Library Gazette

During October 2009...

RITS 2009 Team Retreat at Fancy Gap

Saturday, October 31, 2009 6:49 pm

Fancy Gap VA.
RITS 2009 Team Portrait

L-R: Bobbie Collins, Jean-Paul Bessou, Mary Scanlon, Erik Mitchell, Tim Mitchell, Giz Womack, Roz Tedford, Lauren Pressley, Susan Smith, Kaeley McMahan, Barry Davis, Ellen Daugman, Molly Keener, Kevin Gilbertson

Last summer the RITS Team was formed by combining the Research and Information Services and the Information Technology teams. Our initial team retreat was held early-on to help organize the new unit but we met on-campus for just a morning. This fall, after a year of working together, we decided to take our retreat on the road to the Wake Forest Lodge at Fancy Gap, adopting a long-standing Tech Team tradition.

This has been an extraordinary year for the team – one that has seen this new team rise to meet every challenge that’s been thrown at it, including:

  • bad economic conditions that caused a hiring freeze that kept positions unfilled for the majority of the year,
  • a change to library faculty status for many of the team that came with a new set of additional expectations and responsibilities,
  • major consolidation of collections and services on the 4th floor,
  • a merged service project with IS that has transformed the ITC area to “The Bridge”
  • successful marketing of the library saw a 37% increase in traffic that translated to record demand for BI sessions, Personal Research sessions and other services, and
  • a mandate to move toward migrating IT services to the cloud.

It has become next to impossible to find many hours during the week where the 15 RITS team members are available to come together as a group, let alone have a meaningful all-day retreat. Realizing this, 6 months ago we booked the Fancy Gap house and put October 30th on all of our calendars to reserve the day to reflect on our accomplishments and challenges, as well as to look toward the future.

Some RITS members (Giz, Tim, Roz and Susan) formed an advance team and went up the hill to the lodge on Thursday evening to prepare for the larger group to arrive Friday morning. We had the fire burning and breakfast ready when the rest of the group arrived via carpool groups (we missed Sarah who had a family illness that prevented her from coming). We were pleased to include the new team members that luckily (for all of us!) had come aboard when the hiring freeze was lifted in July: Barry Davis ( Coordinator for Multimedia and Digital Production Services), Jean-Paul Bessou (Systems Librarian), and Molly Keener (Scholarly Communication Librarian).

After breakfast, the retreat began with an ice breaker activity (no, it wasn’t a team hike!). We divided into 4 smaller groups. Each person was given a “deck” of personal value cards and was asked to sort each of the values into one of five categories: “always value,” “often value,” “sometimes value,” “seldom value,” or “never value.” Within each group, participants discussed the reasons for their choices and compared similarities and differences. The goal of the exercise was to get people talking about their own value system and how these intersect with each other and with their professional values. An online example of a value sort will give you an idea of the types of values included. Following the group breakout, we reconvened as one large group and talked about which of these values are important to the RITS team as a whole. The values identified as important to the team are: “help others,” “knowledge,” “compassion,” “competence,” “wisdom,” “reflection,” “challenge,” “personal development,” “happiness,” “change/variety,” “community,” and “location.” We found that each of these values may mean different things to each of us, but are all qualities we find important in our professional lives at ZSR Library.

We had set an ambitious list of topics to cover during the day and addressed most of them (with a break for a great buffet lunch), but two main topics seemed to resonate the most with our diverse group, so we ended up giving these the time they deserved:

