Projects from "Digital Archaeology in the Virtual Curation Laboratory: 3D Scanning and Research at VCU" will be on display beginning Oct. 21 in James Branch Cabell Library.
VCU students are working with project director Bernard K. Means, Ph.D., in the Virtual Curation Laboratory in Lafayette Hall. They use state-of-the-art technology to create digital models of archaeological objects from across the globe. Using a NextEngine Desktop 3D scanner and a MakerBot Replicator, they bring innovation to teaching and research.
Moving materials is a critical component of planning for the new library on the Monroe Park Campus. As part of preparation and clean-up in advance of construction (beginning spring, 2014), librarians are analyzing the collection for essential deaccessioning.
Today's academic libraries are no longer warehouses for books but workplaces for people. Construction will renovate some parts of the existing Cabell Library as well as add 93,000 square feet of new space. In order to meet the needs of the 32,000-member VCU academic community, 90 percent of the new space will be for researcher study space and workstations. This renovation will reduce the library's capacity to house physical volumes, which even in the ebook age, are still growing by 20,000 to 25,000 volumes per year.
"VCU librarians are carefully assessing the needs of the VCU community by analyzing use and circulation patterns and by studying how other research libraries manage their print collections in light of the burgeoning growth of e-resources," said John Duke, senior associate university librarian. He is overseeing what Cabell's librarians are calling "The Big Shift."
Books with a history of low use will be moved into VCU Libraries' off-site compact shelving storage facility at 500 Academic Centre.
VCU Libraries also will reduce the size of the print collection in these five ways.
- The reference collection on Cabell's first floor will be reduced. Legal and reference sets and indexes that have been superseded by e-resources or that are no longer appropriate for VCU will be withdrawn. Remaining volumes will be made available for circulation.
- Government document use has been shrinking because most titles are available electronically. Obsolete volumes will be withdrawn.
- JSTOR collections provide high-quality digital images to replace print journals. In the 2010 renovation, most printed bound volumes replaced by JSTOR were moved into storage. An analysis of use shows only two articles were requested over two years. Librarians have reviewed these print journals: About 860 can be safely withdrawn without affecting scholarship or the classroom because the VCU Libraries holds the electronic version.
- Duplicate copies of books with low circulation and obsolete books without curricular or research value to VCU will be withdrawn.
- In some cases, print volumes for which permanent ebook versions exist will be withdrawn, especially if the print version is worn and at the end of its useful life.
Deaccessioned volumes will be sold or offered to other libraries or recycled.
Faculty or researchers who have questions about the collection calibration plan will find additional information and are invited to contact
- Collection librarians responsible for your subject area
- Head, Collection Analysis and Investment Department Karen Cary, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Senior Associate Librarian John Duke, email@example.com
Alderman, Swem, Cabell, McConnell, Wilder, Johnson, Newman, Tompkins-McCaw, Boatwright, Lyman Beecher Brooks and Claude Moore are among Virginia academic libraries.
Now, they share a new commonality.
Any member of the VCU community--student, faculty or staff--can walk into any of these participating libraries and others, prove affiliation with VCU and enjoy immediate borrowing privileges. This convenience might prove particularly helpful for traveling researchers or students visiting their hometowns on school breaks.
The pilot program for the 2013-14 academic year is through the Virtual Library of Virginia (VIVA) consortium.
VCU borrowers at other participating libraries will be asked to login to
Research data has unrealized potential. It is often relegated to lab notebooks or isolated computers. It is often inaccessible beyond personnel working on a research project, whether basic scientist or social scientist. As our world has become more networked, more funders require that scientists present a plan for data management as a condition of funding and peer reviewed journals often require authors to make the data behind a publication accessible on request. These are among the factors that influenced the VCU Libraries to create a new professional position of Director for Research Data Management.
Margaret E. Henderson is taking on that new role. As an adjunct faculty member for several years at Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences, Henderson has served as a research and education librarian. Since 2006, she has worked part-time for VCU School of Medicine's Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology on digital asset management for scientific data and images, among other activities.
With that work and her previous service as the director of the Cold Springs Harbor Laboratory Library and Archives, Henderson brings to the new position deep knowledge about the research process, managing data, informatics and the VCU research community.
"Research data management is a dynamic area of growth for VCU Libraries and we are establishing a framework for the integration of knowledge management into the research data lifecycle," said Associate University Librarian and Tompkins-McCaw Director Teresa L. Knott.
