When the cat’s away… – Update from the Instructional Design Intern

While Nora was away presenting at ARLIS today, I focused on the library orientation website. I made a lot of progress on my first draft, with all but one page being completed. The landing page consists of images linking to modules for students to learn more about the library. Each module has information about different library activities, such as navigating the library website, finding ebooks, and printing in the library. Most of what I created uses images found on openclipart.org and edited in Photoshop. I also used Pixorize, an annotation tool, to markup a screenshot of the library homepage so students can learn what different features on the website do. I’m excited to use this for a map of the library next week, which will be on the last page I have to create for my first draft. I’m waiting for feedback from Nora when we meet next week, and hopefully the new orientation site will be launched shortly afterward.
Have a great week!

Interview with an OER Faculty Fellow

Professor Anna Matthews participated in the Spring 2017 Faculty Fellows Program, in conjunction with the recent statewide initiative to develop and encourage use of Open Educational Resources (OER) across both CUNY and SUNY. We interviewed Professor Matthews in order to get feedback on the Program, and also to hear about her experience using OER in the classroom.
Would you describe the OER you created?
DEN 2315 (Oral Pharmacology) OER is a collection of resources for study and research of pharmacology offered by educational, professional, and governmental organizations. There are also links to many helpful YouTube videos that I reviewed for accuracy in presenting the information. In addition, I created and shared several illustrations, which I hope are helpful. The site is organized in several parts: ‘topics,’ ‘study,’ ‘research,’ ‘learn more,’ and ‘helpful resources.’
How did the students react to the OER materials?
The site is open to all students – those who take DEN 2315 with me and other students in our program (who take the course in the Fall semester). I have heard some positive responses from the students in our Summer session as well as the other sections who visited the OER. They said that it was well organized and that the additional resources listed on the site were helpful.
How can the site be used? Is it available for anyone to access?
Yes – membership for this OER is not required, the site is open.
What were some of the challenges or obstacles in creating your OER?
One of the challenges in working with this OER is not related to the site itself, but rather is due to the fast-changing nature of the subject. Pharmacology is a study of drugs and their effects on the human body and in our DH course particular emphasis is placed on the drugs and their therapeutic and adverse effects on the oral cavity. Staying current about new and emergent diseases and therapies is vital to providing safe patient care. As I intend to be using the OER in the upcoming Summer session 2018, I have been and will continue to review the information for accuracy and provide periodic updates.
Will you continue to integrate OER materials into your teaching?
Going forward, I will continue to review, update, and use the OER in my Summer sessions and will share the information with all students in our program. I appreciate the opportunity to have participated in the OER Fellowship in Spring 2017. This experience was definitely beneficial to me as an educator, but it also helped me as a researcher and writer by providing the invaluable knowledge on the open resources, authorship rights, Creative Commons licensing and appropriate citations, and especially permissions to re-use media (videos, images) in creative works.
Want to learn more? If you’re interested in OER at CityTech or the Faculty Fellows Program, feel free to reach out to Prof. Cailean Cooney (Chair of the Library’s OER Committee), at ccooney@citytech.cuny.edu

First World War discussion: Tuesday 27 February, 2:30 – 4:00 pm

It is hard to believe that we began our project commemorating the 100th anniversary of the First World War a year and a half ago. Please join the library on Tuesday February 27th from 2:30 – 4:00 pm for a catered lunch and discussion at which we will discuss what we have learned and taken away from the experience. This is the concluding event for a grant library faculty earned from The Library of America, Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, and National Endowment for the Humanities.  The event is being held in the Library Projection Room, A432.
Please RSVP to Professor Keith Muchowski by 5:00 pm, this Friday, February 23rd if you are planning attend:
And if you have not seen it, watch our film here.


