Library Publishing Toolkit – a new and free e-book

LPT CoverMilne Library is pleased to announce the publication of a new book, researched and edited by Milne staff member Allison Brown and published through the IDS Project Press:

Interested in library publishing services?
Thinking about publishing a book or journal, or helping authors do so?

The Library Publishing Toolkit looks at the broad and varied landscape of library publishing through discussions, case studies, and shared resources. From supporting writers, authors, and filmmakers in the public library setting to academic libraries hosting open access journals and books, this collection examines opportunities for libraries to leverage their skills and resources to curate, create and provide access to content.

Both public and academic libraries are invested in the creation and distribution of information and digital content. They have morphed from keepers of content into content creators and curators, and seek best practices and efficient workflows with emerging publishing platforms and services.

The Library Publishing Toolkit is a project funded partially by Regional Bibliographic Databases and Interlibrary Resources Sharing Program funds which are administered and supported by the Rochester Regional Library Council. The toolkit is a united effort between Milne Library at SUNY Geneseo and the Monroe County Library System to identify trends in library publishing, seek out best practices to implement and support such programs, and share the best tools and resources.

For more information and access to the book, please visit http://www.publishingtoolkit.org

Milne Library Publishes Its First Original Monograph!

Tagging Along CoverMilne Library is pleased to announce the publication of Tagging Along: Memories of My Grandfather, James Wolcott Wadsworth, Jr., by Stuart Symington, Jr., the first of what Milne hopes will be a long run of original titles published by the library through the CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. This handsome 131-page, illustrated book is now available from Amazon.com, on a print-on-demand basis, for under $10. It will also be freely accessible in Open Monographs Press beginning in July.

A small group of librarians-cum-editors began working last fall with the author, who is the son of  U.S. Senator Stuart Symington, Sr., and Evelyn Wadsworth Symington, daughter of U.S. Senator James W. Wadsworth, Jr., of Geneseo. With Symington, the editorial team worked out style issues, added photographs, and designed the cover and layout for the book–everything, in short, that publishing houses do to ready a book for publication. Milne Library then uploaded the electronic file of the book to CreateSpace, and descriptive and ordering information for the book appeared in Amazon.com. When copies are ordered, CreateSpace will print them for Amazon to ship. It’s a publishing model that Milne has been using in conjunction with hosting the open access ebook versions on Open Monograph Press. The initiative began last fall, when Milne issued Recollections of 3 Rebel Prisons, by G. G. Prey, the first title in its Genesee Valley Historical Reprint series.

 Symington with his grandfather, James W. Wadsworth, Jr., in Paris during WW II
Symington with his grandfather, James W. Wadsworth, Jr., in Paris during WW II

Tagging Along recalls the time Symington spent with his “kind, wise, generous, and very patient grandfather.” The story of “Grampa” Wadsworth’s political career and private life, woven together with the author’s memories and impressions of long childhood visits to his grandparents’ home and farms in Geneseo, is set against the rich background of Wadsworth family history. As SUNY Geneseo President Christopher Dahl says in the book’s foreword, Tagging Along is “a lively, affectionate memoir of a politician and statesman who was present at some of the major events of the twentieth century, a man who represents a conservative tradition rooted in respect for the soil and responsibility to his community–a tradition, sadly, very little in evidence in today’s civic and political life.”

Stuart Symington, Jr., a retired member of the Missouri Bar and a fellow of the American Bar Foundation, was born in Rochester, N.Y., and spent much of his youth on the Niagara Frontier and in Washington, D.C. He served overseas in World War II and graduated from Yale University and Harvard Law School.

 

What are we reading? Staff recommended reads for April

2013.AprSR
Here’s what some of Milne’s Staff is reading!

Are you looking for a good book to read?  Hundreds of thousands of books are published each year, so how does one choose?  Milne Library staff  have selected a few choice ones to highlight for the month of April.

