Renewing Harvard’s library system

first_imgSetting a fresh course for the future of the Harvard library system, University leaders have embraced a series of recommendations from the Library Implementation Work Group to establish a coordinated management structure and increasingly focus resources on the opportunities presented by new information technology. Provost Steven E. Hyman and Professor David Lamberth, who led the implementation group, discussed the 21st century vision for the libraries. GAZETTE: Do you see the steps announced today (Dec. 1) as a refashioning of the existing system, or is this an entirely new structure?HYMAN: We are, of course, building on enormous strength.  This is the greatest university library in the world.  What we’re doing is renewing and revitalizing it so that the greatest library of the 20th century will be the greatest library of the 21st.GAZETTE: So it’s not so much a stark break with the past as a repositioning. What are some of the elements from the existing system that will be built upon?LAMBERTH: The shift with regard to the collections is really taking this vast wealth of resources that we have across the University, and beginning to look at them and manage them and present them to the patrons as a coherent integrated collection.We’ll be taking advantage of the many different and wonderful facilities of the libraries across the University, which will in large part, we expect, remain places where patrons do their work and study and access the collections.  But at the same time, we’ll be building a more integrated digital portal into those collections, which is how we all now begin our searches for information.GAZETTE: What provoked this change?  Was it driven by finances?HYMAN: The concerns that led to the initial Task Force on University Libraries long antedated the financial downturn, although the downturn highlighted for us the need to re-evaluate the organization. In fact, the faculty were asking questions about the excessively complex nature of our organization many, many years before the financial downturn, based on challenges in accessing material and on sometimes cumbersome decision-making.GAZETTE: The dramatic changes in information technology were a key factor in the original task force report. Are those changes the driving force here?LAMBERTH: I think it’s a crucial component.  The world of libraries increasingly has been wedded to digital tools, resources, media, and possibilities for the past 20 to 30 years.  The ability to engage broad-scale digital strategies from a largely decentralized posture has become more and more problematic over the years.  The expectations of our users have grown higher and higher because of the way the nonlibrary world has digitized.HYMAN: Yes, and implicit in what you’re saying is that it’s very important to have a nimble decision-making structure to adapt to patrons’ changing expectations.GAZETTE: So let’s say we have our nimble decision-making structure in place now.  What does the premier research library of the 21st century look like?  What does it do that our libraries don’t do now?LAMBERTH: What we don’t do right now is present a virtual portal that really gives any patron range over the whole scope of Harvard’s assets, and we don’t actively try to collaborate and connect our patrons to the resources that other universities have as well.HYMAN: Yes, that’s exactly right.  A great 21st century library is collaborative both internally and externally, because no one can possibly afford to collect everything, and no one has expertise to identify everything that’s important.  Just as David said, we want our patrons to be able to find anything at Harvard, whether it’s a book, whether it’s a digital copy of a journal, whether it’s a database, or whether it’s an object in one of our museums. We must also be full-fledged members of consortia so that what we don’t own is also at the fingertips of our students and faculty.  That will increasingly be an expectation at any great university.There is a second thing that David has been alluding to, which is there has to be a deep and effective connection between our informational resources that are instantiated in the library and our pedagogy.  It’s not just a research tool.  So that the library should facilitate the development of new courses, the updating of materials for existing courses, and not simply in terms of traditional books and journals, but the whole variety of remarkable objects and databases that we have here at Harvard.GAZETTE: So what are some of the structural steps that you have to take to get from where we are to where we need to be?LAMBERTH: Well, one of the keys that the implementation group has identified is the need for a robust and accountable governance structure for the libraries that’s able both to be agile and to act on behalf of the University as a whole.So one of the first moves we need to make is to establish a Library Board and begin to develop a core team who will provide leadership for the whole system. And then, from there, begin to see the shape of what we can do, what we need to do centrally versus what we continue to do locally in all of the library units.It’s going to mean, over time, that every role in the libraries feels some effect from this change.  Though, depending on where you work and what kind of jobs you do, some of the roles will remain quite similar and some will change significantly in light of this.HYMAN: I think it’s really important to add that we want to respect in the new organization what’s best in our decentralized history, which is local intellectual expertise and knowledge of the needs of students and faculty, while we add what one gains from a more coordinated management structure: the ability to make decisions effectively and implement them.  One key is to have a board to whom the library director is responsible that represents the needs of our Schools.GAZETTE: Can you talk a little bit about some of the tangible benefits of a more coordinated management structure?LAMBERTH: One of the things we found is that the changes that have come into the practices of libraries are changes that largely scale — in the sense that the larger the organization gets, the more effectively it can do that. There are several simple examples.  Your ability to negotiate with a vendor for materials becomes stronger, the larger the number of dollars you’re going to spend is.We currently function in our decentralized systems as dozens of purchasing units.  We function as dozens of processing units.  And the notion here is that there are a number of activities that are so similar across these multiple libraries that if we bring them together and leverage the benefit of size in these cases, we’ll be able to use some of our resources to other ends within the libraries.GAZETTE: What do members of the library staff have to look forward to as these changes unfold over the coming months?LAMBERTH: I think there really is an exciting future ahead for the staff in trying to position the whole library organization onto more of a forward-looking and innovative front foot. There is already a lot of innovative work being done throughout the system.  Part of what we want to do is think about how we can build on that. What’s next? How can we improve on what we can deliver to faculty and students and researchers?  How can we think about how better to interface the digital and the physical and the artifactual collections that we have?  How do we think about where we’re going to be 20 years from now and position ourselves to be where we want to be in that time period? Currently that happens in some parts of the University library system, but it’s not widely distributed as a challenge for staff at all levels to be thinking about.HYMAN: We have a remarkable and talented library staff.  And I know that any large-scale change like this can provoke anxiety. But above all, it ought to be exciting as we all work together to build a great 21st century library.last_img read more

