Changes to Curbside Pick-up

Beginning Monday, November 30, curbside pick-up becomes book pick-up and moves from the back of Mullen Library to inside its front doors.  Library borrowers will still need to follow the instructions in the Libraries COVID-19 Information Guide to request a specific book(s) and schedule a pick-up time, but we anticipate that this change will save staff time and enable us to fill more requests.

Book pick-up hours from November 30 through the end of the semester will be M-F, 11 AM – 1 PM and M, W, F, 3 – 4 PM.

Library borrowers will enter the library wearing a face mask.  They will show their CU ID to the guard at the Welcome Desk and be directed to the opposite side of the Welcome Desk where they will pick-up their bagged item(s) and exit the library.

Social Justice and Critical Librarianship

Every two years, the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) Research Planning and Review Committee publishes an article on the top trends and issues affecting academic libraries in higher education. We will be highlighting some of these trends through a number of blog posts over the next few weeks.


Introduction

When the June issue of College & Research Libraries News was going to press, the ACRL Research Planning and Review Committee could not have known just how relevant social justice—one of nine top trends they identified—would become as the year wore on. Indeed, they admit: “This article was written well before the world was fully aware of the novel coronavirus that has since spread around the globe.”

Nighttime photograph of police in riot gear standing in front of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. on May 31, 2020.
George Floyd Protest by Ken Fager. May 31, 2020. (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

As it happened, though, the article on the 2020 top trends in academic libraries appeared not only months into the pandemic (which continues to rage around the world) but, more significantly, just days after George Floyd was murdered on Memorial Day by a police officer. Since March, the pandemic had been bringing increased attention to the digital divide and systemic racism (especially as evidenced by the plight of low-wage workers, who are disproportionately people of color), but Floyd’s murder in May triggered international outcry for an honest-to-God reckoning. The DC Public Library responded very quickly to the “sickening killing,” recognizing the fact that “Libraries have always served a critical role during times of upheaval and disruption.” Meanwhile, Catholic University President John Garvey did not mince words about the “sin of racism.”

Although public libraries have traditionally been on the front lines when it comes to social justice, academic libraries certainly have a role to play, too. As part of a Catholic institution, the library community at CatholicU arguably has an even higher calling to social justice. In the remainder of this post, I will introduce the concept of critical librarianship and point to some recent examples of how the University’s library community is embracing social justice.

Critical Librarianship

In a nutshell, critical librarianship “acknowledges and then interrogates the structures that produce us” (Drabinski, 2019, p. 49). In other words, critical librarianship (#critlib) wrestles with the social inequities that make it imperative for others of us along the way to level the playing field. The clichéd first step is admitting there’s a problem: “libraries and others in the classification business” partake in the necessary evil of perpetuating ideological structures (Drabinski, 2019, p. 50). For example, academic libraries customarily arrange their materials in accordance with the Library of Congress Classification (LCC) system. Developed in the United States, the LCC is a prime example of a power structure with a built-in Western bias that, as a result, “[facilitates] some ways of knowing and not others, [and represents] certain ideological ways of seeing the world, and, crucially, not others” (Drabinski, 2019, p. 50). Now, no one is suggesting that we throw the LCC out the window. A library without a classification system would be chaos. At the same time, however, as stewards of information we must be cognizant of the ways in which the library winds up reinforcing the “ghettoization and marginalization” that minorities of all sorts—racial, sexual, religious—experience every day in the wider world (Drabinski, 2019, p. 51).

On the one hand, the classification conundrum resonates with me as an English major whose favorite class was a required one in which we read Stephen Greenblatt, Judith Butler, Michel Foucault, Seamus Deane, Louis Althusser, and others whose ideas have shaped critical theory and literary study. On the other hand, geeking out over the perniciousness of ideology seems painfully academic when the field of library and information science (LIS) is still so blindingly white. This is especially true of academic libraries, which tend to be “homogeneously staffed” by not just white people, but narrowly middle-class, cisgender, heterosexual, able-bodied, English-speaking white people (Drabinski, 2019, p. 55). For the record, that’s me on every count.

