Biennial Benchmark Survey helps University Libraries improve.Posted: February 16, 2023 Filed under: Archives & Special Collections, Art Library, Ekstrom Library, Kornhauser Health Sciences Library, Law Library, Music Library, University Archives & Records Center, University of Louisville Libraries, User Experience | Tags: assessment, feedback, library assessment, surveys, User Experience Leave a comment
By Anita Hall, Assessment Librarian
The University Libraries Benchmark Survey, released in February, is one of the primary ways we obtain feedback from the UofL community. It covers all of our campus libraries, and has existed in some form since 2001.
We do our best to read every comment and make real improvements to the campus libraries each time this survey goes out. Sometimes the results show clear areas for improvement, such as the need for more electrical outlets, or for creating graduate study space, or for beefing up journals in certain subject areas. Often the Benchmark survey results are a starting point for more research. For example, if we see that something isn’t meeting people’s needs, we learn more about the specific issues and possible solutions and use the time between surveys to do that follow-up work. Either way, we’re committed to listening, learning, and evolving to better serve the University community.
Our most recent survey was conducted in April 2021, when we made a major update to the survey instrument. We work with UofL’s Office of Institutional Effectiveness to administer the survey, and they generate a random sample of about 50% of the university community. Not everyone receives a survey and we are dependent upon those who take time to fill it out.
What did we learn that last time around? Overall, it seems like we’re doing pretty well. The vast majority (87.47% or 1612) of 2021 respondents said that they have used the Libraries in some way during the prior year. Of course, due to the pandemic a lot more people were using the Libraries virtually than in previous years, but we were very happy to learn that so many people were still finding ways to use our collections, services, and spaces. For people who said they did not use the Libraries, the top reason was that they just haven’t needed to – but will when the need arises. We also asked respondents to rate the Libraries overall on a scale of 0 to 10, and the average score was 8.32. This was up slightly from the previous survey, so we were happy to see that we have been making improvements!
We learned that people were struggling to find group study spaces, and added additional group study rooms on the second floor of Ekstrom. We’ve updated the lighting in the Art Library. We’ve been hard at work adding diverse materials to the collections at all campus libraries. We’ve made updates to the website, including a big refresh of the Archives & Special Collections site.
We’ll update you soon about the feedback gleaned in this year’s survey. Until then, we appreciate your input!
Contemporary Classical Collection of Dr. Jon Rieger Donated to Music LibraryPosted: October 27, 2022 Filed under: Collections, donor, Ekstrom Library, Kentucky, Louisville, Music Library, New Items, People, University of Louisville, University of Louisville Libraries | Tags: classical music, contemporary classical music, donation, donor, Jon Rieger, Music Library, sociology, UofL Leave a comment
UofL Sociology professor Dr. Jon Rieger, who died in 2020 at age 83, distinguished himself in many areas beyond a remarkable 60-year academic career, including as a pioneer in visual sociology, as a US Navy captain, as a board member and patron of Louisville community and arts organizations, and as the author of a seminal bodybuilding manual.
Beyond these achievements and closer to the hearts of the local artistic community was Rieger’s strong impact on their creative work and lives. He functioned as a mentor, sounding board, supporter, caring critic, and advocate for many local musicians, photographers, painters and dancers. His obituary captures the love and respect they had for a man passionately devoted to fine art in its multi-varied forms.
One of Rieger’s strong, lifelong passions was contemporary classical music, which led him to amass a vast collection of recordings in various formats. Some are extremely rare, perhaps singular, from such locations as Russia, China, Eastern Europe, and the Americas, many gathered abroad during his years of active duty in the Navy.
Due to Rieger’s generosity and the University Libraries great fortune, these recordings are now publicly available at UofL’s Music Library. The new Jon Rieger Collection contains around 7,000 recordings (circa 4,000 LPs, 2,500 CDs and some 200 cassettes). Due to the size of the collection, the library’s process of cataloging is ongoing, but all recordings are available for borrowing or enjoying on site.
