Open Educational Resources

This academic year, the Library is offering three opportunities for faculty to participate in the OER Fellowship program. There are sessions running in the Fall and Spring terms, and an intensive version of the Fellowship will take place in June 2019. Over the course of the Fellowship, faculty are working to convert their course to zero-cost openly-licensed educational materials (OER).

The Library is also offering several new OER focused workshops offered several with a focus strengthening the accessibility of course sites, and providing support for faculty to make tweaks and updates to their OER. A workshop about the Open Textbook Library ran in February, giving faculty the opportunity to complete a review of an open textbook in their discipline.

Consider checking out some recent posts on the Library blog by Prof. Elvis Bakaitis about topics relating to the development of OER, concepts of “open,” digital pedagogy, and the topic of labor.

The Labor of “Open” – This post takes a look into current conversations about OER creation, faculty workload, and the role of educational technology.

OER in the News – A recap of news coverage of Open Educational Resources, and trends across higher education.

Interactive Education and OER – For those interested in the intersections of pedagogy, emerging technologies, and OER, a short recap of notable projects.

Download a summary of our OER activities in Fall 2018.

The Librarian Is In! Scholarly Publishing Clinic

City Tech Library Scholarly Publishing Clinic

This academic year, the library rolled out a new program: its Scholarly Publishing Clinic. The Scholarly Publishing Clinic provides assistance related to all phases of the academic publishing process. We offer support for the literature review and creating alerts, using citation managers, picking the best journal or publisher, author rights, using Academic Works (our institutional repository), how to create a Google Scholar profile and otherwise increase and document the impact of one’s scholarship.

The idea was to provide help to faculty a la carte where format and content can be guided by the faculty member’s need and availability. We created an appointment form to help maximize the quality of the consultation. Drop-in office hours provide faculty an opportunity to get help on short notice. We also offer one-on-one and small group consultations as well as departmental visits and workshops.

It’s always a pleasure to learn more about the scholarship of our colleagues outside of the library. When we meet face-to-face, the conversations are helpful not only to classroom faculty but also to helping us better understand how the library can address some of the challenges faced by our colleagues.

Drop-in hours are from 12-1 PM, every first Thursday for Spring 2019 and are subject to change every semester.

Research Roundup

Kimberly Abrams’s recent conference presentation:

  • Abrams, K., Tidal, J. (2018, November). Optimizing Library Marketing with Short Links.  Presented at the Library Marketing and Communications Conference, Saint Louis, MO.

Kimberly Abrams worked with Profs. Nora Almeida and Junior Tidal to procure a PSC-CUNY grant for a wayfinding study and are currently analyzing findings. She is writing an article based on the Optimizing Library Marketing with Short Links presentation at LMCC.  And she is also working with Prof. Marissa Moran of the Law and Paralegal Studies Department at City Tech to study the impact of discipline-specific information literacy acquisition via LibGuides.

Nora Almeida’s recent publications and conference presentations include:

This year Nora was the PI on a PSC CUNY Research Grant to fund a library wayfinding study she conducted in Fall 2018 with colleagues Kim Abrams and Junior Tidal. Her article “Living Archives in the Anthropocene” which she co-authored with Jen Hoyer from the Brooklyn Public Library is forthcoming in a special issue of the Journal of Critical Library and Information Studies. She is also working on an edited book project called the Social Movement Archive (Litwin Books) in collaboration with Jen Hoyer.

Monica Berger’s recent conference presentations include:

Monica is writing a scholarly book on predatory publishing to be published by the Association of College and Research Libraries. Her book “unpacks” key problems in scholarly publishing. Predatory publishing is contextualized: low quality and vanity academic publishing have always existed and fraudulent scholarship is published in respected journals. Other chapters cover the topic’s history, characteristics, the research on various stakeholders, and predatory publishing as a problem of the Global South (less developed countries). The final part of the book explores existing solutions to predatory publishing and and how librarians can teach authors how to identify quality venues for publishing.