If you are a fan of more traditional fantasy fare, Reference & Instruction Librarian Sherry Rhodes recommends the The Abhorsen Trilogy by Garth Nix:

Last summer my teenaged daughter picked up a book called Sabriel from her favorite bookstore. I took a look at the back cover and found the description to be interesting, and decided to read it. I sure am glad I did!

I really enjoy fantasy, but it’s got to be well done. Too much of what is published as fantasy are ill-disguised reworkings of previously published books. Sabriel, and its two sequels, Lirael  and Abhorsen, are set in a completely unique world, with completely unique characters and plots.

sabrielSabriel is finishing school when her father, known as The Abhorsen and a gifted necromancer, goes missing. She journeys home, to the Old Kingdom, where magic is alive and well—and the dead are alive as well. With the help—and hindrance—of a cat who is not just a cat, and a long-imprisoned mage she rescues, Sabriel uses the skills her father has taught her to journey into Death to attempt to rescue him, and in the process battle the forces of evil necromancers determined to escape Death and return to the land of the living.

liraelLirael, on the other hand, has spent her entire life in the Old Kingdom. She is a daughter of the Clayr, women who have the ability to see the future. Fourteen when the book begins, Lirael is painfully aware that she is the only Clayr who has not received the Sight by her age. She also has no family, with the exception of the aunt who runs the Clayr settlement and who has little time for her. Feeling alienated from her surroundings, Lirael seeks isolation in the enormous library and is apprenticed as a Third Assistant Librarian. Over the months she works there, her curiosity enables her to learn how to battle hideous creatures lurking in the library’s depths, as well as how to construct a magical dog who becomes her loyal companion. Events reveal that Lirael’s destiny is not confined to the home of the Clayr, and actually is closely intertwined with the ruling family of the Old Kingdom. The end of the book leaves readers with few answers, setting up the plot for Abhorsen and the convergence of the main characters from the previous books and the resolution of the various plotlines.

abhorsen

I especially enjoyed the character development present in all three novels. Sabriel, Lirael, Sameth, and Nick are all believable teens, growing more mature and confident in themselves as the books progress and they age. The Disreputable Dog and Mogget the Cat exhibit typical characteristics of their respective species, but are far more than just a dog and a cat. Their often humorous and sometimes caustic interchanges reveal more about the Old Kingdom and Charter Magic—and conceal far more. Nick and the other ordinary humans live in a kingdom reminiscent of Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials Trilogy, flavored with a strong strain of Victorian/Edwardian steampunk. And Nix’s descriptions of the various levels of death, its denizens, and the dangers that are encountered there by the living are creepy and nerve-wracking.
If you’re looking for a really original fantasy series with appealing characters, Garth Nix’s The Abhorsen Trilogy is one to read.
Another favorite set of fantasy books is the comic fantasy series of  Thursday Next novels by Jasper Fforde, highly recommended by Electronic Resources & Digital Scholarship Joe Easterly:
fforde booksThe Thursday Next books by Jasper Fforde are wonderful British novels which blend comic fantasy, detective fiction and literary wit. Set in a parallel universe where classic literature is revered above all, and criminal masterminds steal manuscripts and murder literary characters, literary detective Thursday Next is part of a specialized police force charged with protecting Britain’s literary heritage. As this fast-paced, endlessly imaginative series progresses, Thursday moves from one unusual situation to the next, such as running anger management classes for the cast of Wuthering Heights, to standing trial (set in Kafka’s book, of course) for changing the ending of Jane Eyre, and encountering fan-fiction versions of herself and Harry Potter. Start reading the series with the first book — The Eyre Affair. However, the third (The Well of Lost Plots) and the fifth (First Among Sequels) books are particularly good as well.
How about contemporary fiction?  Librarian Kate Pitcher recommends the recent publication of the novel, The Dinner, by Dutch writer Herman Koch and translated into English by Sam Garrett:
The Dinner is a contemporary book, set in present-day Amsterdam, although a specific day and time is never mentioned in the course of the novel’s events. The setting is dinner at an upscale restaurant in the heart of urban Amsterdam. Dinner is also the framework of the novel; chapters are nestled within sections of the book indicating which course is being served (“Aperitif” being the first, followed by “Appetizer” and so on ).
kochOur main characters are two couples, brothers and their wives. Narrated  by one brother, Paul, the other brother is Serge Lohman, an up-and-coming Dutch politician. The reader soon learns of the presumable reason the couples are meeting for their dinner – a horrible crime committed by the two brothers’ children. At the same time, we figure out Paul is an unreliable narrator; as the story moves on, not only do we learn more details of the sons’ horrible crime, but also the reason why Paul has lost his job as a history teacher. The reader is also continually struck by Paul’s anger and bitterness towards his brother, his sister-in-law Babette and their adopted son. As the novel progresses, the dinner itself feels surreal, the couples dancing around the decisions that must be made about their children and the impact it will have, not only on Serge’s career, but on all their lives.
A bestseller in his native Netherlands, The Dinner is an uncomfortable and disturbing story of how far people are willing to go to protect their family. It has surprises, and although the children’s’ crime is unforgivably brutal, it isn’t their crime that is the most horrible, but rather their parents’ reaction and response to it which moves this novel in so tragic a direction.  As The New York Times stated in its book review, the author  “…[he] has created a clever, dark confection, like some elegant dessert fashioned out of entrails. “The Dinner,” absorbing and highly readable, proves in the end strangely shallow, and this may be the most unsettling thing about it..”
Recommended and hard to put down, so save the reading for a day when you have a few hours to absorb yourself completely.

