Ask A Librarian

Libraries adjusting materials spending in response to budget realities

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
December 3rd, 2018

Student using laptop.

By Karen Diaz, Dean of WVU Libraries

For two years now, West Virginia University Libraries has been working toward bringing our materials spending in line with the new budget realities that we have faced since 2016. One of the biggest challenges in our reduction in funds is managing “bundled” journals subscriptions that historically provided us with more journal title subscriptions at less cost. Unfortunately, over time the inflationary costs of these bundle subscriptions have outpaced the size of our budget.

In 2016, when we were first presented with the need to reduce our spending, bundled journal packages accounted for 30 percent of our materials budget but only provided 6.2 percent of our titles. We recognized at the time that we would have to address this significant portion of our budget to achieve the necessary savings. We did so immediately by unbundling our Wiley subscription package which provided us with about $400,000 in savings at that time. Now we are moving to unbundle the remaining packages.

Remedies, Consequences and Negotiations

Our librarians have spent the last year and a half doing a tremendous amount of analysis on our bundled packages. We have looked at where there is title overlap between different packages we purchase. We have purchased a detailed report that helps us understand which journals our campus researchers are downloading from, publishing in, and citing in their published research. Based on that we have been able to rank in importance the journals for our community in a data driven manner. Our internal collections advisory committee has reviewed and adjusted this work based on extra knowledge gleaned from relationships they have developed with colleges across campus.

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Libraries seeking submissions for “Appalachian Futures” exhibit

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
November 27th, 2018

Appalachian Futures

What do you imagine is in the future for Appalachia? West Virginia University Libraries is developing an interdisciplinary exhibit for 2019-20 themed around “Appalachian Futures.”

The WVU Libraries’ Arts in the Libraries Committee is seeking content from scholars, artists, community groups and practitioners from a range of fields to integrate into a curated exhibition that will be designed and installed in WVU’s Downtown Campus Library in the spring and summer of 2019, and potentially travel throughout the state.

“This collaborative, multidisciplinary exhibit and programming will address the dominant contemporary narratives about Appalachia in a new way – how the people of Appalachia have worked and will work to rewrite their own narrative and transcend limiting definitions of what it means to be Appalachian,” said Sally Deskins, exhibits and programs coordinator for WVU Libraries.

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Libraries accepting submissions for Annual Faculty/Staff Exhibits Award

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
November 26th, 2018
Avatar exhibit

“Avatars and their Players: From Object to Other,” an exhibit by 2018 award winner Dr. Jaime Banks.

The West Virginia University Libraries’ Art in the Libraries committee seeks submissions for the Libraries’ Annual Faculty/Staff Exhibits Award. The committee invites current WVU faculty and staff to submit ideas for consideration for an exhibit to visually showcase their scholarship in new and experimental ways, providing a visual evolution of their work, visualizing their research and influences, or answering a research question.

The winner will receive a $1,000 professional development funds award and an exhibition in Downtown Campus Library, Room 1020. The winner will give a public lecture, program, or demonstration. Non-art faculty or staff may submit a proposal based on their academic research that could become visualized with Library consultation and limited resources. Applicants must submit an outline of their proposal on the Propose an Exhibit online form, with “Annual Faculty/Staff Exhibits Award Submission” in the Proposed Exhibit Location section, by midnight Feb. 28, 2019. More information is available at exhibits.lib.wvu.edu.

The 2018 winner was Dr. Jaime Banks, who worked with Dr. Nick Bowman to create the exhibit “Avatars and their Players: From Object to Other,” which visualizes their scholarly research on the experiences and effects of video gamers’ connections with their avatars. It will remain on display in the Downtown Campus Library, Room 1020, through Dec. 30.

Honor an Outstanding Librarian or Distinguished Library Supporter

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
November 15th, 2018

student talking with librarian

The WVU Libraries Faculty Assembly is seeking nominations for the Outstanding Librarian Award and Distinguished Service Award. These awards are presented once every three years to recognize exceptional contributions toward the delivery, development or expansion of library services or special programs for the constituencies of WVU.

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Karen Diaz named permanent dean of WVU Libraries

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
November 12th, 2018

Karen Diaz

West Virginia University’s interim dean of LibrariesKaren Diaz, has been appointed the Libraries’ permanent dean by Provost Joyce McConnell.

“Karen has been successful in various roles in our libraries because she is a great leader and consensus-builder who has truly earned the trust and support of her talented faculty and staff,” McConnell said. “I know that she will continue to lead in this thoughtful, positive way as the dean, ensuring that the WVU libraries continue to be among our most valuable campus resources.”

Diaz first joined the WVU Libraries as associate dean in January of 2016. She worked extensively with academic department heads and initiated efforts to meet the challenges of a contemporary research library through Open Access initiatives, “engaged librarian” models and cross-functional teams.

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Exhibit presentation to journey into the world of “Avatars and their Players”

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
November 7th, 2018

Avatar exhibit

Do gamers have a special connection with their avatars? Drs. Jaime Banks and Nick Bowman will explore that and other questions in their presentation Nov. 13, at 2 p.m. in the Downtown Campus Library, Room 1020.

The “Avatars and their Players: From Object to Other” exhibit, on display at the DCL through Dec. 30, visualizes Banks and Bowman’s scholarly research on the experiences and effects of video gamers’ connections with their avatars. The exhibit features a curated collection of submitted images and narratives avatar stories that recounts users’ favorite memories with favorite videogame avatars.

“These stories illustrate the impact avatars have had on their lives—dispelling assumptions and myths about gamers and highlighting the ways that avatars can be meaningful in contemporary life,” Banks said.

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WVU Libraries launches repository for scholarship, creative work and research

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
November 2nd, 2018

screenshot of research repository website

West Virginia University Libraries has launched the Research Repository @ WVU, an online, openly available, home for the scholarship, creative work and research of University faculty, researchers and students.

“The Research Repository @ WVU provides the University community with a library-supported platform for sharing their work with the worldwide scholarly community,” said Ian Harmon, scholarly communications librarian.

Harmon said the Research Repository, available at researchrepository.wvu.edu, can increase a work’s impact, provide free access to federally funded research and share findings with researchers and others within West Virginia and around the world who may not be able to afford high journal subscription fees. The Repository is a collaboration between the Libraries and the WVU Office of Research.

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Downtown Campus Library to host Asimov exhibit and lecture on October 31

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
October 23rd, 2018
I, Robot cover

This first edition of “I, Robot” is preserved in the Libraries’ Isaac Asimov Collection.

Before lighting a jack-o-lantern or donning a Halloween costume, plan to attend West Virginia University Libraries’ Isaac Asimov exhibit and lecture on October 31 from 2-3:30 p.m. in the Downtown Campus Library Atrium.

“An Afternoon with Asimov” will provide a glimpse into the Libraries’ extensive Isaac Asimov Collection and insight into the prolific science fiction author’s body of work. Andy Duncan, a Frostburg State University English professor, will open the event with a talk titled “The New Futurians.”

“Asimov was one of the original Futurians of the 1930s and 1940s, who insisted that science fiction was a vehicle for politics, a means of changing the world for the better. A fringe opinion then, the Futurian ideal today is central to the genre, as the 2018 Hugo ceremony demonstrates,” Duncan said. “Where this leaves Asimov and his reputation in the 21st century is a puzzle his positronic robots might have appreciated.”

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Join the Mountaineer Week Art Crawl on Friday

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
October 23rd, 2018

 

 Autumn Cotton by Tony Fitzpatrick is on display at the WVU Art Museum.

West Virginia University Libraries encourages University and Morgantown community members to participate in the “Mountaineer Week Art Crawl” on Friday, Oct. 26. In addition to exhibits, the tour will feature a scavenger hunt and refreshments. Admission and participation are free.

Downtown Campus

  • Downtown Campus Library

WATER exhibit

Refreshments provided by Lotsa Stone Fired Pizza and Insomnia Cookies.

1-4 p.m. Read the rest of this entry »

Libraries hosting Open Access publishing panel on Oct. 22

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
October 18th, 2018

Open Access logo

As part of International Open Access Week, Oct. 22-28, West Virginia University Libraries will host an Open Access publishing panel on Monday, Oct. 22, from 4-5:30 p.m. in the Milano Reading Room.

Open Access (OA) refers to free online access to digital full-text scientific and scholarly material, primarily research articles published in peer-reviewed journals.

“The current scholarly publishing system is economically unsustainable for libraries, and this makes it very difficult for us to provide our patrons with access to the materials they need,” said Ian Harmon, scholarly communications librarian. “OA publishing is an alternative to this system, one that can remove barriers to research, such as paywalls, and increase the rate of scientific progress.”

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Open Access Week promotes benefits of free distribution of research

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
October 15th, 2018

Open Access logo

As part of International Open Access Week, Oct. 22-28, West Virginia University Libraries is promoting the benefits of Open Access publishing to researchers, academic communities, health care providers and citizens.

Open Access refers to free online access to digital full-text scientific and scholarly material, primarily research articles published in peer-reviewed journals.

“The current scholarly publishing system is economically unsustainable for libraries, and this makes it very difficult for us to provide our patrons with access to the materials they need,” said Ian Harmon, scholarly communications librarian. “Open Access publishing is an alternative to this system, one that can remove barriers to research, such as paywalls, and increase the rate of scientific progress.”

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Libraries & 123 Pleasant Street hosting Zine Fest this weekend

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
October 2nd, 2018

Flier for Zine Fest

On Friday and Saturday (Oct. 5 & 6), West Virginia University Libraries and 123 Pleasant Street will co-host the 2018 Morgantown Zine Festival, a two-day event celebrating the form, featuring 20+ zine makers from around West Virginia and Appalachia.

Zines may just be the dark horse of the West Virginia arts community. A zine is a handmade booklet or magazine, typically not available for purchase through traditional commercial venues; a staple medium of punks, poets, activists, and DIY artists of all stripes. A zine might be a delicately crafted art-object, a quick and dirty photocopied pamphlet, or anything in between.

On Friday, join Emily Prentice, “The Zine Queen of Randolph County”, for a free zine-making workshop in Downtown Campus Library, Room 104 from 1-4 p.m. On Saturday, zine makers will display and sell their work at 123 Pleasant Street, from 6-9 p.m. (free, all ages). Following the festival, at 10 p.m., William Matheny, Adam Faucett, Sophia Rehak, and Yellow Cuss will perform. (There will be a cover for this event.)

More details are available on the Morgantown Zine Fest’s Facebook event page or by contacting Bryan Richards at brichar4@mix.wvu.edu.

Downtown Campus Library to screen “Backburner Dreams” on October 11

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
October 2nd, 2018

Cover of Backburner Dreams

Join West Virginia University Libraries and the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies for a screening of “Backburner Dreams – A Women’s Passion Project” on October 11 at 7 p.m. in the Downtown Campus Library, Room 104.

The documentary follows three women, Carla, Stephanie and Melanee, who share stories about their dreams and passions, and why they put them on the “backburner.” All three will, in nine months’ time, take steps to realizing their passions and dreams. The film chronicles their journeys to achieve their dreams.

“Backburner Dreams” has been selected for screening at the 2018 Creation International Film Festival. The event is sponsored by the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

LaunchLab & Libraries hosting trademark symposium on October 18

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
September 26th, 2018

Patent and trademark logo

West Virginia University Libraries and the LaunchLab are co-sponsoring a trademark symposium entitled “Business Formation and Trademark Registration… A Symposium: What Every Entrepreneur & Small Business Should Know” on October 18 from 3-4:45 p.m. at the LaunchLab in Evansdale Crossing, Suite 413.

The free symposium will offer students, entrepreneurs and small businesses an opportunity to better understand the path to commercial success, with a focus on entity formation and trademark registration.

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LYRASIS awards Libraries grant to preserve congressional constituent correspondence data

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
September 17th, 2018

 

Arch Moore letter

Constituent correspondence in both paper and digital formats can play an important role as Congress considers legislation and can be found in archives across the country. This letter is an example of materials preserved in the WVRHC.

West Virginia University Libraries has been awarded a $27,000 LYRASIS Catalyst Fund grant to plan for preserving and providing access to congressional constituent correspondence data.

Since the late 1970s, constituent correspondence has moved from paper to digital formats, and archives across the country now receive correspondence as data exports. WVU Libraries has developed an innovative open-source system that could make access to the data possible.

The LYRASIS grant will support a feasibility study that will assess the WVU Libraries’ open-source system and engage the congressional archives community to develop a roadmap for creating a cooperative, data sharing infrastructure.

“We are honored that LYRASIS selected this project,” said Danielle Emerling, West Virginia & Regional History Center assistant curator and the grant’s principal investigator. “Constituent data sets have great potential for numerous research inquiries, analysis, and visualizations, and we’re excited to be one step closer to making the data available to researchers.”

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Health Sciences Library to host opening reception for “Art & Health” exhibit on September 20

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
September 4th, 2018

Health Science Library

The West Virginia University Health Sciences Library will host an opening reception for the exhibit “Art & Health: Artwork by Healthcare Professionals at WVU” September 20 from noon to 1 p.m. at the Health Sciences Center Pylons.

The exhibit showcases works of photography, painting, ceramics and more by people who work in the University’s health industries, and will remain on display through December 15.

