Reflections on a Ginsburg Health Sciences Library Internship

My name is Emily Foster, and I’ve had the honor of completing my field study for my Master of Library & Information Sciences from the University of Maryland at the Ginsburg Health Sciences Library this semester. Being at Temple for these past few months has been a strange kind of homecoming for me, since I’m originally a Temple owl (History ‘21)! 

Medical librarianship isn’t a particularly popular career goal in my cohort (in fact, as far as I know, I’m the only one pursuing it!) but after working for two years as an emergency department technician, then a public library assistant, I got to thinking: is there a way to combine these two interests? After starting my MLIS and realizing this was something I’d like to do, I reached out to Rebecca Lloyd, the History Subject Librarian at Charles Library, and she put me in contact with Jenny Pierce, Head of Research, Education and Outreach Services at Ginsburg Library, and the rest is history. 

I feel so lucky to have experienced so many different things at the Health Sciences Libraries. One of the major projects I worked on was entering metadata for research posters created by new-to-practice nurses in the nurse residency program at Temple University Hospital. This evidence-based research is conducted over one year and culminates in a poster highlighting a problem—and a potential solution to that problem—identified within the hospital, typically on the floor that nurse resident works on. The nurses are then expected to implement their findings on their floors. The metadata I generated was used to enter the posters into TUScholarShare, Temple’s institutional repository. This was a really exciting project because not only does it showcase the hard work of past nurse residents, but it also makes the results of their research available to future scholars. 

Ginsburg Library is truly fascinating behind the scenes. I met everyone who works here, got my hands on a little bit of everything, and received patient and extremely knowledgeable guidance along the way. I was given an amazing chance to put into practice the skills I gained during my program, as well as to add new skills that only on-the-job training could provide. While leaving is bittersweet, I’m so happy and grateful for the time I spent here. 

Resources to Help You Conquer Crunch Time

It’s that time of the semester—when research papers are due, exams are taken, and you need to hunker down and finish up your work. We are here to remind you that the Libraries have the resources you need to help you finish the semester strong.

A good place to start is our website, where you can use Library Search for all your questions. You can also see our hours (including extended hour offerings) for all library locations. Or you can go directly to our undergraduate and graduate user guides containing details of library resources tailored for you!

Ways to De-Stress

We are hosting a few opportunities for you to take a break from the busyness of this time of year that we hope you’ll take advantage of!  

On Friday, December 12 at 2pm, stop by the Makerspace for our Holiday Décor Workshop. Make gifts and décor for the holidays with help from staff on the laser cutter and 3D printers. Some possible ideas include: 3D printed trinkets, custom greeting cards, 3D printed cookie cutters, laser cut ornaments, and more. 

And what’s a better way to take your mind off things than playing around….with our games. Calling all game players…digital and board! On December 13 starting at 11 am, we’ll have our Virtual Reality Lab open and ready for video gaming on the consoles and PC,  as well as some tables set aside for playing board games. Bring your study group for a much needed break, or play some library staff and fellow students. You can see some of the games we have available to play and check out in the library’s online catalog.

24/7 Live Online Chat

Want to get online help right now…anytime on any day? You can contact us 24/7 via chat to get answers to your questions.

Find Your Study Space

Both Charles Library and Ginsburg Library have rooms that you can book to work alone or in a group. At Charles Library, you choose what kind of studying environment you like best—whether that’s a quiet place to study, a view of our green roof on the fourth floor, or you prefer to plop down in a comfy bean bag chair, we have you covered. 

Snack cart

During the week of December 11, be on the lookout for the snack cart at Charles Library. We’ll be giving out free goodies to help you stay fueled and focused. We will also be available to answer questions and point you in the right direction regarding library resources. 

Wellness Resource Center

Our friends at the Wellness Resource Center have several offerings to help you through this time of the semester. You can get details on their various activities planned for the week of December 11. Be sure to also look into other campus resources designed to help students de-stress and take preventive measures to avoid end-of-the-semester burnout.  