Have you read any good books lately? Are you willing to share a review? Let us know – submit your review to Kate Pitcher at [email protected] for a future post.

SUNY Faculty and Libraries Publishing Open Textbooks

SUNY Open TextbooksNew GlowSMState University of New York libraries are collaborating with faculty to develop free online textbooks, and in doing so, are simultaneously developing a new academic-friendly publishing model.

“Open e-content for courses can help to lower textbook costs for students, provide a showcase for SUNY faculty authors and enrich partnerships with academic libraries.  This is a win for everyone,” said Mary Jo Orzech, Director of Drake Memorial Library at the College at Brockport.

“The State University of New York has over 450,000 student enrollments.  If we can create Open Textbooks that save one out of ten students $30, the total savings will be over 1.3 million dollars.” said Carey Hatch, Associate Provost for Academic Technologies and Information Service at SUNY System Administration.  “Librarians have been at the forefront of the digital revolution in higher education, and it is good to see them assuming a leadership position in this new form of content creation and distribution.”
The Open SUNY Textbook Program will produce fifteen free online textbooks this year, thanks to the support from a SUNY Innovative Instruction Technology Grant (IITG) and library funding, as well as the time, skills, and talents of librarians with consultation by SUNY Press.

This innovative publishing program includes:

  • incentives to SUNY faculty authors and peer reviewers to produce open textbooks,
  • editing and instructional design support services using a cooperative library service framework,
  • and a publishing platform using Open Monograph Press – an open source software recently released by the Public Knowledge Project.

With a mere two-week call for proposals to SUNY faculty, the program received 38 proposals for open textbooks.  The original grant funding limited the number of titles to publish to 4 textbooks, but upon realizing how many outstanding proposals they had received, the participating libraries stepped up to the plate to contribute additional funding to produce more textbooks than originally planned. The new goal is to publish fifteen excellent textbooks in disciplines across the curriculum, including:

Textbook Subject

#

Anthropology

1

Business

1

Computer Sciences

2

Education

2

English

3

Math

2

Music

1

Sciences

3

Total

15

Participating and supporting libraries include: The College at Brockport; SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry; SUNY Fredonia, SUNY Geneseo; University at Buffalo; and SUNY Upstate Medical University, and SUNY Morrisville has even offered to assist with copy editing some of the textbooks.  Libraries demonstrate they are willing to contribute time, talent, and funds to support this innovative publishing program. Publishing tasks and roles are expected to be sourced, much like at University Presses, however, librarians will be key to offering these authors a range of invaluable services such as copy editing, loading and proofing files, applying metadata, indexing, or offering support with resources and interactive content strategies.

