New Semester, New Look at the Libraries

Charles Library, photo by Betsy Manning for Temple University

Welcome to the fall 2019 semester! While Temple University Libraries has a new Main Campus building (Charles Library, heard of it??!) and a new website, we are committed as ever to getting you the materials, resources, and expert help you need as you start a new academic year at Temple!

First off, we hope you’ll stop by the new Charles Library building, where you’ll find a variety of specialized and flexible spaces. Explore all the cool things you can do in the new Loretta C. Duckworth Scholars Studio, including 3D printing and experimenting with virtual reality. Watch the BookBot in action, grab a snack at the new cafe, then stay up all night in the 24/7 study area. There’s so much more to this state-of-the-art building—come see us in person

If you want to learn more about Charles Library, we’ll be offering tours from 9:00 am–4:00 pm as well as a staffed info table the first two weeks of the semester. No need to register: just stop by and get to know your new library.

Once you’ve scoped out your syllabi, head over to our comprehensive Research Guides for each of your course subjects, as well as our How Do I…? guides for help with basic tasks and services. 

Or maybe you are looking for new ways to learn or spend an afternoon? Check out the Libraries’ Beyond the Page public programming series for a variety of free programs, concerts, workshops, and more, many of which will take place in Charles Library’s new event space

Here are a few more tips to help you start the new school year off right:

Libraries Launch New Website

On Monday, August 19, 2019, Temple University Libraries will launch a new website culminating two years of work and research. The timing of this launch is paired with the opening of the new Charles Library. This new environment serves to enhance discovery of library resources, and promote the use of services and amenities both online and within our walls. The last time the libraries’ website received a major overhaul was about seven years ago, in 2012.

An overarching goal of the website redesign and restructuring was to create a consistent look across all of our web platforms. Last summer, we launched our new Library Search as the first step in this process. Launching the new website on an open source and flexible platform is the second step. The new website will have a seamless integration with Library Search, and website content will be discoverable alongside book, article and database information.

We also continue to build out Library Search as we prepare for the changes to how users will navigate our collections. This will include the option to retrieve items from the BookBot and to browse our collections in the order that they would have appeared in the old stacks.

We sought to build a website that incorporated input and feedback from all of the communities that we serve. Over the course of the project, we conducted several in-person user-testing sessions with library patrons as they passed through the halls. We also did an online survey and looked at web analytics for our most popular pages.

A project of this scope has an impact that will reverberate throughout our community, and we are committed to persisting links to library resources. We thank you for your patience with this development, and we look forward to working with you into the future.

Farewell, Paley Library!

Saying goodbye to Paley, photo by Brae Howard

On May 9, the Libraries hosted a “Goodbye to Paley” open house. Paley has been the library’s home on Main Campus since 1966, and has meant so much to the Temple students, faculty, staff, community members, and visitors who have walked through its doors.

Library staff performs hits from 1966, photo by Betsy Manning for Temple University

Around 250 people joined us to celebrate, to reminisce, and to say goodbye to Paley. Our open house featured an SCRC photo exhibit, zinemaking station, video booth for sharing Paley memories, library furniture sale, live music, and more. Dean Joe Lucia also offered remarks on the history of Paley and the shifts we’ve seen in academic libraries since the 1960s, when Paley first opened. It was a fitting send off as we prepare to open a new 21st century library across the street.

At the end of the day, we officially closed Paley Library in order to begin the move to Charles Library. The move process will continue throughout the summer, as we work toward opening the new library for the fall semester in August.

 

Images of Paley Library from the SCRC, photo by Brae Howard

While Paley will no longer function as a library, the building will live on as “Samuel Paley Hall.” It will be the new home for the College of Public Health and will continue to house the Center for Academic Advising and Professional Development for the College of Liberal Arts and the College of Science and Technology.

 

 

While we will miss Paley dearly, we are excited about completing the move to Charles and opening the new state-of-the-art facility to the public.

Library furniture on sale, photo by Brae Howard

New Year’s Resolutions? No Problem! Let the Libraries Help

Happy 2019 and welcome back for the spring semester! Are you ready to make 2019 your best year yet? The Libraries have you covered. Read on to learn about new and ongoing initiatives and resources that will help you keep your resolutions and start off the new year strong.Image of tree blooming into spring

 

Exercise your creativity

Today marks the opening of our creative writing contest to commemorate the new Charles Library and the launch of the Short Edition short story dispenser. Submit a short original piece by March 8 for a chance to win a cash prize and/or be published in Temple’s first short story dispenser.

