Digital Scholarship: Piles of Books!

By Judit Klein

This is the time of the semester, the reading is piling up. But, let us tempt you to take time to read for pleasure. Check out the CUA Popular Reading Collection!

Consider these thoughts;

“Last year, the average American over 15 years old spent around 3 hours watching television every day. In contrast, only 15 minutes a day were spent reading.” From Technology is Not the Death of Deep Reading by Emilie Hancock.

“Consider, however, the fact that, as Matthew Wilkens points out, in 2011 more than 50,000 new novels were published in the United States alone.  ‘The problem of abundance’ is a problem for every person who has an internet connection, and it is a professional problem in every corner of literary study.” From The Death, and Life, of Reading Have Been Greatly Exaggerated by Dr. Amy Hungerford

Our attention is divided and there is always more to read. The good news is, that while we may be spending less time reading, “People who read books regularly are on average more satisfied with life, happier, and more likely to feel that the things they do in life are worthwhile.” 2014 BookTrust Report.

Dr. Hungerford finishes,

My friend the Welsh poet Gwyneth Lewis offers a culinary metaphor: The attention of readers is not, she says, “a boiled egg” but “an omelet.” This is a beautiful and generous thought. Treated with skill and respect, the mind of the reader — and the collective of many readers’ minds — can contain multitudes. In the face of a multitude of books curated most often by the profit motive, it is incumbent upon those somewhat protected from market imperatives — that is, scholars paid by universities to spend their time reading and thinking and teaching and writing — to stuff the omelet deliberately. To do that, we will all need to scour the shelves for the most delicious ingredients, and also set some loudly touted ones aside.

How do you keep up with your reading? No wonder you may need a late night snack to power you through!


— Kimberly Hoffman


Newest in Popular Reading: The Mannings, Hustling Hitler, The Human Superorganism, & The Girl Who Escaped ISIS

What a beautiful beginning to autumn we are experiencing at The Catholic University of America! The air is fresh, the temperature cool, and the leaves are beginning to fall. Here at the library, we have a great new selection of books in our popular reading collection located on the first floor of Mullen Library in the Reference Reading Room. There you will find an assortment of best sellers and other popular titles.


Some of our newest titles are listed below. Hold your cursor over the Title to see a short description of the book, or click to view the catalog record. The status of the book is shown beside the call number.

Title Author Status
The Book That Matters Most Ann Hood
Presto!: How I Made Over 100 Pounds Magically Disappear And Other Magical Tales Penn Jillette
Absalom’s Daughters Suzanne Feldman
The Girl Who Escaped ISIS: This Is My Story Farida Khalaf and Andrea C. Hoffmann translated from the German by Jamie Bulloch
The Kingdom of Speech Tom Wolfe
American Housewife: Stories Helen Ellis
The Mannings: the fall and rise of a football family Lars Anderson
Cooking for Picasso Camille Aubray
The Hamilton Affair: a novel Elizabeth Cobbs
Hustling Hitler: The Jewish Vaudevillian Who Fooled the Führer Walter Shapiro
In the Shadow of Frankenstein: Tales of the Modern Prometheus Stephen Jones (ed.) Foreword by Neil Gaiman
The light of Paris Eleanor Brown
Ninety-Nine Stories of God Joy Williams
Family Tree Susan Wiggs
The book: A cover-to-cover exploration of the most powerful object of our time Keith Houston
A field guide to lies :critical thinking in the information age Daniel J. Levitin
The Matchmakers of Minnow Bay Kelly Harms
Heroes of the Frontier Dave Eggers
Good Morning, Midnight Lily Brooks-Dalton
The human superorganism: how the microbiome is revolutionizing the pursuit of a healthy life Rodney Dietert

Looking for more options? You can always see a full list of our Popular Reading books in the catalog, by searching under keyword, “CUA Popular Reading.”