“I am very impressed with the mutual interest and responsiveness of SUNY faculty authors and reviewers, and librarians to produce high quality open textbooks.,” said Cyril Oberlander, Milne Library’s Director at SUNY Geneeo. “The librarians are developing new editorial workflows and services, incorporating instructional designers, and significantly contributing to open education.  Producing innovative open textbooks can help reduce the cost of higher education to students, and it can also reduce the cost to libraries and institutions.”

The Open SUNY Textbook Program hopes to further expand both the number of textbooks produced and number of participating libraries next year. It will also focus on the developing of interactive books that provide learning assessments.

For inquiries about this exciting new program, please contact:

Cyril Oberlander
Milne Library Director
(585) 245-5528
[email protected]

Research Help @Milne

Librarian Sherry Rhodes, helping out a student in our new Research Consultation space in the Center for Academic Excellence

Are you taking advantage of one of Milne Library’s best kept secrets?  The Reference (or Research) Librarians at SUNY Geneseo frequently hear from their professorial partners, as well as campus tour guides, that we are a gem to be discovered and utilized heavily.  They compare (and praise) our level of service to that of past experiences they have had at other (many times, distinguished) universities.  But don’t take your professors’ word for it!   See just what your classmates and peers have to say.

Sparked by Fall 2011 observations of students in need of research help at the Service Desk and Reference Desk, Anna Wilson, a recently graduated Spanish major with a minor in Latin American Studies, interviewed and filmed fellow students regarding their awareness and experience with Milne Library’s Research Librarians.  In anticipation of her participant observation study, she wrote,”I predict that many of the students in the library are as in the dark about what goes on at the reference desk as I was until this (Fall 2011) semester.”

Does this statement represent your awareness about who the Reference Librarians are and what we can help you with?  If so, be sure to watch Anna’s video and then come see us when you are in need of research help!

Librarian Kim Hoffman works on searching with a student.

Reference Librarians are on duty for nearly all hours that the library is open with official desk duty in the Center for Academic Excellence from 10 am – 5 pm (Mon-Thurs), 10 am – 2 pm (Fri) and 10 am – 2 pm (Sat) and on-call reference assistance as early as 8 am and as late as 1 am.  Just ask for help at the Service Desk and a librarian will be around to help.

Additionally, our very popular Research Consultation service (as well as our Technology Consultation service) offers students the opportunity to make one-on-one appointments with a specialist when the time is convenient for you or you and your group.  Both services offer a dedicated time slot to focus solely on your research project needs, without having to compete with other students’ questions.

As the due dates for your research projects approach and the semester gets busier and busier, see what assistance (and time savings) a Reference Librarian can offer you!

Milne welcomes twins!

 Milne’s family just grew a little bit bigger! Business and Data Librarian, Justina Elmore and her wife Nickole are proud to welcome their twin girls, Piper Grace and Morgan Elizabeth. Piper was born at 7:38 pm on Thursday October 17, 2012, weighing 7lbs, 10 oz. and measuring 19 1/4 inches long. Morgan was born at 7:39 pm, weighing 7lbs, 9oz. and measuring 19 1/2 inches long.

Meet Joe Easterly

Joe Easterly
Joe Easterly, Milne’s Electronic Resources and Digital Scholarship Librarian

With Library service expanding deeper into the realm of digital scholarship – the new Digital Media Lab, open-source publishing, Digital Thoreau, etc. — could a matching librarian be far behind? Of course not, and he has arrived in the person of Joe Easterly, who became Milne’s first Electronic Resources and Digital Scholarship Librarian on October 24.

Joe is here to act as the primary human resource for faculty and students working on (or hoping to begin) scholarly projects with a digital focus. It’s what he’s been doing, more or less, at the University of Buffalo for the last four years where he was a media specialist and coordinator of the Media Resource Center, serving as the Visual Resources librarian to the university’s visual arts faculty. The skills he’s acquired through his coursework (he earned his master’s degree in library science in 2007, with an emphasis in digital media information systems and retrieval) and professional experience will serve him – or, more accurately, the Geneseo campus community – very well.