A busy Tuesday! – Update from the Instructional Design Intern

It has been a very busy Tuesday! First up, we got some feedback about our IRB (which Nora turned in last week). Just a few minor edits, but we’re well on our way! Hopefully with such a quick turnaround this time, it won’t be long for us to get approved (*fingers crossed*) After hearing this great news, I moved forward with finding images for our tutorials landing page. We want to make the tutorials landing page more visually appealing. As a part of that effort, I found OpenClipArt and used some of their public domain images to create a cohesive page. This page will be publicly updated soon!
In addition to the landing page, I updated the database tutorials, which had been languishing since I left for winter break. With a few new additions, we should be launching that tutorial within the next few weeks.
Finally, I spent a large portion of my day working on the library’s orientation website. I’m working to create a modularized homepage that takes students through various lessons about the library. So far, I’ve made the homepage, plus a page about library basics (which has been giving me formatting fits) and a page about using your City Tech ID at the library. Next week, I plan to get an annotated map of the library explaining what’s available in each section. I also hope to create an orientation to the library website, which would consist of a brief annotated overview of a screenshot of the homepage. I will be discussing my plans for the orientation site with Nora and will hopefully have some feedback by this time next week.
Have a great rest of this week!

What’s New in the Library Spring 2018

As the new semester gets underway, We’d like to highlight some new resources, workshops, and programs being offered by the City Tech Library.

New Logo

During the Fall 2016 semester, City Tech Librarians worked with Prof. Fikaris’ Design Studio students to develop a logo for the library. We are very pleased to showcase our new logo, which was designed by Julia Karovina, who recently graduated from City Tech with a Communications Design degree. Her logo was selected out of more 50 designs and was integrated into our website in Fall 2017.

Zero Cost Textbook Attribute

Want to save on textbook costs? Students can now find zero textbook cost courses by selecting the “Zero Textbook Cost” course attribute in CUNYFirst.
Faculty who make course materials completely free to students can assign the “Zero Textbook Cost” course attribute to their classes. Find out more!

New Library Tutorials for Students

Boost your library skills in 3 minutes or less: check out our new tutorials on citations, finding a book on the shelf, and finding academic sources.

Eresources highlights and news

LexisNexis has undergone a branding and platform change.  It is now known as NexisUni.
IEEE is a database with over 4 million engineering-related documents.
A subscription to The New York Times digital is available to the entire City Tech community.  Sign up for your free pass today!
Emarketer is a resource that aggregates marketing research with a focus on information related to the internet, e-business, online marketing and emerging technologies.

Technology & Printing UPdates

Chat reference is a convenient way to connect with a librarian 24X7.  Need help? Just Ask us!
Students connected to the college WiFi network can print from their own devices, and pick up their printouts from any of the library’s public area printers. Learn more.
Students can now reserve a study room using any kiosk in the library.

Upcoming Workshops and Events

For updates and additional workshop offerings check the City Tech Library website.
Student Resume Workshops
May 1st at 11am, May 2nd  at 2pm
Digital Privacy Workshop for Students, Faculty, and Staff
April 10th at 2:30pm
Academic Works Posting Parties for Faculty
March 28th at 4pm, May 8th at 3pm
The Librarian is In: Scholarly Publishing Clinic for Faculty
Drop-in hours to be announced soon. No RSVP needed! Come drop in for a scholarly publishing consult! Get help with journal selection, copyright, academic works, and more.

Test driving the user test – Update from the Instructional Design Intern

This has been a very busy Tuesday! I created documents for our user test, including a script for the investigators, task forms, the pre-test questionnaire, and the debriefing interview. We spent an hour or so today having one of the student workers at the library complete our test so that we can see how well our materials could work in future tests. We realized after this test that our first task was too long, so we narrowed it down from students creating three citations to two. Additionally, we’ve adjusted the language of our script and other materials to be more consistent. When writing the script, I switched between using “learning object” and “research guide,” which became confusing for our test user. We also changed the second task to have examples that match our guides exactly so as to prevent confusion and save time during the test. I still need to create a mock version of our LibGuide for our official tests, but we should otherwise be set to turn our paperwork in by next Tuesday. Once we’ve completed that, I’ll be moving forward with the orientation website and our tutorials landing page.
Have a great rest of the week!