  • The VuFind project. There were important exchanges about the prognosis for continued progress in relation to its current state’s impact on services during the fall semester. The technology end of the team listened to specifics from the public service end of the team that clarified the types of roadblocks they are encountering in trying to meet the library’s mission of helping our faculty and students succeed. The potential of VuFind is not yet the reality of VuFind and this disconnect has daily implications when we are trying to give our community the best help. The public service end of the team listened to the technology end to understand the actions they are taking to bring VuFind to the point where it can be relied upon to deliver the desired up-to-date, accurate data. We talked about how to modify access to it and the classic catalog to improve things in the short term.
  • “What Can Give?” I think everyone recognizes that this has been an eventful year that has stretched all teams’ ability to deliver current and new services effectively. It’s no secret that there is a higher level of stress in all of us as we take on the increase in new challenges and opportunities. We spent most of the afternoon discussing which (if any) activities aren’t producing adequate results for the investment of time and resources. We’ve compiled a list that will be offered to the library administration to contribute to a wider discussion of fine tuning our services to optimize the impact of what we offer. We finished with a lengthy discussion of what barriers are preventing each of us from optimal productivity and brainstormed possible solutions. Again, we will compile a few proposals that we hope will be a basis for a wider discussion.

The day ended with the taking of the official 2009 RITS team portrait that we have decided to title “RITS in the Cloud” in honor of our goal to move to the cloud and because the day was so foggy nobody could see past the driveway most of the day! Thanks to Bobbie’s husband Jim for serving as the photographer.

Classroom Management

Thursday, October 22, 2009 11:06 pm

Getting quiet students to participate in discussion

  • homework ahead of time
  • pair work
  • calling them by name
  • iphone app to call on random students
  • grading each statement
  • asking the right question
  • Craig’s hands on project, so their project is very different from other classes
  • Kaeley’s BI that started with just conversations with students, asked what they want to know about the library, and ended up covering most of what Kaeley had planned

Even if you miss a little something, they won’t remember enough to know. Most recall basic information.

Pros and Cons of having professor in the room

  • can feel safer, like they’ll do disciplinary stuff
  • but can’t do everything you’d think of

Q: When is a good place to stop facebooking, etc?
A: When it’s distracting to others in the class; also, it’s good to be upfront about your own behavior.

  • Intentional conversations before class with students to help them learn about you and see commonalities can help conversations.
  • Having a sense of humor and being honest when it’s not as exciting makes students more comfortable

Q: How does the fuzziest point work?
A: Have the students let you know what they’re most confused about at the end of class. They can do this on paper or by email.

What to do with students who are disciplinary problems or won’t turn in assignments?

  • put in syllabus that assignments a week late will get a zero
  • keep paper trail, though might not be able to speak with parents because of FERPA

Learning Disabilities

  • could put a sentence in syllabus about the office
  • would get a letter from the main LD office

Late students

  • Once, might ignore
  • Follow up, see if there’s a reason
  • Will ask people to leave if they come too late (one person in law school)
  • Quizzing to keep students in class on time

Anything unusual

  • will talk to student one-on-one and ask if everything is okay, let them volunteer information. If not fixed, more serious conversation.

Perry’s developmental model

  • how they act in class
  • behavior changes

faculty ethics on facebook

Vufind status update – October 2009

Tuesday, October 20, 2009 7:13 am

Vufind has been live for just about 2 months now. In that time we have gotten 118 feedback emails detailing bug reports, enhancement requests, and personal opinions about the new system. It has been a busy fall for the systems staff and we are just now finishing up the fixes on a few of our big Vufind issues. One of our biggest problems has been consistent record updates. I am glad to report that we are now running daily loads into Vufind. We will shortly be introducing daily deletes as well. Full index regens still take 20 hours and we have yet to figure out exactly how frequently we need to do that. The full index regen time depends more on our record export, modification, and transfer from our Voyager system at the moment (Vufind takes about 3 hours to index the 1.6M records).

Our other major issue has been system stability. I appreciate how patient everyone has been while we iron out the issues that cause Vufind to go down so frequently. We are still working on this but hopefully have allocated enough RAM to the server and enabled the system to ‘clean-up’ after itself so that Vufind can remain responsive even during moderate load (fingers crossed – we have not had any downtime since the last modifications a week ago – many thanks to Jeremy Kindy for helping us work through this!). An interesting thing that IS found recently was that Google was responsible for 1/3 of our vufind traffic (we have now blocked their robot) :).