Librarians have long organized knowledge-based information for search, retrieval and sharing. "Now, by being involved at the beginning of the research process, librarians can assist in the research enterprise and share their expertise earlier in the research process." Knott said. "Ms. Henderson will help researchers develop strong data management plans for project proposals; recommend a process to assign metadata or an appropriate ontology to enhance data sharing; identify options for data storage and curation; and advise on author's rights."
Henderson holds a graduate certificate in biomedical informatics from Oregon Health and Sciences University, the master's in library and information science and the bachelor's of science from the University of Western Ontario.
A new self-serve kiosk in the lobby of James Branch Cabell Library should speed up laptop loans and returns.
Last year, VCU Libraries loaned laptops about 40,000 times, making these top-used items, said M. Teresa Doherty, head of Information Services. She played a lead role in bringing the new kiosk to Cabell, one of the few libraries in the nation to place one in a library building.
With the kiosk, students can avoid the service desk and get straight to work with the swipe of their VCUCard. The kiosk will shorten waits for other patrons who need to talk with information associates at the main desk.
The kiosk charges the machines while they are waiting to be checked out, so they can get back into circulation faster. It also makes it easy to see if machines are available.
"So far, students seem to have adapted very well to them," Doherty said, "Our students usually notice quickly when we introduce something to make their work easier and faster." During its first 24 hours of operation, more than 200 laptops were checked out through the kiosk.
Added Jimmy Ghaphery, head of Digital Technologies for VCU Libraries: "This is a pilot and we are all eager to see how well it works. It promises to be more convenient for students and has the potential, if successful, to be reproduced in other locations on campus."
The new checkout kiosk is part of an ongoing partnership between VCU Libraries and VCU Technology Services to provide free equipment for student use.
Another new service this semester is an express line for gadget checkins and checkouts.
VCU Libraries has a commitment to collecting with various Richmond communities firmly in mind. Many of these collections are in the arena of new social history--materials, interpretations and scholarship that illuminate the culture, stories and realities of sometimes hidden or ignored people.
"Migrating Archives: LGBT Delegates from Collections around the World" approaches queer history through the vantage points of some 10 individual stories. This innovative show from San Francisco's GLBT History Museum merges art and history, archives and real lives. It combines evocative materials, photos and artifacts that portray the experiences of queer individuals from the past.
One of those stories is about Richmond writer Hunter Stagg. Stagg's papers, housed at Cabell Library's Special Collections and Archives, include correspondence with poet Langston Hughes and the mother of modernism, Gertrude Stein. (Photo of Stagg, VCU Libraries)
Special Collections and Archives Head Wesley Chenault, Ph.D., organized the visit of the exhibition. "Since VCU has a top-tier arts school and because we have permanent holdings documenting Richmond's LGBTQ community, this exhibition is a perfect fit for us. We see students and faculty utilizing our collections almost daily for research and creative expression. This exhibit, then, places these activities within a broader context and history of artists interacting with archives and engaging communities."
Artist and academic, E.G. Crichton curated the exhibition, a travelling version of the original 20-panel show from the San Francisco museum. She is artist-in-residence at the GLBT History Museum. As a professor at the University of Southern California, Santa Cruz, she teaches intermedia and photography in the art department as well as project design studio in the digital arts and new media graduate program.
In her work, she makes use of a range of art strategies, mediums and technologies to explore social issues and specific histories. Archives of one kind or another serve as both starting point and infrastructure, and creative collaboration across disciplines is often a critical component.
Migrating Archives: LGBT Delegates from Collections around the World
- October 21, 2013-December 31, 2013
- First Floor
- James Branch Cabell Library
Artist and academic E.G. Crichton visited Cabell Library for the opening of her visionary exhibit and gave a talk. VCU's Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer David W. Hanson made introductory remarks.
New this fall semester are streamlined services at James Branch Cabell Library.
All checkout of books and equpiment loans and initial requests for research assistance are now handled from The Desk in the lobby. Previously, patrons went to the third floor for media checkout, the reference ("Ask Us") desk on the first floor for research assistance, and the desk ("Circulation") near the entrance to checkout.
VCU Libraries has been preparing for this transition during the past year. "This change mirrors national trends at institutions on the scale of VCU Libraries, and it's happening for many reasons," said Associate University Librarian for Research and Learning Dennis Clark. "As our collections and services have gradually moved online, from electronic databases to streaming media to questions asked via chat and text, fewer patrons have been asking their questions in person. Those who do frequently require help from staff and librarians in multiple departments, and providing that help in one place is more efficient for both patrons and for the library."
Students and faculty who need in-depth help with research will be referred to a librarian and subject specialists will continue to be available for one-on-one consultations, meetings, presentations, tailored instruction and assistance by email and phone.