“Many of the recordings were collected while he traveled the world in the Navy and sought out recordings from other countries,” said Music Library Director James Procell. “So what you see in this collection are some extremely rare recordings, many of which were never commercially available in the US. He ordered pressings of particular broadcasts he encountered on the BBC, Radio Netherlands or on other international stations, so it’s possible these are the only recordings.”
A true audiophile, Rieger created a sophisticated sound environment in his home with two massive speakers for high-quality listening, said Procell. “He enjoyed sharing this experience with others and would often invite friends over for listening sessions and parties.”
In 2015 after Procell became Music Library director, Rieger reached out to him to arrange the library’s acquisition of his collection “when he was done with it” (i.e. upon his death). He wanted it to go to UofL, but remain separate from the Library’s main holdings.
“Typically, we can’t do that for most individual donors, but since Rieger’s collection is so unique and distinguished and expansive, we agreed to create a separate area for it. Not many people collect these types of sound recordings anymore, or have these big physical collections, so this is particularly special.”
Procell also plans to create a separate listening area with comfortable seating and headphones, so that students, faculty, researchers and the public can come and enjoy the music and browse the stacks at their leisure. The Music Library will organize the collection by record label, following Rieger’s own printed catalog of works and method of organization, which he updated until 2018.
“Anyone can check out the albums even though not all of them are cataloged as yet,” said Procell. “All are browse-able and on the shelves.”
Procell has been aided in his curation of Rieger’s collection by Louisville cellist, songwriter, and storyteller Ben Sollee. In Rieger’s obituary, Sollee says that Rieger “built a family around his love of the arts . . . that he affectionately coined the ‘Tin Ear Society.’ This expansive family of dancers, musicians, composers, photographers, writers, visual artists and creatives were all connected by his mentorship, patronage, and radically honest critiques of our work. He helped us make better and more meaningful art. And, importantly, he never missed an opportunity to get us all together to enjoy Louisville’s bounty of performances. He taught us all, as both a sociologist and Big Brother, that great art is the product of and the fuel that grows thriving communities.”
“Jon was a huge supporter of the arts,” said Procell. “He financially supported causes he thought were important, including various arts organizations, and individual artists, photographers, dancers and musicians.”
“He was a very good friend of the Music Library and the School of Music and is missed by everyone here that knew him.”
Awards Honor University Libraries EmployeesPosted: April 18, 2022 Filed under: Archives & Special Collections, Art Library, Ekstrom Library, Kentucky, Kornhauser Health Sciences Library, Law Library, Librarianship / Archivy, Louisville, Music Library, People, University Archives & Records Center, University of Louisville, University of Louisville Libraries | Tags: awards, libraries employees Leave a comment
Three University Libraries employees have been honored with awards for outstanding performance and merit, and for contributions to the Louisville community.
John Burton, Acquisitions Specialist with Technical Services won the University of Louisville’s annual Outstanding Performance Award honoring exceptional service in staff. Burton has worked for the Libraries for over 30 years, having begun as a libraries student assistant, and later with Technical Services, and has experienced first-hand the transformation of the library profession and its services, including the transition from an analog card catalog to digitized online collections. As Acquisitions Specialist, Burton is in charge of finding and evaluating items to add to the Libraries’ physical and digital collections.
The award comes with a cash award of $1,000, an acrylic plaque, and public mention on the University website and UofL Today.
Fannie Cox, Outreach and Reference Librarian, has been chosen for the University of Louisville Distinguished Faculty Award, which recognizes “the excellent service of the University of Louisville faculty and the significant impact that service has on the university and beyond.” The awards are given annually to faculty for exceptional service in five categories: service to UofL; service to the profession; service to the community, the commonwealth and/or the region; national/international service; career of service.
As community outreach and reference librarian, Cox has forged relationships with numerous organizations and individuals working to help under-served communities in Louisville, particularly in the West End. She leads the Outreach Program within the Libraries, which offers instructional support to community members, helping them develop informational literacy and critical thinking skills. She has been with the Libraries for 22 years.