As I researched critical librarianship for this blogpost, I found myself less persuaded by collection development strategies like “spiral collecting” (Berthoud & Finn, 2019) and more convinced that the root of the problem in LIS stems from Dr. Nicole A. Cooke’s observation that it “is a predominantly white profession serving communities that are anything but” (Cooke, 2020, p. 90). In the courageous 2019 series “Getting it on the Record: Faculty of Color in Library and Information Science,” Dr. Cooke along with Joe O. Sánchez assembled “ethnographic counter-stories” in order to identify patterns of experience among LIS faculty of color. (CatholicU’s own Dr. Renate L. Chancellor was among the contributing authors.) Aside from tokenism in the form of “diversity hires,” the overwhelmingly white LIS profession is also guilty of paternalism; libraries have “a long history of perceiving and treating ethnic minorities and differently abled patrons as in need of extra help, special instruction, and charitable tolerance” (Cooke & Sánchez, 2019, p. 172). The authors argue emphatically that social diversity is about more than “avoiding legal liability and fulfilling bureaucratic quotas”; it promotes an all-around “healthier and better intellectual environment for an academic setting than social homogeneity” (Cooke & Sánchez, 2019, p. 177).

#CritLib at CatholicU

From my standpoint—as a full-time employee of the archives and a part-time graduate LIS student—the library community at CatholicU has two things going for it.

Collage of three images of Pope Leo XIII from the University's museum collection
Less historically, reminders of Pope Leo XIII’s importance to the University are hard to miss as you make your way around campus today. Clockwise from right: a massive marble statue of Pope Leo XIII dominates one end of the foyer in McMahon Hall; an enormous portrait of him hangs on the wall of the Provost’s office a few doors down; and, importantly for us, a bust of Pope Leo XIII stands on the first floor of Mullen Library.

First of all, the University has a strong historic connection to social justice, perhaps best embodied by Pope Leo XIII—whose “landmark 1891 document Rerum novarum has often been called the Magna Charta of modern Catholic social teaching” (Holland, 2003, p. 2). A few years before he issued his revolutionary encyclical, Pope Leo XIII helped usher the University into being. (To this day, CatholicU celebrates Founders Day on April 10—the day in 1887 when Pope Leo XIII wrote to Cardinal Gibbons approving the plans for the University.)

Secondly, the University is home to the only graduate LIS program in the District (which is in turn one of only two programs in the wider region, the other of course being the University of Maryland’s iSchool). As such, CatholicU is not only a center of intellectual discourse on LIS but also an ambassador of sorts. To that end, it is notable that the LIS Department does not merely preach the #critlib values of diversity and inclusion; all of the full-time faculty are not only women, but women of color.

Drawing on its dual role as a regional ambassador for librarianship and an heir of Pope Leo’s legacy, the library community at CatholicU has actively risen to the occasion in recent months.

Summary

Although the impetus for this blogpost was the 2020 top trends article, I would like to leave off by paraphrasing a point that Dr. Cooke made in her recent lecture: Social justice is not a trend. It is a continuous imperative. Critical librarianship calls us to be vigilant and conscientious in our work by constantly re-examining our practices with an eye towards social justice.

References and Further Reading

Berthoud, Heidy and Rachel Finn. (January 2019). “Bringing Social Justice behind the Scenes: Transforming the Work of Technical Services,” Serials Librarian, 76(1–4), 162–69. https://doi.org/10.1080/0361526X.2019.1583526.

Brown, Nicholas A. (October 2020). Maryland Libraries’ Antiracism Programming Goes Global | Programs that Pop. Library Journal. https://www.libraryjournal.com/?detailStory=maryland-libraries-antiracism-programming-goes-global-programs-that-pop

Cooke, Nicole A. (2020). Critical Library Instruction as a Pedagogical Tool. Communications in Information Literacy, 14(1), 86–96. https://doi.org/10.15760/comminfolit.2020.14.1.7.

Cooke, Nicole A. (2017). Librarians as active bystanders: centering social justice in LIS practice. In K. Haycock & M.-J. Romaniuk (Eds.), The portable MLIS: Insights from the experts (2nd ed., pp. 39–47). Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO/Libraries Unlimited.