Having trouble finding a book in the Mullen Libraries’ stacks? Check out this video:

For more great information from CUA Libraries, follow us on Facebook and Twitter:

Mullen Library Facebook; @CUAlibraries
Religious Studies, Philosophy, and Canon Law Library Facebook; @CUATheoPhilLib
CUA Science Libraries Facebook; @CUAScienceLib
CUA Architecture & Planning Library Facebook; @CUArchLib
CUA Music Library Facebook; @CUAMusicLib


— Samuel Russell

Digital Scholarship: Citation Needed

Cite your sources.

Never have we needed this exhortation more. We won’t make the case here again (because we have before!) Digital scholars use digital tools – use a reference manager as you research and write.

CUA Libraries provide RefWorks and EndNote Online for researchers, but there are other products. For help getting started with reference managers, please Meet with a Librarian.

Take a few minutes to enjoy this Plagiarism Rap from the University of Alberta!


— Kimberly Hoffman

Digital Scholarship: Created at CUA

Where do you preserve your digital scholarship? If you publish in journals, you may be using ResearchGate or Academia.Edu to share your publications. Is this a long-term solution? Maybe not. Are you working on a conference paper or poster? Save them at your institution’s open access repository.

From A social networking site is not an open access repository by the University of California Office of Scholarly Communication:

Open access repositories are usually managed by universities, government agencies, or nonprofit associations. Affiliation with a larger institution (with a public service mission) means that repositories are likely to be around for a long time.

ResearchGate and are commercial sites, whereas most open access repositories are non-profits.


You have open access options that are long-term. Take some time to look at The Catholic University of America’s Open Access Repository – Digital Collections . Look to the most recently published dissertations highlighted on the front page; or search the Institutional Repository link for the dissertations by school.


— Kimberly Hoffman

Digital Scholarship: State of Mind

6807361770_9c95bfd5b6_zAs a new academic year begins – how’s your glass? Half full? Half empty?

We are excited to have students and faculty teeming back into the library as the school year begins on campus. We work with students of all ages at a university. Gen-Xer’s and Millennials make us look at life from their point of view. They make us learn.

Read the Class of 2020 Mindset List from Beloit College at the beginning of this semester. Item #15 may be relevant as we roll out new services at the University Libraries.

15. They have never had to watch or listen to programs at a scheduled time.

Our invitation to all students and faculty is to make an appointment with a librarian on your schedule!

In this season of change, find meaning and purpose in reading. We recommend a new work of fiction –  The Mandibles: A Family, 2029-2047  by Lionel Shriver. It is scary (as in this could be happening right now) good!

“The Mandibles is about money. Thus it is necessarily about bitterness, rivalry, and selfishness—but also about surreal generosity, sacrifice, and transformative adaptation to changing circumstances.” Wall Street Journal

Reading broadly about higher education, you may agree with both of the following articles.

Is “uberization” the term that now defines higher education? From David Theo Goldberg’s essay The Dangers of the Uberization of Higher Education:

“Broadly conceived, Uber represents on-demand access, a claim to a flawless experience with minimized hassle, immediate gratification, all at the best going rates. It provides a digital platform drawing together the elements necessary for instant delivery while hiding from view some of the significant delivery costs, such as maintenance and operations, health care and Social Security.”

Joshua Kim counters in The Bright Future of Higher Ed and asks “Is it possible to be simultaneously believably positive and realistically critical about the future of postsecondary education?”  He finds hope in our students, our educators and our practices.

Today’s students are smarter, more interesting, and more curious than at any time in the past. I attribute much of the goodness I see in our students to the fact that our student bodies are ever more diverse. Diverse by gender, race and ethnicity, sexual orientation, national origin, and every other way that we measure diversity. This diversity has brought an energy to our campuses that did not exist when I was an undergraduate (1987-1991) – a diversity path that will only expand following future demographic trends.

On the digital scholarship front, Barbara Fister sums up a rapidly changing landscape in The Acceleration of Open Access

…with so many projects taking off, and with such robust platforms rolling out to challenge whatever the big corporations will have to offer, I’m feeling pretty optimistic about our capacity to align the public value of scholarship with our daily practices – and optimistic about the willingness of rising scholars to change the system.