Cox and Burton were honored at the 2022 Faculty and Staff Excellence Awards Reception on Monday, April 18 in the Student Activities Center ballroom.
Additionally, Weiling Liu, Head of Office of Libraries Technology, was one of five individuals selected to receive the Jewish Family and Career Services’ MOSAIC (Multicultural Opportunities for Success and Achievement In our Community) Award. The MOSAIC Awards “honor immigrants and refugees from around the globe who have made significant contributions in their professions to the Louisville community.” The 2022 nominations were open to individuals who, “regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, or country of origin, have fulfilled their dreams of self-sufficiency and made an impact in our community” according to Liu’s award letter.
Liu has worked with the Libraries for 23 years. As the Head of OLT, she manages and directs a department responsible for all aspects of library technology systems and libraries technical support. In her history with the University Libraries, she oversaw the migration of the library catalog system and the implementation of Ekstrom Library’s noted Robot Retrieval System. She has been a member of state, national and international library professional associations. In addition, she is a life member of the Chinese American Librarians Association (CALA), a non-profit international organization of librarians. Professor Liu also serves on the Association of Chinese Americans in Kentuckiana (ACAK) board and was president from 2018-2021.
The MOSAIC award ceremony and dinner will take place on Thursday, May 26, 2022 at the Muhammad Ali Center in downtown Louisville. In addition to Liu, this year’s award winners are Dr. Faten Abdullah, Jose Neil Donis, Dr. Juan Gustavo Polo, and Frank Schwartz.
How to reserve a room in our librariesPosted: February 14, 2022 Filed under: Art Library, Ekstrom Library, Kornhauser Health Sciences Library, Music Library, Services, Technology, University of Louisville Libraries, Web Site Leave a comment
Curious about how to reserve a room in one of our libraries? It’s easy!
First, navigate to the University Libraries website: library.louisville.edu/home.
Next, click on the orange “Reserve a Room” box in the right hand column. This page should come up:
Then choose the library where you would like to reserve a room. Or if you prefer, you can limit your choices by room type: auditoriums, conference rooms, group study rooms, or instruction labs.
Some rooms are only available to be reserved by faculty or staff. Others are also open to students.
Descriptions of rooms may include a list of equipment and technology available within the space. For example, Art Library’s Room 102C includes:
- Movable furniture
- Control panel to turn on/off system
- 70″ mounted television monitor
- Mac computer
- Web conferencing camera
- CD/DVD player
- Screen mirroring software compatible with laptops, phones, and tablets
- Wireless keyboard and mouse
- Freestanding podium
- External speakers
- Mobile whiteboard and markers
Please remember to visit each library’s policies (Ekstrom; Kornhauser; Art; Music). Some rooms have specific policies which are included in the room description.
Libraries Dean Fox Named Treasurer of ARLPosted: November 9, 2021 Filed under: Archives & Special Collections, Art Library, Ekstrom Library, Kornhauser Health Sciences Library, Law Library, Librarianship / Archivy, Music Library, People, University Archives & Records Center, University of Louisville, University of Louisville Libraries | Tags: Association of Research Libraries Leave a comment
University of Louisville Libraries Dean Bob Fox has been elected treasurer for the Association of Research Libraries (ARL). He will serve a three-year term, and will chair the group’s finance committee.
Dean Fox became UofL’s member representative to ARL in 2011 and joined the ARL Board and its finance committee in 2018; he has been a member of the audit committee since its founding in 2019. He had served as interim treasurer since August.
Fox has served as Dean of the University Libraries since 2011. Since that time, and prior to his tenure with UofL, he has served in a number of leadership positions with professional and industry organizations.
In addition to his ARL board service, Fox has served on several ARL committees and working groups since he became a member representative in 2011, including the Statistics and Assessment Committee/Research and Analytics Committee (2012, chair 2013–2016); the Libraries That Learn Design Team (2015–2016); and the ARL Academy Advisory Committee (2018–2019). Fox was an ARL Leadership Fellow in 2009–2010.