Cooke, Nicole A. and Joe O. Sánchez. (2019). Getting it on the Record: Faculty of Color in Library and Information Science. Journal of Education for Library and Information Science, 60(3), 169–181. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3138/jelis.60.3.01.

Chancellor, Renate L. (2019). Racial battle fatigue: The unspoken burden of black women faculty in LIS. Journal of Education for Library and Information Science, 60(3), 182–189. DOI: http://dx.doi.org.proxycu.wrlc.org/10.3138/jelis.2019-0007.

Drabinski, Emily. (April 2019). What Is Critical about Critical Librarianship? Art Libraries Journal, 44(2), 49–57. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/alj.2019.3.

Holland, Joe. (2003). Modern Catholic Social Teaching: The Popes Confront the Industrial Age 1740-1958. Paulist Press.

Machine Learning and AI in the Library

Every two years, the ACRL Research Planning and Review Committee publishes in College & Research Libraries News an article on the top trends and issues affecting academic libraries and the change our institutions are experiencing. We will be highlighting some of these trends through a number of blog posts over the next few weeks.


When you think of AI, what comes to mind? There are dichotomous images in books and movies. In one view, there is the AI created to support and supplement the work of humans. In the other view, there is the robot uprising. In the library, AI and machine learning can be powerful tools. As with any tool created by man, AI can project biases or inaccurate readings into a situation. With that in mind, responsible and limited use of AI and machine learning can be a resourceful method of expanding limitations within libraries. Image of humanoid robot

What is AI and machine learning?

Encyclopedia Britannica defines AI as “Artificial intelligence (AI), the ability of a digital computer or computer-controlled robot to perform tasks commonly associated with intelligent beings. The term is frequently applied to the project of developing systems endowed with the intellectual processes characteristic of humans, such as the ability to reason, discover meaning, generalize, or learn from past experience.” Machine learning is the branch of AI that programs computers to learn from experience. (Encyclopedia Britannica). John McCarthy, professor emeritus of computer science at Stanford University, coined the term ‘artificial intelligence’ during the Dartmouth Conference in 1956.

Growth of Research in AI Although the concept of artificial intelligence has been around for decades, popular awareness has grown exponentially. As popular awareness increases, so too does the number of research papers and books. An examination of the Google Books Ngram Viewer indicates a steep increase in the number of books published on the topic of machine learning. The same trend is also evident in the journal literature.

Fig 1: Analysis of term appearing in Google Books Ngram Viewer, 10/27/2020

Web of Science shows 36,603 results for artificial intelligence and 105,220 for machine learning over the past 10 years. The past two years have seen the greatest growth, with an increase of 10,000 titles on machine learning between 2018-2020.

Fig 2: Analysis of term appearing in Web of Science entries, 10/27/2020

Libraries and AI

But what, you may wonder, does a library have to do with artificial intelligence? One lesson we have all learned from the COVID-19 pandemic quarantine is that libraries provide much more than physical collections. The infrastructure that provides access to ebooks, journal articles, and services online also provides access to the big data that could be used to analyze general user needs. For example, adding AI to a bibliometric analysis of required course readings could lead to a forecasting of student research needs, potentially improving student retention as the library pivots to meet those needs. With AI, library collections and services could become more individualized in much the same way that Amazon makes purchase recommendations based on past searches. AI has already changed the way many person-centered jobs are performed. “By 2022, today’s newly emerging occupations are set to grow from 16% to 27% of the employee base of large firms globally, while job roles currently affected by technological obsolescence are set to decrease from 31% to 21%. In purely quantitative terms, 75 million current job roles may be displaced by the shift in the division of labor between humans, machines, and algorithms, while 133 million new job roles may emerge at the same time” (World Economic Forum, Future of Work, 2018).

