By Sarah Frankel, Open Access & Repository Coordinator
On February 12, 2015, Digital Initiatives Librarian Rachel Howard imported over 1,000 Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETDs) from the University Libraries’ Digital Collections into the newly created ThinkIR: The University of Louisville’s Institutional Repository. Three years later, this particular collection now has nearly 3,000 titles which have been downloaded over 500,000 times! This same year, graduate students began submitting their theses and dissertations to ThinkIR directly, after approval from their committees. This has saved much time and effort, now that we no longer have to scan each paper or track down students to sign permission forms!
In 2016, we began recruiting faculty scholarship for inclusion in ThinkIR and also developed a mediated deposit model where we create research profiles for faculty members, investigate the copyright status of their works and ultimately upload what can be included in ThinkIR. Today, we have 341 faculty papers in ThinkIR and over 50 faculty profiles have been created, which we anticipate will grow even more in the coming year.
In early 2017, the first open access journal hosted by ThinkIR – Journal of Respiratory Infections – was launched. We also host the Journal of Refugee & Global Health. Both journals are managed by UofL faculty and staff on the Health Sciences Campus.
In addition to these successes, ThinkIR is also home to the College of Education & Human Development Capstone Projects and the College of Arts & Sciences Senior Honors Theses. In 2017, the administrators of the Honors Program and several faculty advisors began using ThinkIR in what we refer to as the “caterpillar” model. Each student submits a proposal, the faculty member reads it and submits their review, the proposal is then replaced with the thesis document by the student, then the faculty member submits a final review, the thesis is approved by the administrators and posted to ThinkIR. The entire process from beginning to end is completed using the repository!
To date, our most downloaded item is a 2012 Master’s Thesis from the Department of Pan African Studies: “The hidden help : black domestic workers in the civil rights movement” by Trena Easley Armstrong – this has been downloaded 7,725 times since February 12, 2015!
Despite recent budget challenges, the University Libraries have been able to maintain, or in some cases expand, the digital and print resources we offer our patrons. We have retained existing databases such as Elsevier’s Science Direct platform, and through cost efficiencies we are excited to offer new products, including the digital version of the historic Courier-Journal (1830-2000). Access to this new resource, which provides complete electronic access to the full Courier-Journal back file, is available from our web site at: https://library.louisville.edu/ekstrom/cj
The Libraries have realigned resources to assess efficiencies and create a more sustainable operating environment that ensures students, faculty and researchers can continue their important scholarship. Over the past year, the University Libraries system has:
- Reassigned staff to focus on building sustainable collections.
- Implemented a comprehensive e-resource management system.
- Assessed costs and analyzed usage data for all databases and subscriptions.
- Evaluated program needs and incorporated input from faculty.
- Studied peer institutions for comparison.
As budget reductions brought about a significant funding shortfall for FY 18, we made the difficult decision to not renew the Elsevier platform whose costs had dramatically increased. In fall 2017, at the urging of Health Sciences Center faculty, the University restored funding for this critical resource.
We understand the Libraries’s centrality to scholarly work and are therefore excited to continue providing these rich resources for the University community. However, where we cannot provide access to resources, we offer our Inter-Library Loan system (ILL), as well as a broad spectrum of resources for faculty: http://library.louisville.edu/faculty. You are invited to share your concerns with us via this online comment form.
You may have noticed some changes happening on the University of Louisville Libraries website. Last summer we introduced new sites for the Bridwell Art Library and the Dwight Anderson Memorial Music Library along with improved scheduling apps for room reservations and research appointments.
In March we released the new site for Archives & Special Collections.
In the upcoming months we’ll be bringing you new sites for the Kornhauser Health Sciences Library, Ekstrom Library, and the University of Louisville Libraries. Tentative dates for these releases are July 1 for the Kornhauser site and August 1 for the Ekstrom and UofL Libraries sites.
Better Mobile Experience
A driving reason for these changes is the increasing use of mobile devices for accessing all parts of the site. In the previous version of our site the homepages for each library provided limited options in the mobile view. The new version will have the complete content of the site in the mobile version as well as in desktop views.
Currently, our website is split between two systems; when the project is complete the entire site will be located on one system. URLs for the pages on the old system will change. For example, when the Music Library site moved its URL changed from louisville.edu/library/music to library.louisville.edu/music/home.
The content management system (CMS) we are moving to is designed specifically for libraries and provides tools to help us keep links and other content fresh.
What are we, the University Libraries, all about? What do we do, and what is our story?
Discover. Create. Succeed.
These three words describe our patrons’ process of interaction with the Libraries. They evoke the wonder and excitement of learning, the reciprocal interaction between finding material and turning it into scholarship, and the projected outcome of having interacted with our invaluable resources, whether printed, digital or human.