Among the projects Joe has been involved in is UBdigit, the University of Buffalo’s digital library collection. He managed and directed the Visual Resources Collection portion of that resource, from scanning the images to creating the metadata, working closely with faculty and supervising a team of student assistants. Joe is used to collaborating with faculty, having conducted workshops, developed image digitization standards, facilitated licensing and consignment of digital images, and helped write grants. He also has experience digitizing images for exhibitions and scholarly publication, and he’s done digital preservation consulting for UB Galleries and museum curators in the Buffalo-Niagara region. He was a charter member of UB’s Digital Humanities Initiative. Safe to say, Joe knows his way around the digital scholarship landscape and is prepared to lead others through it.

One of the first projects Joe has joined here at Geneseo is the Digital Thoreau Project, headed by English professor Paul Schacht and other faculty from the English department and Milne Library. Digital Thoreau aims to bring the works of Henry David Thoreau – beginning with a TEI-encoded scholarly edition of Walden – to scholars, students and general readers around the world.

Joe’s ease and expertise with digital technology and his commitment to librarianship are built on a solid humanities foundation. He received a BA in linguistics, has studied French extensively and is currently pursuing a second master’s degree in social anthropology. He is also a classically trained pianist. Lately, he says, he’s “really into” wine and photography, and when the weather’s fine he likes to go sailing.

The folks at Milne are very glad that Joe decided to join the faculty, and the feeling is mutual, he says. “I was really impressed by how committed and talented the library faculty and staff are … it was a big motivation for me to join.” Aesthetics played a (small) part, too, in his decision to come to Geneseo. “I was expecting the dreary early-70s late modernist architecture you sometimes see at [SUNY] campuses,” he says. “I had no idea how beautiful the town is, or the campus, until I came to visit.” Joe is not the only one who is optimistic about his future here at Geneseo, and about the future of digital scholarship.

Kim Davies Hoffman: Profile of a Milne Librarian

Kim Davies Hoffman bringing theory into practice
Kim Davies Hoffman bringing theory into practice

Kim Davies Hoffman is a tireless instruction & reference librarian, a valuable team player, a careful mentor, and, as of last spring, Coordinator of Instruction & Reference Services at Milne Library. Kim has risen through the ranks fairly quickly during her 12 years as a SUNY librarian (nearly all that time at Geneseo) and was promoted to Full Librarian on Sept. 1 this year. Of her professional growth in that time, she says, “There has definitely been a shift from learning and doing to guiding, mentoring and leading.”

With her extensive list of college committee memberships and outreach efforts, it’s a fair bet that Kim is familiar to many people on this campus, especially the faculty and students in the academic departments she serves as liaison – Anthropology, Sociology and Foreign Languages.  She has taught hundreds of information literacy and research skills classes over the years, but perhaps her most important and fulfilling contribution has been in collaborating with individual professors to integrate long-term, intensive and progressive library instruction within their courses. Her collaborators have included Ellen Kintz (Anthropology), Elaine Cleeton (Sociology) and Cristina Rowley (Spanish), to name just a few.

Kim’s professional reputation extends well beyond Geneseo, through the many presentations she has made at local, state and national conferences, as well as through articles she has written (or co-written), committee memberships and positions she has held, and programs she has been instrumental in creating. It is possible to list only a few here.  “My preference for professional committee work is on a local scale, she says.  “I have been able to make much more of an impact on my fellow colleagues and the profession overall than I would serving as a mere number within a larger national organization.”

In the SUNY Librarians Association (SUNYLA),  Kim served  for five years as Chair of Membership Development Committee, from which sprang MEOW (Membership Enthusiasm and Outreach Workgroup) which Kim helped formSUNYLA  logo with a few other librarians who were frustrated with the lack of participation in SUNYLA. She also served as Chair of the Working Group for Information Literacy and in that capacity worked with fellow Milne librarian Michelle Costello to design and host a one-day interactive workshop entitled Library Instruction: Teaching Tips from the Trenches, in January 2009. That workshop led to a similar one hosted at the University of Albany plus a follow-up pre-conference workshop at the SUNYLA annual conference, also in 2009. The program evolved, with the help of a $3,500 grant, into LILAC, the acclaimed Library Instruction Leadership Academy. For their work, Kim and Michelle were recognized by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) with its 2011 Instruction Section (IS) Innovation award.