The End Is Near

We know this time of year can be difficult. We hope this roundup of library assistance gives you some relief. And if not, just know that soon you’ll be heading into your well-deserved winter break. Even then, the Libraries will be here for you during break and when we return for the spring. You got this!

Temple Libraries Hosts University’s Inaugural Research Resources Day

On October 24th, 2023 Charles Library hosted the first ever Research Resources Day, a collaboration between Temple University Libraries and University Press (TULUP), the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR), and Information Technology Services (ITS). The two-and-a-half hour catered event showcased the resources and tools available to researchers to help them throughout the research lifecycle.  

library staff at the welcome table at research resources day

Library staff members, Felipe Valdez and Van Tran, greet attendees at the welcome table
(photo credit: Olivia Given Castello)

Brief speeches from three campus research and technology leaders, Josh Gladden, vice-president for research, Dean Joe Lucia, Temple Libraries, and Larry Brandolph, vice-president for information technologies, addressed the importance of collaboration and information sharing across the University, along with adapting to the changing needs of the research community. Though this was the first event of its kind, the three leaders pledged to work closely to meet the needs of researchers, and continue hosting similar public events to promote resources, build connections, and provide support. 

Tables from the triumvirate of support departments advertised a wide variety of resources to assist researchers with their work regardless of their field and method of research. Services and topics that were highlighted included: Pivot, SciENcv, Grants Administration, Research Compliance, Innovation Nest, ERA, research data management, planning and sharing, LabArchives, ORCID, TUScholarShare, GIS and mapping, publishing support, qualitative data support, the evidence synthesis and systematic reviews service, Microsoft Teams, storing data, HIPAA compliance, and sharing data with external entities

From conceptualizing research ideas and applying for funding to sharing and preserving research data, support staff were on hand with information and answers to a broad swath of research-related questions. The fifty or so attendees spanned Temple’s schools and campuses, represented researchers from the Fox School of Business, the Lew Klein College of Media and Communication, the College of Public Health, and the Lewis Katz School of Medicine. The discussion and questions covered an array of topics, such as how to manage research funding, the grant application process, open access publishing, secure data storage, choosing an appropriate data repository, and the importance of registering for an ORCID iD. 

library staff members at the ORCID information table

Library staff members Rebecca Lloyd, Alicia Pucci and Travis Nace share information about ORCID iDs
(photo credit: Olivia Given Castello)

For those that missed the inaugural event, future iterations are planned in different locations across the University. Consider attending to learn about the available resources and meet people who can help support Temple research projects. 

Introducing the Qualitative Data Repository

Thanks to funding from the Libraries, Temple University recently became an institutional member of the Qualitative Data Repository (QDR). QDR is a dedicated archive for storing and sharing qualitative and mixed-method research data, and accompanying documentation, hosted by the Center for Qualitative and Multi-Method Inquiry at Syracuse University. 

Temple researchers can discover qualitative datasets in QDR for research and teaching.  Temple affiliates can also share and preserve their own research data in QDR to satisfy publisher and funder requirements, including the NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy. QDR is a CoreTrustSeal certified repository that helps researchers share data responsibly and has the infrastructure and expertise to host sensitive data with restricted access. 

Benefits of QDR 

Sharing qualitative data takes advanced preparation to ensure participant consent is in place, and that data has been properly prepared and anonymized. QDR staff specialize in qualitative research methods and data curation and are able to assist Temple researchers throughout the research process.  

Benefits of using QDR include: 

  • Detailed data curation assistance to ensure deposited data is fully de-identified, annotated, and ready for sharing 
  • Tiered levels of data access including the ability to restrict access to sensitive data 
  • Persistent identifiers to make data discoverable and citable 
  • Data metrics including views, downloads, and citations to track impact 
  • Guidance and documentation on qualitative research and data management topic such as working with human participant data, data management planning, deidentifying data, and conducting disclosure risk review  

Our membership supports a limited number of no-cost data deposits per year by Temple researchers. Researchers should register for a QDR account using their Temple email address to download or deposit data.  

Ideally, potential depositors should contact QDR early in their project, before data collection occurs, to receive guidance on designing data collection and data management planning for grant submissions.  

