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.

In the News: Upholding Net Neutrality

On June 14, the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit voted to uphold the FCC’s Open Internet Order governing net neutrality, or equitable speed and access to non-commercial content. A victory for cultural and educational institutions, this ruling responds to the concern that internet service providers could give preference to paid entertainment and commercial content over educational and informational content. Last week’s ruling, however, ensures that internet providers cannot favor content from certain providers over others. In other words, the internet will remain an open platform in which all internet traffic is treated equally.

According to the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), this ruling is especially important for institutions like libraries that value and rely on open access to educational and cultural resources. An appeal is likely but for the time being, net neutrality remains.

Read more about the ARL’s reaction here.

New Study Points to Learning Effectiveness of Open Textbooks

There are many good reasons to use open textbooks instead of costly commercially published textbooks. The obvious one is that it saves students a great deal of money. Faculty support that but may be hesitant to adopt an open textbook for their course over concerns of quality and impact on learning.

A new study by three researchers, one of whom is David Wiley, the prominent advocate for open education, may help to convince faculty that there is value in adopting open textbooks – and not just because of the savings for students. Open textbooks, in this study, proved beneficial to student learning.

A multi-institutional study of the impact of open textbook adoption on the learning outcomes of postsecondary students” is by far the largest study of its kind conducted to date—nearly 5000 postsecondary students using OER and over 11,000 control students using commercial textbooks, distributed among ten institutions across the United States, enrolled in 15 different undergraduate courses. So what did the researchers learn?

In three key measures of student success—course completion, final grade of C- or higher, course grade– students whose faculty chose OER generally performed as well or better than students whose faculty assigned commercial textbooks. The article does discuss the challenge of identifying and using appropriate measures of student learning, but the findings should encourage faculty who may be averse to open educational resources.

The findings support the experience of Temple University faculty that have participated in our local Alternate Textbook Project. Their evaluations of student outcomes often confirm that replacing the commercial textbook with alternate learning content (including licensed library content in many cases) leads to improved student engagement with learning materials which results in better academic performance. If you are interested in additional information about open textbooks, OER or our Alternate Textbook Project contact Steven Bell, Association University Librarian(bells at temple.edu).

Temple Library Operations During Papal Visit Weekend

Will the Temple Libraries be open during the Papal visit weekend?

If so, which ones and what will the hours of operation be? Here is a listing of our operations from Friday, September 25 through Monday, September 28.

Paley Library will be open throughout this period as follows:

Friday – 9 am to 5 pm
Saturday – 9 am to 7 pm
Sunday – Noon to 2 am
Monday – 8 am to 2 am

Please be aware that even though Paley is open it will be operating with limited staff and services. The only service desk location that will be staffed is the Access Services desk in Tuttleman. You will only be able to enter the Library through the Bell Tower entrance.
All guest computing services are suspended from Friday, September 25 through Monday, September 28 at 1 pm. No applications for guest computing or guest borrowing will be accepted during this period.

Those with research questions can obtain assistance through our virtual Ask-a-Librarian service. It will be available 9-5 Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The Science and Engineering Library located in the Engineering Building is closed  from Friday, September 25 through Monday, September 28 at 1 pm.

The Ambler Campus Library is closed on Friday, September 25, open from 9 am to 5 pm on Saturday, September 26 and then closed for Sunday, September 27 and the morning of Monday, September 28.

The Health Sciences Libraries, Ginsburg and Podiatry, will be closed Friday, September 25 through Monday, September 28 at 1 pm.

All other service units such as the Special Collections Research Center, Media Services Desk, Blockson Collection, etc. are closed until Monday, September 28 at 1 pm.

For more information please call the Access Services Desk at 215-204-0744.

Even Harvard Must Reckon with the Scholarly Publishing Crisis

With an article titled “The ‘Wild West’ of Academic Publishing”, Craig Lambert, writing in the January-February 2015 issue of Harvard Magazine, details the challenges that even universities with the resources of Harvard face as they attempt to navigate the scholarly publishing crisis.

Lambert examines two specific challenges. First, how can the existing 105 university presses survive in an environment where it is increasingly difficult to sell more than a few hundred copies of a scholarly monograph. Second, how can higher education bring sensible reform to a badly broken system of scholarly article publishing that has faculty giving away content to publishers (both commercial and non-profit societies) that sell back the content to academic libraries at subscription prices that cannot be rationalized.

Is open access publishing a possible solution? Lambert dives into the question, and offers some possibilities by profiling a few experiments in approaching scholarly publishing in an entirely different way. This article provides insight into the scholarly publishing crisis, and could well serve as material for a conversation in academic departments where there are concerns about the future of scholarly publishing.

Complete Guide to Open Educational Resources (OER)

Open educational resources (OER) are freely available learning materials that are becoming more popular as a strategy for providing students with an alternative to costly textbooks. Knowing that their students are already challenged by the cost of higher education, many faculty are looking for ways to help students save money. Adopting openly accessible textbooks and other open learning content is one way to do that. But it also has other advantages, the primary one being that it can enhance student success by making learning materials affordable. Research has shown that many students don’t buy an expensive textbook or they try to share it with other students. That detracts from learning.

How do you get started with OER if you are interested in learning more about the resources and how to integrate them into a learning environment? Campus Technology recently published a good introduction to OER in the August 2014 issue. “Complete Guide to OER” starts with a definition: “Teaching, learning and research resources that reside in the public domain…and includes full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, texts, software, and other materials used to access knowledge.”