Happy new year! Work hard! Be kind! Read!


— Kimberly Hoffman

Digital Scholarship: CH CH CH CH Changes!

9781442238572 (1)I quote from the Spring 1997 Editor’s Page of The Society for Historians of the Early America Republic.

Tempora mutantur, nos et mutamur in illis- Anonymous
Ch, Ch, Ch, Ch, Changes, turn and face the strain- David Bowie [1]

As we deal with closing branch libraries on our campus, we can re-imagine what our University Libraries provide students and faculty. A new book by David W. Lewis (discussed in his webinar) Reimagining the Academic Library [2] exhorts us to concentrate on library space and  preserving digital scholarship while using the disruption of library finances to change practices and processes to deliver resources.

“What product or service can help students and faculty do more effectively, conveniently and affordably a job they’ve been trying to do in their scholarly lives?”

MIT has a task force charged with the future of the modern library. See their idea bank at The Future of Libraries. [3]

The Aspen Institute report Libraries in the Exponential Age Moving from the Edge of Innovation to the Center of Community  encourages us to use design thinking in this reimagination process.

CH CH CH CH Changes …new service models and resources will come to our academic library. We are not alone in this, and it is a good reminder to all on campus and in the land of higher ed that “Times change, and we change with them.”


— Kimberly Hoffman

[1] “Editors’ Page.” Journal of the Early Republic 17, no. 1 (1997): 131-34.

[2] Lewis, David W. 2016. Reimagining the academic library.

[3] “The Future of Libraries | Massachusetts Institute of Technology.”,



Digital Scholarship: Knowledge is Power

If “knowledge is power” as attributed to Francis Bacon [1], the job of an academic library may be as David Lankes says:

“These libraries  are  already  part  of  a  culture  and  community  dedicated to learning and founded on the principles of knowledge creation through conversation. Textbooks, journals, symposia, and lectures are all conversations.  They  may  be  sequential,  rigid  in  format,  or  plodding,  but  they  are conversations  nonetheless. “ [2, p.131]

Today’s news brings us new challenges in knowledge creation and conversation in the phrases “million-person research cohort” and “dataveillance” and “informational struggle.”

“million-person research cohort”

The Precision Medicine Initiative Cohort Program seeks to leverage the information to treat and prevent disease from your genes, environment and lifestyle. According to Uncle Sam Wants You — Or at Least Your Genetic and Lifestyle the Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI) has allocated funds in 2016 to have the NIH build a large-scale cohort to collect information at the:

“intersection of human biology, behavior, genetics, environment, data science and computation, and much more to produce new knowledge with the goal of developing more effective ways to prolong health and treat disease.”


The PEW Research Center began polling on privacy after the 2013 leaks about the NSA surveillance of online and phone communications in the US. From The state of privacy in America: What we learned:

“Many technology experts predict that few individuals will have the energy or resources to protect themselves from “dataveillance” in the coming years and that privacy protection will likely become a luxury good.”

“informational struggle”

From All Signs Point To Russia Being Behind the DNC Hack by Thomas Rid

“Informational struggle,” Adamsky observes, is at the center of New Generation Warfare. Informational struggle means “technological and psychological components designed to manipulate the adversary’s picture of reality, misinform it, and eventually interfere with the decision-making process of individuals, organizations, governments, and societies.” 

Academic libraries are where conversations about today’s new and yesterday’s sources can take place.

“Academic  libraries  and  the  librarians  who  run  them  need  to  be  in  the vanguard of this expanding access to higher education and to the scholarship and knowledge that make it possible. They must help guide the academy in providing not only sources for scholarship, but scholarship itself to the world.” [2, p136]

[1] Cf. Bacon Meditationes Sacræ (1597) sig. E3v, ‘Nam & ipsa scientia potestas est’. “knowledge, n.”. OED Online. June 2016. Oxford University Press. (accessed July 25, 2016).