If you are applying for a large or multi-year grant, please consult with QDR before designating them as a repository. There may be additional costs for large-scale or multi-year projects. 

Data Sharing at Temple 

Given the increase in funder-mandated data management planning and sharing requirements, researchers must carefully consider how they will responsibly share their research data. In addition to the Qualitative Data Repository, Temple University is also a member of ICPSR, and has its own institutional repository, TUScholarShare, that can curate deidentified data. We also provide guidance on selecting the right general or disciplinary repository for your data. 

Get Help 

Have questions about sharing data or using QDR? See our guide to the Qualitative Data Repository, or contact Temple’s institutional representative, Olivia Given Castello, at

To learn more about data management planning, see our research data management guide and tutorials on data management planning with DMPTool. To learn more about qualitative data, see our qualitative data analysis (QDA) guide and consider attending one of our upcoming library workshops on QDA

A Warm Welcome From the Libraries

Photo showing the outside of Charles Library
Outside Charles Library, photo by Betsy Manning, Temple University 

Welcome to the fall 2023 semester at Temple University! Temple Libraries is here to support you with a variety of resources, materials, and services to get you started and keep you on track as the semester unfolds. 

This post highlights just a few of the ways you can use the Libraries this academic year. Be sure to check our website for more resources, and visit our contact us page to learn about all the ways to get in touch to ask questions. 

Find the materials you need 

The Libraries provide access to a broad range of physical and online materials—including books, journals, articles, music, and movies—all searchable through our website:

If it’s rare or unique archival materials you’re after, learn more about the Special Collections Research Center and the Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection and peruse our digital collections

Each semester the Libraries compiles a list of digitally available textbooks that may substitute for required or recommended course textbooks. They are available to students at no cost.

Get personalized research help 

Librarians are here to offer personalized assistance as you work on your research papers and projects. No matter what you are studying or what major you pursue, we have a librarian who specializes in your field

Getting in touch with your librarian is easy: you can chat, email, or schedule a virtual or in-person appointment. Our chat service is 24/7, so no matter when you are working, someone will be here to answer your questions. 

Research, at your pace 

Once you’ve scoped out your syllabi, head over to our comprehensive Research Guides for each of your course subjects (curated by our subject librarians!).  

Our self-paced library tutorials can you help you develop your research skills. 

We also have tailored undergraduate and graduate user guides to help get you started. 

Explore spaces to study and work 

Photo showing seating inside Charles Library, with book stacks in the background

We offer a variety of open seating options to satisfy student needs for individual and group study. Students can book study rooms ahead of time at Charles Library and the Ginsburg Health Sciences Library

If you are interested in making use of the Libraries’ advanced equipment and technology, visit the Loretta C. Duckworth Scholars Studio in Charles Library and the Innovation Space at Ginsburg Health Sciences Library. 

Access tech 

Need to print or use a computer? Take advantage of the laptop lending program and charging options, and look into Temple’s Print on the Go service for all your printing needs. 

Attend free events and workshops  

We host a variety of events and workshops throughout the academic year. In addition, we’ll be offering a lineup of concerts, conversations, and specialized workshops, on everything from CV writing to graphic design for visual abstracts to 3D printing. 

As always, our events and workshops are free and open to all. 

Photo showing atrium and main staircase in Charles Library
Inside Charles Library, photo by Michael Grimm 

Stay up to date! 

Follow us on social media and sign up for our mailing list to get future updates from the Libraries, including upcoming events, featured resources, and more.  

Is This Ebook Going to Disappear?

Guest post by Karen Kohn, Collections Analysis Librarian 

Faculty and students may remember the confusion that occurred in September 2023, when 1,379 ebooks published by Wiley disappeared from our catalog. After international protest, including voices from Temple University, Wiley reinstated these books in October 2023. At the time, Wiley announced that access would be temporary, with the intention of giving faculty time to redesign courses to use alternate materials. 