Cailean Cooney’s recent publications and conference presentations include:

  • Forthcoming article, “But What Do The Students Think: Results of the CUNY Cross-Campus Zero-Textbook Cost Student Survey” in Open Praxis
  • Building a culture of open pedagogy from the platform up. Presented with Amanda Almond, Jill Belli, and Jeremy Seto at Open Education Global, Delft, the Netherlands. April 2018.
  • Infusing user-centered approaches into Open Educational Resources (O.E.R.) initiatives. Presented with Andrew McKinney at Designing for Digital (D4D) in Austin, TX. March 2018.

Cailean is currently analysing results from a usability study about open educational resources on City Tech’s OpenLab platform and is preparing to present a workshop at the OLC Innovate Conference this April about how to build universal design into college OER initiatives. In January she gave an invited presentation with CUNY colleagues, Megan Wacha and Jean Amaral, about librarians leading campus OER initiatives at Yeshiva University Library.

Anne Leonard recently published “Place-Based Learning across the Disciplines: A Living Laboratory Approach to Pedagogy,” co-authored with Prof. Karen Goodlad of City Tech’s Hospitality Management department, in InSight: A Journal of Scholarly Teaching. She is working on a book chapter about interdisciplinary place-based learning and information literacy for a forthcoming book on virtual place-based learning in an urban learning environment. In December 2018 she earned a 200-hour Certified Yoga Teacher certification.

Maura Smale’s recent publications and conference presentations include:

Maura will present results from her fellowship leave research on undergraduate reading attitudes and practices at the Association of College & Research Libraries conference in April 2019. During the 2018-2019 academic year she is working with research partner Prof. Mariana Regalado of Brooklyn College to collect data on the student research process in composition courses, and looks forward to analyzing and beginning to share results this coming summer.

Junior Tidal’s recent publications and conference presentations include:

This year, Junior has two forthcoming book chapters. The first looks at the history of the library’s intranet for in the book, Libraries that Learn: Keys to Managing Organizational Knowledge. The other chapter, “Is Anybody Out There? Using Application Statistics and Web Analytics to Assess Social Media Reach, will be published in the book, Social Media for Communication and Instruction in Academic Libraries. He has also submitted a PSC-CUNY grant to examine students’ emotional responses when using the Onesearch discovery tool.

Instructional Design and the Library

In addition to the library’s in-person instruction program, we’ve been working on developing (and assessing) online resources for students. For the past two years, we’ve also been focusing on integrating digital library guides, tutorials, and resources with the platforms that most City Tech faculty use in their classrooms: OpenLab and Blackboard.

Some of our current projects include a usability study to improve the landing page for Library Research Guides. Edra Stefaj, our Instructional Design intern, launched the study last week and wrote up a description of the project and our methodology on the Library Buzz Blog!

Also, underway is a project to seamlessly integrate library guides into Blackboard courses and to embed library widgets in OpenLab course templates. For more on that project, check out our recent write up: The Library is in your Course!

Over the past 3 years, with the help of graduate students, we’ve created a collection of self paced online tutorials that students can complete in under three minutes. Check out our latest tutorial on search strategies.

Search Strategies Flier

We’ve also made some updates to our library orientation website. If you (or your students) are new to the library and want to learn the basics of what we offer and dust off some research skills, check out our interactive online orientation.

Library Outreach & Partnerships

Behind the scenes at the City Tech Library we’re often thinking about how to reach students. It might seem strange to learn that the Library, which is right in the middle of campus and often so full of people that there isn’t an empty seat to be found, worries a lot about outreach. But we know that some of the same people who visit the library almost every day have never borrowed a book, searched our vast digital research collection for an article, used one of our interactive tutorials, or attended a library workshop. Beyond getting students to really use the library, we also want City Tech students to think of the library as more than a space or collection of (physical and digital) stuff. We want them to see the library the way we see it: as a critical point of intersection, a kind of bridge between the academic and communal aspects of college life.

Our Library Promotion, Outreach, and Marketing (PROM) committee is constantly exploring new strategies to make students see the library as a space for them: full of the programs and resources to support their work and full of people who want to answer their questions and make their college experience a little bit better. Behind every display, blog post, workshop, film screening, or tabling event is a bunch of work that involves a bunch of people, both in and outside of the library. Interns from our COM-D department make our posters, the Office of Student Life includes us in college orientation and student events, Library students help us create new online tutorials and conduct usability studies to assess our digital tools, we collaborate with SGA to make student voices heard, and we partner our local NYPIRG chapter to ensure students are engaged in the political issues that effect them. We also routinely partner with academic departments and faculty from across the college to provide meaningful instruction, put on exhibits and events, and to make sure our resources and collections really provide students with the support they need to succeed in college.