It then provides a good overview that includes four myths about OER, six tips for using OER, six arguments for OER, 18 sites for finding OER, ideas for spreading the word about OER on campus, and some information about OER formats.

The other way to learn more about OER and how it’s being used at Temple University is to explore our Alternate Textbook Project website. The Temple University Libraries has offered support for faculty to replace their traditional commercial textbook with other materials, including OER. There are examples of projects and links to additional resources. If you would like to learn more about the Alternate Textbook Project or OER, please contact Steven Bell, Associate University Librarian.

America’s Other Deficit – The Innovation Deficit

Here’s an informative four-minute video to help you understand a new type of deficit that threatens the U.S. economy. Innovation helps to grow the American economy through the discovery of new products and services that will bring value to consumers and industry. Many of these innovations, ranging from GPS technology to MRIs or life-saving medicines, were the result of higher education research. We now find ourselves facing an innovation deficit that weakens our capacity to produce the research that leads to innovation.

In a nutshell, the innovation deficit is the difference between actual federal funding for scientific research and education and the amount of funding actually needed for those activities to produce a sufficient level of innovation. The point of the video is that while this may seem like an effective strategy in the short-term to reduce the budget deficit by cutting research funding to higher education, in the long-term it’s actually hurting the economy by reducing our national capacity for innovation. Because we also compete in a global economy, fewer funds domestically decreases the attraction of American universities to the world’s best scientists and innovators and instead encourages them to seek research opportunities in other countries offering more funding. That compounds the problem over time.

InnovationDeficit.org, the producer of the video, is a coalition of higher education, business and public health associations, including the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Council on Education and the Business and Higher Education Forum. The Coalition hopes to use their site and video to alert members of Congress to the serious problems that may result if we allow the innovation deficit to grow.

Veterans Day and Temple’s World War I Poster Collection

While the First World War officially ended at the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919,  major hostilities  concluded on November 11, 1918,  at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.  November 11 was thereafter observed as Armistice Day  in many of the allied nations, including France, the United States, Belgium, Great Britain, Canada, Australia and other Commonwealth nations.   The day originally served to remember the  9 million combatants who had died  during the war.  After the Second World War, veterans of that conflict pressed in the United States to have November 11 become a day on which all veterans of military service would be honored, irrespective of  when they served in the U.S. Armed Forces.   President Dwight D. Eisenhower, himself a veteran of both the first and second World Wars,  signed the enabling legislation into effect in 1954.

Today, although all combatants from “war to end all wars”  have died,  we grapple still with the legacy of that terrible conflict which spawned several national revolutions,  reshaped the map of Europe, led  to the Second World War, and  directly or indirectly occasioned the creation of the modern states of Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and ultimately Israel.

The First World War is regarded  as a watershed event in the history of warfare, society and culture.  Government powers (taxation, rationing, conscription) significantly expanded in many nations in order to mobilize entire economies to fight a technologically advanced and industrially intensive war of such great geographic extent and duration.   Propaganda reached new heights of pervasiveness and persuasive power as governments increasingly saw the necessity to garner and maintain broad public support  in favor of war policies in the context of  broad literacy rates and mass suffrage.

One of the most prominent manifestations of the new propaganda was the war poster, many of which have survived in the collections of libraries and historical societies, as well as in private collections.   The Special Collections Research Center of the Temple University Libraries hold  a magnificent collection of over 1,500 World War I posters which were donated to Temple in 1937 by George F. Tyler who had been a Major in the U.S. Army Field Artillery during the War.  Temple’s Tyler School of Art is named for Tyler’s wife Stella Elkins Tyler.    Virtually all these posters have been digitized and are now freely available for study in our Digital Collections.      An interpretive online exhibition is also offered at:  http://exhibitions.library.temple.edu/exhibits/ww1/ .  

Jonathan LeBreton, Senior Assoc. University Librarian

Get Ready For Open Access Week – Oct.21 – Oct.25

Each October academic librarians set aside a week to promote and celebrate the open access movement. Across the globe events are held to remind scholars of the importance of reforming the scholarly communications system in order to make the results of research and scholarship widely available to all the world’s citizens. According to the Open Access Week website:

Open Access Week, a global event now entering its sixth year, is an opportunity for the academic and research community to continue to learn about the potential benefits of Open Access, to share what they’ve learned with colleagues, and to help inspire wider participation in helping to make Open Access a new norm in scholarship and research.Open Access” to information – the free, immediate, online access to the results of scholarly research, and the right to use and re-use those results as you need – has the power to transform the way research and scientific inquiry are conducted.

In recognition of Open Access Week, Temple University Libraries will use its website and this blog to share information about open access. We hope this will create more awareness about open access issues and opportunities across our institution.

There are two webcasts scheduled for Open Access Week that may be of interest to you. On Monday, October 21 at 3:00 pm ET the Open Access Week Kick Off Event is sponsored by SPARC (The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) and the World Bank. The webcast is “Open Access: Redefining Impact” and will feature a panel discussion of multiple experts from different disciplines discussing their open access experiences. You can view a listing of other Open Access Week live events being sponsored by SPARC.

The live webcast “Protect Your Patrons From Predatory Publishers” will be held on Tuesday, October 22 at 3:30 pm ET, and it will feature Jeffrey Beall speaking about low quality open access journals that use misleading techniques and claims to lead faculty to publish for outlandish fees. It is important for researchers and scholars to be aware of predatory publishers.

Stay tuned for more information on open access the week of October 21, 2013.