This past spring, we received the following update from Wiley, sent via our representative at ProQuest: 

Previously we communicated a number of Wiley etextbooks titles were scheduled to be removed from Academic Complete in the June 2023 bi-annual title subscription removal process. Wiley has agreed to extend this timeline and ProQuest will continue the existing terms including retention of all existing Wiley titles in Academic Complete through December 31st, 2023. Should any titles be removed after that you will be made aware of those publisher requests in our normal semi-annual subscription removal process. 

This is good news! The books will be available at least until December, and the wording suggests they may remain available into 2024 as well. 

When Ebooks Disappear 

The mention of a “normal semi-annual removal process” might sound concerning, but in fact librarians at Temple University Libraries have a prepared response to this situation. We subscribe to several ebook packages from ProQuest and EBSCO, and books are removed from these packages in June and December – in other words, not in the middle of a semester. The vendors notify us which books are going to be removed, and a librarian checks to see which have been heavily used. If an ebook was used above a certain threshold and is available for a reasonable price, we will purchase a copy. Because this copy is a purchase rather than a subscription, we have perpetual access, and it won’t disappear. 

There are cases when an ebook is unavailable for purchase, as with the Wiley ebooks. This is a problem for libraries! Even when a publisher sells an ebook for individuals to read on their Kindle or another ereader, they can opt to withhold it from library platforms. Sometimes the ebook is for sale but is unaffordable to libraries at four or five times the cost of the print. 

How Legal Changes Might Help 

An advocacy organization called Library Futures has drafted model legislation related to ebooks that has been introduced in several states. Such legislation would require that if a publisher offers an ebook for sale to the public, that publisher should also be willing to sell the same ebook to libraries on reasonable terms. As Library Futures’ policy statement says, “Often, eBook licenses offered to libraries come with many restrictions on use and/or are prohibitively expensive, or worse, sometimes are not available to libraries at any price.” The legislation is not yet in effect in any state, though librarians are eager to follow its progress. 

What Faculty Can Do 

In the meantime, there are a few ways you can ensure that students will have access to their course texts. Please notify the bookstore of what texts you are adopting, even if you can see that the library has them. The bookstore shares this information with us, and it helps us to know which ebooks to purchase if subscription access disappears. You can also consider adopting an open textbook for your course. Temple’s Textbook Affordability Project offers grants to support faculty in making their courses more affordable for students by replacing expensive texts with open educational resources. Look for the Libraries’ call for applications in spring 2024. In the meantime, we encourage faculty to sign up for our quarterly open education newsletter, Owls for Open Ed! 

Findings From Temple University’s Affordable Course Materials Survey 

In the spring 2023 semester, Temple University Libraries participated in the Affordable Learning Pennsylvania (ALPA) student course materials survey. In addition to obtaining results from Temple students, the survey provided both state and national comparative data. Surveys of this type provide insights into how textbook costs impact our students and their behaviors related to purchasing or obtaining course materials. 

Students Concerns About Textbook Costs 

Students responded to 20+ questions about their experience with course materials, mostly textbooks they are required to purchase. We learned that 49% of our students indicated they were moderately or extremely worried about the cost of their course materials. That is a greater percentage of respondents than either the state or national results for that same question. **

When asked if the cost of required course materials ever caused them to not purchase a textbook, 57% of our students indicated that they occasionally or frequently did not purchase required course materials. That exceeds both state and national responses by several percentage points.  

Compared to a national sample of undergraduate students and other Pennsylvania colleges and universities, Temple students spent about the same amount on their textbooks. More Temple students reported spending $100 or less on their course materials. Temple students may be spending less owing to more instructors adopting open educational resources or licensed library materials, or fewer faculty may be assigning traditional textbooks. Approximately 37% of our student respondents still reported spending $200 or more on their course materials for the spring 2023 semester. 

Strategies for Avoiding Textbook Costs 

A more revealing question asked students to indicate what strategies they use to reduce the cost of required course materials throughout their college career. Only 2% of Temple students reported that they do not attempt to lower their costs. Rather, based on these responses, significant numbers of Temple students use multiple strategies to reduce their costs, including purchasing used textbooks, searching for free online versions (often pirated PDF copies), and sharing with classmates. In many of these cases, Temple students engage in these practices, especially “Do Without” at numbers that exceed both national and Pennsylvania rates. 

