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Feb 28 2020 - 10:53 AM
More Than Things: Materials Report, Fall 2019

The start of the fall semester is a busy time for the acquisitions and materials team at Gottesman Libraries, and the following highlights describe some of the major projects of the fall 2019 semester. In Scarlet Galvan's "More Than Things", she discusses the importance of making visible the often invisible labor associated with serials, technical services, metadata, and electronic resources. I returned to this paper again and again throughout the fall semester, and it's with this paper in mind that I outline the projects below.


Research support through ILL

I’ve had the pleasure of coordinating with Dr. Alex Eble and Maya Escueta on securing materials for a research project concerning the reinforcement of stereotypes and biases in textbooks used in K-8 classrooms from the mid 1980s through the early 2000s. We’ve acquired 18 curriculum sets or textbooks from a variety of public and academic libraries for their research. Collaborating with Dr. Eble and Ms. Escueta, as well as their research counterparts at the University of Chicago, we’ve developed a system for processing these materials, allowing for proxy borrowing, and currently are working through identifying best practices for borrowing these multiple copy, multiple grade level curriculum sets.


Ms. Escueta and Dr. Eble receive weekly updates regarding their current check-outs. Ms. Escueta has adopted and shared a spreadsheet with me first developed by the University of Chicago’s research team and the University of Chicago Interlibrary Loan department in order to track desired books and their acquisition. Ms. Escueta and I meet frequently to discuss and adjust the record keeping aspects of the project, as well as to ensure the ease of use for all. 


Since returning from winter break, Dr. Eble and his team have been testing their research process to be used with the curriculum sets with Caldecott winners primarily acquired from our Juvenile collection. Ms. Escueta and I met to discuss how to request historic titles from the closed stacks, and for a brief tour of the 2nd floor Juvenile and Curriculum collections.


DocDel Redesign and Course Reserves

Over the fall, I met with members of the EdLab and software development team to describe and document the functions, workflows, and services in DocDel. This work proved to be helpful when we experienced a major technical issue with DocDel at the beginning of the spring semester. I outlined and described DocDel and its email notifications, acquisitions workflows, chapter scanning workflows, interlibrary loan processing, and document delivery service. While DocDel has been in use since 2004 and documentation exists for how to maintain the platform’s services; however, no documentation existed describing the platform and its services, or how library service would be impacted in its absence. I re-purposed many of the training videos and documentation developed to train part-time services staff on how to help facilitate service in DocDel.


End of year renewals

Many library subscriptions expire at the end of the calendar year. In order to ensure access to library holdings, I worked with Rochelle Thomas to renew and process payment for major subscriptions concerning our electronic journal subscriptions, database subscriptions, service software contracts, print Cafe magazines and newspapers, and more.


ARL Statistics and Reporting

I compiled usage statistics for the college's annual ARL survey and provided this information and rationales to our colleagues at Columbia University Libraries for submission. Statistics covered topics like print and ebook holdings, additions, and withdrawals, search and circulation statistics, database usage, and interlibrary loan statistics.


Webinar: ACRL Presents: Open for Students and Educators: Open Educational Resources Level the Playing Field with Sara Rachel Benson, Assistant Professor/Copyright Librarian @University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 

This webinar provided an excellent overview of Open Educational Resources (OER) and the current publishing climate for textbooks, e-textbooks, and and open access materials. Professor Benson walked us through many of the financial and legal implications of the rising cost of academic publishing material, as well as disruptions to traditional publishing models. Copyright considerations and special attention to Creative Commons Licensing for OER materials proved to be extremely helpful when considering the addition of OER materials to our library holdings. Additionally, questions concerning the quality and relevancy of OER materials helped provide me with a better understanding of how likely faculty and students would be to use OER in learning and instruction. Overall, adding OER materials to our collection and educating our community about the OER materials available would provide faculty and students with an alternative, cost-effective option for instructional materials.


All stats reflect the time period August 1, 2019-December 31, 2019


New Acquisitions


  1. Print books
  2. 423 print books ordered
  3. Ebooks
  4. 14,814 ebooks acquired via patron request, automatic purchase, DDA, and subscription ebooks
  5. New subscriptions
  6. Expanded access to Education Week
  7. In progress: Expanded access to Peabody Journal of Education
  8. Interlibrary Loan
  9. Borrowing: 418
  10. Lending: 325