Meet Amanda Belantara, Adjunct Reference and Instruction Librarian

Amanda Belantara is one of our adjunct reference and instruction librarians here at City Tech. We asked her a few questions about her background, what she does here at the Library, and promoting our Pacifica Radio Archives collection.
What is your academic and library background?
My academic background is in visual anthropology and ethnographic documentary.  Research throughout my graduate studies focused on exploring how sounds shape everyday interactions, expectations of place and patterns of behavior.  In thinking about the role of sound in public spaces, I thought the library would make an interesting subject, so I created a short documentary about a public library in the UK.  While doing fieldwork in the library I became fascinated by the socio-historic construction of library collections and library practices.  After creating the documentary, I continued collaborating with libraries and creating audiovisual projects that explored these themes and offered new ways of presenting audio collections.
What made you want to become a librarian? Was there any event or person that influenced you?
Collaborating with libraries on various creative and community projects sparked my interest in joining the field. I felt that my skillset could compliment library outreach, education and research initiatives, especially as libraries continue to evolve.  My family also has a long history in the field. My great grandfather, grandfather and uncle were all librarians and I have always been inspired by their dedication to making information and educational resources available to all.
What will you be doing at City Tech Library?
At City Tech I provide reference and instruction services; helping students cultivate research and critical inquiry skills while raising awareness for all the great resources our library has to offer.
What were your first impressions of life at City Tech?
My first impressions of life at City Tech were positive thanks to friendly colleagues and students.  It’s a busy campus with a lot going on.  I’m glad to be part of this vibrant community.
What are your goals for the next few years as a librarian?
My goals are to help create new forms of library instruction and innovative library exhibitions. I would also like to further develop audiovisual research projects that explore library practices and the history of the Library and Information Science field.
Do you have a favorite subject of study?
I am fascinated by many things. I suppose that’s why I studied anthropology since you can choose to make a study out of almost any topic.
 Who’s your favorite author?
I have too many favorite authors, I’m always stumped by this question.  Some of my favorite works are the Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelard, Myth and Meaning by Claude-Levi Strauss and A Natural History of the Senses by Diane Ackerman.
What would you recommend to others from City Tech Library’s collection, and why?
I highly recommend the library’s wonderful collection of radio documentaries.  The library is fortunate to have a number of compilations from the Pacifica Radio Archives that feature speeches, talks and music from activists, authors, artists and historians.  These recordings are very powerful and document important social movements in the United States.
What do you like to do outside of work?
Outside of work I enjoy visiting museums, walking in the forest, watching films, taking photographs and making sound recordings.

Getting oriented – Update from Instructional Design Intern

Today was focused on the City Tech Library’s orientation website. I developed a module-style landing page that will have links to different lessons about the library. Our idea is to be sequential, meaning that students will be encouraged to go from one lesson to another, ending at the orientation quiz. This website can be used both as part of one shot lessons and for classes that might not bring an instruction librarian into the classroom physically. I also worked on layouts for each page, although those will need more work directly on the website next week.
I met with Nora and Junior today to talk about our user test for the tutorials. We hashed out some of the details of our IRB request and our user study. We’re rethinking the materials we will use, specifically our control. Originally, we were planning on using physical manuals to use as a control, but Junior suggested we use Purdue’s online writing lab instead since that would better align with the type of media we’re working with. I’ve been developing promotional materials and will be helping Nora and Junior finalize tasks and debriefing questions. Our plan is to get our IRB request in within the next two weeks.
Finally, I’m still working on our tutorials landing page. Ideally, within the next couple of weeks, we will have a new landing page that is more visually appealing and easier for students to use. More on that to come!
Have a great evening!