World Economic Forum. (2020) Strategic Intelligence: Bias and Fairness in AI Algorithms. https://intelligence.weforum.org/topics/a1Gb0000000pTDREA2

If you have a smartphone, consider how many times a day you turn to your device to check your calendar, search for the name of a song or an actor, watch a video, or even interact with other smart devices around you. During the pandemic, you may have had more conversations with Alexa or Google Assistant than with a real person. The question may occur to you whether an artificial intelligence bot could do as good a job at service occupations such as librarians. Research shows that acceptance of AI bots for service functions increases based on the anthropomorphism of the bot and the emotional ability of the person to accept AI. (Gursoy, 2019) While we may never see AI bots taking the place of librarians at a university library reference desk, librarians are already using AI to assist with research inquiries. Librarians help researchers navigate and understand the biases that algorithms develop. As Geneva Henry, Dean of Libraries at George Washington University writes, “Searching the internet using popular search engines, for example, can employ deep learning algorithms that continually learn from previous searches.” (Henry, 2019) Librarians often are called to help narrow a search and target the best results from hundreds of thousands that a search engine or database returns.

Ethics of AI

As with all software, AI can evidence the biases written into algorithms by humans. Additionally, because machine learning software is made to develop new neural networks, the algorithms can develop biases not initially observed. A bias can be as simple as listing the most likely link first in a results list, or as insidious as not recognizing the faces of people of color. To overcome bias in AI and machine learning, it’s important to work toward diversity and inclusion in the workplace and programming.

Additional Reading

B.J. Copeland, Artificial intelligence, Encyclopædia Britannica, August 11, 2020, https://www.britannica.com/technology/artificial-intelligence.

McCarthy, John, Marvin L. Minsky, Nathaniel Rochester, and Claude E. Shannon. (2006) “A Proposal for the Dartmouth Summer Research Project on Artificial Intelligence, August 31, 1955,” AI Magazine 27, no. 4, 12–14, https://doi.org/10.1609/aimag.v27i4.1904.

Gursoy, D., Chi, O., Lu, L., & Nunkoo, R. (2019). Consumers’ acceptance of artificially intelligent (AI) device use in service delivery. International Journal of Information Management, 49, 157–169, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijinfomgt.2019.03.008

Henry, Geneva. (2019) Research Librarians as Guides and Navigators for AI Policies at Universities. Research Library Issues, 299, p. 47-65, https://doi.org/10.29242/rli.299.4

Griffey, Jason, ed. (2019) Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in Libraries. Library Technology Reports, 55, no. 1, https://doi.org/10.5860/ltr.55n1

Kennedy, Mary Lee. (2019) What do artificial intelligence (AI) and ethics of AI mean in the context of research libraries? Research Library Issues, 299, p. 3-13, https://doi.org/10.29242/rli.299.1

Padilla, Thomas. (2019). Responsible Operations: Data Science, Machine Learning, and AI in Libraries. Dublin, OH: OCLC Research, https://doi.org/10.25333/xk7z-9g97

Young, Jeffery R. (2019) “Bots in the Library? Colleges Try AI to Help Researchers (But with Caution),” EdSurge, June 14, 2019, https://www.edsurge.com/news/2019-06-14-bots-in-the-library-colleges-try-ai-to-help-researchers-but-with-caution.27

Open Access: Transitions and Transformations

Every two years, the ACRL Research Planning and Review Committee publishes in College & Research Libraries News an article on the top trends and issues affecting academic libraries and the change our institutions are experiencing. We will be highlighting some of these trends through a number of blog posts over the next few weeks.


Open Access Week 2020 Banner
Courtesy: International Open Access Week

Welcome to Open Access Week 2020! As with many fields, research institutions and the Open Access community are reexamining how existing practices and systems are built upon historical practices of discrimination and exclusion. This year’s International Open Access Week theme is Open with Purpose: Taking Action to Build Structural Equity and Inclusion. Check out the International Open Access Week site or follow the Twitter hashtag #OAWeek to learn more and join the conversation.

Open Access (OA) refers to “free, immediate, online access to the results of scholarly research, and the right to use and re-use those results” as needed (SPARC). The underlying principle behind Open Access is that making research and scholarly work open will benefit humanity as a whole by making knowledge available to all, and allowing other researchers to review and build upon work done by their peers. Advancement happens when “research results are made openly available to the community so that they can be submitted to the test and scrutiny of other researchers…new research builds on established results from previous research” (cOAlition S). We’ll consider some of the current trends in OA that affect academic libraries. 

