Intern Missive #6: A Few Recommended Stops Within the Rabbit Hole of Library Resources.

Loved falling down the rabbit hole by Art$uper$tar, used under ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Some great resources I’ve stumbled upon recently:

The New York Amsterdam News, 1994-on. A fantastic local paper & great place to read about local politics, and about NYC in general. Database: MAS Ultra – School Edition.

The New York Times – ok I didn’t *just* stumble on this source, but I have been using it, and wanted to mention that if you’re a CityTech student (or CUNY student in general), you get an automatic year’s subscription to the paper. Having your own subscription means you won’t actually have to go through the library website to access it — you can put it right on your phone if you’d like. To claim your subscription, follow instructions here (it’s easy!).

Business Source Complete Database. Yes, I am recommending an entire database, and while I realize a database recommendation may not seem like the most exciting recommendation, trust me. Business Source Complete holds a staggeringly massive collection of trade publications and trade-related academic journals: whatever you happen to be studying, expect to find multiple relevant publications in this database. A random sampling of interesting titles: Brand Packaging, BioCycle (about waste management), Bee Culture, Engineering Construction & Architectural Management, Marijuana Venture Magazine, Journal of Cleaner Production, Robotics & Computer-Integrated Manufacturing, Lodging Hospitality, Middle East Journal of Business, Infrastructure Report, and Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing. 

Library Faculty Presents at the 17th Annual City Tech Poster Session

The Library Department was well represented at the 17th Annual Faculty Recognition Day, held on November 21, 2019. Prof. Nandi Prince gave a concise overview in her one-minute presentation about the pedagogy she is doing in the classroom, and Prof. Kim Abrams did the same regarding the work collaborating with Profs. Nora Almeida and Junior Tidal about how City Tech ESOL students use the library. They have been collecting important data that will help improve our services. Prof. Wanett Clyde displayed her poster, describing the work she has been doing about James Baldwin, one of New York’s most important intellectual figures.  Prof. Monica Berger also contributed by collecting and displaying library faculty scholarship to be shared among City Tech faculty.

See below for the posters that library faculty have contributed.

Prof. Wanett Clyde's poster "The James Baldwin Residence."
Prof. Wanett Clyde’s poster “The James Baldwin Residence”
Profs. Kim Abrams, Nora Almeida, and Junior Tidal's poster, "Get with the Go-Pro(gram): How ESOL Students Explore a Library."
Profs. Kim Abrams, Nora Almeida, and Junior Tidal’s poster, “Get with the Go-Pro(gram): How ESOL Students Explore a Library.”
Prof. Nandi Prince's poster, "Examining Student Learning Encounters: Information Literacy and Culturally Responsive Classrooms."
Prof. Nandi Prince’s poster, “Examining Student Learning Encounters: Information Literacy and Culturally Responsive Classrooms.”

Thanks to Prof. Keith Muchowski for the basis of this blog post.

Upcoming NYPIRG Events for Students

The City Tech Library is pleased to co-sponsor the following upcoming events with the City Tech NYPIRG Chapter! NYPIRG is the largest student-directed nonprofit in NY and all of their work is centered around student advocacy. Stop by their office in G411 to find out more about their internship program and how you can get involved.

Credit Card 101 Workshop  

Time: Tuesday, Nov 26th (tomorrow!), 1-2pm

Location: Namm-416

First up is our Credit Card 101 Workshop, sponsored by SGA and The Library. In this workshop you will learn about interest rates, FICO credit scores, credit reports, credit card debt and plastic payment fees. Know about the importance of good credit, how to comparison-shop, and how to understand the fine print on a credit card agreement. This is MUST-KNOW stuff for your financial future. Get prepared now!


Time: Tuesday, Dec 3rd: 1-2pm

Location: Atrium Ground Floor

Sponsored by SGA, the COMD Club, the Library, Art & Design Club, Moving Pixels, Ink Club, and the Garden Club:

What is the process of recycling? What and how much actually gets recycled? What are some pitfalls of recycling and how can we improve the process? What new plastic bans and recycling laws are being considered on the state and national level?

These and much more will be answered in this workshop. Our special guest, Michael Cyr, recycling expert, pioneer, entrepreneur, and recent TedX speaker will be helping to lead a discussion and group brainstorm on these critical issues.

With 99% of plastic made from petroleum, plastic waste is not only a danger to our oceans and wildlife, it’s an integral part of the global climate crisis. Changing our relationship with plastic is paramount to solving the biggest issue of our lifetime. 

Tenant’s Rights Workshop

Time: Tuesday, Dec 10th: 1-2pm

Location: Namm 419B

Lastly, sponsored by the Law and Paralegal Club – Our Tenant’s Rights Workshop:

Learn about your rights as a tenant with a rep from Brooklyn Legal Services, a local law firm that, for 50 years, has challenged systemic injustices and ensured the well-being of tenants and communities across the city. Whether you are just starting to consider moving out of your childhood home and living on your own (or with roommates) or you’ve been living on your own for awhile, it is important to know your rights as a tenant.

CUNY Arts – Free Museum Admission!

Through a series of partnerships via CUNYArts, CityTech students have access to many museums and cultural institutions across the city – for free!

For example, if you bring your CityTech ID to the below locations, they will waive the (sometimes expensive!) admission fees, which can normally be up to $25 per visit.