UofL Libraries became members of ARL in 2002.
About the Association of Research Libraries
The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 125 research libraries in Canada and the US whose mission is to advance research, learning, and scholarly communication. The Association fosters the open exchange of ideas and expertise; advances diversity, equity, and inclusion; and pursues advocacy and public policy efforts that reflect the values of the library, scholarly, and higher education communities. ARL forges partnerships and catalyzes the collective efforts of research libraries to enable knowledge creation and to achieve enduring and barrier-free access to information. ARL is on the web at ARL.org.
ThinkIR Highlights BIPOC ScholarshipPosted: October 25, 2021 Filed under: Archives & Special Collections, Art Library, Digital Collections, Digital Scholarship, Ekstrom Library, Kornhauser Health Sciences Library, Librarianship / Archivy, Music Library, People, Primary Sources, ThinkIR, University Archives & Records Center, University of Louisville Libraries Leave a comment
Part of Open Access involves building structural equity in OA venues. To this end, the Libraries have created The Collective, an initiative to uplift BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) faculty and staff at UofL by highlighting their research and providing open-access to BIPOC-produced scholarship on ThinkIR, the University’s digital institutional repository.
Hosted and managed by the University Libraries, ThinkIR promotes genuine open access and sustainable scholarship by making the work of UofL researchers freely available to a global audience without requiring costly and unsustainable access to journal subscriptions. “The Collective” was initiated in response to research showing that faculty who identify as Black, Indigenous, and/or people of color are underrepresented and marginalized in academia. According to the Higher Education Research Institute’s 2016-2017 faculty survey, there were large gaps between white and BIPOC scholars feeling a need to work harder to be perceived as a legitimate scholar. “Substantially more Black (72.2%), Asian (70.7%), Latino/a (70.6%), and Native American (66.7%) faculty perceived a need to work harder than their peers to gain legitimacy compared to just 46.8% of White faculty who felt similarly.”
By featuring a BIPOC scholars research collection in our institutional repository, we hope to encourage scholars of all disciplines to intentionally seek out the research and scholarship of their colleagues of color.
Helpful Links and Resources
Home – ThinkIR – UofL Libraries at University of Louisville
BIPOC Scholars – ThinkIR – UofL Libraries at University of Louisville
What Students Are Telling Us About How They Use the LibrariesPosted: April 1, 2021 Filed under: Archives & Special Collections, Art Library, Ekstrom Library, Kornhauser Health Sciences Library, Law Library, Librarianship / Archivy, Music Library, People, University of Louisville, University of Louisville Libraries, User Experience | Tags: library assessment 2 Comments
By Anita Hall, Assessment Librarian
An incredible number of students visit our libraries every day, whether in person or online. We’re always trying to understand how they use the Libraries and how we can improve their experience. One way we get this feedback is through surveys. Recently, we participated in a campus-wide survey of students called the Student Support Services Survey (S4), conducted by the Office of Institutional Effectiveness, which gave us lots of great information. Currently, the University Libraries is also conducting its bi-yearly Benchmark Survey to learn about student and faculty habits, needs and wishes in order to improve the Library experience for the University community.
In the S4 survey, one of the things we really wanted to know was how students learn about the Libraries. This helps us decide how to reach out to students. Those who said they do use the Libraries in some way (in-person, online, or both) were most likely to learn about us from a campus tour, orientation, or resource fair (21.54%) or because of a course requirement (21.32%). Campus emails were not particularly helpful – only 1.98% said that they learned about the Libraries in this way. Good to know!