The artists include:

  • Ismail Asad, a WVU undergraduate in his junior year studying biology and minoring in business administration;
  • Dana Gray, grants administrator for the department of Pathology and the Research Coordinator for the Department of Surgery;
  • Randall Levelle, program manager at the WVU School of Nursing;
  • Beth Ann McCormick, program specialist for the Pathologists’ Assistant Program at WVU HSC;
  • Denise Porter, a mammographer at WVU Medicine at the Betty Puskar Breast Care Center and at the Fairmont Gateway Clinic;
  • Kimberly Rauscher, ScD, MA, an Associate Professor in the School of Public Health;
  • Benjamin Silverberg, MD, MSc, FAAFP, a Family Medicine physician at WVU Medicine.

For the chance to win a prize, visitors are invited to a write a response to the artwork in this exhibit. Submissions should be limited to one page and sent to juror Jason Kapcala at jason.kapcala@mail.wvu.edu by Dec. 15. Kapcala is the author of North to Lakeville and coordinator of Auxiliary Aids in WVU Office of Accessibility.

First place winner will receive a signed copy of Kapcala’s book; the second place winner will receive a signed copy of “Roundabout Directions to Lincoln Center” by Renee K. Nicholson, professor of Multidisciplinary Studies and Narrative Medicine project director. For more information visit exhibits.lib.wvu.edu/gallery_art_health.

 

Libraries play pivotal role in our communities

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
August 17th, 2018

The following op-ed appeared in the Charleston Gazette on August 14.

By Karen Diaz, Interim Dean of Libraries

Libraries enjoy an interesting relationship with the public and our users. We are trusted, loved, and yet often underestimated. Folks think of libraries as the friendly place to get books. They are indeed that – but so much more. Libraries are neutral in the sense of belonging to the collective, and hosting different points of view. They are political in the sense of dedication to that cause and working against censorship. They are for the common good. They are places and they are virtual. And importantly they are run by professionals who are guides, teachers, partners, community workers and scholars all in one. A public library is a space where the local community can come to grow and to learn about societal as well as personal matters whether that be through books or events. An academic library is a “neutral” space that brings different disciplines together through collections, space and services.

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Mountaineer Touchdown Challenge 2018 – Are you ready?

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
August 17th, 2018

WVU quarterback Will Grier

Football is in the air and that means West Virginia University Libraries and the WVU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics are teaming up once again for the Mountaineer Touchdown Challenge, our annual fundraising campaign to benefit the Libraries.

The initiative, in its eighth year, has provided for many needs of our students. This year alone we have updated all of our professional testing and career preparation books, purchased new DSLR cameras and graphing calculators for Access Services to lend and are updating monitors and technology in the Health Sciences Library study rooms to allow for wireless syncing from any device.

Several months ago, Challenge money also provided for a new poster printer on the Health Sciences campus. Hundreds of posters were printed for research symposiums like Van Liere Research Day. Graduate and undergraduate students alike reap the benefits.

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WATER: Exploring the significance, power and play of life’s critical resource

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
August 16th, 2018

Water exhibit in Downtown Campus LIbrary

Whether it’s navigating the raging rapids of the Gauley River or splashing in a kiddie pool, people love playing in water. That same substance can quench thirst, nourish crops and generate electricity as it rushes through a dam. If there’s too much, a small stream can spill over its banks and flood a community. Its absence can bring drought and famine.

Throughout the 2018-2019 academic year, the West Virginia University Downtown Campus Library is hosting WATER: A Cross Disciplinary Exhibit Exploring the Significance, Power and Play of Life’s Critical Resource, a collaborative, cross-disciplinary exhibit that explores the power, control, scarcity, abundance, play and impact of water in its various forms.

“We are thrilled to bring together such a diverse group of talented people each with a wealth of knowledge and expertise in their respective fields as we push off into this year-long trek to learn about and better understand the myriad issues that surround water,” said Sally Deskins, exhibits and programs coordinator for WVU Libraries.

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Historian tackles West Virginia’s past and present in upcoming talks

Posted by Monte Maxwell.
August 3rd, 2018

West Virginia was known as a solidly Democratic state for most of the 20th century, but that has changed in the 21st century.

Renowned historian John Alexander Williams will make sense of this dramatic shift in a talk on Friday, Aug. 10, at 3 p.m. in West Virginia University’s Downtown Campus Library, in Room 104. The program is free and the public is welcome.

Williams’ talk, titled “The Greenne$$ of the Red: How Macroeconomic Issues Changed West Virginia from Blue to Red,” will discuss why Mountain State voters supported the Republican candidate for president in each of the past five statewide elections, and why both houses of the state Legislature now have Republican majorities.

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