Continue reading

ND Day breaks records and increases student participation

first_imgNotre Dame Day hit a record high in the number of gifts given and the number of campus organizations that received donations, raising over $2.3 million from 6:42 p.m. Sunday evening to 12:11 a.m. on Monday.Director of Notre Dame Day Matt Gelchion said the number of donations given increased by over 3,200 from last year and that 809 groups received funding, compared to last year’s 663.“I think part of it was that now that this is the sixth year. There’s more familiarity among fundraising groups about how they can leverage this day,” Gelchion said.A 29-hour live broadcast of interviews, events and performances ran during the entirety of the fundraising period. Jim Small, associate vice president in the development office, said people from 119 countries tuned into the broadcast.“We had 38 broadcasting professionals help us put on the show — six were students and 32 were pros in the business,” Small said. “They bring the excitement, and we had some great interviews. 29 hours of storytelling — no one else in the world does anything like this. It’s a storytelling platform unlike anything else in the world.”A new goal for ND Day this year was to create excitement within the student population, Gelchion said.“For me there’s two measures of success,” Gelchion said. “One measure was, ‘Do we help more groups raise more funds and help them reach their goals?’ But the other goal was, ‘Does this become a day that students look forward to?’”To help achieve this goal, an ND Day student leadership team was formed. Co-chair and senior Jade Martinez said the team — composed of about 30 students — was meant to reflect the wide variety of student interests on campus.Martinez said she was given the job with just one instruction: make students excited about ND Day. To do this, the team looked at different events that would be fun opportunities for students to win money for their clubs and groups, Martinez said.In March, the team launched Fighting Irish Flicks, a new competition that asked groups on campus to make a minute-long video showcasing their group. The women’s water polo team received $500 for their first-place video.Two other new events geared toward students were the Golden Giveaway and Things in Things. The Golden Giveaway was a coffee giveaway on Monday morning, in which eight students won $50 by receiving a specially marked coffee.In Things in Things, students guessed how many items were in five containers, one of which was a stadium bag containing Hershey Kisses, Gelchion said. The student that guessed the closest number in each container received $100 for themselves and $100 for the organization of their choice.The student leadership team also came up with the idea of The Quest — a scavenger hunt in which clues leading to a hidden token were released every day from Wednesday to Sunday. The token — hidden in a book titled “In Quest of Light” in the Hesburgh Library — was found by a team of students from Notre Dame Students Empowering through Engineering Development (ND SEED).“We knew it wouldn’t be a piece of cake, but we were so thrilled at how invested some groups became in it that we will make sure that the challenge next year is absolutely worthy of its challengers,” Gelchion said.The student leadership team also created an Instagram page, “notredameday,” to increase publicity for ND Day and worked to clarify misconceptions about the event within the student population.“I think there’s a lot of misunderstanding about how the $1.2 million pot works, and where exactly all of the money goes,” Martinez said. “The $1.2 million is raised — it’s not taken out of tuition or something else. It’s specifically families donating this money in order to help clubs and dorms be able to do the things that make Notre Dame great.”Martinez said she believed students were also uncertain about where exactly the donated money goes.“I don’t think people realize that it’s directly to the club or dorm — it doesn’t go anywhere else,” Martinez said. “The votes just help you get more money, but that initial $10 or $20 or however much you donated — that’s going directly to the group you wanted.”Gelchion said he hopes student excitement and participation in events will continue to increase next year. He said love for Notre Dame from both people indirectly connected with the university and from current students is what makes ND Day successful.“You have members of the community currently who feel this place is really special — whether it’s that they feel their dorm is so special or their club — and people respond to seeing how much they care about it,” Gelchion said. “Because it’s important to them, it becomes important to others.”Tags: clubs, Donations, fundraising, ND Daylast_img read more