Here are some more of the top ways that students learned about the Libraries:
|Which of the following helped you learn about the University Libraries?|
|Campus tour, orientation, or resources fair||21.54%|
|A librarian came to my class||11.10%|
|Recommendation from a friend||5.49%|
We also wanted to know why some students don’t use the Libraries. Most of these students said that they just haven’t needed to yet but will when the need arises (32.20%). Others say that they currently have access to all the resources they need to complete their coursework (22.03%). However, there were some students who said they either don’t know how to use the Libraries or don’t know what kinds of services and resources the Libraries offer (11.86% for each). We’ll be working hard to try and bring those numbers down before the next survey.
Another thing the Libraries wanted to know is what types of information skills we can help with. We asked how confident they are at several different tasks. Most students feel pretty confident with all of them, which is great. Below is a snapshot of the tasks that some said they are either not at all or not very confident in completing. We also asked questions about how and when they learned these skills, and their responses to those questions will help us work with professors to support them in teaching these skills. This might involve librarians leading instruction sessions in classes, creating online learning modules for Blackboard, or developing some of our own resources that can be accessed anytime. A great example of this is our Citizen Literacy resource, which has lots of great information about evaluating news sources.
|Please rate your confidence in completing the following tasks:||“Not at all Confident” or “Not very Confident”|
|Locate books and other materials required for an assignment||9.41%|
|Locate scholarly, peer-reviewed materials when required for an assignment||5.02%|
|Develop a research topic for an assignment||5.06%|
|Cite sources appropriately when required for an assignment||3.72%|
|Evaluate the trustworthiness of news and other web sources||3.31%|
Are you interested in providing more feedback about the Libraries? One great way is to join the Libraries Student Advisory Board. We’re always accepting new members! The Libraries will also be sending out our Benchmark Survey later in March 2021 – we have been using this survey for almost 20 years to get feedback about our spaces, services, and collections. This survey goes to a sample of the University community, so you may or may not receive a survey invitation. Watch your UofL email, and if you get one, please answer it! We really appreciate your time and responses.
Libraries Diversify Collections to Fulfill Anti-Racist VisionPosted: February 8, 2021 Filed under: Art Library, Books, Collections, Digital Collections, donor, Ekstrom Library, Kornhauser Health Sciences Library, Librarianship / Archivy, Literature, Music Library, New Items, People, Primary Sources, University of Louisville Libraries 1 Comment
The Libraries have increased funding to four libraries – Kornhauser, Music, Art and Ekstrom – to diversify our collections in support of UofL’s drive to create an anti-racist university. Dean Bob Fox has used gift funding to allow the purchase of more books, DVDs and other materials on civil rights, equity, and Black history, among other subjects.
“We’re very committed to expanding our collections in areas that will support President Bendapudi’s mission to have an anti-racist campus,” said Dean Fox. “This extra funding provides an additional boost to meeting this goal.”
The allocation of gift funding is in addition to the typical yearly budget for new materials.
Additional funding provided to the Music Library has covered recent purchases of 134 music scores by Black composers. Prior to receiving this funding, the Music library used one of the music library’s endowments to purchase 97 music scores by Black composers. A catalog listing of those items can be found here.
In Ekstrom Library, new titles include The Devil You Know: a Black Power Manifesto by Charles Blow (2021); White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity by Robert Jones (2020); Diversity, Oppression, and Change: Culturally Grounded Social Work by Flavio Marsiglia (2021); The Lexington Six: Lesbian and Gay Resistance in 1970s America by Josephine Donovan (2020); and Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and its Urgent Lessons for Our Own by Eddie Glaude (2020). Additional funding helped the library purchase new titles for the Granville A. Bunton African American Collection.
Kornhauser Health Sciences Library has purchased new books dedicated to diversity and anti-racism, specifically in healthcare. A current list of the library’s diversity related resources can be found within WMS by searching “diversity in healthcare.”
With the additional funding, the Art Library will continue to add to its collection of diverse materials related to art history, artists, graphic design and art pedagogy, among other subjects. See this list for a snapshot of the library’s latest acquisitions.
We’d love your help in this work! Please consider recommending materials that will help us better serve our community via this RECOMMENDATION FORM.