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Updates: 2018, Quarter 1 | January - March

Priority area 1:

 Strengthen the stability of the scholarly research record for the KU community and beyond by refining our practices around how content is produced, acquired, described, managed, and discovered. We will continue to align our scholarly communication and content priorities, and ensure that we have the right tools, skills, and data to make work efficiently and effectively influence informed decisions. 
  • The decision was made to renew KU Libraries' package with Elsevier for one year, allowing time for continued analysis. Some preliminary work in analyzing the Oxford package has taken place, and faculty and staff are beginning the Wiley and Sage reviews. Smaller journal packages will continue to be evaluated for review and potential reduction. 
  • Collaborative reviews of the Watson Periodicals and other resources continue. 
  • Alternative options for obtaining mediated or unmediated journal material are being investigated, in preparation for subsequent stages of inflationary increase.  
  • Staff are planning to transition to the new Primo Discovery UI – determining customizations to migrate, outlining staff engagement plans and preparing for user tests. 
  • Migration to the new Caisoft Annex inventory system was completed. This system will offer new reporting options, and because it is a hosted service, allow us to decommission an on-premises server. 
  • The E-Journals portal was updated to reduce confusion with journal availability, based on staff feedback. 
  • Resource Description and Access (RDA) updates to Voyager catalog records were made to ensure that records meet current cataloging standards. 
  • Faculty in International Collections (IC) submitted a Strength of the Library Sections to the director of the Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies and are preparing to submit reports to other area studies center directors in May 2018.  
  • Faculty and staff from Spencer Research Library and elsewhere reviewed use of select KU Endowment funds designated as “underutilized” in recent years, then developed plans for spending down funds, where possible, and/or articulating the strategy for holding onto funds at this point in time.    
  • The campus-level Textbook Working Group developed a survey for faculty who report “no textbook” for a given semester. This will likely be distributed in the summer or fall. 
  • The Open Educational Resource (OER) working group continues to support grants to faculty who plan to adopt, adapt or create an OER – having awarded almost $50K in grants to this point. 

 Priority area 2: 

Expand our capacity to support digital scholarship and enhance the research profile of KU faculty. Build our expertise for supporting scholars engaged in digitally-enabled research through targeted professional development and engagement with partners. 
  • Springshare is helping to clean up mass scale loading errors for journal and database usage. 
  • Staff added back issues to several journals and began minting digital object identifiers (DOIs) for serial monograph chapters. 
  • The Digital Project Support Hub scheduled and publicized their first meetings – hosted to provide a forum for libraries faculty and staff to share and seek help with digital projects. 
  • Faculty and staff from the libraries and the Institute for Digital Research in the Humanities (IDRH) began collaborations with colleagues at the University of North Texas to plan the 2018 Digital Frontiers conference – taking steps to secure keynote speakers and send out a call for proposals. 
  • The communications team engaged with colleagues at the University of Minnesota to plan for national media outreach around the Research Sprints program, highlighting KU's role as a pioneer in this faculty research realm and the research toolkit the two institutions have created as resources for fellow institutions. 
  • KU Libraries hosted the Software Carpentry workshop in January to a wide and diverse range of attendees. Due to a waitlist, a second workshop is being planned for April. 
  • Haricombe Gallery Lecture Series: Dr. Sarah Deer presented her research on the high rates of sexual violence against native women, and doctoral candidate Sierra Watt discussed the roles of native women in tribal government. These presentations were hosted in conjunction with the exhibition “Side by Side,” chronicling the history of partnership between the University of Kansas and Haskell Indian Nations University. 