Below are a few photos of our favorite outreach initiatives from the past year. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter to keep tabs on what we’re up to next and stay tuned for our new podcast, which we plan to launch later this semester.

Screenprinting posters with NYPIRG for Higher Education Action Day
Screen printing posters with NYPIRG during club hour for Higher Education Action Day
Button designs for a voter registration campaign in collaboration with NYPIRG
T-Shirt Day collaboration with the Wise Center and local women’s shelters
Banned books week display
Banned Books display to celebrate Banned Books Week

The History of Women’s History Month

It’s easy to forget that “as recently as the 1970s, women’s history was virtually an unknown topic in the K-12 curriculum or in general public consciousness. ” That’s a quote from the National Women’s History Alliance, the group that fought for it to become a federally recognized month – which occurred, after an initial state-by-state adoption, in 1987.

Although vast strides have been made since the 1970’s, women’s history is still a culturally marginalized topic. The vast majority of commemorative statues in the United States are of male historical figures – of the 5,193 public statues, only 394 (or 7.5%) are of women. New York City, for example, boasts 150 statues of men, and a corresponding 5 statues of historically notable female figures.

Not a historical figure, but a prominent statue nonetheless. Image credit: Statue of Liberty,

An interesting report, published by the National Women’s History Museum (an organization that seeks to establish a museum of that title in Washington, D.C.), delves deeply into the problem of women’s representation in history textbooks. They suggest that our collective understanding of history would have to radically shift to re-center women, noting that: “As long as history curriculum follows the traditional [historical] timeline, the study of women’s experiences is subject to marginalization. ”

Headline from Slate, January 6, 2016

And finally, to bring us back into the traditional library realm of books, there are huge imbalances in the publishing of books about women (biographies, history, etc.). If the month of March inspires you to do nothing else, consider reading a book about, or authored by, a woman from the past – it may help to bring the present moment into sharper focus.

Resources / Reading Suggestions

Where and When I Enter: The Impact of Black Women on Race and Sex in America, by Paula Giddings. Call number: E185.61 .G42

Living Chicana Theory, edited by Carla Mari Trujillo. Call number: E184 .M5 L58 1998

Transgender Warriors: Making History from Joan of Arc to RuPaul, by Leslie Feinberg. On Order

Developing Open Source Software in the Library

code.close()” by Ruiwen Chua is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Yi Chen, IT Associate, and Anderson Uribe, College Assistant, have been coding numerous software applications to improve the City Tech Library’s operations. Using free, open source software (OSS), they have developed a college assistant time sheet system, a technology loan web application, and the library’s print management system, UrsulaPrint.

Celebrating 50 Years of African American Studies

This year marks the 50th Anniversary of African American Studies courses coming to college campuses across the country. The City Tech Library is proud to support the African American Studies Department as they mark the occasion with a series of displays and events taking place during Black History Month. Our February book display was curated in support of their annual exhibit, Black History Month and in light of the events highlighted below.

“Please join African American Studies as we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Discipline. Through the theme The Legacy of Storytelling: Celebrating 50 Years of African American Studies, the department will continue to recognize that it is a part of an intellectual tradition, whereby students, faculty and community members around the globe continue to engage in the rigorous study of the African Diaspora. During the 2018-2019 academic year, African American Studies will launch curricula and programming initiatives for the 50th Anniversary. One initiative includes a unified reading project. With support from the CityTech Library, the department has designed an OpenLab site, which gives AFR students and faculty easy access to W.E.B. DuBois’ book The Souls of Black Folk and Audre Lorde’s essay “The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action.” We encourage the entire CityTech community to celebrate with us by accessing the readings through this link:” -via AFR @ City Tech

Visit African American Studies at City Tech online for course listings, student resources, and to learn how to qualify for the AFR Option on your Associate degree.

Follow this link for Black History Month celebrations across CUNY.