Continue reading

Nominations Open For Boss Of The Year Award

first_imgSubmitted by Thurston ChamberOlympia, Washington – The Thurston County Chamber of Commerce is seeking nominations for its third annual Boss of the Year award.  Co-sponsored by Express Employment Professionals, this award recognizes outstanding individuals who demonstrate exceptional leadership in the workplace through innovation, communication, vision, and performance.“With the challenging economy impacting organizations everywhere, leaders are making the difference between whether an organization barely survives or actually thrives”, said Reid Bates, Chair of the Thurston County Chamber and owner of Express Employment Professionals.  “This award is a great way for bosses to be recognized by their teams and the Chamber and for their examples to be shared across the community”, says Bates.Once again, Saint Martin’s University business students will play an important role in the selection process by interviewing finalists and gathering data for the selection committee.  “This is a wonderful opportunity for our students to meet with exceptional business leaders in the community and to also learn more about what truly defines leadership in the workplace,” says Richard Beer, Ph.D., dean of the School of Business.Nominations for the “Boss of the Year” award will be accepted through October 26th.  You may mail, fax or send via email to the Chamber office.  The award recipients will be announced on December 12 at the Worthington Center at Saint Martin’s University. For more information about the “Boss of the Year” competition, contact David Schaffert at [email protected]  or Reid Bates  at [email protected] a Nomination Form please visit www.thurstonchamber.com Facebook4Tweet0Pin0last_img read more

