We are happy to announce that the Writing Learning Center (WLC) is officially open for business for the fall 2017 semester! With a new layout and a splash of paint, the services still inherently remain the same. Continue reading “Writing Learning Center is OPEN”
Is the stuff on Mr. Robot real?
Thursday, September 22 from
4-6:00 pm in
At Milne Library’s CryptoParty, work with staff one-on-one to explore tools for better privacy and hear short talks on topics including: Tor, SciHub, the Internet of Things, social engineering, and more.
Better privacy is for everyone. All levels of comfort with technology are welcome!
Can’t make it? Our Systems Librarian, maintains a guide about some of the topics we’ll cover.
On behalf of everyone working with the Center for Academic Excellence, welcome back to campus everyone! And for those of you who are new, we look forward to meeting and serving you over the course of the next several years!
The C.A.E. is slated to resume services on September 8th. As in years past, we will be hosting the Writing Learning Center, AOP tutoring, International Student & Scholar Services tutoring, and other educational services.
In addition to these services, the C.A.E. will also be sponsoring an expanded number of workshops this year, including:
- Library instruction for transfer students
- Library instruction for international students
- Time management
- Resource evaluation
- Annotated bibliographies…
…and many more. You’ll be hearing more about our workshop offerings, including dates and times, very shortly.
Also, save the date! The C.A.E. Open House will be returning to the main floor of the Milne Library on September 24th from 4:00pm to 6:00pm. We’ll be sharing information about various tutoring and learning centers, and recognizing all the hard work done by your peer tutors across campus.
Stay tuned for more information in the coming weeks!
It is a commonly heard story on campus that students are feeling the pressure when it comes to textbook prices. Anecdotally, librarians and faculty have heard about many students’ dropping or avoiding classes because they cannot afford the required texts — not because of content, interest or availability. Next week, Milne Library will be holding a series of events related to the open access movement and how we can redefine the impact of free and open resources on higher education.
How do textbook prices impact college students?
We do know that nationally, students bear a high cost to attend college, but how much do textbook costs factor into these budgets? In 2012, the Florida Student Textbook Survey was conducted by the Florida Virtual Campus (a network of public colleges in Florida). The researchers interviewed over 20,000 students from all 11 of Florida’s state universities.
Among the many survey goals, officials wanted to find out how much Florida students spent on textbooks during the Spring 2012 semester; the frequency with which students buy new textbooks; how students are affected by the cost of textbooks; what formats students prefer; and additionally, what students’ perceptions of the availability of textbooks in their institutions’ libraries actually is.
In brief, the researchers found several trends:
Textbook costs continue to take a toll on students financially and academically
Students use various means to reduce costs of textbooks, including purchasing books from a source other than the campus bookstore, renting textbooks, purchasing used books, selling their used books, and using copies on reserve at the campus library
Some institutions’ libraries provide textbooks for checkout, extending a lifeline to students who cannot afford to purchase a textbook
How Geneseo students feel about textbooks
Much of this was seen in our own informal polling of our students. During the Spring 2012 semester, we conducted a brief survey to gage the attitudes of SUNY Geneseo students toward textbook prices. Though the response rate was small, we did receive some candid feedback:
“Sometimes, it makes me not want to take a class. I’m somewhat funding myself, so high costs of textbooks are a deciding factor for me.” — Sophomore
“Forced to get old outdated versions where the page numbers dont match up because buying the right/new version is too expensive.” — Junior
“I have to really think ahead and plan ahead to make sure I will have the money to buy my textbooks. There have been classes I haven’t taken because the cost of the textbooks has been too high for me to afford.” — Junior
“It is very expensive to buy textbooks. Generally my professors are honest about whether or not we will use the text during class, but sometimes I go through a whole semester without even opening it. Textbook buy-back stinks because I barely get a fraction of what I initially paid. Basically, it is an incredibly expensive addition to the already incredibly expensive cost of furthering my education. “ — Junior
“I had a work study job this year to cover various expenses, but with the costs of textbooks, I rarely had cash to spend. My parents are helping pay for my college education and they too are financially strained by how expensive the textbooks can be in addition to everything else we need to pay for.” — Freshman
Milne Library can’t do it alone
In an effort to mitigate some of the burden of purchasing textbooks, Milne Library has developed a Textbooks on Reserve collection. Currently, the collection consists of 787 unique titles — that’s roughly 72% of the unique titles assigned by faculty for the Fall 2013 semester. Although some of the titles were already in our collection, we rely heavily upon donations from faculty and students in order to stay current. Why? Because we simply cannot afford to buy the latest edition of each textbook every year.