Scaling up with OER at City Tech

Let’s take a look at some recent activity surrounding OER (Open Educational Resources) here at City Tech.
CityTech is participating in the $4 million CUNY-wide OER Grant funded by New York State – we received the second highest award across CUNY! This program supports faculty in building their own OER-based curriculum: over this academic year, 24 courses are being converted to OER on a variety of topics – Africana Folklore, General Biology Lecture and Labs, Macro/Microeconomics, and more. Faculty participating in the initiative represent 15 departments across all three schools. We anticipate at least 7,000 students will be impacted by this move to zero-cost course materials. That’s nearly half of the CityTech’s FTE enrollment – now able to continue their studies without worrying about textbook costs for these classes.
The grant has provided us with the resources to continue the Library’s OER Fellowship program – now running in both the Spring and Fall terms – funding faculty to create custom OER courses. We’re also providing funding incentives for part-time and full-time faculty to adopt existing zero-cost course / OER materials vetted and in use across the country. We’ve also amplified our programming around best practices for universal design: check out this quick guide to accessibility on the OpenLab by our instructional design specialist, Bree Zuckerman, and this introductory usability module by Prof. Junior Tidal.
Browse the list of OER courses created through the Fellowship program and view OERs contributed by City Tech faculty in Academic Works, our institutional repository. To learn more about zero-cost course materials available in your discipline, check out the OER Resource Guide. And if you’re interested in creating a new OER, check out the OER Fellowship website.
Want to get involved? Reach out to Prof. Cailean Cooney, OER Librarian at ccooney@citytech.cuny.edu.
–Profs. Bakaitis & Cooney