The push toward Open Access has gained momentum in the past fifteen years as the relationships between research institutions and publishers has changed. Since the 1990’s, publishers have sold journal subscriptions as bundles to institutions (usually through their libraries), similar to a cable package. The publishers have benefitted by guaranteeing these revenue streams, and institutions have benefitted by being able to provide access to a higher volume of scholarly writing than they would if they were working with individual journals. Over time, however, the cost of these packages (referred to as “big deals”) has risen faster than most academic library budgets, and there is sometimes little flexibility in choosing the content available through these deals. 

Additionally, a great deal of the research done worldwide is publicly funded, so researchers generally create scholarly content and review the work of their peers at no cost to the publishers. Publishers charge institutions to publish research findings, and then again to access that scholarly content that their own researchers created. Scholarly publishing has become very profitable for publishers, even as the cost of subscription fees has grown increasingly prohibitive for institutions.

Libraries at many institutions have reassessed the value of these deals and whether or not the large expenditure for bundled journal access is worth it. There have been several high-profile examples of breaks between institutions and publishers in the past couple of years, including the University of California and Massachusetts Institute of Technology ending their contracts with Elsevier, and more. The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) tracks the status of big deals cancelled by selected research institutions and consortia worldwide here

With many of these traditional agreements ending, institutions and publishers are finding new ways to work together. These kinds of contracts are called “transformative agreements,” which generally means contracts move away from the traditional subscription-based model and toward Open Access publishing. The term “transformative” is somewhat open to interpretation, and there are different definitions. In general, however, transformative agreements typically involve the following components: changes in cost structures (a “shift from paying subscriptions to paying for publishing”), copyright held by authors/creators rather than publishers, and making contract terms available to the public.

Open Access logo
Courtesy: International Open Access Week

One positive trend is the growing number of resources available to institutions and organizations looking to learn more about Open Access, and possibly rethink their contracts with publishers. These include the University of California Office of Scholarly Communications’ toolkit for negotiating with publishers, which was developed based upon UC’s experiences in negotiating with Elsevier. The Efficiency and Standards for Article Changes (ESAC) Initiative,  which aggregates information for the open access market and publishers, maintains a registry of transformative agreements worldwide as a resource for  institutions looking to change their own contracts with publishers. ESAC also maintains a collection of negotiating principles from institutions and consortia worldwide for reference.

An organization of European scientific agencies, called cOAlition S, formed in 2018 and launched an initiative to require that scientific research supported by public funds must be published in alignment with Open Access principles by 2020. Last year, this deadline was moved to 2021 in order to give researchers and publishers more time to adapt their practices. The fundamental principles of Plan S have not changed, and the plan includes guidance on how to implement this shift. The scientific community will no doubt be monitoring this plan and how it affects participants, but we may see a considerable shift in this direction.

Developers have created several tools to support users access the growing number of Open Access resources. These include Open Access Button, Unpaywall, Lazy Scholar, and Kopernio, all of which function as browser extensions to help researchers find Open Access versions of scholarly articles. There have been several recent studies that assess the usability and effectiveness of these tools, including these two published in Information Technology & Libraries that evaluate the user experience and effectiveness of such tools. As these tools are refined, and more are developed, we can expect to see additional studies on their usability and how they impact research.

Screen shot of Open Access filter button in SearchBox

When using SearchBox to explore the University Libraries collections, members of the CU community can find OA resources in their search results by simply selecting the “Open Access” filter in the left navigation column.

 

Additional Reading:

 

Research Data Services (RDS): Opportunities and Challenges

Every two years, the ACRL Research Planning and Review Committee publishes in College & Research Libraries News an article on the top trends and issues affecting academic libraries and the change our institutions are experiencing. We will be highlighting some of these trends through a number of blog posts over the next few weeks.


Research data management (or RDM) refers to the organization, storage, preservation, and sharing of data collected and used in a research project. Many academic libraries offer research data services (RDS) that cover all aspects of the data management lifecycle (figure 1). Examples include assisting researchers with data management plans, using file naming conventions, and exploring data repository options. Specific issues may cover the type of data collected and its format, backup policies for the storage of data, accessing and sharing data, and the issues of privacy, consent, intellectual property, and security that pervade RDM.