Our Textbook on Reserve collection also has limited reach. In order to ensure that as many students as possible can access the collection, students can only check out one book at a time for 4 hours. Since we often only have one or two copies of a book, not every student can access a copy when they need it most: often the night before an assignment is due.
Some students also try to borrow their textbooks through Information Delivery Services (IDS). However, this also has limitations. Many libraries do not allow us to borrow textbooks through interlibrary loan. We are often forced to borrow older or alternate editions. As with all materials we borrow from other libraries, due dates are often limited to 4-6 weeks — meaning students have to return the items before the end of the semester.
Where do we go from here?
We want to know your thoughts. Please respond to our blog post with your comments – how do textbook prices impact your educational experience at Geneseo? What are some strategies or alternatives used to avoid buying a textbook?
“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:
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:
Milne Library Director
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!
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!
Dr. Fowziyyah Ali, Associate Director of AOP, has moved her office to Milne Library. Formerly located in Blake Hall C 106, Dr. Ali’s office is now Milne 210, next to the Digital Media Lab. Her hours will be posted each week on the door to the office. Her phone number has remained the same: 245-5725. Welcome to the Library, Dr. Ali!
As students were off for the summer – enjoying warm temperatures, taking a well-deserved break from school and making money through summer jobs – projects and activities in Milne Library went into overdrive.
One of many moves within the library positively affected the Center for Academic Excellence (CAE). Relocated to a larger space (what once was the Genesee Valley Study Room) and enhanced by additional services, the CAE is realizing its dream of becoming a one-stop academic stop for students.
Students should feel free to stop in if they need assistance in any of the following services:
- Testing (offered through Disability Services)
- Subject-related tutoring (for AOP and student athletes)
- English for Speakers of Other Languages
- Referrals to department-specific tutors
Enhanced features of the CAE include a student concierge service that will serve as the welcoming point into the center, on-the-spot writing support (no longer on an appointment basis), an almost sound-proof testing center, and closer proximity for essential academic support units so that easier transition can take place between course content, research and writing.
Reference Librarians are currently providing research assistance in the CAE and all other services will begin in earnest, starting September 6.
For further information and hours of operation, see the newly created homepage for the Center for Academic Excellence.
The Digital Media Lab in Milne Library, a collaboration between CIT and Milne, had a very successful inaugural year. This past summer, the DML moved to a new location in Milne to meet the growing needs of the campus community and to give users an even better experience. The renovated DML now occupies the former location of the Center for Academic Excellence, an enclosed area with more space, on the library’s main level next to the new office of Dave Parfitt (Director of the Teaching and Learning Center).
The DML was created to give students a place to design and create exciting media projects for their classes and to support faculty as they continue to expand their use of instructional technologies. The lab is open during the same hours as the library; professional staff and students are available to help the Geneseo campus community with their digital media needs through consultations and workshops. Several types of media equipment (video cameras, portable hard disk drives, etc.) are available for signout at the service desk. More information about the Digital Media Lab, along with a list of equipment for signout, can be found at http://www.geneseo.edu/dml.
If Milne doesn’t have the text or course reading that you need on reserve at the Service Desk, you may be able to find it in the general collection. Here are a few ways to find out:
- Search for the title in GLOCAT+ to see if we have it in the library’s general collection.
- Search for the title of your textbook on our How Do I Find My Course Texts library guide to see if we have it on 4 hour reserve at the Service Desk.
- Search for it in IDS Search to see if we can borrow it for you from another library.