Comments Reflect Difficult Circumstances 

Students shared numerous comments on the impact that the cost of their course materials has on their academic and broader life experience. Among them we found students sharing: 

  • The cost of course material has had a major influence on my educational progress…when high expenses are required it has been a worry that seeped into my class performance. 
  • [It] has caused me to be worried about how I would pay for necessities such as food, rent, etc. 
  • I try to not buy textbooks unless absolutely necessary. I really appreciate the professors that don’t assign a textbook.  
  • I have chosen courses and professors that specifically don’t make me buy textbooks 
  • At $150-$200 per book, it’s very difficult to afford as a student. If you cannot afford to buy the materials you will miss the assignments which will hamper your grades. 
  • I dislike the fact we students have to pay extra for assignments. The textbook I can deal with because there’s alternative ways to get the textbook for the course. But paying $100+ for the course assignments/exams is unreasonable. 

Next Steps 

ALPA is offering the opportunity to participate in the survey in the fall 2023 semester. Temple University Libraries has already expressed its desire to repeat the survey so that additional student responses and voices can be heard. A random set of students will receive the survey between August 28 and September 11, 2023.  

When the fall results are processed and analyzed, Temple Libraries will share a final survey report with the Temple University campus. What can we, as a community, do to alleviate the challenges our students face because of high course materials costs? Here are several suggestions: 

Together we can take action to lower the cost of course materials for our students in order to advance learning and student success. We invite you to contact us with your thoughts and suggestions or to receive additional information. 

** Disclosure statement: The charts, tables and data presented in this blog post were prepared for Temple University Libraries by Bayview Analytics. Bayview Analytics was contracted by Affordable Learning Pennsylvania to conduct a statewide student course materials affordability survey, including data analysis and presentation of the survey results.

MERLOT Adds New OER Search Feature

MERLOT is a well-known repository of openly accessible learning content produced and shared by higher education faculty. With its thousands of learning objects, MERLOT is considered a reliable source of quality Open Educational Resources (OER).

Faculty are sometimes challenged to find OER that fits their course. To enhance their ability to locate OER, MERLOT has developed a new feature called “Smart Search”. It extends access to online learning materials well beyond MERLOT’s curated and peer reviewed collection.  Smart Search helps to answer the pervasive and nagging question, “Where can I find OERs?”

Smart Search searches the World Wide Web specifically for the kinds of learning materials typically found in MERLOT. It uses a proprietary MERLOT user profile design to find the newest and most popular learning materials on the web. While these web items are not reviewed or curated as is the MERLOT resources, searches can recommend materials they find for future review.

Smart Search is easy to use. From the MERLOT home page go to the search feature:

screenshot of merlot search box

Start with the MERLOT search utility







Then MERLOT will indicate you have a choice of three options for finding content:

screenshot of the merlot search options

MERLOT prompts for one of three different searches






Choosing the Web search option will result in up to 100 websites with potential OER content on the search topic:

screenshot of MERLOT search results screen

MERLOT search results display up to 100 web sites






As part of Temple University Libraries celebration of Open Education Week, we encourage all instructors to visit MERLOT and consider ways in which OER could be used to offer students affordable learning material. For more information on locating OER resources, using existing library content or other resources as affordable learning materials contact Steven Bell, Associate University Librarian.

New Tool Helps Students Identify Library E-Books That Are Course Textbooks

During the first week or two of the new semester one of the most frequently asked student questions at Paley Library is “Does the Library have my textbook?”

Owing to the expense of commercial textbooks, students are hoping they can borrow a library copy instead of having to buy the book. Temple Libraries does not generally purchase commercial textbooks. Not only are they costly, but they are hardly conducive to the Library’s goal of building a research collection that contributes to great learning and research.

That said, on occasion we do have books in our collection that are also being used as learning resources by faculty. The problem is that one student in the course typically borrows that book, beating everyone else in the class to it, so it really doesn’t help much. To alleviate that situation, some faculty will place a physical book from the collection on reserve for students, but students can only borrow the book for a two hour period.