Continue reading

Little Silver Pub Hearing Moves Forward

first_imgGale’s clients have expressed concern that patrons of the tavern will use their private community as a thoroughfare to backtrack toward Sycamore Avenue via Essex Drive and Eastbourne Drive. Kelly 29, LLC had complied with the board’s deadline to return with a letter of intent from NJ Transit to help address the board’s traffic and parking concerns. Kennedy also said the proposed two-story structure should not be viewed as a “major development.” Rea said he made this determination over 49 observations of the commuter lot traffic over 10 days in 2017. He noted that on three occasions, NJ Transit required his team to complete those commuter lot parking counts during “gridlock alert days,” or days that NJ Transit deems to have overwhelming vehicular traffic, and urges commuters to use mass transportation. “We’re not generating more than a quarter-acre of new impervious surface. We’re not disturbing more than an acre of property. So this project does not trigger major development criteria of the NJDEP or borough ordinances,” Kennedy said. NJ Transit leases the commuter lot from Little Silver and, according to Krimko, the lease states that NJ Transit is permitted to sublet the lot to another user. However, an agreement could only be reached if the borough is willing to alter the lease agreement and expand the permissions of what the lot could be used for; in this case overflow parking for bar and restaurant patrons. LITTLE SILVER – With a preliminary agreement in hand from NJ Transit, the aspiring developer of the borough’s first licensed pub returned to the planning board Thursday. “I can tell you that (Brickwall’s) peak demand on both weekdays and weekends will be between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. And at those times there will be at least 300 parking spaces in the train station parking lot that can be utilized,” Rea said. In total, the facility will house seating for 250 patrons and, by ordinance, is required to have 230 parking spaces. The plan calls for just 36 parking spaces on the 51 Oceanport Ave. property, a site that used to hold Pix Shoes. Seventeen of those spaces require a planning board waiver. The community members have requested that the developers implement signage discouraging patrons from turning into the community from Oceanport Avenue. To back his claim, Rea compared the seating of the proposed development with other Brickwall Tavern locations and similar restaurant operations in the area. Rea said the Brickwall Tavern in Burlington has a seating capacity of 150 and uses 95 parking spaces at peak hours of operation. Additionally, the Brick House Tavern + Tap in Neptune has seating for 250 with only 150 parking stalls. According to Kennedy, the tavern would open at 11 a.m. and serve its last drink at 1 a.m., before closing at 2 a.m. He said the last of the cleanup crew and managerial staff would be exiting the building at 3 a.m. “I understand that the size of the restaurant, in looking at your ordinance, requires 230 parking spaces, but quite frankly I just think that’s substantially on the high side,” said Rea, of McDonough and Rea Associates. Jeffrey B. Gale of Gale & Laughlin, an attorney who represents 15 townhouse owners residing in the Townhomes of Little Silver development located off Oceanport and Sycamore avenues, made a case that not only should the development be considered major, but oversized. According to Rea, the analysis showed that peak commuter parking in the lot occurs on weekdays, but volume is substantially lower on weekends, when the tavern would be at its busiest. Krimko added that after meeting with NJ Transit representatives, her impression was that NJ Transit “does not care how the lot is used,” and is willing to turn the negotiation over to the borough, as the only impact will be to the town itself and its citizens. “They are basically granting us access (to the lot), subject to us working out whatever terms we need to with the borough,” Krimko said to the board. “This letter is more than just an intention to sit and talk. This is significant. This is a letter of intent outlining the terms that they are willing to enter into an agreement with.” Gale showed that, based upon borough ordinance, a construction in need of 230 parking spaces is only permitted to be 8,182 square feet. The proposed construction is more than 3,000 square feet beyond that permitted size, hence the variance being sought. The developer’s traffic engineer John Rea said the requirement seemed excessive. The operation times and potential noise pollution are also a concern for the nearby townhome residents. Project engineer James Kennedy, who last offered testimony in July, was recalled Thursday to revisit the site plan’s parking element and, like Rea, stressed that the commuter parking lot is “an underutilized asset.” The proposed site of the tavern and the Townhomes of Little Silver are separated by a retail store (Brave New World Surf and Snow) and a series of trees. According to testimony by developer attorney Jennifer S. Krimko, the agreement with NJ Transit stipulated conditions for one-way traffic flow from the tavern parking lot to the commuter lot, as well as a pedestrian walkway and other safety measures. The developers plan to build a 11,480-square-foot, two-story tavern on a 0.63-acre plot with two bars on the first level and a third bar and outdoor balcony seating on the second floor. The Little Silver Borough Council said it will take no formal action until the planning board does. The hearing is expected to continue next month. In addition, Gale also noted that if parking were to be contained on site and limited to those 36 proposed spaces, the developers would be limited to building a structure no more than 2,286 square feet. This shortfall of 194 spaces is proposed to be balanced by the approximately 550 spaces in the commuter lot of the adjacent Little Silver train station. Kelly 29, LLC attorney Jennifer Krimko said such signage could be provided.last_img read more

Continue reading

Kootenay boys, Thomson, Freschi help Ursel rink to top spot at BC Seniors Curling Championships

first_imgThe Craig rink currently sits in a tie for second spot with Craig Lepine of Langley, each with 4-2 marks.Ursel then disposed of Myron Nichol of Castlegar 7-2.The Kootenay rink, with skip Nichol, third Bill van Yzerloo, second Garry Beaudry of Nelson and lead Richard Faunt of Trail, are tied for fourth in the standings with a 3-3 record.Wednesday Ursel edged Doug Marshall of Chilliwack 4-3 before suffering a hiccup against Al Roemer of Delta Thistle Curling Club 6-4.Roemer sits at 2-4.Ursel led 3-0 after three ends before the roof fell in on the team.The overall winner of the round robin draw at the championships gains the top qualifying position in the Page Playoff Friday evening.The final is set for Sunday at 11 a.m.The winner of the provincial championships represents BC at the Canadian Senior Men’s and Women’s Curling Championships March 28 to April 2 in Digby, N.S. A rink with a pair of Kootenay players anchoring the front end are in the driver’s seat at the Senior Men’s Curling Provincials at the Richmond Curling Club.The Bob Ursel rink from Kelowna, with lead Fred Thomson of Nelson and second Don Freschi of Trail on the team, lead the standings following Day three of the provincial championships.The Ursel foursome, with Dave Stephenson at third, leads the standings with a 5-1 record.Ursel made it a sweep of Thursday action by defeating Garnet Boese of Smithers 5-2 during the evening draw.Earlier in the day the Interior rink blasted Stu Harris of Cloverdale 8-1 in five ends.Ursel opened the competition Tuesday with an 8-3 win over Wes Craig of Victoria.last_img read more

Continue reading