Make some extra money

If you’re an undergrad, consider submitting your research and creative projects to the Livingstone Undergraduate Research Awards (submissions open through February 18) for a chance at winning a prestigious honor and cash prize.

Start a new project

Want to try your hand at podcasting, photography, or film? The Libraries can help! We lend out audiovisual equipment like DSLR cameras, Flip cameras, audio recorders, and tripods from our Media Services department. We also have workstations for editing your projects. Visit the Media Services desk on the ground floor of Paley Library to learn more.

Learn a new skill

Interested in 3D printing or Virtual Reality? Our Digital Scholarship Center houses a makerspace and VR lab. You will also find expert staff on hand and a variety of workshops and orientations to get you started.

Read a good book

There’s nothing like getting lost in the world of a new book. Browse Paley Library’s leisure reading collection on the first floor, near the Ask Here desk, and see what new worlds you can discover.

Elevate your research

Use our Ask a Librarian service to work with an expert subject librarian to deepen and develop your research and/or personal projects.

Take in a cultural experience

Need a little more culture in your life? The Libraries’ Beyond the Page public programming series offers a variety of free lectures, concerts, exhibitions, film screenings, and more that are sure to entertain and engage. Did we mention they are free?

 

Library Search: Enhanced version now live

Based on feedback received from the university community, Temple University Libraries released an enhanced version of the Library Search on August 13th, 2018. During the 2018-2019 academic year, the Libraries will continue to make further updates to the search.

Please refer to our Library Search Road Map and Frequently Asked Questions page for more information and check the library website throughout the year for further updates. If you have any additional questions, please contact asktulibrary@temple.edu.

CONTENTdm Responsive Site Goes Live

Screen shot of new siteTemple University Libraries’ Digital Collections site has a new look! We are excited to roll out a responsive version of our existing Digital Collections website. The new software has better mobile and tablet compatibility, an improved image viewer, and is compliant with WCAG 2.0 accessibility guidelines.

You’ll find all of our collections on the website homepage, along with an easily navigable single search bar and advanced search option. You’ll also see a link to “Explore Our Collections,” where you’ll find several options for browsing our collections by repository, by subject, by format, or through our digital exhibitions.

Paley Library, 1966

Paley Library, 1966

Users can access our Digital Collections through the Temple University Libraries homepage, through the Special Collections Research Center homepage, or by visiting http://digital.library.temple.edu/digital/

There will be continuous upgrades and improvements to the software over time, so be sure to look out for new features in the site. If you have any questions, concerns, or would like to suggest new digitization projects, please contact us at diglib@temple.edu.

–Stephanie Ramsay
Digital Projects LIbrarian

Library Search: Updated Beta Release

Based on feedback received from the university community, an enhanced version of the Library Search is currently under development at Temple University Libraries. A beta version was released in February 2018, and was updated with new features on June 25, 2018. Try it out at librarybeta.temple.edu/bento.

On August 6, 2018 (updated date: August 12th), this updated version of the Library Search is scheduled to replace the existing interface. During the 2018-2019 academic year, the Libraries will continue to make further enhancements to the search.

Please refer to our Library Search Road Map for more information and check the library website over the summer for further updates. If you have any additional questions, please contact asktulibrary@temple.edu.

National Poetry Month Is Here!

What better way to bring in April than with National Poetry Month? Established by the Academy of American Poets, this month celebrates the enduring legacy and ongoing work of American poets and encourages us to support poets and poetry.

Wondering how you can join in the fun? Sign up for Poem-a-Day at poets.org, and you will receive a brand new, previously unpublished poem in your inbox every day. Check out today’s poem, “Agatha” by Dorothea Lasky.

If you’re interested in getting involved on campus, look no further than the Babel Poetry Collective, which is a collection of spoken word poets, musicians, vocalists, and emcees.

Another way to celebrate poetry is to share your favorite poem with a friend. Here, I’ll start: check out “Onset” by Kim Addonizio. Now, it’s your turn!

Our Staff Recommends: Reading Essentials for Spring Break

Spring Break is right around the corner! Looking to take a break from studying and stretch out with a good book? Read on for recommendations from our library staff on what they are reading right now and what you just can’t miss. We hope you find your new favorite book!


I recommend The Floating World by C. Morgan Babst. I’m still reading it, but to summarize I’d say it’s about a family torn apart by and attempting to come back together after Hurricane Katrina. It brings to life the other worldly, apocalyptic post-storm horrors as experienced by different family members.