Kim with LILAC co-creator Michelle Costello
Kim with LILAC co-creator Michelle Costello

Among the several other awards Kim has received are the Friend of SUNYLA award and the (SUNY) Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Librarianship.

So where did she come from?  Shortly after she was born, in England, Kim and her family moved to Canada where she lived for the next ten years before moving permanently to the U.S. (she has dual British-U.S. citizenship). She has lived for two years in France, as well – studying abroad in Dijon for a year, and, soon after, for another year as a teaching assistant in Paris. She earned a BA in French and International Affairs from the University of New Hampshire and, after receiving an MLS from the University of Buffalo in 1997, took off for New Orleans, working first in the public library system and then at the University of New Orleans.  When NOLA’s heat and humidity drove her back north, Kim found a part-time librarian position at SUNY Fredonia (which she supplemented as a barista at Starbucks), until she landed a full-time job as a librarian at UB’s Health Sciences Library. By late summer 1999 Kim was hired by Milne Library as a reference & instruction (with a side of government documents) librarian.  She hit the ground running and hasn’t slowed down since.

As for where she is going from here, her priorities lay, as usual, with finding new and creative ways to increase information literacy among the students – and faculty – at Geneseo, in an increasingly online world.  As Coordinator of Instruction & Reference Service, she will work to refine assessment of the library’s instruction program, not only to prove what she and many others already know – that it IS effective – but to enable it to become even better.  And plans are well underway for LILAC2, which will help empower a fresh crop of new library instructors to “teach it forward.” Citing a commitment to lead by example as one of her greatest strengths, Kim says “The opportunity to co-teach with novice librarians allows me to share my understanding of pedagogical theory and practice without appearing lofty and without exposing their insecurity or uncertainty about teaching.”  She adds, “My fearlessness in the classroom opens the door for others to experiment with new ideas and technology.”

Ed Rivenburgh Awarded National Recognition for IDS Project Work

Former Milne Library Director Ed Rivenburgh is the winner of the 2011 Virginia Boucher/OCLC Distinguished ILL Librarian Award, a recognition of his vision and efforts in creating an improved system of resource sharing among libraries in New York State.  The IDS (Information Delivery Services) Project, whose aim is to increase efficiencies in interlibrary loan, has become a model for libraries throughout the state and nation.

Since his retirement from SUNY Geneseo in December, Ed has been able to devote even more of his time, talent and energy to his position as IDS Project Director.  He will receive the award at a ceremony this June during the American Library Association’s annual conference in New Orleans. Read the full story here.

Science Librarian Bonnie Swoger on Maternity Leave

 

Bonnie Swoger

From now until about mid-June, Milne Library and the Geneseo campus community will have to excuse Bonnie Swoger while she leaves to have a baby and to attend to all that comes with the momentous event.  It’s not like Bonnie hasn’t done this before — this is her second child — but she would like everyone to know that there are people and resources that can help out in her absence.

For book purchases, journal subscriptions and databases questions relating to the sciences, folks can contact Kate Pitcher ([email protected] or 245-5064); questions concerning IDS, or Information Delivery Services, can be directed to Tim Bowersox ([email protected] or 245-5589); and Kim Hoffman ([email protected] or 245-5046) is the librarian to contact with questions or requests for science-related library instruction.

Of course, Library Guides  are also available for the sciences Bonnie covers — Biology, Chemistry, Geosciences, Physics & Astronomy, Mathematics and Computer Science.  Students and others needing research assistance can always request a research consultation or simply stop by the service desk and ask to speak to a reference librarian.

The entire staff at Milne Library wishes Bonnie and her growing family a happy, healthy and restful (?) time!