The Vufind community as recently created a new administrative organization and is working towards fixing many of the bugs that we have listed. When the community releases the official 1.0 release we will upgrade! In the mean time we will continue to work on our end and contribute back to the community where it is valuable. The list of enhancement requests, bugs, and fixed issues below represent all of the feedback that we have gotten so far. They are broken down into three categories, unresolved enhancement requests, unresolved bug reports, and resolved enhancement requests/bug reports.

Enhancement requests

  • Would like to be able to see how many hold requests exist on an item in the new catalog
  • Would like the new catalog to explicitly state which series or version an item is (example Mi-5 season 1,2,3)
  • Add year into results listing
  • Add journal option to basic search
  • Add the ability to see 20, 40, 60 records per page
  • Improve serial current issues display – right now it shows item level detail but not summary holdings
  • Add ability to preserve certain facets (like library) when doing searching
  • Add grouping to locations (All physical reference locations for example)
  • Add the ability to click on call numbers for browsing
  • Reduce the number of clicks to get to information
  • Add data to the results screen including publisher information, dvd season info, pub place/date, etc
  • Implement Spell Check
  • Make subject headings work the same way that authors do – via listing at the top of the screen
  • Make subject hierarchy work more consistently – united states history is a good example
  • Add a new items feature to vufind, particularly by subject or call # range
  • Would like to be able to replicate all brief record info in vufind

Bug Reports (Partially resolved or Unresolved)

  • Location listing should be in alphabetical order, should be consolidated in certain cases (ref desk and reference for example) – still working on figuring this one out.
  • Advanced Searching does not work with more than 2 terms, truncation proves to be problematic, further advanced searching returns inconsistent or known to be incorrect results when compared to the old catalog. One suggestion would be to remove advanced search and have advanced search link to the old catalog. There has been alot of discussion about how appropriate this. ..any thoughts? please leave comments!
  • Item statuses in voyager not always reported as desired in Vufind (missing books showing up as lost), lost showing up as overdue. This is going to require some advanced item status processing in the Voyager driver and will take some time
  • Date sorting not working as desired
  • Recently received issues do not have a location? – We need some clarification on this
  • Endnote Export not working
  • “I hate vufind” – While a very real problem there is no specific bug fix for this. We may want to discuss re-introducing our “classic view” in a more prominent place to alleviate this issue
  • Vufind does not always return what I search for – We have lots of reports of this. Sometimes Vufind has the record but it is not on the initial screen. In some other cases the record is not in the system. There are a few things we are working on here, first daily data loads will address recent titles. Second, we have a list of 22K records that did not import that we need to troubleshoot. Finally – we may need to think about the default search algorithm.
  • Save to favorites, email functions do not have polished javascript/ajax interface, require scrolling, etc
  • Name authorities are not consistent, cary grant, shakespeare return different result counts from old catalog
  • ISBN searching does not work (looks like vufind is not parsing out the – during indexing and as such needs it for the search
  • Improve holds/recalls

Fixed Issues

  • Catalog slows down/crashes under ‘heavy’ use – Some lib100 classes of 15 people have seen some slow response times – We have worked with IS to try to resolve these issues. We have increased the amount of RAM allocated to the system, tuned SOLR settings, and searched the logs for memory leaks. Hopefully this has been resolved.
  • Call Number now shows at the top of every view of the record
  • Library links not always proxied appropriately – Kevin implemented a workaround for now
  • Ebooks now showing as available
  • Military Science added as location
  • Sometimes the 007 in items (item format) does not correspond to what the item actually is. These items should be reported when identified and will be fixed by cataloging
  • Known items not always showing up – We have a number of specific reports here. In some cases this is due to a lag in indexing (still working on getting the connection between our two servers opened up) but in others the items were kicked out due to record errors.
  • Call number searching should not include periods – makes it difficult – resolved
  • Resources without Item records in catalog show incorrect status of Checked Out – We have a workaround for this but it requires addressing each location specifically in the code. If you still see errors please send them to me
  • Collections not synchronized, items in old catalog not in new – daily updating is in place, working on daily delete. It currently takes 20 hours to re-index our catalog from scratch
  • Wake Forest University facet limit does not return records (It is in essence a useless facet since everything in the db has this tag) – item removed from list.