Figure 1: https://guides.library.ucsc.edu/datamanagement

Research data management is important for several reasons. First, data is a scholarly product and yet is a fragile commodity easily lost. An investment in RDM saves time and resources over the course of the data lifecycle. Good managers increase the quality and accessibility of the data to ensure valid reproduction and replication of results. Last, easing the sharing of data allows other researchers to make valuable discoveries.

Recent trends have focused on these themes: awareness and education initiatives, implementation of data standards, and training the next generation of librarians and data specialists.

Awareness and Education Initiatives

Governments and organizations are coordinating efforts toward open access, open data, and open science. Examples include the Canadian Government (Canada’s 2018-2020 National Action Plan on Open Government), the European platform OpenAIRE, and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (Open Science by Design). All are striving to shift scholarly communication toward transparency and openness in communicating and monitoring research; specifically, “coordinate open science and research data efforts, to align science with societal values and strategically plan for public access of data” (ACRL Research Planning and Review Committee).

The State of Open Data Report 2019 by Digital Science discusses the trend for adopting and accepting open data, with the point that “the research community is now demanding more enforcement of the mandates that have been adopted by many governments, funders, publishers and institutions around the world.” The report even states that “the majority of researchers want funding withheld and penalties for a lack of data sharing.”

Open Science by Design: Realizing a Vision for 21st Century Research is a report by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine published in 2019. As the report says: “Open science aims to ensure the free availability and usability of scholarly publications, the data that result from scholarly research, and the methodologies, including code or algorithms, that were used to generate those data.” The benefits of open science can include new standards that support reliability, reproduction, and replication; addressing new questions from multiple perspectives and expanding interdisciplinary collaboration; disseminating knowledge quickly and inclusively; and public-funded research available to everyone.

Implementation of Data Standards

Courtesy: Scott Graham

The maturation of guidelines illustrates how data standards are permeating the scholarly communication process. The FAIR data principles (findability, accessibility, interoperability, and reuse) were created in 2016 by GO-FAIR and have been widely adopted in research data management. Most researchers are unaware of the FAIR principles although this is changing slowly.

Solutions include inter-institutional collaboration with a focus on networks for data curation. Organizations such as the Data Curation Network have developed workflows and checklist resources to educate librarians and establish best practices. These resources were founded by data curators, data management experts, data repository administrators, disciplinary subject experts, and scholars, many with professional librarian training. National initiatives such as the Canadian Data Curation Forum held in 2019 is designing a national data curation network. Ethical data management and curating data for reproducibility were just some workshops given. CODATA is the Committee on Data of the International Science Council (ISC) and coordinates a wide variety of initiatives, task groups, and working groups.    

Responsible RDS is maturing slowly and adoption remains slow. Barriers to developing RDS at academic institutions include long term financing, a shortage of qualified staff and specialists, an extensive array of data science skills across the institution, and researcher indifference in general. An examination of 114 Association of Research Libraries (ARL) institutions by the Data Curation Network found that while 44% had an established data repository, very few websites had information about data curation support.

Training Next Gen Librarians and Data Specialists   

Besides the broad efforts made by institutions listed above, professional library school programs have taken it upon themselves to implement their own programs. Data science courses have expanded the LIS curriculum in the last two years. Full-fledged online courses have been introduced. The Research Data Management Librarian Academy (RDMLA) started in 2018 and offers a complete overview of RDM best practices.

Courtesy: Gert Altmann

The course was developed by a team of librarians and LIS faculty at several U.S. universities and the publisher Elsevier in order to promote RDM best practices. Modules include navigating research culture, advocating for RDM in libraries, launching data services, project management and assessment, data analysis, data visualization, coding tools, and platform tools. The curriculum will expand in fall 2020 with two new modules: “Data Copyright, Licensing, and Privacy,” and “Delivering Data Management Training: A Guide to DataONE.” In late 2021, a Chinese version of the Academy will be released.

