data sets and the staging repository and metadata creation functions of DataStaR. For details on the meeting see here.

Upstate New York Science Librarians Meeting

In late October Kathy Chiang, Jeremy Cusker, Dianne Dietrich, Steve Rockey and Leah Solla attended the Upstate New York Science Librarians Meeting in Rochester. Susan Gibbons, Dean of the River Campus Libraries at the University of Rochester, gave the keynote address: "Why Do Students Want to Be in the Library if They Are Not Using the Books?" She described the findings of a study on the use of the Carlson Science and Engineering Library. Kathy presented a poster on VIVO Cornell. Dianne, Leah, and Kirsten Hensley presented a poster on "A Virtual Library Taxonomy: Supporting the Physical Sciences Library Website." Kathy also presented her paper on "Data Mining, Data Fusion, and Libraries." Leah and Rochester librarian Pat Suloff presented their topic, “The Tale of Two Libraries Slated to Close.” Several of the students from the Syracuse eScience Librarian mentorship program attended the meeting, and CUL alum Pat Viele presented a poster on "Web Sources for STEM Educators."

World Usability Day

The CUL Usability Committee sponsored an event in honor of World Usability Day event on November 11th. Oya Rieger gave the opening remarks, with Hronn Brynjarsdottir, Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Information Science, giving the keynote address: “Information technology design and usability: lessons from the Icelandic fisheries.” Tim Worrall, Usability Design Specialist on the VIVO project, Wendy Wilcox, and Mary Beth Martini-Lyons from the CUL Usability Group, and David DeMello, Director of Web Development for ILR, gave short presentations. The event attracted people from a wide range of Cornell units including CIT, Communications, Cooperative Extension, and the Design and Environmental Analysis Department. Attendees interested in sharing usability information will be doing so through a soon to be created list serve.

Mentors in the Syracuse iSchool eScience Fellows Program

Eight CUL librarians are serving as mentors for students in the Syracuse iSchool eScience Fellows Program, funded by an IMLS Building Institutional Capacity grant. Gail Steinhart is co-PI on the grant. Mentors Gail Steinhart, Mary Ochs, Jill Powell, Kathy Chiang, Jeremy Cusker, Jim Morris-Knower, Leah Solla, and Dianne Dietrich met the students at an event held in Ithaca in September. The event included quick descriptions of Cornell Library activities, discussions of program possibilities, and a speed networking session that gave each student an opportunity to talk with each CU librarian. The students then chose their mentors and each pair met to design a plan for the mentorship. The event closed with tours of Mann Library and Weill Hall.


From: Anne R. Kenney
Sent: Mon 10/18/2010
Subject: Take One: October 18, 2010 (Strategic Planning Committee Named)

I am pleased to announce the membership of the CUL Strategic Planning Team, which is charged with developing a blueprint for guiding the Library’s strategic direction for the next five years. It was gratifying that we had a large number of library staff members who volunteered or were nominated to serve on this Team. The selection committee (which included Angela Horne, Zsuzsa Koltay, Steve Rockey, Deb Schmidle, and me) had a very tough time choosing the members. In reviewing the candidates we sought representation from various functional areas and unit libraries. We also looked for a balance of experienced librarians, newer staff, and non-academic appointments.

I have asked Deb Schmidle to chair this group.
Mary Ochs will represent the Managers’ Council and Lyndsi Prignon will serve as the Human Resources representative.

The other five members include: Gaby Castro Gessner, Boaz Nadav-Manes, Leah Solla, Kizer Walker, Simeon Warner.

The team will hold its first meeting this afternoon and we can expect to hear more from them soon on the strategic planning process. In closing I want to thank those who expressed interest in this important work and hope all staff will contribute their thoughts and energy to this process, which will be on a fast track this fall, with the final report due by the end of January. Have a healthy and productive week.


From: Anne R. Kenney
Sent: Mon 11/1/2010
Subject: Changes in the Strategic Planning Team

Hello all—you will shortly be receiving an invitation to participate in staff planning sessions to be held over the next several weeks, but first I want to update you on changes in the composition of the Strategic Planning Team. Due to temporary health issues, Deb Schmidle has reluctantly stepped down from the committee and Mary Ochs has agreed to become the new chair. To fill Deb’s place on the committee, we selected Dan McKee, Japanese Curator in the Wason Collection. And because Gaby Castro Gessner has become a Research and Assessment Analyst, which is an academic position, we asked Mary Beth Martini-Lyons to join the team as full member (she had been providing executive assistance to the group). Both Mary Beth and Lyndsi Prignon are representing non-academics on the group.