More info on the CUNYArts website, here –

There’s also a current opportunity for CUNY Faculty, seeking to build the arts into their curriculum: CUNY Arts Faculty Fellowship Program, with a deadline for applications on 12/2/19. This program ties together Open Educational Resources (OER) to the arts, a multi-disciplinary model for course creation.

Intern Missive #5: On Mood Boards, Brainstorming & NYC

smith & ninthSmith & Ninth by horseycraze is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Designers,  upon approaching a new project, will often put something together called a “mood board,” which is “an arrangement of images, materials, pieces of text, etc., intended to evoke or project a particular style or concept.” (You can find examples all over pinterest). In the past, mood boards have typically fallen within the purview of, say, interior, fashion, and graphic design – not necessarily instructional design. Increasingly, though, instructional designers have also been creating, tweeting and blogging about mood boards, as well as including them within their professional portfolios. Here at City Tech, more than a few mood boards have been uploaded across Open Lab, completed as part of either Architectural Technology or Communication Design courses.

As one of my tasks here at City Tech involves a tutorials revamp, I’ve been thinking about an overall look/feel/style to apply across a suite of library tutorials. I’ve also been thinking about how to incorporate a look-and-feel framework into a best practices/style guide. (Ideally, such a guide should make the creation of future tutorials in years to come an easier prospect.) As to what this look/feel will entail — I’ve been creating a mental mood board, if you will – and first off, I’m thinking about a visual language heavily influenced by NYC. In terms of brainstorming, I began by perusing openly licensed and public domain images of the city (see pic above), searching and The Commons on Flickr, as well as perusing original royalty-free graphics, created by designers around the world, at sites like The Noun Project. (H/t to Joyce Alvarez, one of my favorite tech/school librarian bloggers. I first read about The Noun Project on her blog.)

But anyway! Enough about brainstorming. First sample tutorials drop next Thursday.

CUNY Census Corps: Everyone Counts!

Every 10 years the US has a census to count the population. These census numbers determine the number and distribution of US congressional representatives as well as how much federal funding is allotted for health care, education, food stamps, and more.

CUNY students can get paid to help education, engage, and mobilize New Yorkers to ensure that under-representated groups get counted and get the federal representation and funding they deserve.

For more on how to get involved, visit the CUNY Census Corps webpage.

Accepting donations for the library’s annual book sale

Update: The library book sale has a new date and time.

Please donate to the Ursula C. Schwerin Library’s upcoming Spring Book Sale, which will be held on Monday, November 25th, 2019, from 12:30-3:30 p.m..  We will accept hardcover and softcover books (including paperbacks) in good condition.  These may include fiction, literature, travel, leisure reading, non-fiction of all sorts, and recently published textbooks.  We are also accepting DVDs, CDs and other media.  We cannot accept damaged or heavily annotated books and most technical manuals, directories, or handbooks over three years old.  We may select some donations for our library holdings if they meet the needs of our curricula.

To arrange a donation, please contact Prof. Morris Hounion at or at extension 5491.  All donations should be received by Monday, December 2.  We will acknowledge your donation with a thank-you letter but we cannot place dollar values on donated items.  Information about the Library’s Gifts Policy.

Intern Missive #4: In Current (Reading) Rotation

1. How Video Production Affects Student Engagement: An Empirical Study of MOOC Videos
“This paper presents an empirical study of how video production decisions affect student engagement in online educational videos. To our knowledge, ours is the largest-scale study of video engagement to date, using data from 6.9 million video watching sessions across four courses on the edX MOOC platform.”

2. Would You Watch It? Creating Effective and Engaging Video Tutorials
“This paper combines professional experience and literature reviews from multiple disciplines to provide a contextual overview of recommendations and findings for effective and engaging videos.”

3. Evaluating Best Practices for Video Tutorials: A Case Study
“This paper will explore one library’s experience creating best practices for the creation of video tutorials.”

4. Making It Work: Creating a Student-Friendly Repository of Instructional Videos
“This case study investigates how a team of librarians at Nova Southeastern University (NSU) worked together to assess and optimize their library’s current instructional videos…. Instructional library videos serve as invaluable resources for students who are not present to partake in synchronous library training. However, once a library has produced a substantial number of videos, the need to organize and routinely update these videos can become a rather daunting challenge….”

5. Using an Interactive Online Tutorial to Expand Library Instruction
“This article presents the design and assessment of an online, interactive, information literacy tutorial for first-year composition students at a community college.”

Intern Missive #3

Today, among other things, I observed several library instruction sessions. One involved an annotated bibliography assignment for 1101. In that class, across the entire semester, each student is focusing on a particular genre of writing. Chosen genres included everything from reggae lyrics to Renaissance poetry to news articles. In another session, the class was part of a learning community, and all the research projects involved climate change. Some had a local focus — for example, the effects of Hurricane Sandy on Staten Island — while some were broader/less location-based in scope. (One group was doing a project on cars, four kinds of them: hydrogen, hybrid, electric, and [I can’t remember the fourth, but so interesting!]). So anyway. I spent at least part of my day perusing a fantastically wide range of topics, which got me thinking about one of my favorite movie tropes (the librarian!), because librarians pop-up in every possible genre of film (TV too), aiding people in searches for a kaleidoscopically broad swathe of information. (Fyi just another day at the library).