Open Access Week exhibit

Friday, October 16, 2009 1:02 pm

Open Access Week exhibit

October 19-23 is Open Access Week. This exhibit seemed very timely with the addition of our Scholarly Communications Librarian Molly Keener and the opening of our institutional repository Wakespace. The exhibit, along with a presentation will hopefully educate our community about open access issues.

Wake Forest University Celebrates “Open Access Week”

Thursday, October 15, 2009 3:17 pm

Welcome to Open Access Week! The Wake Forest University community of scholars joins colleagues across the globe in celebrating and promoting the principles of Open Access to scholarship. In the path from information to knowledge to wisdom, free and open access to ideas is paramount. Open Access Week exists to broaden awareness and understanding of Open Access to research. The Z. Smith Reynolds Library is taking the initiative to educate faculty and students on their intellectual property rights, help explore alternative publishing options, and build a digital archive of the intellectual output of the university. A university-wide Scholarly Communication Committee has been working for over a year to advance these initiatives. Molly Keener was recently appointed to the newly-created position of Scholarly Communication Librarian and looks forward to meeting faculty and engaging these issues. Please join the conversation!

Program: The Future of Scholarly Publishing

Thursday, October 15, 2009 3:16 pm

Please join us for a discussion about the future of publishing on Tuesday, October 20, at 3 p.m. in 204 ZSR Library. Molly Keener will discuss changes in the scholarly publishing field and will project how those changes impact the future of publishing. Erik Mitchell will briefly discuss the library’s institutional repository project and how this new digital archive will support the dissemination of Wake Forest University scholarship. Professor of Physics William Kerr will relate his experience with digital repositories and his reasons for joining this endeavor.

Meet Molly Keener

Thursday, October 15, 2009 3:15 pm

Molly Keener has recently joined the faculty of the ZSR Library as the Scholarly Communication Librarian. In this newly-created position, she will enhance the library’s partnership with the Office of the Provost to support faculty research and publishing endeavors. Molly will support faculty seeking to:

  • Better manage their copyrights and intellectual property rights,
  • Explore alternative publishing options,
  • Comply with funder accessibility requirements, and
  • Create permanent electronic collections of their scholarly record.

She will also educate graduate students on the importance of retaining rights when publishing, and will explain accessibility options as students submit their electronic theses and dissertations.

Although new to the Reynolda Campus, Molly has served Wake Forest University for the past three years as a reference librarian at the Coy C. Carpenter Library on the Bowman Gray Campus. While at Carpenter, Molly educated researchers and research administrators on publishing options and copyright management, with a special focus on compliance with the National Institutes of Health Public Access Policy.

A native of Winston-Salem, Molly earned her Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her Master in Library and Information Studies degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Reach Molly at or x5829.

A Very Brief Introduction to Open Access

Thursday, October 15, 2009 3:14 pm

by Peter Suber

Open-access (OA) literature is digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions. What makes it possible is the internet and the consent of the author or copyright-holder.

OA is entirely compatible with peer review, and all the major OA initiatives for scientific and scholarly literature insist on its importance. Just as authors of journal articles donate their labor, so do most journal editors and referees participating in peer review.

OA literature is not free to produce, even if it is less expensive to produce than conventionally published literature. The question is not whether scholarly literature can be made costless, but whether there are better ways to pay the bills than by charging readers and creating access barriers. Business models for paying the bills depend on how OA is delivered.

There are two primary vehicles for delivering OA to research articles: OA journals and OA archives or repositories.

OA Journals:

OA journals perform peer review and then make the approved contents freely available to the world. Their expenses consist of peer review, manuscript preparation, and server space.

OA journals pay their bills very much the way broadcast television and radio stations do: those with an interest in disseminating the content pay the production costs upfront so that access can be free of charge for everyone with the right equipment. Sometimes this means that journals have a subsidy from the hosting university or professional society. Sometimes it means that journals charge a processing fee on accepted articles, to be paid by the author or the author’s sponsor (employer, funding agency).

OA journals that charge processing fees usually waive them in cases of economic hardship.