–Kathy Lehman, Supervisor, Circulation and Reserve

 

Two Faces of American Freedom by Aziz Rana argues that American freedom in the form of Republican self-rule was predicated on the domination of subordinate populations, both internally and externally. The book explains how this dynamic has played out in the course of American history, and is relevant today in thinking about contested positions on immigration. This book is also available online. 

–Fred Rowland, Reference Librarian, Classics, Economics, Philosophy, and Religion

 

 

I loved The Unseen World by (Temple Liberal Arts writer-in-residence!) Liz Moore. The novel follows protagonist Ada Sibelius as she decodes the clues of her father’s past. It’s part family mystery, part computer science history, part coming-of-age story. I couldn’t put it down. Moore did a reading for us in the fall and the crowd loved her as much as I do.

–Sara Curnow Wilson, Library Outreach and Communications Administrator

 

 

First is Elizabeth Tova Bailey’s The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating, which my daughter gave me for Christmas. It’s an utterly absorbing personal narrative of the way a debilitating illness is lightened and enriched for the author by intimate daily observation of a common garden snail in a terrarium – a gift given to the author by a visiting friend during that illness. In spite of the odd subject, it is a profoundly intimate and moving book. We don’t hold it but you can get it from the Free Library.

[Editor’s Note: See bottom of this post for other borrowing options!]

Second is Robert Hass’s A Little Book on Form: an exploration into the formal imagination in poetry. For anyone of a literary bent, it is an utterly readable and entertaining jaunt through many possible ways of understanding “form” as a dimension of poetry in the English and American traditions from the Renaissance to the present. That may sound dry, but Hass has such a lively and personal voice that it’s fun to read and consistently provides new insights into the many ways poems work. Especially of interest to aspiring poets.

Finally, Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: An American Lyric. It’s hard to describe this patchwork of prose poems that is one of the most probing and troubling investigations of race in contemporary American experience. It is somewhat dense and demanding but it is worth the effort. The section on Serena Williams is itself worth the price of admission.

–Joe Lucia, Dean of Libraries

 

 

 

I’d like to recommend The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu. I’m only halfway through this book but it’s already unlike anything I’ve ever read! It follows two generations of Chinese scientists as they grapple with the future of humankind. The narrative of The Three-Body Problem weaves together a huge range of subjects including the Cultural Revolution, virtual reality games, nanotech, aliens, and theoretical physics, and still somehow manages to have a suspenseful storyline.

–Sarah Jones, Science & Engineering Librarian

 

 

I recommend Lila by Marilynne Robinson. It’s a beautiful rendering of character and place, set in rural Iowa. If you are interested in studying the craft of fiction writing, Robinson shows you how to weave seamlessly from thought to memory to present. It’s astonishing, and the characters stay with you long after you finish the book.

–Beckie Dashiell, Editor

 

 


One final tip: Temple doesn’t hold a copy? You can borrow from other libraries using E-ZBorrow or ILLiad and pick up at your Temple library!

 

 

Future Proofing Civic Data

Exploring the challenges of preserving open civic data for the long term

This past year, Temple University Libraries received a Knight Foundation Grant, “Knight News Challenge on Libraries,” to lead an exploratory research project, Future Proofing Civic Data, investigating the challenges of long-term preservation for open civic datasets.

Open civic data portals, such as OpenDataPhilly in Philadelphia, have been a growing trend in cities, states, and national governments over the last decade. Many governments and other civic partners began developing open civic data initiatives in order to make data originating from governmental agencies and civic organizations easily accessible online for immediate consultation, as well as for data reuse. Datasets can include anything from election results to operating budgets to an inventory of all the trees in a city. The hope is that these portals can help bridge the gap between citizens and government and stimulate civic engagement by making data of relevance to citizens easily accessible online.

However, portals do not always have fully formed or fully implemented plans to ensure the long-term preservation of those datasets, and best practices are yet to emerge in that domain.

The Temple Library project team interviewed over a dozen stakeholders about their use cases and needs and looked at several open civic data initiatives in Philadelphia, Boston, San Francisco, and Pittsburgh, to compare practices and examine real-life examples. We wrote up our findings in a white paper where we explore ten important factors that need to be taken into consideration, if we are to tackle long-term preservation of civic data successfully. We also look at how libraries could take the lead, or at least participate in the process.

Please see the full white paper for more details.

The project team was comprised of Joe Lucia (PI), Rachel Appel, Delphine Khanna, Chad Nelson, Margery Sly, and Gretchen Sneff.