E-books are one way to overcome these limitation. Since they are always available online, and mostly accessible by multiple users, students can equitably use the e-book. The challenge for students is how to find out if we have their textbook in e-book format.

Thanks to Brian Boling, our Media Services Librarian, we now have a new tool that makes it easier for students to find out if one of the books for their course is available as a library e-book.

“E-books At Temple University Libraries” looks through all the books available at the bookstore for the current semester and shows any match for an e-book available through the library.

screenshot of the library's e-book - textbook tool

Library’s E-book – Textbook Tool










There is a search or browse list that students can use to locate books by their faculty members name or course name.

screenshot of the library e-book to textbooks

Search/Browse feature of the textbook ebook collection






We hope that students will use this new tool to determine if the library has an e-book version of their textbook. Temple University Libraries provides access to many thousands of book in electronic format. We also hope that faculty and students will make use of them to advance student learning and research.


Paley Library Construction FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

Temple University students will notice a substantial change in Paley Library as they return for the fall 2016 semester.

Almost the entire east side of the first floor of Paley Library is closed for a construction project.

This FAQ has information about the impact of this project on Paley Library and its resources and services throughout the construction.

That section of Paley is where I always study. Why did you close it?

The decision to close the east side of Paley Library’s first floor was a University administration decision. In order to create more space for the Fox School, a decision was made to move advising staff out of 1810 Liacouras Walk. Those advisers are being relocated to the first floor east of Paley Library. In closing the first floor east, the Library administration is complying with a request from the University administration.

We need more study space, not less? What happened to all the chairs and study carrels?

Despite the construction there is no loss of study seats in Paley Library. All of our carrels and soft seating have been relocated to other spaces throughout the building. Many of the popular individual carrels will be found on the second and third floors.

What about the computers on the first floor?

Unfortunately the construction project meant the loss of approximately 50 desktop computers. For now the bulk of our desktop computers are on the west side of the first floor, with a more limited number on the second and third floors. Many more students now bring their own computer to Paley Library, but for those who need to use one while here we will be introducing Chromebook computers for loan from our Media Services Desk. Look for an announcement.

Does the construction project affect any of the services at the desk in the Tuttleman Building?

No. The construction project will have no impact at all on any Temple University Library services. Whether it’s access to books on reserve, asking a librarian for help choosing a database, DVDs in Media Services, using primary research materials in the Special Collections Research Center or getting help with a research project at the Digital Scholarship Center, Temple students will experience no change in the high quality services they always receive from Temple Libraries.

How long is the construction project expected to last?

The project is expected to be completed by mid-November 2016. However, it is possible the new area will not be occupied by staff members until the start of the spring 2017 semester. The timeline on this remains undetermined for now.

What if the construction makes Paley too noisy for quiet study

We are dealing with an active construction zone in our building from 7:00 am until 2:30 pm, weekdays. There will be noise. The entire project will be enclosed within walls that separate it from the rest of the building, which will help, but there will still be some noise. If you feel there is too much noise, speak to a library staff member at any service desk. There are numerous other quiet spaces in Paley, so seek them out.

How do I get one of the magazine or journal issues that were on the shelves in that area?

We do plan to re-install the shelving and make all those issues available for browsing once we are able to get back into the corridor. Until then, request a magazine or journal issue at the main service desk in Paley Library, Monday – Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

UPDATE – Sept. 13: The current periodicals are now available in the corridor that leads into the east side of the first floor.

Will I still be able to get to the photocopiers when I need them?

The corridor where the photocopiers are located will remain open to the community during and after the completion of the construction project. If for any reason that area is temporarily unavailable, there are additional photocopiers on the second and third floors.

UPDATE – Sept. 13: The photocopiers are now re-installed in their original location on the first floor east.

Does the project affect the hours that the Paley Library will be open this fall?

No. The Paley Library hours are not affected by the construction project.

What should I do if I have concerns about Paley Library during the construction project?

Temple University students are always welcome to share their concerns or suggestions about any aspects of library services with members of the Library Administration team. The office is located on the mezzanine level of Paley Library and is open from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm. You can also contact us through our virtual suggestion box.