So, here’s the full team membership: Gaby Castro Gessner, Mary Beth Martini-Lyons, Daniel J. McKee, Boaz Nadav-Manes, Mary Ochs (chair), Lyndsi Prignon, Leah Solla, Kizer S Walker, Simeon Warner.


New Olin/Uris Libraries Web Site

Imsge provided by Susette Newberry

Olin/Uris Libraries have a new Web site, thanks to all the people who planned, created, tested, and refined the site:

The Olin & Uris Libraries Web Site Team chaired by Susette Newberry: Bethany Silfer, Boris Michev, Jill Ulbricht, Maureen Morris, Ryan Krolick.

Web design and programming: James Reidy (site migration, Drupal site building, Drupal training), Steve Rokitka (site theming and graphic design, Drupal site building, Drupal training), Adam Smith (project oversight), Rick Silterra (server management), John Fereira (web service construction), Tom Trutt (technical advice), Carla DeMello (graphic design, digital sign design, photography for home page).

Usability Committee and especially Wendy Wilcox, Mary Beth Martini-Lyons, and Jeff Petersen.


From: John Michael Saylor
Sent: Tue 11/2/2010
Subject: Rich Entlich's New Position as Collection Analyst

Colleagues- I'm pleased to let you know that as of November 1, 2010 Rich Entlich has joined Scholarly Resources in a half-time position as Collection Analyst. In this position Rich will split his time between collection development analysis to inform decision making for 2CUL as well as that for Cornell specific collection analysis issues. His new office is in 310 Uris Library and his phone is the same 5-9563.  Please let me know if you have any questions. Also feel free to contact Rich with any thoughts you have bout his new role. Cheers- john


From: Zsuzsa Koltay
Sent: Mon 11/1/2010
Subject: Staff Changes in Assessment and Communication

Dear Colleagues,

October and November have brought a lot of organizational changes and physical moves to Assessment and Communication, so this is a great time to update you all on our news.

Research and Assessment:

As of November 1st RAU is losing Rich Entlich to a year-long, half time 2CUL/collection development project. He is in the process of moving into his new office, 310 Uris Library. His phone number will remain 5-9563.

Gaby Castro Gessner has become Research and Assessment Analyst, which is a full-time, academic position.


Carla DeMello and Gwen Glazer have moved into 215 Olin, which is now the home of Assessment and Communication. Elena MacGurn from the Management Library has joined us one day a week to work on a messaging framework to make our communication activities more effective and cohesive, and at the beginning of December Eveline Ferretti from Mann Library will also join us in 25% of her time to allow for better synergies between Mann and CUL communication efforts. (Thanks to both JGSM and Mann Library for sharing their talents!)

After these changes, the Assessment and Communication department is all located in 215 Olin, and has the following staff contributing their expertise:

Carla DeMello – Publications and Graphic Design Manager – “the brush”

Eveline Ferretti (part time and starting in December) – Communication Specialist – “the glue”

Gaby Castro Gessner – Research and Assessment Analyst – “the paper”

Gwen Glazer (part time) – Staff Writer/Editor – “the pen”

Zsuzsa Koltay – Director of Assessment and Communication – “the eraser”

Joanne Leary (part time) – Research and Assessment Support Specialist – “the stapler”

Elena MacGurn (part time) – Communication Strategist – “the paint”

Linda Miller – Research and Assessment Librarian – “the calculator”

The two functions will continue to have separate web sites, at least for now:

We will continue to work closely and coordinate across multiple departments for both major functions of the department, assessment and communication. We would be delighted to hear any suggestions and ideas you might have for us as we work to maximize our performance in this new organizational structure.

Best, Zsuzsa Koltay, Director, Assessment and Communication


From: Lee Thomas Cartmill
To: CULib
Sent: Thu 11/18/2010
Subject: Library Human Resources News

I am writing to let you know that due to circumstances beyond our control, Julie Delay will be returning to the Engineering College on a full time basis to serve as the human resources director for not only the college but also for the Faculty of Computing and Information Science (CIS). Many of you have come to know and enjoy working with Julie over the past 18 months as she has split her time between Engineering and the Library. She has been a wonderful colleague and provided invaluable support and advice to many of us during this time. She will be sorely missed, but a recent administrative partnership between Engineering and CIS will now require her full attention to this effort. I also know that Julie is doing this reluctantly as she has very much enjoyed her library experience and the many great people she has had the opportunity to work with. I can’t thank her enough for all that she has given to the library during this all too brief tenure.