Media services have also been improved and streamlined. Media may be requested via the search box and will be held for pick-up at The Desk. The new department, Innovative Media, located on the third floor, provides support for media users and producers across a range of formats. The recently appointed head of Innovative Media, Eric Johnson, welcomes meetings with faculty.
"Usually we encounter people coming into the building who want many different things at the same time. This model will let us provide that help with one stop," said Clark.
"This new set-up should make it easier for Cabell's patrons--most of whom are undergraduates--to find the right place to go for help and the right person to help them."
Students, staff and faculty can invest a few minutes on a tour of Cabell Library and save time later in the semester. Participants will learn about the facility, collections and resources, as well as how library services and staff can assist with assignments. Cabell Library tours start promptly inside the first-floor main entrance and last approximately 30 minutes. No registration required.
New this year is a midnight tour on Thursday, August 29. Assemble at 11:59 p.m. for a special tour led by one of Cabell's overnight crew, unofficially known as "The Working Dead."
- Monday, Aug. 19, 2 p.m.
- Monday, Aug. 19, 2:30 p.m.
- Monday, Aug. 19, 3 p.m.
- Monday, Aug. 19, 3:30 p.m.
- Wednesday, Aug. 21, noon, 1 p.m., 2 p.m.
- Thursday, Aug. 22, noon
- Friday, Aug. 23, 11 a.m., 2 p.m.
- Saturday, Aug. 24, noon
- Sunday, Aug. 25, 4 p.m.
- Monday, Aug. 26, 3 p.m., 4 p.m.
- Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2 p.m., 7:30 p.m.
- Wednesday, Aug. 28, 1 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 6 p.m.
- Thursday, Aug. 29, noon, 4 p.m., 11:59 p.m.
- Friday, Aug. 30, 11 a.m., 1 p.m.
- Wednesday, Sept. 4, 4:30 p.m.
- Thursday, Sept. 5, 4 p.m.
- Friday, Sept. 6, 2 p.m., 3 p.m.
For more information about these tours and other VCU Libraries events and workshops
Cabell Library will reduce hours of operation until August 22, when it begins its around-the-clock service (10 a.m. Sunday-10 p.m. Fridays) with additional weekend hours. Until Monroe Park classes get underway, hours of note are:
- Aug. 10-11 (Saturday and Sunday) Closed
- Aug. 12-16 (Monday through Friday) 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Aug. 17-18 (Saturday and Sunday) Closed
- Aug. 19-21 (Monday - Wednesday) 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Aug. 22 (Thursday) open at 7:30 AM, begin 24 hour schedule
Health care practitioners in many areas of Virginia have little or no access to the caliber of medical information they need to best treat their patients. Health care providers associated with universities have vast online repositories of the most up-to-date information at their fingertips. Other providers do not.
A new website, A Common Wealth of Public Health and Primary Care Information, helps address this disparity.
Designed to serve public health care and community health center physicians, nurses, dentists, dental hygienists, nutritionists, health educators, health administrators, epidemiologists and others, the site is a partnership between Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences at Virginia Commonwealth University and two of Virginia's eight Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Programs, the Capital and the Rappahannock AHEC programs. The National AHEC Organization (NAO) works to assist health practitioners in medically underserved areas. They are nonprofit organizations strategically located where health care and health care education needs are not adequately met.
AHEC programs work "to bridge the gap between academic health centers and the community. VCU Libraries' technical expertise in collaboration with AHEC has created a project that can benefit communities in the commonwealth," said Jane Wills, RAHEC executive director.
The project partners developed the new website with insight provided by an advisory committee consisting of public health and primary care professionals, and VCU public health faculty members.
VCU librarians organized the materials for public health and primary care professionals. The partners are now working to promote the website so Virginia public health, rural health, and primary health care organizations, associations and providers can use the resource to better care for their patients.
- Identified relevant public health and primary care subject areas and develop research guides highlighting these resources on topics including chronic diseases, maternal and child health and evidence-based health care practice.
- Searched free websites to find databases, journals, books and other information which may be relevant to Virginia public health and community health center workers such as PubMed®, TOXNET, AGRICOLA, and MedlinePlus®.
"This project provides much needed access to free evidence-based information not only in our region but throughout the state," said Tracy Causey, CAHEC board chair and president of the Virginia
Community Care Association.
"Now, a health care provider in downtown Petersburg or rural Pulaski or on the water in Reedville on the Northern Neck, have equal and easy access to important medical information. It's all free and reliable," said Barbara Wright, Research & Education Librarian and project manager.
The project was funded in whole or in part with federal funds from the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under Contract No. HHS-N-276-2011-00004-C with the University of Maryland, Baltimore.