Even for trained data librarians, there are still gaps as the National Library of Medicine determined in a 2019 workshop. Developing the Librarian Workforce for Data Science and Open Science identified seven skill categories data librarians needed to improve including “data skills, computational skills, research and subject matter knowledge, traditional library skills, skills for developing programs and services, interpersonal skills, and skills for lifelong learning.” It is a given that one data librarian cannot master all of these skill sets.

Summary

While the obstacles of uneven open access, skill shortages, knowledge deficits among practitioners, and the maturing of best practices and standards are acknowledged as impediments to progress, there is an overall optimistic trend of growing understanding of the vital importance of Research Data Services for the scientific enterprise. Effective management of our data resources is occurring among researchers, data managers, and librarians, with cooperation and collaboration among institutions, organizations, and networks, with this perspective seen as an integral part of research data management.

The Catholic University of America offers a Master’s degree and a certificate in data analytics in the School of Engineering and courses in data science in the Department of Library and Information Science. These courses have appeared in the last couple of years to address the data skills gap in the workforce. Students, faculty, and researchers interested in discussing Research Data Services for their projects can check the library’s Digital Scholarship website for additional information.

Suggested Readings

Cox, A. M., Kennan, M. A., Lyon, L., Pinfield, S., & Sbaffi, L. 2019. Maturing research data services and the transformation of academic libraries. Journal of Documentation. Retrieved from: https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/JD-12-2018-0211/full/pdf?title=maturing-research-data-services-and-the-transformation-of-academic-libraries

FAIR Principles: https://www.go-fair.org/fair-principles/

Federer, Lisa, Sarah C. Clarke, and Maryam Zaringhalam. 2020. “Developing the Librarian Workforce for Data Science and Open Science,” January 16, 2020, https://doi.org/10.31219/osf.io/uycax.

Johnston, Lisa R., and Liza Coburn. 2020. “Data Sharing Readiness in Academic Institutions.” Data Curation Network. https://datacurationnetwork.org/data-sharing-readiness-in-academic-institutions

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Open Science by Design: Realizing a Vision for 21st Century Research. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/25116.

Wilkinson, Mark D., et al. 2016. ‘The FAIR Guiding Principles for Scientific Data Management and Stewardship’, Scientific Data, 3. https://doi.org/10.1038/sdata.2016.18

OLL Blog – Unveiling the Camiliana at the Oliveira Lima Library

Castello Branco, Camillo. A Senhora Rattazzi. Porto: Livraria Internacional de Ernesto Chardron, 1880.
Castello Branco’s A Senhora Rattazzi (1880), part of OLL’s Camiliana.

Portuguese writer Camilo Castelo Branco (1825-1890), is considered one of the most important writers of his generation. His unmistaken style granted him an avid readership and a place in the heart of bibliophiles interested in lusophone literature. Castelo Branco lived as intensely as he wrote. His 1862 novel Amor de perdição (Doomed Love: a Family Memoir), famously inspired by his love affair with a married woman, was written during his imprisonment for adultery and became a bestseller. He was one of the few able to live off of his craft in his time. Castelo Branco wrote novels, plays, essays and poems. He also worked as a translator, translating French and English books to Portuguese. The irresistible force of love is a constant subject of his works, as much as social prejudice and the many forms of moral corruption, leading to stories that often end up in tragedy. Not all of them, though. There is also redemption, achieved through a great deal of suffering, and plenty of comedy. 

As a writer and translator, Castelo Branco had a prolific career, producing over 260 books until his death in 1890.  Although not entirely confined by the canon of Romanticism, he remained a stark critic of the Realist style represented by Eça de Queiroz. The two men were the most prominent examples of the main literary trends in the 19th century.  The importance of Castelo Branco in that context can not be overstated.

No collection of literature of the Lusophone world worthy of its name is complete without the presence of Camilo Castelo Branco. Manoel de Oliveira Lima, passionate bibliophile and book collector since the early age of 14, was very aware of that. Educated in Lisbon, he undoubtedly read and studied Castelo Branco’s works during his formative years. Later, an already seasoned scholar and book collector, he decided to build his very own Camiliana which would become part of the Oliveira Lima Library. Comprising more than 300 volumes, including original works, translations, catalogues from book sellers, Camiliana catalogues, compilations of correspondence, anthologies, and even books that belonged to Camilo Castelo Branco, is still a treasure to be unveiled. 