While I am sorry to have to report this news, I am pleased to announce that Sandy Dhimitri, currently the human resource director for the college of Human Ecology has agreed to take on the dual role of also serving the library in this capacity. Sandy has a varied human resource background including senior level HR positions in the corporate world prior to coming to Cornell seven years ago. She will bring a new perspective to this role as well as the ability to hit the floor running thanks to her familiarity with Cornell.

In conjunction with this, I am pleased to appoint Lyndsi Prignon as associate director of library human resources, recognizing not only her past contributions but also plans to increase her responsibilities and work closely with Sandy in priority setting, decision making and establishing strategic directions for library HR. And I would be remiss not to mention and thank Linda Bryan and Bonnie Bailey for all they do to help make the library a better place to work for all of us.

Although exact the timing of all of this is not yet finalized, Julie will, out of necessity, begin spending the majority of her time with Engineering and CIS immediately. She will, of course, continue for a short time to be involved to some degree in major library issues already underway and will be available to help Sandy with the transition. We are tentatively planning on mid December to have Sandy officially join us here in the library, but she will begin getting up to speed in advance of this.

In the meantime, please take a moment to thank Julie and wish her well and welcome Sandy to the Library. When we can arrange it, we will have a joint “thank you” and “welcome” reception for both Julie and Sandy and I will let you know when this is scheduled.


From: Anne R. Kenney
Sent: Mon 12/6/2010
Subject: Take One: December 6, 2010 (Strategic Planning Redux)

Strategic planning at Cornell and within the library can feel like a little like the old Abbott and Costello running joke about who’s on first, what’s on second. Indeed there are two main strands of strategic planning—one nearing its end and the other just beginning. The first undertaking relates to the effort begun last year to reduce our expenditures in response to the university’s budget deficit, also known as Re-envisioning CUL with Reduced Resources. The second effort has nothing to do with budget cutting, and everything to do with defining the Library’s strategic direction and priorities for the next five years. That effort goes by title Towards 2015: CUL Strategic Planning. Ed Weissman and Michelle Eastman have been restructuring and updating information on the Staff Web about these two undertakings. Go to the library home page and you will see two separate links under CUL Strategic Planning:

These two pages include information that is mostly open to the public, but there are CUL Staff only sections to indicate information appropriate for staff only. By putting information on both efforts in one place, we hope to clarify who’s on first and to be as transparent as possible to the CU community.

In terms of the Re-envisioning effort, updates are coming for the Engineering, Fine Arts and Entomology unit reviews in the next few weeks. The ILR/JGSM/Hotel consolidation effort has a November update posted. We will continue to add to this page on a regular basis but you should not expect any new major effort to be announced under that process; instead you will find updates on how and when decisions get implemented. I would expect that effort to wrap up within the next 1-2 years.

For the entire text of this important announcement see here.


From: Anne R. Kenney
Sent: Mon 11/22/2010
Subject: Take One: November 22, 2010 (On Giving Thanks)

This week many of us will go to visit family and friends over the four-day weekend. I’ll be visiting my mom, who in the last nine months has had one hip and two knees replaced. These surgeries and the subsequent rehabilitation have been rough on her, but she is driven by the hope of regaining some control over her life. I think the library is a little like my mom. The past two years have been hard. The unit library reviews, early retirement programs, and other changes brought about by economic pressures have taken—and continue to exact—their toll. Equally disturbing is the sense of uncertainty about what the future holds, which can distance us from the very things that make working here so rewarding, such as colleagues who share a common belief in the value of libraries. Those of us who dedicate our working life to CUL are a special breed and we are a collective. That sense of community is something we should be thankful for and work hard to protect. So this week, before you head home or hit the road for the holiday, my hope is that you will take time to reach out to a colleague in the library to tell them how much you appreciate what they do. Choose someone from another unit—someone whose work, or smile, or sense of humor is something that you admire—and let them know how much you appreciate their being there. In the 1960s, many churches introduced the “Sign of Peace” during service to encourage worshippers to greet one another as a welcome expression of unity. I’ve always liked that practice as it breaks down that sense of isolation and reinforces our collective being.
In gratitude and thanks, Anne.


Good-bye and good luck to Ellen Marsh, Library Communications, who recently left the Library.

Suggestion Box
Your ideas, questions, concerns, and comments are welcome. Please send them to et14 at

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