City Tech Library Faculty Scholarship and Research

Junior Tidal and I presented at Emerging Learning Design a presentation entitled “What’s Mine is YOURLS.”  In addition, we also published an article by the same title in the proceedings issue of The Emerging Learning Design Journal.  The presentation and article examine the way a short link manager can act as an electronic resource management tool. We are also working on an article that utilizes short links as a means to track library resource promotion.
My recent research concerns critical librarianship, communities of practice, and instructional technology. A new book chapter titled “Interrogating the Collective: #Critlib and the Problem of Community” is forthcoming in the book The Politics of Theory and the Practice of Critical Librarianship, edited by Karen P. Nicholson and Maura Seale. I presented on community and “living archives” at the 2017 Libraries and Archives in the Anthropocene Colloquium with Brooklyn Public Library archivist, Jen Hoyer. I also completed a usability study to assess Library Research Guides with City Tech Librarian Junior Tidal. We presented our study findings at the 2017 Evidence Based Librarianship in Practice conference and our co-authored paper, Mixed Methods, Not Mixed Messages: Improving Libguides with Student Usability Data was published in the December 2017 issue of the Journal of Evidence Based Librarianship in Practice. Additionally, an article I co-authored with Julia Pollack, a Librarian and Instructional Technologist, on embedded librarianship at CUNY was published in the journal Communications in Information Literacy.
This year I also published several creative nonfiction essays including “The Size of Rhode Island in the literary journal Ghost Proposal and “The Blackout” in The Offing. 
My scholarly focus continues to be on scholarly communications and specifically on predatory publishing.  I gave a paper on predatory publishing at the Association of Research and College Libraries Conference in March 2017 that was published as part of the conferences proceedings. This fall, I gave an invited talk at York College on this topic as well.
I presented with John Carey (Hunter College) at Libraries and Archives in the Anthropocene, a colloquium held at New York University in May 2017. Our presentation, “Open Scholarship and Climate Change: The Imperative for a New Information Ecosystem for the Anthropocene,” drew connections between challenges in responding to climate change and the commodification of scholarship and research.  Working on predatory publishing, I found strong commonalities to plagiarism and academic integrity.  I gave a paper at the CUNY-Wide Conference on Academic Integrity held at Eugenio María de Hostos Community College  in September 2017. I took a deep dive into the topic, considering research on student and scholarly plagiarism in its many forms and the discourse on this topic. Questions related to intentionality, pedagogy, information literacy, and the Global South connect the two topics.
I published an article in the International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, entitled “What Impacts do OER Have on Students? Students Share Their Experiences with a Health Psychology OER at New York City College of Technology.” I presented and co-facilitated a workshop at the Northeast OER Summit, UMASS Amherst, and presented with CUNY colleagues on my research at the CUNY IT Conference.
During 2016 I took a one-year sabbatical leave. After being a part of the Living Lab for several years, my curiosity about place-based learning had deepened. I researched place-based learning through intentional, observant, reflective walking, culminating in a 500-mile journey. Upon my return, I wrote and presented on the integration of the information literacy frame searching as strategic exploration into place-based experiential learning. Once back at City Tech in January 2017, I took on the role of interim chief librarian and department chair for one semester – an intense learning experience I value.
In 2017 I executive produced the documentary film New Yorkers in Uniform: From World War One to Today. The film discusses the life and time of Thomas Michael Tobin, a first lieutenant in the Quartermaster Corps during the First World War. Lieutenant Tobin was stationed in St. Nazaire France, where he helped run the port. Mr. Tobin had been a port warden in New York City prior to the war and had a long civic career in Yonkers, New York from the early 1900s until his death in 1966. For our film, we also interviewed student veterans at New York City College of Technology (CUNY). Our objective was to explore the similarities and differences veterans of different generations have faced over the past century from the time of the First World War until today.
This year I am continuing to analyze and write up the results of my sabbatical research from Spring 2017, a qualitative study of CUNY students’ attitudes and practices around their required course reading. With my longtime research partner Mariana Regalado of Brooklyn College I have an edited volume in press (American Library Association) on serving commuter students in academic libraries, and we look forward to its publication later this year. While on sabbatical I also completed our visual website to accompany Mariana’s and my work on the scholarly habits of CUNY students: Finding Places, Making Spaces (https://ushep.net/).
During the 2016 calendar year, I published and presented a few pieces of research. I published a chapter called “The Promise and Perils of Open-Source” for The LITA Leadership Guide: The Librarian as Entrepreneur, Leader, and Technologist, edited by Dr. Carl Antonucci and Sharon Clapp. I have also written another book chapter titled “Case: Study Developing An Academic Library’s Mobile Website,” for Robin Canuel’s and Chad Crichton’s Mobile Technology and Academic Libraries: Innovative Services for Research and Learning. I gave an invited teleconference presentation on the open-source analytics program called Piwik to the University System of Maryland and Affiliated Institutions Google Analytics Forum. For the 16th Annual CUNY IT Conference, I participated in a panel presentation called “Accessibility in the Time of Limited Resources,” with several CUNY librarians.
For works in progress, I am writing two encyclopedia articles for the Encyclopedia of Racial Violence. Edited by Prof. Douglas Flowe of Washington University in St. Louis, this encyclopedia will be published by ABC-CLIO. I am writing about an entry on the DC Snipers and Snow Riot of 1835. I will also present on the library’s Banned Book display for the SLS Banned Books Symposium at Mount Saint Mary College later this spring.
Based on experimental results and existing resources, Yi Chen (our library’s IT Associate) and I explored and identified a variety of major contributing factors to the email notice issue. We elaborated the troubleshooting process, and how to find the solution to the issue. We also suggested recommendations based the lessons learned from the project experience. Our work should be instructive for libraries solving the similar problems. Our article can be found here: Investigation of the Email Notice Issue in Aleph.
Recently, a book inventory project was done at Ursula C. Schwerin Library. Based on the best practice, I elaborated the cost-effective inventory process, proper hand-held inventory device choosing, and inventory exception handling regarding a variety of related issues, including missing, mis-shelving, on-going shelf reading, and varied inventory exceptions. Inventory could greatly reduce user frustration by providing more accurate information regarding the library collection for users. I suggested useful recommendations based on the lessons learned from the project experience at the 2017 ELUNA Conference.  Xu, G. (2017), “A Cost-Effective Book Inventory: Hand-Held Inventory Device Choosing and Statistical Analysis”, in ELUNA 2017 Conference, Schaumburg, IL, May 9–12, Ex Libris.