Priority area 3: 

Enhance the utility of KU Libraries’ distinctive resources. By taking advantage of new technologies, employing collaborative workflows, and developing new skills, KU Libraries will improve the discoverability, use, and durability of our unique and distinctive resources.
  • A total of 69 images from our collections were scanned and made available as part of a collaborative project with Kansas City Public Library’s “The Pendergast Years: Kansas City in the Jazz Age and Great Depression.”  
  • Staff finalized workflows for georeferencing the digitized Kansas Sanborn Maps, which will allow historical maps to be included in geospatial analysis.  
  • Access rights metadata was updated in KU ScholarWorks to reflect standard vocabulary for theses and dissertations and for embargoed items. Format type registry updates were also made, enabling accurate identification of additional content types. Updated identifier metadata will improve data quality and interoperability. 
  • KU Libraries partnered with the KU Alumni Association for the Gold Medal Club 50 year reunion (class of 1968), where our staff displayed an exhibit containing items from the University Archives, making them available to KU alumni and potential donors. 
  • The city-wide Read Across Lawrence partnership continued, as KU Libraries collaborated with Lawrence Public Library to support and promote programming around the 2018 book, “Wonder,” and increase community awareness of our services and resources. 
  • International Collections (IC) initiated discussions with the Office of Communications & Advancement (OCA) to explore ideas for developing strategic promotional materials designed to increase awareness of IC resources and services across both campus and external audiences. 
  • Additional progress was made in digitizing the DVD collection. 
  • Work in relation to the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and Mellon Foundation grants continued. Both projects support renovations and improvements in Spencer Research Library which will sustain our efforts to acquire, house, preserve and share distinctive resources. 

Priority area 4: 

 Create diverse, strategic, and enduring experiences that support student success and retention efforts. The libraries will strengthen contributions to teaching and learning through sustainable, strategic partnerships, providing responsive and scalable resources that support campus-wide retention efforts, particularly for those focused on first-generation or underrepresented students, as well as students in need.
  • Reference staff quietly piloted a “roving reference” service in Anschutz Library, where reference staff would be on-hand to meet students physically throughout the library at point-of-need, to answer research questions. 
  • Staff gathered data on use of the newly-renovated study carrels in Watson Library 3 West, with the goal of assessing when and how the new space is being used. 
  • Classroom updates continued in Spencer Research Library.   
  • The Student Learning Outcomes working group shared outcomes library-wide and collected feedback in advance of preparing their final report. 
  • The Information Literacy Steering Group collaboration among the libraries, School of Journalism and Spencer Museum of Art has prepared a final summary report for the associated deans and director, having completed its charge. 

Priority area 5: 

Continue to build and support a more diverse and engaged faculty and staff. The libraries will continue to build and support a faculty and staff that is deeply engaged in their work and committed to the libraries’ common mission. 
  • The Diversity Resident Librarian search continued; a search committee was formed, interviews took place and a decision is under consideration. 
  • Tami Albin continued work with Dr. Jennifer Hamer, vice provost for diversity and equity, on a diversity-related grant. 
  • The Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) working group committee coordinated with the Willow Domestic Violence Center to provide a session on "Human Trafficking and Domestic Violence Red Flags" for interested library faculty and staff on March 1. 
  • KU Libraries hosted a presentation by Anna Lauren Hoffmann, assistant professor with The Information School at the University of Washington in Seattle, on March 15 titled “Data Violence: Dignity and Vulnerability: Beyond Algorithmic Discrimination.” The DEI working group also met with Dr. Hoffmann during her stay. 
  • The DEI group promoted Northwestern University scholar/artist E. Patrick Johnson’s visit to KU for an oral history seminar and dramatic reading drawn from Professor Johnson’s book, “Sweet tea: Black gay men of the South – An oral history.” 
  • DEI committee members hosted “Citizen: An American Lyric” book discussions for library staff in late March.  
  • The DEI group provided consultation to the Library Staff Development Day planning group. A DEI recommendation for International Collections staff to provide a custom, hour-long session on intercultural understanding was implemented at the Library Staff Development day held March 21. 
  • OCA developed a social media webform so that faculty and staff can contribute their recommendations for social media content that promotes initiatives, resources and opportunities from across the organization.  
  • Reporting lines within OCA were realigned to accurately mirror recent shifts in leadership roles and responsibilities. Staff reevaluated and revised position descriptions and posted and launched the search for a new events coordinator. 
  • Libraries faculty and staff participated in a series of "Supercomputing in Plain English" webinars. 

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