Castelo Branco, Camilo. Catalogo da preciosa livraria do eminente escriptor Camillo Castello Branco: contendo grande numero de livros raros ..., e muitos manuscriptos importantes, a qual será vendida em leilão. em Lisboa, no proximo mez de dezembro de 1883 ... sob a direcção da casa editora de Mattos Moreira & Cardosos. Lisboa: Typ. de M. Moreira & Cardosos, 1883.
Catalogue of a book auction in Lisbon that sold part of Castelo Branco’s private collection

The idea of revealing Oliveira Lima’s Camiliana to the world had already been in my plans for quite some time when a serendipitous encounter with Fabiano Cataldo, Professor of the School of Librarianship at the Universidade Federal do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (UNIRIO) in Brazil, transformed it into a project. Prof. Cataldo researches and teaches on the management of Special Collections in Libraries and has extensive experience organizing specialized catalogues. More recently, he has been interested in the study of book provenance. That interest prompted him to start a project in 2018 with colleagues from Brazil, Argentina, the United States and the United Kingdom, to map other similar projects, carry out an extensive review of concepts, and to study forms of identification and description of provenance marks. Ever since becoming a member of the Projeto “A Eloquência dos Livros: marcas de proveniência Bibliográfica”, the plan to organize a specialized catalogue of the Camiliana took a more defined shape. With the collaboration of Prof. Cataldo,  we developed a plan to study the collection within the framework of the field of provenance studies. The final product will be a printed catalogue of our Camiliana, possibly accompanied by an electronic version. The bibliographic records will also be accessible via our online catalogue.   

Denis, Jean F, Pierre Pincon, and Guillaume F. Martonne. Manuels Roret - Nouveau Manuel De Bibliographie Universelle. Tome I. Paris, a la Librairie Encyclopédique de Roret, 1857.
Castelo Branco’s signature in one of the books acquired in the Lisbon book auction by Oliveira Lima that are now part of the OLL collection.

We are currently in the early stages of the project, which consists of the inventory of the collection. In completing this phase of the project, the aid of our team at the Oliveira Lima Library has been unvaluable. Cataloguing and the itemized description of the books will follow, with a special focus on the provenance marks, of course. Unfortunately, our work schedule has been affected  by the ongoing pandemic. We are doing our best to keep working while being safe. Although we are working exclusively from home and Prof. Cataldos’ visit will not be possible in the summer as previously planned, we are aiming to come up with creative solutions and keep the work going. We hope to be able to announce updates soon. Stay tuned for news on the project! 

Help the Library Improve Searching for You and Your Fellow Students!

The University Libraries, teamed with Washington Research Libraries Consortium (WRLC), are looking for Catholic University students to take part in the SearchBox usability testing.

The testing should take 30-35 minutes. WRLC will award each participant a $10 Starbucks gift card.

What you’ll do

You’ll simply be asked to complete a few tasks by searching the library SearchBox and share your opinions and experience.

Where and When

Testing will occur completely online through Zoom on the following days:
• Monday, April 6, 11am – 4pm
• Tuesday, April 7, 11am – 4pm
• Tuesday, April 14, 11am – 4pm
• Wednesday, April 15, 11am – 4pm
• Thursday, April 16, 11am – 4pm

Undergraduate and graduate students are invited to take part.

If interested, please email to lib-electronicservices@cua.edu with your name, year of study (e.g. Freshman, Sophomore, Graduate Student), and at least two available times on the above test days.

COVID-19 Update: Limited access to Mullen Library

In order to focus more of our efforts on online support, access to the print collections within Mullen Library will be only by appointment at this time and limited to faculty and graduate students with the approval of their advisor. Please see our COVID-19 Information Guide for instructions on arranging an appointment.

Thank you for your understanding as we continue to support your research and teaching needs, while also promoting the safety and health of our students, faculty and staff through social distancing and supporting those staff who need to care for loved ones during this period.