OA journals with institutional subsidies tend to charge no processing fees.

OA journals can get by on lower subsidies or fees if they have income from other publications, advertising, priced add-ons, or auxiliary services. Some institutions and consortia arrange fee discounts. Some OA publishers waive the fee for all researchers affiliated with institutions that have purchased an annual membership. There’s a lot of room for creativity in finding ways to pay the costs of a peer-reviewed OA journal, and we’re far from having exhausted our cleverness and imagination.

OA Archives or repositories:

OA archives or repositories do not perform peer review, but simply make their contents freely available to the world. They may contain unrefereed preprints, refereed postprints, or both.

Archives may belong to institutions, such as universities and laboratories, or disciplines, such as physics and economics.

Authors may archive their preprints without anyone else’s permission, and a majority of journals already permit authors to archive their postprints. When archives comply with the metadata harvesting protocol of the Open Archives Initiative, then they are interoperable and users can find their contents without knowing which archives exist, where they are located, or what they contain.

There is now open-source software for building and maintaining OAI-compliant archives and worldwide momentum for using it. The costs of an archive are negligible: some server space and a fraction of the time of a technician.

Source. Used courtesy of the Creative Commons Attribution License.

Z. Smith Reynolds Library Open Access Fund

Thursday, October 15, 2009 3:13 pm

Z. Smith Reynolds Library has established an Open Access Fund to help faculty pay for Open Access publication fees. Under a cost-sharing arrangement, the ZSR Library will pay for one-third of the Open Access publication fees, and the remaining two-thirds will be funded equally by the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs and the faculty member’s department.

Criteria for Open Access Journal Publishing Fund

  • WFU Reynolda Campus faculty members are eligible.
  • Articles must be publicly available immediately upon publication.
  • Articles may be published in either Open Access or hybrid journals (traditional journals that offer a per-article Open Access option for an additional fee).
  • Authors who receive external funding support that could be used for publishing costs (e.g., NIH grants or contract awards) are still eligible for WFU funds, but must use all available funds from the grant or contract before seeking WFU funds.
  • Funding will be provided in equal sum from three sources: ZSR Library, the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, and the faculty member’s department.

Wake Forest University faculty who have received Open Access funding from the library include:

  • Earl Smith, Professor of Sociology and the Rubin Distinguished Professor of American Ethnic Studies,
  • Donald Robin, Professor Emeritus, Calloway School,
  • Abdessadek Lachgar, Professor of Chemistry,
  • Gloria Muday, Professor of Biology, and
  • Mark Welker, Poteat Professor of Chemistry and Associate Provost for Research.

Faculty may request funding through their library liaison. A request form is also available online.

The Future of Publishing

Thursday, October 15, 2009 3:12 pm

As the dissemination of research output moves more fully into the digital environment, the process of producing and publishing scholarship is rapidly changing. Tracking various drafts of publications – from submission to acceptance – is easier and more beneficial to authors. Requesting an article frequently requires only a few clicks or keystrokes. Databases and search engines return a large number of results (sometimes an overwhelming number), within which research gold can be mined.

Nevertheless, despite the advantages noted above, scholars face a new set of challenges. Although you might find a citation for an article that would benefit your research, the full text proves elusive. You might want to post your latest article online, but the publisher reserved that right in your signed publication agreement and has requested that you remove your public posting. Unfortunately the norms of copyright management and publication agreements have not kept pace with the revolution of digital publishing and online accessibility, creating a disconnect between discoverability and accessibility.

One thing is undeniable – scholarly publishing will change. Will peer review continue? Yes. Will journals continue? Probably. Will authors have greater control of their copyrights? It depends. As scholars, you hold the keys to the future of scholarly publishing, not the publishers. As scholars, you provide the content, the editorial review, peer review and the audience which enable the publishers to exist. If you demand greater control of your scholarship through better copyright management and more liberal accessibility options, then you will shape the future of publishing to fit your needs, both as a producer and a consumer. Just as you control the production of scholarship, you can control the dissemination of scholarship, but only if you take action.

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