[2] Lankes, R. David, Newman Wendy, Kowalski Sue, Tench Beck, Gould Cheryl, Silk Kimberly, Newman Wendy, and Britton Lauren. “Fitting Knowledge in a Box.” The New Librarianship Field Guide. MIT, 2016. 125-30. Web.


— Kimberly Hoffman

Digital Scholarship: What’s Next?

Call it being curious. Call it being proactive. Call it being engaged. Maybe it is just human to look to the future. Here are some reports from 2015 and 2016 that give us clues to what the future of learning and libraries may look like.

Libraries & Learning

2016 ALA State of America’s Libraries Report
2016 PEW Libraries and Learning
Horizon Report 2015 Library Edition
2015 CLIR The Center of Excellence Model for Information Services

Trends in Digital Scholarship

SPEC Kit 350: Supporting Digital Scholarship (May 2016)
2015 CLIR Building Expertise to Support Digital Scholarship: A Global Perspective


NISO Alternative Assessment Metrics (Altmetrics) Initiative: Persistent Identifiers in Scholarly Communications
NISO Alternative Assessment Metrics (Altmetrics) Initiative: Alternative Outputs in Scholarly Communications
2015 The Metric Tide: Report of the Independent Review of the Role of Metrics in Research Assessment and Management
‘Preserving Transactional Data’: new DPC Technology Watch Report

Sam Seaborne, of The West Wing: Season 2, Episode: Galileo, reminds us to ask “what’s next?


— Kimberly Hoffman

Digital Scholarship: Rest Promotes Productivity!

Lin-Manuel Miranda reading Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
Lin-Manuel Miranda ‏@Lin_Manuel 15 Jun 2015 #MrowbackMonday In 2008 I bought Chernow’s Hamilton bio to read on vacation. @HamiltonMusical rehearsal starts today.

Finishing up our reading theme for June, we remind you to read, perchance, to dream!

Lin-Manuel Miranda: It’s ‘No Accident’ Hamilton Came To Me On Vacation
“The moment my brain got a moment’s rest, ‘Hamilton’ walked into it.”

In his award-winning musical “Hamilton,” Lin-Manuel Miranda makes the case that if Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton had taken a break from work during one particularly high-pressured summer, he could have gone onto become one of America’s greatest presidents. Instead, Hamilton refused to go on vacation with his family and made the worst decision of his life by starting an affair. The career-killing mistake is now infamously known as one of America’s first political sex scandals.

Take a break!


— Kimberly Hoffman

Digital Scholarship: How & What? We Read!

This week’s post was meant to be a treatise on libraries role in students’ journey to information and reading habits – and we will get to that. We were overwhelmed by well-intentioned people referring us to this article: The Mistrust of Science By Atul Gawande  June 10, 2016. It is a part-scathing and part-hopeful piece on the role of science communication today. One of the important tenets in this article is the indication that ‘neuroscience and computerization’ are linking the fields of science and humanities in a new and important way.

Few working scientists can give a ground-up explanation of the phenomenon they study; they rely on information and techniques borrowed from other scientists. Knowledge and the virtues of the scientific orientation live far more in the community than the individual. When we talk of a “scientific community,” we are pointing to something critical: that advanced science is a social enterprise, characterized by an intricate division of cognitive labor. Individual scientists, no less than the quacks, can be famously bull-headed, overly enamored of pet theories, dismissive of new evidence, and heedless of their fallibility. (Hence Max Planck’s observation that science advances one funeral at a time.) But as a community endeavor, it is beautifully self-correcting.

Beautifully organized, however, it is not. Seen up close, the scientific community—with its muddled peer-review process, badly written journal articles, subtly contemptuous letters to the editor, overtly contemptuous subreddit threads, and pompous pronouncements of the academy— looks like a rickety vehicle for getting to truth. Yet the hive mind swarms ever forward. It now advances knowledge in almost every realm of existence—even the humanities, where neuroscience and computerization are shaping understanding of everything from free will to how art and literature have evolved over time. Continue reading “Digital Scholarship: How & What? We Read!”