The University Libraries are vital to the academic success of the University of Louisville community. Both on campus and online, we are a key resource, teaching students best practices in scholarly research and collaborating with faculty to support their pedagogy. Our rich resources promote academic success. Above all, we help make UofL great.
With an important place in the UofL framework, the Libraries invite students, faculty, staff, alumni and visitors to revisit our facilities and interact with our resources, and our people.
The University Libraries support over 170 fields of study within 12 schools and colleges. Over three million people visit our libraries annually, and millions more access our website at http://www.louisville.edu/library. As members of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), the University of Louisville Libraries rank among the top 100 academic research libraries in North America.
Visit your University Library to learn more!
On Friday, the Libraries says goodbye to a familiar, friendly member of the technical crew. Sahab Bolhari, a student worker with the Libraries’ Office of Libraries Technology (OLT), has been hired as a Technical Specialist with the History, Anthropology and Geography/Geosciences departments, and begins work on January 11.
Highly proficient, congenial, and a member of the tech crew since July, 2012, Bolhari will be greatly missed by his co-workers.
“Sahab has that renaissance blend, a unique pairing of preeminence as a technician, but also someone who likes people and is nice to work with,” said Troy Plumer, OLT technology consultant. “He embodies that liberal arts adage, ‘The next best thing to knowing is knowing how to find out.’”
“IT is constantly changing . . . Sahab really understands this and is constantly evolving,” Plumer continued.
“We’ll miss him greatly.”
Bolhari is set to graduate in May with a major in political science, and a minor in Russian Studies. His first love is IT, though, and he has enjoyed working with OLT for the past three years.
“IT is my passion. I haven’t had a single day where I’ve dreaded going into work. I really enjoy what I do, so that makes things easy.”
So why the political science degree? “The degree is just to make me a more well-rounded person,” he said.
He had praise for his co-workers as well.
“I learned a lot from Sheila [Birkla],” he said. “She has been kind of my mentor here. I didn’t know as much as I thought I did when I first got here. She gave me lots of advice and that has been very important.”
Members of OLT will honor Sahab with cake and cookies on Friday, January 8th, celebrating his new position, and bidding a sad farewell.
Luckily he’ll just be a two-minute walk across the Belknap campus, in Lutz Hall.
Sahab is among some 90 students who work for the University Libraries with tasks such as research, customer service, administrative support, checking out books and equipment, and other duties. Students learn how to navigate a real job, and the Libraries truly benefit from their efforts.
“We are one of the largest employers of student workers on campus,” said Libraries Associate Dean Melissa Laning. “They are a hugely important part of the services we offer.”
Dean Bob Fox was awarded the William J. Rothwell Faculty Award for distinguished service in development for 2015. Eligible recipients must be a dean, associate dean, department chair, professor, or associate professor who has distinguished him/herself among their colleagues in service specific to development during that calendar year. Dean Fox was the only person outside University Development to be awarded.
Libraries Dean Bob Fox and Director of Major Gifts Denise Nuehring.
Nominated by Libraries’ Director of Major Gifts Denise Nuehring, Dean Fox received the award from Keith Inman, Vice President for Institutional Advancement, on December 16th. Nuehring’s nomination praised Fox’s “leadership and unwavering support” in building a development program within a difficult fundraising atmosphere over the past four years.
The letter continues:
The library is a challenging fundraising environment due to the alumni being the priority of the academic units for fundraising purposes. Working within this constraint takes creativity to identify methods to expand the prospect pool. Dean Fox has shown a willingness to try different avenues and has been supportive of the many ideas presented to him. He participates in the development process continually and often contributes financially as well to cover program expenses.
Dean Fox is an excellent leader with an exceptional ability to motivate and inspire his direct reports. He creates an environment which allows one to not feel daunted by challenges but instead to see them as opportunities for exploration, growth and success personally and professionally.
The “Happy Birthday” song, originally titled, “Good Morning to You,” written by Louisville sisters Mildred and Patty Hill, has been much in the news lately as the focus of a lawsuit to determine its public domain status.
But there’s a fascinating local twist, as in UofL Music Library local. While archiving a collection donated in the 1950s, Music Library Director James Procell discovered what appears to be the earliest known manuscript of the “Happy Birthday” song.
And the local and national press is quite interested.
Please tune in to the following:
- Procell interview with Joe Arnold from WHAS11, September 1st at 6 p.m.
- WFPL radio interview with Procell on September 1st in the afternoon.
- Procell appearance on “Great Day Live” with Terry Meiners and Rachel Platt on WHAS11 on Thursday morning, September 3rd.
Also, please see the links below for further coverage. When more comes, we’ll let you know.
Kudos to James and the Music Library!
NY Daily News: